CPA and other professional certifications for accountants

Many students who enter the accounting profession choose to enhance the value of their degree and expand their career opportunities by becoming Certified Public Accountants (CPA), the universally recognized credential for accountants.

CPAs are licensed by each state in which they provide accounting services. The CPA designation is regarded highly by employers who hire accountants for both auditing and non-auditing positions. Certification is a testament to an individual’s technical knowledge, understanding of ethical requirements and commitment to succeed in the accounting profession. Licensure as a CPA will enhance an accountant’s credibility with colleagues and clients, plus increase opportunities for career advancement. Requirements to become a CPA in the state of Texas are available from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

Obtaining an additional professional certification (beyond the CPA) can also be important for accountants because it will indicate an area of specialization. This can include auditing, government accounting, management accounting, fraud examination and many others. Below is a list of some of the professional certifications available, but there are many others. Most involve meeting academic requirements and specified years of experience. For more information, refer to the websites provided below. Students should confer with a member of the Accounting faculty to identify certificates that will be relevant for their chosen career paths.

“The faculty provided me with the technical expertise and support for becoming both a CPA and a CFE. They stressed the importance of the credentials and based on the curriculum, I felt confident about passing both exams. These professional credentials assure that my clients know I am well-qualified and have high standards in my profession.” 
— Karina Parlato, MACT ’13

CFE – Certified Fraud Examiner by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

CGFM – Certified Government Financial Manager by the Association of Government Accountants

CGMA – Chartered Global Management Accountant by the American Institute of CPAs and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK)

CIA – Certified Internal Auditor by the Institute of Internal Auditors

CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association

CITP – Certified Information Technology Professional

CMA – Certified Management Accountant by the Institute of Management Accounting

CVA – Certified Valuation Analyst by the National Association of Valuation Analysts

Enrolled Agent – Internal Revenue Service