Though you can become an accountant with just a bachelor's degree, you may want to broaden your horizons by becoming a certified public accountant. The following information is on the steps to take in Texas to earn the CPA designation.
Accountants handle the finances of an individual, organization or company. Accountants who file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must be certified public accountants (CPAs). CPAs in Texas, and in most other states, need to hold a bachelor's degree in accounting or a relevant field. They also must complete 30 hours of college classes beyond a bachelor's degree and pass a national exam. There also are specialized exams for other areas of CPA work.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field, plus an additional 30 hours of college coursework|
|Licensing||Must pass national exam for CPA license|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||11% (for all types of accountants and auditors)|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$78,490 (for all types of accountants and auditors in Texas)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Certified public accountants perform accounting duties for companies, not-for-profit groups, individuals or local governments. Their duties might include basic accounting and bookkeeping, auditing, calculating taxes and more. A certified public accountant working in Texas might determine which tax cuts a corporation or organization can apply for in the state and help individuals navigate the Texas tax laws that apply to them.
These professionals might help clients navigate investments, financial statements or even health care benefits. Other duties that a CPA might perform include auditing functions, preparing for audits, preparing tax returns and advising clients on compensation and employee benefits.
Specialized accounting, such as forensic accounting, is also an option for students wishing to become a CPA in Texas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, public accountants are expected to see job growth of 11% between 2014 and 2024.
The state of Texas requires that CPAs have at least 150 credits of collegiate coursework under their belts. To reach this mark, students must take two additional full-time semesters past the typical baccalaureate degree program. Of this 150-credit requirement, 30 credits must be in junior- and senior-level accounting courses.
Texas also designates management and ethics courses as specific requirements. Such additional coursework can be taken at the undergraduate level, though many aspiring CPAs enroll in master's degree programs in accounting, finance or other related areas.
Once they've met educational requirements, students must take and pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Additional specialized CPA accreditation is available through AICPA, including the Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designations.
Opportunities for CPA employment in Texas are expected to increase faster than the national average for all occupations through the year 2024. Once you have your bachelor's degree and fulfill certain state specific requirements, you can sit for the CPA exam. You may also with to earn specialized certifications through the AICPA.