Preparing for the CPA Exam

Looking for a career with above average benefits and pay, plus excellent job stability? Accounting may be the answer. According to Burning Glass, demand for accounting skills is expected to grow nearly 12% over the next ten years.

There are many fields where accounting skills are relevant, including becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs in particular are in high-demand, with nearly 295,000 job postings requesting CPA applicants over the last twelve months.

However, for many of your students, earning a CPA certification seems out of reach. But it doesn’t need to be! We sat down and combed through all the requirements for the CPA exam. There are many concepts covered within our own portfolio. Students can prepare early and master key accounting concepts using these five certification programs.

Information Technology Specialist

The Information Technology Specialist program is a way for candidates to validate IT skills sought after by employers. Candidates can certify their knowledge in a broad range of IT topics, including software development, database administration, networking and security, mobility and device management, and coding.

IT skills such as those listed above directly coincide with the Information Technology section of the CPA exam. Requirements such as defining the basics of hardware, software, databases, networks, mobile technology; identifying IT related risks; or performing threat identification to identify risks are all tasks that candidates will be able to understand through the IT Specialist program.

Microsoft Office Specialist Excel

One software application that is crucial for CPAs is Microsoft Excel. Our Excel certification program gives testing candidates practical, performance-based scenarios to gauge their real-world capabilities. Certification candidates will demonstrate the fundamentals of core data analysis, manipulation, and presentation. Those who progress to taking the Microsoft Excel Expert certification will expand their skills further into data interpretation, crucial for gaining business insights.

The CPA exam uses Microsoft Excel, replacing the previous generic spreadsheet tool back in 2018, making Excel mastery a crucial skillset for those looking to earn a CPA certification. Furthermore, the ability to manage Excel spreadsheets effectively is a strong benefit in the Financial Management section of the CPA exam. Tasks such as Calculating costs of capital, comparing accounts payable management techniques, and comparing inventory processes are all made easier with Excel knowledge.

Intuit® QuickBooks and Bookkeeping Certifications

A CPA wouldn’t be a CPA without accounting. While many types of accounting applications exist, Intuit® QuickBooks is the industry leader in managerial accounting software for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The QuickBooks Certified User (QBCU) certification exam helps students master the QuickBooks interface, while also learning about key accounting concepts. In order to pass the certification exam, students need to understand and analyze balance sheets, profit and loss statements, statement of cash flows, and company budgets.

Within the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the CPA exam, candidates also prepare balance sheets, income statements, and calculate profit or loss. By earning a QuickBooks Certified User certification, students are taking the first step to mastering key accounting principles that are relevant to more advanced CPA criteria.

Students can bolster their understanding of accounting principles and enhance their resume further with the new Intuit Certified Bookkeeping Professional certification. This certification validates that learners have the understanding and knowledge of bookkeeping and concepts, the first step to accounting success.

Communication Skills for Business-Professional Communication

Understanding of accounting applications and technology isn’t all it takes to succeed as a CPA. CPAs are required to communicate their findings and knowledge. In today’s workplace, communication skills are consistently one of the top skills employers are looking for and developing these skills can give candidates a big edge on the competition. Our Communication Skills for Business (CSB) Professional Communication exam helps candidates communicate effectively in a modern work environment. In addition to communication, candidates will expand their critical thinking, collaboration, and creative skills.

Written communication skills are especially relevant for the Business Environment and Concepts section of the CPA exam, with written communication accounting for 15% of the score in that section. CPA candidates are required to document the terms of an engagement in a written engagement letter, prepare written communication materials for use in communicating identified internal control deficiencies, and identify different types of contracts (e.g., written, verbal, unilateral, express and implied).

Laying a foundation of key communication principles will help candidates prepare for advanced writing and communication requirements in the accounting field.

Interested in utilizing these certification programs to prepare your students for a career as a CPA? Connect with a Certiport representative here.