Before you even begin to understand what CPA exam requirements you would need, you should first comprehend why the exam is important in the first place. An individual has to pass the CPA exam in order to become a qualified certified public accountant. A CPA license is also issued only when an individual passes this same exam.
The Three E’s
Taking the CPA exam is just one-third of the 3 E’s of accounting licensure. These are –
Your goal in taking the exam is to test your basic accounting skills and know-how. This is needed before one is entrusted with any financial accounting tasks.
The Prerequisites to Every CPA Exam
The CPA exam requirements may vary from state to state. Majority of the states require a Bachelor’s degree that comes from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university. One is also required to have a bias in taxation; financial accounting and reporting, managerial or cost accounting; and auditing.
Apart from these, you also need to have a minimum of 120 semester hours in order to qualify. From these hours, 24 semester units need to be centered on the subject of accounting. These educational requirements should be met within 180 days after the candidate actually takes the primary exam section.
In most cases, an individual is required a minimum of 30 hours in upper division accounting past elementary level 1. Fifteen hours should be allocated in a traditional classroom setting.
You must also have 2 semester hours for tax research and analysis. Take note that only accounting subjects are tackled in the actual exam but you still need to pass all the non-accounting subjects that are included in your curriculum.
It is possible to take the examination even without completing your degree if – and only if – your work history records 15 years of accounting experience.
Aside from all these, you also need to take an Ethics course which totals 3 semester hours in order to complete your CPA exam requirements. This is to ensure that you would have no less than the highest standards of practice and conduct when you finally set out to become a CPA.
There are also strict board regulations to be followed before a candidate actually takes the exam. Be able to provide a certificate of enrollment during your application, this is just to prove that you are currently attending an institution that issues transcripts. While most states don’t have limitations with age, a few would require the applicant to be at least 21 years old.
Now that you know the necessary CPA exam requirements, are you up for the challenge?