Certified public accountant (CPA)

A certified public accountant is an accountant who has passed all parts of the CPA examination, as administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and who has completed all additional work and educational requirements of their local state accounting regulatory agencies. A CPA is authorized to render an opinion on the fairness of a client's financial statements.

The CPA designation implies a certain minimum level of competency, and so is highly prized among accountants.