CPA is an acronym for Certified Public Accountant.
While a CPA is an accountant, not every accountant is a CPA. Likewise, for tax preparers: an IRS registered tax preparer does not have the same requirements or level of education as a CPA.
There are several important, distinct differences between CPAs and other accounting professionals.
A CPA's level of expertise - and the accountability for the work he or she does – is held to a much higher standard than those practicing as accountants. That's an important distinction to those who have earned the designation and proudly call themselves CPAs.
What do CPAs do?
CPAs are leaders, strategic thinkers and problem solvers. Proper accounting is integral to any businesses or operation's success and so CPAs are needed everywhere. They can work in a variety of areas, including public accounting, business and industry, technology, forensics, government and education, to name just a few.
Some of the job titles CPAs hold are CEO, CFO, partner, owner, controller, treasurer, financial analyst, auditor, etc.