Certified Public Accountant job description template

An effective description can help you hire the best fit for your job. Check out our tips to provide details that skilled professionals are looking for.

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Tips for Crafting a CPA Job Description

Need a certified public accountant (CPA) but don’t know where to start looking for one? Here are some tips and a sample job description you can tailor to find the best talent for your accounting needs. 

What is a Certified Public Accountant?

Certified public accountants are highly trained finance professionals who perform accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services for businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, and individuals. CPAs have at least a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a master’s degree. They have passed AICPA’s rigorous uniform CPA examination to gain CPA certification, qualifying them for licensure by a state board of accountancy, which empowers them with two rights reserved mostly for certified accountants: 

  1. Prepare audited financial statements (balance sheet, income, cash flow, shareholder equity) that companies are mandated to send to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission
  2. Represent clients in disputes with the IRS (a task also permitted for legal representatives and enrolled agents). 

CPAs provide tax, audit, and management services to major public accounting firms. Management services include problem-solving and strategic forecasting and planning (budgeting, risk management, investment analysis, and more). Tax services include preparing returns and finding ways to minimize a company’s tax liability. Auditing can reveal whether a business operates according to generally accepted principles, including financial and non-financial considerations. 

Large corporations sometimes employ CPAs in upper management for similar activities. Small firms or self-employed CPAs often conduct these activities for small businesses or individuals. CPAs also consult for companies to solve problems and implement solutions or specialize in fields such as financial forensics or environmental accounting. 

The job overview

Our small tool-and-die business needs to secure a CPA on contract to guide business. We are considering new business channels and need to evaluate our financial ability to grow into a midsize business while expanding our real estate footprint, either at its existing location or in a new building. You will have up to three months to complete the project.

Job responsibilities

Some of the CPA’s project responsibilities include:  

  • Review, interpret, and analyze current and past financial records
  • Generally evaluate the financial position of the company
  • Evaluate costs to expand operation on-site vs. at new location
  • Determine credit limitations and best financing options 
  • Evaluate viability of expanding to handle new business contracts
  • Prepare a financial forecast and long-term planning report for stakeholders outlining the best path forward
  • Leeway to subcontract for assistance, paid by the business upon approval, for a gap in capabilities or to meet deadline

Job qualifications 

Some of the CPA’s qualifications should include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting
  • Certified public accountant (CPA) designation; CPA license granted by a state board of accountancy
  • Experience with auditing, risk management, financial modeling and business strategy
  • Experience working with manufacturing businesses
  • Strong analytical skills and problem-solving skills
  • Proven track record of helping put businesses on a strong financial path
  • Excellent communication skills to collaborate with the management team in assessing the business and developing a path forward
  • Good organizational skills to plan project
  • Writing skills to draft report 
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