CPA vs. Public Accountant

CPA vs. Public Accountant: Is There a Difference?

To make a business function smoothly, consider a public accountant and a CPA as your helping hands. Are you wondering what is CPA? CPA is an abbreviation of a certified public accountant. The roles and duties of both the accountants are imperative yet very different from each other. All our certified public accountants are considered to be an accountant but a public accountant is not considered to be CPA. If we go further in the discussion of CPA vs. Public Accountant, the prominent factors that make them both different from each other include their skills, training, education, job role, and licensure.

In this guide, we will delve into the discussion focusing on the major differences between a public accountant and a certified public accountant. This will help you to decide whether CPA is a better option for your business or a public accountant. Let’s have a detailed look at the differences and how will they affect your business performance.


Get in touch with one of our professionals to learn about the difference between a CPA and a Public Accountant that your limited company can. 


CPA vs. Public Accountant – What Makes Them Different?

Accounting is all about a process that helps to keep organisational affairs going smoothly. It helps to record the business details, and maintain the financial records to make a clear view of a company’s financial position. These are the main job roles that a public accountant can handle. On the other hand, CPA is a certified public accountant. This is a title that belongs to individuals who have rich experience and education in accounting. Especially they have the quality of clearing the CPA examination.


1- Variety of Skills

A variety of skills is required in an accountant to succeed in the business. The main job role requires the skill of handling financial data management, financial report making, reporting compliance, analysis, and advice for the business. A certified public accountant CPA acquires these skills related to basic accounting capabilities.

This is because they are known to be high-quality individuals and knowledgeable enough to handle the financial details of a business. This allows the CPAs to provide help to clients to be on the right track in their finances. In the case of accountants, they perform the role of a similar kind, however, the serving specifications might vary which makes them different from CPAs.


2- Requirements and Code of Ethics

Public accountants do not have a code of ethics to follow normally. This is because they are not associated with any governing body. In the case of CPAs, they are considered to be a part of the Certified Public accountant’s institute. To maintain the difference CPAs are required to follow the strict ethics code and professional standards which is not the case with public accountants.


3- Education, Training and Licensure

The prominent difference comes between public accountants and CPAs is owning a licence. Public accountants on the other hand are just accounting degree holders. This is a professional requirement only for the CPAs but there is no such requirement for public accountants.


4- The Job Role

The job role of CPAs is under the observation of the boards of accountancy. CPAs when working in the role of consultants are not allowed to work as auditors at the same time. The principles related to public accountants are also prepared by the CPAs. This is because public accountants are not associated with any governing body.


The Bottom Line

Now that you have gathered a fair amount of information about CPA vs. Public Accountant, we can bring the discussion towards wrapping up. We can say that it may sound similar when you discuss the job role of a certified public accountant and a public accountant. However, in practice, their job role is quite different from each other. We hope these few minutes of reading have developed a better understanding and you will be able to choose the right accountant for your business activities in the future.


Are you stuck in dealing with your company accounts and seeking professional help? Give us a call on 02034411258 or request a callback


Disclaimer: The information about CPA vs. Public Accountant provided in this blog includes text and graphics in general. It does not intend to disregard any of the professional advice.

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