What Can a CPA Do That an Accountant Can’t for Small Businesses?

CPAs and accountants are two financial experts who perform similar tasks but differently. When navigating a small business, both have different functions and contribute to growth. However, business owners prioritize hiring CPAs. If you’re wondering what a Centennial CPA can do that an accountant cannot do for a business, we have got you covered. This article is a complete guide on the difference between a CPA and an accountant. Let’s dive in!

Introduction to a CPA 

A Certified public accountant, also known as CPA, is a professional expert or accountant who works in the field of accounting and finance. They specialize in different areas, including Personal financial planning, Information management, Forensic accounting, and Technology assurance. 

Introduction to an Accountant 

An accountant is an individual who performs all accounting functions like account analysis, financial statement analysis, or auditing and is employed under an accounting firm. They help organizations, businesses, and individuals to plan and fulfill their financial goals.

Functions of a CPA 

Some common functions of a CPA include managing accounts, conducting audits, forecasting revenues, preparing financial reports, and promising compliance with accounting standards.

Functions of an Accountant 

Popular services offered by accountants include payroll processing, Handling annual, monthly, and quarterly closings, preparing tax returns and computing taxes, publishing financial statements timely, preparing budget forecasts, auditing, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and advisory services.

Difference Between a CPA and an Accountant for a Small Business


Particulars  CPA  Accountant  
Definition  A CPA is a professional expert who becomes a CPA after clearing a state exam.  An accountant is an individual who works under an accounting firm or an individual. 
Qualification  A CPA holds a CPA license once they have passed the examination.  Generally, an accountant has completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting, commerce, or related field. 
Services offered  Some most popular services include tax preparation, auditing, financial planning, and consulting. Services offered by an accountant are Handling annual, monthly, and quarterly closings, preparing tax returns, and Compiling taxes.
Expertise  CPAs are great at their work as they have spent years preparing for the examination and cleared it. Promotes collective expertise as an accounting firm hires professionals offering excellent services. 

Wrapping Up 

A CPA and an accountant are professionals who perform different tasks in a business. However, a CPA has many advantages over an accountant, especially if you have to make significant financial decisions.