The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree at Grand Canyon University prepares students who holds a BS in Accounting to take the Uniform CPA Exam. While completing their coursework, students learn about the legalities involved in accounting, as well as expand their knowledge of economics and public accounting practices. The capstone project related to the coursework is focused on helping graduates preparing for the CPA exam. Once students pass the exam, they can work as certified public accountants (CPAs).
Accountants are best known for helping people prepare their taxes in April. During that time, accountants work extended hours and rarely take breaks. Once the rush of tax season is over, though, the accountant still has plenty of work to do. Here are what accountants do besides taxes in April.
5 Ways Accountants Spend Their Time
1. Financial Advising
While they are tax geniuses, CPAs can do more than file returns for individuals or businesses. They are experts at looking at how money is earned and spent. They can make recommendations to businesses and individuals in financial matters.
They also counsel people about investments and retirement accounts. CPAs can help individuals with strategic planning as well as starting up businesses. These financial advising skills mean that many accountants are working with clients throughout the entire year. In addition, some businesses use a CPA to do the accounting and bookkeeping all year.
April 15 is not really the end of tax season. Many individuals and organizations file for tax extensions. This means that they’re given extra time to put together their materials and returns for the government. These tax extensions mean that a CPA is working on taxes all year. While not every person or business files an extension, CPS do continue to work on financial statements and setting goals with organization so that they don’t have to require an extension next year.
When a client is audited after tax season, CPAs must look for discrepancies or inaccuracies in their reports. The IRS will inform the business, who will contact the CPA, in order to receive counsel through the audit process. The CPA may run their reports again, as well as look for errors in reporting. The audit process can happen any time after taxes are filed, so CPAs may stay busy with this type of work all year.
CPAs must continue to learn about new tax laws and stay on top of economic trends. In fact, continuing education is required for CPAs to maintain licensing in most places. They may take classes in new software or learn all about new tax regulations. Additionally, a CPA is a resource for others. They may give trainings such as webinars or classes about money-related topics to both earn some extra money, as well as share their knowledge with the public.
With all of the work CPAs do year-round, it may seem surprising that they have time for vacation. However, in order to stay on top of their game, CPAs do take vacations. Generally the fall is a great time for them to take some time to relax before the new tax season begins. Many training sessions and continuing education opportunities are given in the summer, so the fall is one time of year that CPAs can find themselves with the time to travel and spend time with their families.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.