What does a CPA do?

Certified public accountants are officially designated accountants who serve the public interest, have fulfilled certain licensing and certification requirements, and have passed the CPA exam. They commonly provide a range of financial services including tax advice and preparation, bookkeeping, payroll services, and support with audits. They prepare balance sheets, profit & loss statements, and other financial documentation. They may also provide advice related to financial areas such as investing, paying for college, or retirement planning.

Certified public accountants have a CPA license and have successfully passed the associated exam. They typically also have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. They must have in-depth expertise with a wide range of accounting practices and issues, including auditing and tax return preparation. Proficiency with common accounting and bookkeeping software programs is helpful.

Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a CPA make near United States?

$124,979 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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CPA Career Path

Learn how to become a CPA, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.


Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

CPA Insights

Read what CPA professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Stock Controller
Sep 26, 2023

“Flexibility with hours which was good for me as a part time job during a levels”

Bey & AssociatesBey & Associates
Senior CPA
Apr 28, 2021

“Good pay and it sounded good”

Summit CPA GroupSummit CPA Group
Oct 27, 2021

“Amazing flexibly and great team to work with.”

Harry C. Lin, CPAHarry C. Lin, CPA
Senior CPA
Sep 3, 2022

“Good training and good for CPAs.”

Commission on AuditCommission on Audit
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Sep 1, 2022

“life balance and good compensation”

GAAP Point-of-SaleGAAP Point-of-Sale
Stock Controller
Dec 5, 2022

“No work and life balance”

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Feb 8, 2022

“Kind and career development for future”

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Apr 12, 2023

“Good people and mission.”

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CPA Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a CPA

The most similar professions to CPA are:
  • Management Accountant
  • Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Cost Accountant

Related Careers

Management Accountant
No skills overlap
No skills overlap
Accounting Manager
Cost Accountant
No skills overlap

CPA Jobs