Certified Public Accounts or CPAs occupy a highly specialized place in the finance world. Highly skilled and closely regulated, not everyone can become a CPA in Georgia or elsewhere. Following guidelines and with proper education, however, the goal is perfectly attainable.
The foundation for certification is quality education. In Georgia, there are a number of excellent colleges and universities that offer both undergraduate degrees and post-graduate degrees that lead to a CPA designation. Only a few include those listed below.
- Emory University is an internationally recognized school that hosts a master's degree program that well prepares its students for the required CPA exam, necessary to work as a CPA in this state.
- University of Georgia-Athens was ranked the best public, state-supported accountancy school in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Specifically, the J.M. Tull School of Accounting received accolades for the excellency of its program.
Regardless of the school you attend, ensure it is fully accredited by the state's CPA licensing board, the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. When you accumulate the 120 credit hours in undergraduate courses and have at least the 20 hours of upper-level accounting courses required, you can apply for testing.
You can apply and register for the certified public account accreditation test via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Gather the required documentation and the testing fee then mail them to the Nashville, Tenn., office. The NASBA will be in touch regarding qualifications and scheduling.
Once you gain your CPA title, you can look forward to one of the most consistently in-demand careers in Georgia. You can find employment in large firms, small firms or start your own business. You can work directly with or for other businesses or stay within an accountancy firm.
Once you take and pass the CPA exam, you are not immediately awarded the certification. The test merely allows you to gain experience in the field, working as an accountant. Depending on whether you prefer working in the private arena or in the public sector, you can find opportunities in accounting, assesting, financial advice, management advice, tax and compilation. CPAs are in demand in small businesses, large business, healthcare, utility companies and so many more.
Average pay, depending on experience, skill and area, might range from $25,000 to $80,000, and the Georgia Bureau of Labor has forecasted up to a 16-percent increase in position availability primarily because of the wide array of job environments and duties available.