CPA or CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT in the most general sense, a CPA or Certified Public Accountant, is an individual who has met certain requirements in education, experience and examination. CPAs are certified to provide a broad range of financial advisory and external accounting services for their clients. Some services provided by public accountants include assurance (audit), tax compliance and advisory, mergers and acquisitions due diligence, and estate and financial planning. Because accounting rules and regulations are continually evolving and changing, CPAs are required to take 120 hours of continuing education courses every three years.Another area of specialization for CPAs is tax compliance and consulting. Those who choose this area are required to maintain knowledge about the most current tax rules and regulations. CPAs can perform both corporate and individual tax compliance for their clients.A CPA can also function as a trusted business advisor or consultant. Companies will often elicit the services of a CPA for general business consulting, or for the implementation of new processes or systems. CPAs who act in an advisory role must also be mindful of rules related to independence.Many CPAs have become entrepreneurs and use their accounting and finance knowledge to start and run their own business.CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™Individuals who have met the CFP® Board’s education, examination and experience requirements, have agreed to adhere to high standards of ethical conduct and who complete CFP® Board’s biennial certification requirements, including continuing education.The CFP® designation is used to identify those individuals who have met the rigorous experience and ethical requirements, successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® examination. This examination covers the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.Certified Financial Planners uphold the CFP® Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standard. CFP®, Chartered Retirement Plans Specialists™, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ are certified marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP® Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.