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What is the difference between an accounting firm and a CPA firm?

Whether it is an accounting firm or a CPA firm, both are very professional in providing accounting, financial auditing, and tax-related consulting and services to clients.

What’s more, the business scope of the two is more similar and overlapping, which leads many people to misunderstand the content of their work. What is the difference between an accounting firm and a CPA firm? The following occupations

Hong Kong accounting practice requirements

It is true that, according to the Professional Accountants Ordinance, when performing accounting-related services in Hong Kong, an auditing firm must meet the following requirements:

• Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants;

• Hold a (valid) Professional Accountant Practicing Certificate issued by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants;

• Under the supervision of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, including:

• Follow internationally recognized accounting and auditing standards;

• Follow an internationally recognized professional code of accountants.

CPA firm

Usually, a CPA firm is headed by one or more certified public accountants, and more than one is commonly referred to as a “joint”. Generally, they have passed the CPA examination and obtained the corresponding qualifications, and have accumulated the prescribed working hours and experience in the industry.

Accountants of CPA firms usually also need to continue to acquire professional knowledge and skills in the industry, and they should always pay attention to and understand various tax regulations and the latest accounting and auditing-related materials issued by government departments.

Business Category

CPA firms have a wide range of business scopes, including statutory auditing, tax services, enterprise risk management and consulting, etc. Specifically, it includes the preparation of financial statements and the auditing related to the listing.

The business of CPA firms varies according to their size. The main business areas of CPA firms are listed below:

• Accounting business

(For example: entry, billing services, setting up accounting process plans, etc.);

• Consultancy services

(For example: providing analysis and solutions to corporate and personal financial, tax, and accounting issues);

• Company registration agency business

(For example: enterprise business registration, registered trademark, etc.);

• Tax business

(For example: tax declaration, tax consultation, etc.);

• Tax objection

(For example: objection to tax amount, review, administrative litigation, etc.);

• Visa business

(For example: financial visa, tax visa, etc.);

•                professional service

(For example: price appraisal of intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, etc.).

• Items related to accounting, auditing, etc.

Accounting firm

Different from CPA firms, the principals of accounting firms are generally qualified as bookkeepers and will also provide customers with services such as account entry, bookkeeping, accounting, company registration, and corporate taxation. Therefore, the “corresponding departments” of accounting firms are also the tax bureau, company registry, etc., and the main customer groups are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises.

Since the scope of each accounting firm is very wide and the services are becoming more and more professional, people in the industry generally think that accounting firms are relatively good at “bookkeeping and tax declaration”.

The above information is for reference only. If you have any questions about accounting firms and accounting firms, we welcome your inquiries.

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