A certified public accountant (CPA) has legal certification in the U.S. However, not all accountants are CPAs. There are other types of certifications, such as certified internal auditors (CIAs) and certified management accountants (CMAs), as well as accountants with no legal certifications.
An accountant may work for an accounting firm, governmental agency, corporation, non-profit or as an independent consultant. Accountants usually work in an office setting but may work from home.