Certified Public Accountant

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Certified public accountant is a title given to qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, as well as met specific state requirements for education and work experience. They prepare tax returns, perform audits, do accounting and give advice to their clients on financial matters.[1]

CPAs are required to take continuing education courses in order to renew their license. The normal requirements are 120 hours of continuing professional education courses every 3 years, with a minimum of 20 hours per year. The requirement can be fulfilled through attending live seminars, webcast seminars, or through self-study (textbooks, videos, online courses, all of which require a test to receive credit). Additionally, most states require certified public accountants to take ethics courses for every renewal period.[2]


  1. Accountants and Auditors. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2. FAQs - Become a CPA. American Institute of CPAs.