Certified Public Accountant

Certified Public Accountant ( CPA ), the American professional title for U.S. auditors, so professionals (mainly external ) accounting, which have passed the CPA exam. Only those who are actively licensed in one of the U.S. states, may bear the title, all the others have to use the designation ' CPA -inactive '.


Due to the progressive especially since the 1990s, internationalization of accounting with a focus on the accounting rules under U.S. GAAP, the CPA award is sought increasingly in Germany and other countries outside the United States. She often has a meaning as an additional qualification of European auditors or tax consultants or run as an independent professional designation. In Germany there are approximately 1000 Certified Public Accountants ( as of 2004).

In particular, the EU - wide changeover of accounting for listed companies on the style similar to the U.S. GAAP to IFRS as of January 1, 2005 can be the award CPA gaining importance.


According to current regulation CPAs may not issue audit opinions in statutory annual audits in Germany. Their function is, in particular, assist in the preparation and review of international financial statements and to mediate between European and Anglo-Saxon financial circles. Example, you can independently check on behalf of American accountants U.S. GAAP financial statements of German companies that are subsidiaries of American companies are and will be included in its consolidated financial statements. There is also a small number of independent CPAs who offer tax advice for U.S. taxes in Germany. Many CPAs are self-employed as a German auditor and supervise the upscale, internationally-oriented middle class, are employed in the global Big Four audit firms or partners of these companies. There are also CPAs who work as consultants or in science in Germany. Ultimately, is the (valid) CPA license a few employees in the industry as a special qualification evidence of their knowledge in U.S. GAAP and IFRS and in U.S. tax and business law.


The depositing of the CPA exam is available in all U.S. states. In addition, the test is offered only in the following selected countries: Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Kuwait (as at November 29, 2012 ).

The title CPA is awarded after passing the USA uniform exam by the individual U.S. states. Differences in detail exist with regard to the rules of the individual U.S. states for admission to the CPA exam. Depending on the state the following requirements for admission to the CPA exam may be required:

  • Study at a university with 150 credit hours. It is irrelevant whether these hours were completed at a university or college. Likewise, it is not necessary to store a German WP exam.
  • A certain number of credit hours in the areas of Accounting, Auditing ( Accounting and Auditing ), Business Law ( Business Law ) and Business ( Business Administration ), these hours and the test results is achieved then by an institution such as transferred to the WES American level and then in "credits" converted.
  • The failure rates are occupation specific very high.
  • A certain minimum age.
  • A U.S. resident status is definitely not required.
  • Minimum length of stay in the concerned State is also not required
  • After successfully put- exams still follows a so-called Ethics test.
  • Depending consists of the relevant states nor the obligation of annual training ( usually a total of 120 hours in three years), similar to the German auditors. If you are not employed by an auditing firm, the attainment of the required CPE hours ( Continuing Professional Education) can be designed to be quite complicated and costly, especially courses of IDW shall not be counted as a rule, but this varies by State Board of Accountancy from.

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