Most people consider a CPA and accountant to be the same, and while both work with taxes and accounting, there are two main differences between CPA firms and accountants in Utah, which include education and scope of work. If you are in need of an accountant or CPA, it is helpful to understand the education of each and what each can do to have a better idea of what you will require.
CPA firms hire CPAs that have their Certified Public Accountant license. Each state has different requirements to receive the CPA licensure, but it is a requirement to become a CPA. In Utah, you must earn at least a Bachelor’s degree. While most people consider an accounting degree, Utah does allow people to choose a degree within in any field, as long as there are certain course requirements met. After a Bachelor’s degree has been earned, and the student has at least 135 semester credits, they can take their Uniform CPA Examination.
Before they can be licensed, they must have at least one year of experience in accounting, take a few home study courses, and the Utah Laws and Rules Exam. They can then apply for and receive their CPA licensure, after completing a total of 150 semester hours of credit, earning a Bachelor’s degree, passing the Uniform CPA exam, passing the AICPA Ethics exam, passing the Laws and Rules of Utah exam, paying the fees and completing specific forms.
Accountants are not required to have all the experience and education requirements placed on them, though they must graduate college with a degree in accounting. Most choose an Associate’s degree, which is shorter, but some go for a Bachelor’s or Master’s. Most accountants prefer to receive their degree and start working while attending school on their off-hours to earn their CPA licensure, so they can continue working while going to school.
What CPAs Can Do
While most people consider a CPA to be a tax preparer, they can do many other tasks, such as accounting, taxes, auditing, technology consulting, personal financial planning, business valuation and more. They can work in education, nonprofit organizations, government, business, public accounting firms, private accounting firms and others.
What Accountants Can Do
An accountant can usually handle most tax-related matters, maintains general business accounts and handles bookkeeping duties, and because they are not trained, they cannot perform more complex tasks.
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