CPA Certificate vs License: What is the difference? This question is often prevalent among the candidates who wish to do CPA. They often get confused between the two terms and use them interchangeably. But don’t worry! This article will give you all the information about CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and the difference between the two terms. Read this blog upto end to understand complete details about CPA.
The CPA, accredited by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), is a pretty sought-after certification when it comes to the professionals who are in the accounting and audit field. They search and get enrolled in the most prestigious CPA certification course to clear the exam and get CPA-certified. One such online institute that provides a well-organized and comprehensive course is NorthStar Academy.
So, before we move further, let us see what CPA actually is!
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. It is also one of the reputed credentials in which qualified accountants get numerous job options not only in India but abroad as well. The person who clears the CPA exam is given the title of Chartered Accountant. In the US, CPA is a licensed credential, wherein the person provides accounting services to the people. Once an individual gets the CPA credential, he/she can work in all over the world.
To do CPA, a person requires CPE credit hours, i.e., Continuing Professional Education. It is essential to ensure the license of the individuals. Now, here arises a question, i.e., what does a CPA do?
Well, a CPA is a professional designation that allows mobility and flexibility in the career of an individual. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a CPA can work in the below sectors:
These are just some titles. There will be numerous job opportunities that can help get better job opportunities in the future. So, before moving on with the CPA certificate vs license, let us first understand that what is the difference between a CPA and an accountant? Are they the same?
All Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are Accountants. But that is not the case with Accountants. Accountants cannot be CPAs. An accountant is defined as a person who has the responsibility of keeping and interpreting financial records.
On the other hand, a CPA has more responsibilities as compared to an accountant. They are not limited to one job role. Along with interpreting financial records, CPAs work in many areas. They are:
Acquiring a CPA license can take a lot of time, effort, and patience. Being a CPA means that one has to study hard and remain committed to CPE even after earning the designation.
Before getting to know the difference between the CPA certificate vs license, it is essential why one must become a CPA. Here are the reasons why one must gain this prestigious credential.
We all know that CPA is a reputed professional credential and the journey to achieve this credential is quite difficult. Once an individual earns the credential, it is a prestigious thing in itself. One becomes a distinguished part of the top group of accountants. It is a matter of respect. Isn’t it?
The best thing about Certified Public Accountants is that the credential gives you a career boost and opens a wide door of job opportunities. As a CPA one can work flexibly in any role. Within the accounting industry and outside it, a CPA enjoys career development in full form!
CPAs are very high in demand. That is why they have amazing financial and career growth. The starting salary of a CPA is way more than an accountant. The jobs for CPA are increasing in number. Thus, after one becomes a CPA, there are numerous career opportunities with high pay grades.
After earning the CPA license, an individual has expertise in the accounting field. As a result, jobs with a high pay scale are provided to the individuals. A CPA is paid much higher as compared to ordinary accountants. Thus, there is job satisfaction and monetary benefits after one has become a CPA.
Now, let us talk about the CPA certificate vs license.
They are both completely different things. So, don’t think that they are the same. They provide you with different legal authorities and responsibilities in the accounting/CPA sector.
A CPA certificate is an acknowledgment that you have passed the CPA exam. On the other hand, a CPA license is a document issued telling that a person has become a licensed CPA. Let us look at the key differences between a CPA certificate and CPA license.
|S.NO.||CPA Certificate||CPA License|
|To earn a CPA certificate, no prior job experience is needed by the candidate.||To acquire a CPA license, it is essential to have prior job experience by the candidate. At least 2 years of accounting experience is required to gain the license.|
|The candidate has to pass the CPA exam to gain the certification. There is no need of Continuing Professional Education to get the CPA certificate.||To gain the CPA license and maintain it, individuals need to have Continuing Professional Education (CPE). The candidates must also pass CPA tests and complete at least 40 hours of CPE every year.|
|As a CPA certificate gainer, one cannot sign tax returns, audit reports, and other documents.||An individual having a CPA license can sign audit reports, tax returns, and other legal documents.|
|A CPA certificate owner cannot be a partner in any public accounting company.||A candidate having a CPA license can partner with a public accounting company/ business.|
|Only some states have allowed the candidates to use CPA designation on unofficial documents.||All the states allow the candidates to use CPA designation on official as well as unofficial documents.|
|CPA certificate holders need to pay a small fee for renewing the certification.||CPA license requires a significant fee in order to renew every year.|
So, these are the main points of difference between a CPA Certificate vs license. It is important to note that every state board of accountancy has different rules and regulations in order to become a CPA. The common requirements might be the same but there are certain requirements that are different in different states and countries.
After knowing the CPA Certificate vs License difference, let us look at how one can get a CPA certificate.
To get the CPA certificate, one had to pass the CPA exam and fulfill the CPA certification requirements and eligibility criteria provided by the administering body. So, here is the eligibility criterion for the same.
In order to qualify CPA exam, an individual must have expertise in four areas. Here is the syllabus of the exam.
Now, coming to the fee structure, CPA is a bit expensive. This is the situation, wherein NorthStar Academy comes in. NorthStar Academy offers bundle discounts on the fee so that the candidates can appear for the exam without thinking about the fee structure.
The academy helps in clearing the exam in just 12 months. With a record of 85% pass percentage, the academy has made many successful CPAs across the globe. What’s more? Well, NorthStar Academy is the premium learning partner for AICPA.
Now, you must be wondering why one must choose Northstar Academy. So, here are the reasons why Northstar Academy is the best for getting a CPA certification or license.
So, these are the reasons why NorthStar Academy is better than any other institution to get a CPA certificate. Moreover, you can prepare with the CPA certification online course with Northstar Academy.
Now, when it comes to CPA certificate v/s license, we are always confused that which is better between the two. Well, as we have seen till now that both the certifications are better. But there are certain perks provided to people having CPA certification and CPA license.
The CPA certification provides many perks to individuals after one has cracked the CPA exam. So, let us have a look at the different perks provided by the CPA certificate v/s license.
This is the requirement for a CPA license India. Let us have a look at CPA for international candidates.
CPA is a lucrative career option that can provide you with numerous job opportunities. We have seen the CPA certificate vs license difference. The difference lies in practice, authorization, designation, job roles, and responsibilities.
CPA is the best thing an individual can do to upgrade his/ her career. But before giving the CPA exam, it is important to know all about the CPA certificate vs license.
Be it a CPA certificate or license, it is important to have complete information about CPA. After gaining the CPA certification, the candidates should go for attaining the CPA license as well. It will play an integral part in your career rather than just being an accountant.
Now, to gain the certificate, it is essential to apply to an institute that helps you in earning the required CPE credits and assists you in the preparation for the CPA exam. NorthStar Academy (NSA) helps you in gaining CPA certification and license.
NSA provides the best study material, live sessions, continuous support, and guidance from top mentors in the CPA certification course. As an individual, one can have amazing career opportunities with Gleim and Northstar Academy. Apply today and avail the benefits of getting a CPA certification and license.
Got queries connect with the experts to help you out +918147470707