Public accounting differs from the rest of the accounting profession due to the independence factor. Employees are not employed by any of the clientele businesses, but rather by the accounting firm. Accountants of public accounting firms can be either a CPA or non-CPA. The CPA is regulated by the individual State Boards of Accountancy. In addition, the CPA must keep current with CPE (continuing professional education) requirements. The public accountant provides clients with services ranging from progress mapping, monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of IT systems, risk assessment, to tax advisory services - amongst a variety of other services. The public accountant maintains independence from client businesses. The highest level of achievement a public accountant can obtain is the CPA designation.
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