What is a CPA?

CPA is a Certified Public Accountant license that distinguishes professionals committed to protecting the public interest ( 

How do you get a CPA?

There are extensive requirements to becoming a CPA:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • 24 semester units in accounting-related subjects
  • 24 semester units in business-related subjects
  • 150 semester units
  • Passing the 4-part CPA Exam (the passing rate for the CPA exam is low – see image for 2022 pass rates from AICPA)
  • Passing the Professional Ethics Exam for CPAs
  • One year of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license.

There are two types of experiences completed for a CPA – General vs Attest.

Kenneth Mejia is an Attest CPA. CPAs with attest experience can do more than a General CPA, such as signing reports on attest engagements. Kenneth has completed at least 500 hours of experience in attest services.

What does Active vs. Inactive status mean? 

A MAJORITY of accountants don’t need a CPA license or an active CPA to do accounting at their job. Accountants only need an active CPA license when they’re practicing “public accounting” or providing services TO CLIENTS, such as preparing, reviewing, or auditing their financial statements.

So what’s an INACTIVE CPA license? There’s actually a definition for inactive – it doesn’t mean that people stop being an accountant. An inactive license is still current; however, people with inactive CPA licenses are not required to meet the continuing education requirements and they can’t engage in public accounting (

Many who worked for the Big 4 accounting firms go into the private industry while they do accounting and handle audits for the companies they work for.  When accountants go private, they don’t even need a CPA license! Their CPA licenses could be active, inactive, or expired.

Kenneth Mejia is an ACTIVE CPA

Kenneth’s license status is “clear,” which means that the license is current and valid ( Kenneth worked at Ernst & Young until 2014. His subsequent employers from 2014 to 2021 did not require a CPA license.