by Gina C. James, CPA
Many of my clients over the years have asked me the difference between an Enrolled Agent (EA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). So, I thought I would write a quick blog article to help explain why we are different:
Here’s a breakdown of the two professions:
An EA is authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals, according to the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). EAs advise, represent and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.
EA’s only tend to focus on preparing taxes, and many specialize in tax resolution. In addition to an IRS-administered testing and application process, enrolled agents must complete at least 72 hours of continuing education every three years.
A CPA’s bread and butter tends to be performing tax, accounting and financial services to businesses. Not all specialize in taxation, and some specialize in more than one service. Most states/jurisdictions require at least a bachelor’s degree, two years public accounting experience and a passing score on the CPA exam to obtain a license. The IRS does not require attorneys and certified public accountants to complete continuing education, because most state licensing offices have added additional requirements. In Missouri, for example, CPAs need 120 hours of continuing education every three years, including two hours per year under the Ethics category.
If you have a business and are looking for a more comprehensive approach to your taxes and your tax planning, a CPA is a great choice for you! We would love to help you here at EHC and you can Contact Us is you have a need we can assist you with!