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Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Definition

What is a CPA?

A certified public accountant (CPA) is a designation for licensed professionals upholding the accountancy practice committed to generally serving the public interest. After passing the licensure exam and gaining the license to practice, a CPA must be committed to their discipline’s prevailing laws and ethics.

Certified public accountants can either engage their profession in public or private practice. Those in public practice work in accounting firms that offer primary service lines: auditing and assurance, tax compliance, financial accounting and reporting, and management advisory. Aside from firms, CPAs in public practice also involve government work.

Engaging in practice means taking up the responsibility to perform their duties with adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

On the other hand, CPAs in private practice work as accountants of businesses, accounting consultants, personal accountants, or teachers of accounting-related subjects in universities.

What is a CPA?
What is a CPA?

How to become a CPA-certified accountant?

States and nations have different certification requirements, and your local board of accountancy is in charge of enforcing and monitoring them. These prerequisites are divided into education, experience, and examination qualifications.

However, the basic steps to becoming a CPA are as follows:

  1. Bachelor’s degree. A CPA license taker must have at least a Bachelor’s degree and 150-hour coursework in accountancy. While an accounting or business major is not required to take a CPA, it is highly recommended for applicants.
  2. Graduate degree. A Master’s degree is not required to take a CPA license. However, it increases the applicant’s chances of passing the exam.
  3. CPA Certification. Applicants must pass the CPA licensure exam to
  4. Licensure
  5. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) training

An accountancy profession encompasses more than simple bookkeeping and report preparation. CPAs handle many transactions involving compliances, planning, and even investigation of a public practice or a private company.

The following is the list of the most popular CPA-related training subjects.

Auditing

During an audit, an auditor examines various books of accounts and physically checks inventories to ensure that all departments adhere to a specified accounting system.

Financial Planning

The two main components of financial planning are estimating capital needs and assessing the competition. Put another way, it is how an organization’s financial policies are formulated.

Financial Statements

It’s a written record of its commercial activities and financial performance. Financial statements are frequently audited by government agencies, accountants, or corporations for tax, finance, or investment objectives.

CPAs usually apply the principles of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in creating financial statements. These standards allow financial analysts, banks, and other institutions to better understand and analyze financial statements.

Fraud/Forensic Accounting

Forensic accounting involves accounting, auditing, and investigation abilities to examine the finances of an individual or a company.

Tax Prep

Most people who take tax preparation training courses do so to boost their own or their company’s revenue. As a business owner, tax preparation is your primary or secondary focus. Customers and potential will be drawn in by it.

Government accounting

CPAs employed in government agencies are tasked and more aligned with public accounting services. They are trained to help agencies properly plan, budget, and allocate government funds.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) training
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) training

Businesses can hire accountants directly or outsource through accounting firms. Outsourced CPAs can perform financial reporting duties such as preparing and presenting financial statements. Aside from that, they can also serve as financial advisors to a business regarding crucial decisions.

CPAs also perform audits and prepare tax returns following tax laws. Outsource Accelerator matches you with the best finance and accounting outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.

CPA vs CMA: What’s the difference?

CPA and CMA have distinct specializations in terms of accounting. Certified public accountants (CPAs) are responsible for financial accounting and start with public practice, as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, certified management accountants (CMAs) deal more with an organization’s cost and financial analysis. They are experts in managerial accounting and delve more into private organizations.

In terms of auditing functions, CMAs deal more with internal auditing while CPAs are tasked with external auditing.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is Bookkeeping?

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping refers to the process of recording transactions to general and special journals and posting these transactions to their respective ledgers. Bookkeeping is an important record-keeping function of financial accounting that is essential in a duly-registered business of any kind.

This should be done by applying generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for US companies. 

The bookkeeping function consists of the first three steps of the accounting cycle: analyzing transactions, recording transactions in the general journal, and posting the transactions to the ledger. Most businesses outsource bookkeeping because hiring bookkeepers is expensive and most small-medium businesses don’t do large volumes of transactions per day.

Outsourcing bookkeeping

The bookkeeping function is best outsourced in order to keep administrative costs low while helping small businesses grow and become stable. Another advantage is that you are assured that you are working with a skilled and competent professional that has the appropriate experience and educational background for the job.

Outsource Accelerator provides you with the best bookkeeping outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.

What are some of bookkeeping’s best practices?

Bookkeeping is one of the most important processes in a company. Here are some of the best practices in bookkeeping that you might want to consider:

Use the services of an expert

If you don't want to perform your own bookkeeping for any reason, you don't have to worry about it. There are a lot of vendors who can provide you with bookkeeping services.

If you choose to outsource your bookkeeping, you should look for a reliable and reputable freelancer or a company. Professional accountants can save you a significant amount of money in taxes because of their extensive knowledge of tax regulations.

Monitor expenses with accounting software

Your business budgeting should be thoroughly tracked down. Many companies document their expenses daily or weekly. They also save receipts to keep track of expenses.

Daily bookkeeping duties will take a lot of time if you don't have good core accounting software. As your firm grows, this load will only get heavier if you don't use technology.

There is a lot of time involved in daily bookkeeping tasks if you don't have suitable accounting software. If you don't employ technology, this burden will only rise as your company expands.

Get your finances under control

You may monitor your business's cash balances by comparing your bank account balance to the register in your accounting software. Use the software's reconciliation feature each month to ensure that you don't miss any duplications, circular reference transfers, or other irregularities.

Make preparations for taxes

The end of the financial year is a critical time to pay attention to your tax obligations. Your firm could be in serious tax trouble if you overlook business's expenses.

Preparing taxes in advance avoids any unpleasant surprises during the tax payment period. Use an accounting system that properly tracks all loans and revenue streams to ensure that your company is paying taxes on time.

What is Finance & Accounting?

What are finance and accounting?

Many businesses are looking for ways to manage cash flows and save on costs. One specific way to do that is by hiring somebody who has the foundational knowledge that can perform finance and accounting offshore. But what are they exactly?

Finance and accounting are two aspects of a business that work together. It is all about keeping track of financial statements, financial transactions, and financial reporting.

These financial transactions are recorded in a balance sheet using generally accepted accounting principles. The financial statement is where all the transactions can be found and are then presented to the management team or client for financial reporting.

These are all essential in any corporate finance reports about financial accounting because they will measure the return on investment, income statement, income taxation, financial assets, cash flow analysis, and even the liabilities the company has.

These are the primary reasons why most organizations opt to outsource finance and accounting. It is now one of the best digital resources expanding in the online world to manage an organization's finances.

Finance and accounting BPO trends

More and more companies are increasingly seeing outsourcing as a solution to every problem in business operations.

Whether to gain an edge in the financial market, perform finance coursework, or drive the company’s financial performance, outsourced finance and accounting can help largely.

Here are several accounting and financial trends that an outsourcing company could help you get in line with:

Real-time visibility

Updating your financial data and financial records every time a financial transaction occurs takes a lot of time.

Outsourcing firms can solve these business problems and deliver real-time, accurate, and top-quality data to all clients and investment firms.

Tax assistance

Most outsourced accounting firms include tax prep for government agencies and advisory among their core services. By relying on them to handle all your financial records, there is a developed synergy between your tax prep and accounting.

Planning and recording

For companies that lack the time and resources to handle complex financial concepts, financial planning, and recording transactions, outsourcing firms can put world-class accountants and financial analysts in charge of these efforts.

With these laid out properly, your accounting can start aligning your business operations with the financial market strategies.

Performance dashboards 

Dashboards compile and update your key performance indicators (KPIs) in one place so that business leaders can access any financial information anytime.

Investment firms can set up and maintain dashboards or general ledgers for clients eager to make business decisions based on business insights rather than intuition.

Cloud migration 

Shifting your accounting practices and services to the cloud is more important than ever nowadays. Outsourcing firms can handle technical, financial, and operational matters to make quantitative analysis easier and more reliable.

With the use of outsourced accounting technology and software, managerial accounting can be done seamlessly and accurately.

Outsource finance and accounting

This is the reason why outsourcing accounting has become a trend and a smart alternative for most organizations. It has become the go-to service to empower businesses in reaping the benefits of working with trustworthy and skillful finance and accounting outsourcing companies.

Most outsourcing companies have an experienced recruitment team that is capable of hiring certified public accountants and finance professionals that are adept and experienced in the field.

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to finance and accounting specialists that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.

We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about and engage with finance and accounting outsourcing.

What is Payroll?

What is payroll?

Payroll can refer to three things: 1) the calculation and distribution of paychecks; 2) the record of wages, taxes, contributions, and withholdings of employees; and 3) the total amount paid to employees by the company.

Payroll is important in different ways. For employees, the payroll is important for living expenses, and a timely or late paycheck can spell the difference between good and bad morale.

For businesses, payroll is important to see the actual net profit for the fiscal period. For business owners, a properly done payroll is important for compliance with the law. For this reason, many businesses entrust their payroll to dedicated professionals who can process them with speed and accuracy.

Outsourcing payroll services

One of the more popular outsourced functions is the payroll process. Because of the importance of having an efficient payroll, companies that can afford to do so tend to outsource it to dedicated professionals.

Outsourcing companies in the Philippines are experienced with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that are being followed in the country they are servicing.

Outsource Accelerator connects you with payroll firms that have extensive experience with the regulatory framework in the US and have a proven track record in accuracy and timeliness in payroll delivery. We make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with payroll outsourcing.

How payroll is processed

The payroll process nowadays usually involves utilizing payroll software for more efficient and accurate handling. Yet, most small business owners still handle their payroll functions manually, especially when they are starting.

Before the payroll processing begins, employers should prepare the requirements given by their employees such as their tax and financial information. They would also need to secure their employer identification number (EIN) to ensure that deductions such as payroll taxes and employee benefits are accounted for.

The following are the steps for payroll processing.

Choose an effective payroll schedule

First, choose a payroll schedule that can work best for a business. Some of the most popular pay schedules include the following.

Weekly. Businesses can pay their workers on a specific day of the week, regardless of the date. For instance, payroll can be given every Thursday or Friday. Bi-weekly. In another variation of the weekly pay, businesses can provide payroll on a specific day every two weeks. Semi-monthly. Semi-monthly pay is the most common payroll schedule used in most countries. Employers pay their workers twice a month on two specific dates. Monthly. Lastly, employers can provide employee wages every month on a specific date.

Pay schedules are usually affected by an organization's practice and the legal compliances for pay frequencies in a certain location.

Calculate employee's gross pay

Depending on an organization's practice, an employee's gross pay can either be fixed or based on their daily or hourly wages.

For the daily and hourly workers, employers should calculate the total number of hours or days an employee has worked in a pay period. A time tracking software can best benefit them for this.

Firms should at the same time consider overtime hours, late logins, leaves, and absences when calculating. Overtime calculations and other additional charges may depend on the country their employees are in.

Identify deductions

Gather knowledge of the different deductions that employees are subject to. In the United States, the different deductions applicable for employees include the following.

Federal taxes/tax withholdings State taxes Social Security 401(k) contributions Workers compensation

Different states and countries collect different taxes and deductions. With this, employers should be mindful of the policies of each country where their workers sit. This would be easier with a reliable payroll provider on their side.

Calculate net pay and process payments

Subtract gross pay to the applicable deductions for each employee. The amount left after deductions will be the employees' take-home salary for the specific pay period.

The most common ways to pay employees include direct deposit, prepaid cards loaded with salaries, and paychecks to be distributed to each worker.

Make necessary connections and keep records

Be sure to keep records for salaries in different pay periods through copies of payslips and payroll records. Make any changes and corrections to employee salaries in case of discrepancies and inaccuracies in their pay.

Remit deductions

Lastly, companies should make sure to remit the deductions from each employee as a part of their compliance. It's best to consult an accountant for the appropriate tax deductions and always report new hires to the Internal Revenue Service.

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.