Steps to Become a CPA Follow these 5 easy steps to begin the journey to a rewarding career: 1. Decide where you want to be licensed and apply to that jurisdiction. Specific requirements for becoming a CPA, and the rights and obligations of a licensed CPA, are set forth in the laws and regulations of 54 United States jurisdictions. If you have previously taken the CPA Exam, re-apply to the state board of accountancy in your jurisdiction. 2. Review the Uniform CPA Candidate Bulletin. The bulletin is intended for individuals who plan to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination. This document will help you understand how to apply, register and take the examination, and offers general information about examination content and preparation. The bulletin is only available online. 3. Apply to take the Exam Where to get an application or re-apply: The state boards of accountancy in the following states use CPAES as their agent. Candidates in these jurisdictions needing CPA Exam applications should call CPAES at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or go to www.nasba.org: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana,, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin Washington state candidates should contact Castle Worldwide at 1-800-655-4845. Candidates from all other states should contact their boards of accountancy. Click here to find contact information for the board of accountancy in your jurisdiction. 4. Complete and Submit Forms, Pay Fees First-time candidates must complete and submit the application forms, along with any required documentation, to the proper address. Because the rules vary by jurisdiction, follow the information about fee payment provided by your board or its designee. Your board of accountancy, or its designee, will contact you once the application has been reviewed. It is estimated that this initial application process will take six to eight weeks; the goal is to continue to shorten this time as the new year-round application process is implemented. Note: Make sure applications are complete and contain accurate information. Completeness and accuracy dramatically affects the amount of time needed to process the application. Re-examination candidates: Follow the process set by your jurisdiction. The processing time for re-examination candidates is much shorter; many states are working toward a 24-hour turn-around. 5. Schedule a Test Appointment After you have applied to take the exam and been deemed eligible, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) for each exam section you are approved to take. Once you receive an NTS, schedule your test appointment as soon as possible. Since each NTS is only valid for a finite period of time, we recommend you take your exams as soon as you are prepared
Depending what state you are from there are specific requirements on becoming a CPA. This site linked below breaks down the steps it takes to become a cpa in your specific state one of the 54 jurisdictions along with all the exam and certification standards along with education for becoming an accountant or cpa. http://www.accountingedu.org/index.html
Really, anyone can be a self-proclaimed accountant. This does not require any education. To become a CPA, or receive one's CPA designation, a bachelors (or in most states a master's degree) is required. Really, anyone can be a self-proclaimed accountant. This does not require any education. To become a CPA, or receive one's CPA designation, a bachelors (or in most states a master's degree) is required.
To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you must meet the standards of your state board of accountancy. The requirements are likely to include completion of a 150 credit hour degree program in accounting, successfully passing the Uniform CPA Examination given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and accumulating significant experience in the field. CPA training includes courses that focus on accounting training, exams, conferences, seminars, and CPE courses. CPA training is best achieved with a CPA study guide, CPA classes and additional CPA exam preparation.
"Accountant" is a fairly general term and might refer to anyone from a CPA to a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper may not need any formal education. Most accountant have at least an associate's degree, and many have a bachelor's degree in accounting. (To be a CPA you also need to take a test and be licensed by the state. See the link for "How to become a CPA?" to the right.)
To become a Certificate of Public Accountant, you need to pass the Uniform CPA Examination and a Local CPA Examination. The minimum educational requirement for the CPA certificate is a diploma from a four (4) year high school. The experience requirement for the CPA Certificate is six (6) years of public accounting experience preceding the date of the application. Some combinations of experience and education can be acceptable. See the link for more information.
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