CPA Career Path in Auditing and Beyond

cpa career path

Yes, audit and attestation is not a CPA’s only job and career path. You can work in a lot of exciting industries, and in many instances, interesting expertise within the finance and accounting field.

CPA Career Path in Auditing and Beyond

#1. Assurance Service (Audit)

This is the most common career choice for a CPA. Every corporation is required to hire a public accounting firm to audit its books to ensure that the financial report is done based on the General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). An auditor’s role is to examine the financial report through questions, comparison, and analysis to make sure the financial statements are presented accurately.

#2. Advisory (Consulting Service)

CPAs can offer expert advice on financial planning, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, international trade for individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

#3. Tax

CPAs can offer expert advice on tax planning and reporting (both on-shore and off-shore) for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations.

#4. Other Niche Areas

  • Information Technology (IT) Services: CPAs with strong computer skills can design and implement advanced accounting systems to improve the efficiency of companies.
  • Forensic Accounting (investigative accounting or fraud auditing): CPAs can unearth evidence of criminal misconduct through accounting records. You can learn more about forensic and litigation accountants here.
  • Compliance: CPAs can specialize in auditing for compliance in certain regulation. Many interesting niches e.g. environmental compliance has emerged in recent years.

CPA Careers in Real Life

What do you aspire to work after becoming a CPA? You are most welcome to share your story on our Facebook page.

Related Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Shawn says:

    are CPAs able to invest in stock market or they can play advisory role in investment of shares such as stock broker?
    Pls advise

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Shawn, you don’t need any designation to invest in stock market. For stock broker, there is a separate exam (e.g. series 7) that you can take. That is way easier than the CPA exam and people usually take it after they land a trader job for example.

      For investment and finance related job, I suggest that you check out the CFA designation:

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