A CPA's Qualifications

The qualifications of CPAs make them the trusted professionals who are uniquely qualified to meet all your personal or business financial management and tax planning needs.

CPAs must:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree
  • Complete up to 150 semester hours of education
  • Pass a comprehensive rigorous four-section, qualifying examination
  • Meet strict state licensing guidelines
  • Fulfill 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years
  • Abide by a code of professional ethics

What are the Qualifications of Your Tax Preparer?

Like all paid tax return preparers, CPAs must register with the Internal Revenue Service and obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number. However, not all paid tax preparers have a CPA's qualifications, rigorous training and specialized professional background.  Before you seek financial advice from a tax preparer, be sure to ask about their qualifications to ensure they are capable of meeting your unique needs.


Get a Trusted Professional on Your Side

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) have ranked among the most valued and respected professionals for more than 125 years.  CPAs provide a wide range of services that are needed for financial security and success.  Although all CPAs do not offer every service, they each offer their own specialized combination of services that can be customized to your own unique needs and specific goals.

Meeting Your Personal Financial Goals

Whether you're thinking of purchasing a  new home, saving for retirement, starting a business, eliminating debt or funding a college education, a CPA can help you achieve financial milestones with a realistic budget designed around your resources, responsibilities and goals. 

Income Tax Planning and Preparation

A continuing education requirement keeps CPAs up-to-date about constantly changing tax laws so they can provide prudent, year-round tax management counsel.  Your CPA can:

  • Design strategies you can follow throughout the year to reduce your taxes, save money and achieve a smoother tax preparation process
  • Clarify the impact of the latest tax laws, legislation and IRS rules on your tax liability
  • Identify the long- and short-term tax consequences of your spending, investment and other financial decisions, and advise you on the steps you can take to reduce your future liability
  • Counsel you through tax return issues, complete all required forms and compile the necessary backup materials

Explain what the numbers mean and ensure you are complying with the law, so you know what's in your return and can be confident in its accuracy 

Estate Planning

For most of us, planning for the distribution of our financial resources and personal property can be a difficult and emotionally charged issue.  However, with a CPA's professional and comprehensive approach to estate planning, you can be assured that your wishes will be honored.  Estate Planning is a collaborative effort with other team members including attorneys, investment advisors, appraisers and insurance agents, among others.  A team of experts will ensure each issue is properly addressed.

Education Planning

You and your family can look to the future far more positively when you have a well-planned strategy for education costs.  With a plan that features a CPA's tax-savvy investment advice and guidance, you can realize your education funding goals and reap the benefits they deliver. 

Strategic Business Planning

Business owners have a different set of needs than individuals and families.  In many cases, however, a small business owner's personal tax issues are intertwined and directly connected with those of the business.  Your CPA can help meet the day-to-day and long-term goals of your business.