Basic Qualifications to Look for in Your Portland Accountant

BAS PDX Pro_Basic Qualifications to Look for in Your Portland Accountant

When running your own business in Portland, hiring an accountant can be a huge step towards your business’s future success. An accountant can help you lay down a plan for success for your Portland business and execute that plan. However, if you’re hiring an accountant for the first time, you may not know what you need to look for. After all, Portland business owners don’t want to hire just any accountant, but an accountant with the right credentials and experience.

When looking into hiring an accountant, there are some basic qualifications you’ll want to make sure they have first.


College Degree

A good place to start is to see if your potential hire has an accounting degree. Accountants who have a degree will be better informed and thus better able to help your Portland business than those with just on-the-job training. The state of Oregon specifically requires CPAs to have a bachelor’s degree.


Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License

Qualifications for obtaining a Certified Public Accountant’s License differ from state to state. CPAs must be educated in their state’s specific tax and financial laws to effectively do their job. In the state of Oregon, a license is required to practice accounting. This means that an accountant helping you in Portland must be a CPA. In addition to nation-wide mandatory qualifications, such as a minimum standard of 150-semester units of post-secondary education, Oregon has further qualifications for CPAs.

As mentioned above, CPA Exam applicants must have a bachelor's degree, with a minimum of 24 semester hours in accounting courses. Of these 24, certain classes must be taken including auditing, financial accounting, management accounting, and taxation. As for business courses, graduates must have taken a minimum of 24 semester hours. Principles or introductory courses do not qualify in the 48 required hours. After completing the Uniform CPA Exam, the new CPA must also pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure. No CPA can get licensed in Oregon without passing the ethics exam.


Continuing Education

Bookkeepers and accountants need continuing education to keep up with changes in the income tax law and financial reporting requirements, as well as changes in how the business operates. For CPAs specifically, there is a strict requirement to continue their accounting education to maintain their license after it is obtained. They are required to have a certain amount of education each year, and Oregon specifically requires four hours in the area of accounting professional conduct and ethics yearly.

When looking for an accountant in the Portland area, the above requirements are the most basic must-haves. An accountant without the proper education and qualifications cannot legally help you with your Portland business and likely doesn’t have the knowledge to help you be successful. Once you’re sure a potential accountant has these basic credentials, you can interview to determine whether they are suited for your Portland business.


Business & Accounting Solutions — Best Accountant Services in Portland

Ready to hire a professional accountant for your Gresham business? Business & Accounting Solutions offers a wide range of outsourced CFO services in the Portland area. We bring knowledge and capability to Gresham businesses with expertise in services such as bookkeeping, cash flow, finance consulting, and more. Contact us or call at (503) 710-6213. Know someone in need of CFO services? Consider our referral program.