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What is a CPA?

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) advise individuals, businesses, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies on a wide range of financial and related matters.

In Indiana, CPAs are licensed by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency to practice public accounting.

  • CPAs are distinguished from other accountants by stringent licensing requirements.
  • To become a CPA, an individual must have a college degree, pass a rigorous national exam, and meet certain experience requirements.
  • To maintain their licenses, CPAs must meet continuing education requirements that keep them current on the latest business issues, as well as changing accounting standards and tax laws.

Among the most trusted financial advisors, CPAs adhere to strict professional standards of conduct, which stress independence, integrity, objectivity, technical competence and adherence to professional standards.

Services CPAs Provide
CPAs work in many different arenas including:
  • Public Accounting
  • Business and Industry
  • Government
  • Education
  • Not-for-Profit
CPAs are much more than auditors and tax preparers. They perform numerous consulting and advising services in specialized areas such as:
  • Information technology services
  • Management consulting
  • Assurance services
  • Financial planning
  • Estate planning
  • Forensic accounting
Increasingly, people rely on CPAs for assistance with:
  • Small business start-up
  • Business valuation
  • Succession planning
  • College and retirement savings plans
  • Creating estate plans

How to Find A CPA
Indiana CPA Society's Find A CPA service allows individuals to look for a CPA by company, name or Indiana county where they reside.

Get the Most Value out of a CPA's Service
To get the most value from a CPA's services:

  • Discuss your plans and goals with your CPA.
  • Consult with your CPA when considering business or personal financial decisions.
  • Do not pay unnecessary fees. Keep good records and prepare routine work ahead of time.
  • Keep your CPA informed of changes in your personal and professional life. A recent marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, a career change or an especially generous bonus can all have a significant impact on your tax liability and personal financial goals.

Ensuring Quality in the Profession

Peer Review
The CPA profession has taken steps to ensure the quality of attestation engagements - audits, reviews and compilations. Since 1988, the AICPA has required firms and individual licensees who perform attestation work to enroll in a peer review program.

Complaint Procedures
The Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) has the authority to investigate actions of its members. Complaints to INCPAS will be reviewed by the INCPAS Ethics Committee.


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