The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a license issued by the state to individuals who have proven themselves competent to provide accounting services by passing the CPA exam.
The CPA serves businesses in various ways, including performing audits, providing financial assessments, analysis, and consultation.
Licensing requirements differ from state to state. However, the final requirement, the Uniform CPA Examination, is the same for all persons seeking this title.
While still a common requirement for many accounting positions, the CPA has lost some of its prestige as alternative licenses, such as the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and CHMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant), become more prevalent.
So basically, if you are looking to hire an accountant and are throwing up a “CPA required” or a “CPA highly preferred,” you may want to stop and think about what you could be losing by limiting yourself to just one option.