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Certified Public Accountant

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Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the national Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional all the education and experience requirements imposed by the state where they work.

Individuals who have passed the exam but have either not accomplished the required on-the-job experience or who have previously met it but in the meantime have lapsed their continuing professional education are, in many states, permitted the designation "CPA Inactive" or an equivalent phrase.

In most U.S. states, only CPAs who are licensed are able to provide to the public auditing opinions on financial statements. The exceptions to this rule are Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio where, although the "CPA" designation is restricted, the practice of auditing is not.

Many states have a lower tier of accountant qualification (below that of CPA), usually entitled "Public Accountant" (with designatory letters "PA"). However the majority of states have closed the designation "Public Accountant" to new entrants, with only about 10 states continuing to offer the designation.[1].


  1. National Society of (Public) Accountants - Provides information about the states that have PAs

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This entry includes content from the following Wikipedia article: Certified Public Accountant

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