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How To Become a CPA


There are two questions that are asked most frequently and that is is how to become a CPA and how to pass the CPA exam.  The process of becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) is time-consuming and requires careful and thorough planning. CPAs must also complete specified educational criteria and document any accounting work experience they have had prior to applying for certification.

In order to prepare for the CPA exam, you need to be aware of what is being tested and how the examination is delivered at test centers. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) sets the content of the CPA exam and recruits industry experts and academics to prepare the questions. The AICPA will score your performance on the CPA exam, which you will take in a test center.

What Are The Certified Public Accountant Requirements?

Each of the 55 certification-granting US jurisdictions, including 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Mariana Islands, has their own CPA regulations.

However, in all 55 jurisdictions, obtaining CPA certification involves the completion of 150 college credits as well as passing the Uniform CPA Examination. A CPA’s educational requirements, including the minimum age and length of time in the state required to qualify for the exam, differ by jurisdiction. The CPA exam’s eligibility requirements vary per jurisdiction.

A temporary CPA exam approval is granted in some countries to applicants who have completed 120 hours of college credits, but certification is only issued once the candidate has completed all 150 hours of college credits.

CPA License Requirements

Becoming a CPA requires a mix of education, professional experience, and passing scores on the four parts of the examinations. However, the requirement for a CPA license is not universal. Each state’s requirements for CPAs are somewhat unique, but there are some basic areas of overlap among them.
Because each state has its own set of CPA standards, you may have an easier time obtaining your CPA license in some states than others. And the best thing is, you have the option to choose and to pursue a CPA license in any state, even if you don’t live there.

Educational CPA Requirements

It takes 150 college credits to become a CPA, which includes 30 credits of accounting and 24 credits of business management courses.

For a graduate or upper-division degree, at least 15 credits must come from coursework. After getting a bachelor’s degree, a student just needs to earn 30 more credits to graduate with a master’s degree. By completing a master’s degree or a graduate certificate, an aspiring CPA can acquire the additional 30 credits needed to sit for the CPA exam.

In order to become a CPA, jurisdictions and countries have different requirements for the number and type of accounting-related credits needed. Taxation, auditing, and managerial accounting are just a few of the qualifying courses for this certification.

CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

CPA candidates in some states are required to take an ethics exam, which can be either state-specific or comprehensive. A comprehensive ethics exam is recommended by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), even if it is not mandated by the state.

Ethics examinations are typically brief, take-home tests that are used in conjunction with the comprehensive CPA exam to ensure that you comprehend the rules and regulations that govern accountancy in general. New York, Florida, Indiana, and Hawaii are among the states that do not require CPAs to pass an ethics exam to become licensed.

How To Register For The CPA Exam?

First of all, decide the jurisdiction you will be taking the exam in. Depending on your residency and future plans, this may or may not be a difficult decision for many professionals.

Some states may be more enticing than others based on residency, citizenship, and educational credentials. Remember to take into consideration the rules of each state’s board of accountancy when deciding where to sit for the exam. Before registering, double-check that all educational requirements have been satisfied before submitting your application. Obtain authentic transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate classes for evaluation.

When it comes to processing a registration, the length of time varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; many jurisdictions recommend planning on a one to two-month wait.
By registering, you confirm your intention to take part in the four-part CPA exam. You have the option to enroll and pay for all four sections at once or for each section individually. A Notice to Schedule (NTS) will be sent to you after your registration is approved.

These credentials allow you to schedule tests with Prometric, the CPA’s official proctoring service. With your NTS, you can register online for whatever part you want, whenever you want. It is a continuous exam. There is no set sequence you have to take the exam in. You pick any section you want.

At Yaeger CPA Review we encourage our students to contact us directly to discuss which part would be best for them to start with and what order to follow.

How To Schedule Your CPA Exam

The CPA Exam is available for candidates to undertake on a continuous basis throughout the year. You can complete each section in any order you like; however, it is recommended that you complete the easiest section first to boost your confidence and get off to a good start.

You can plan ahead to take all four sections if you like, but it is recommended starting with just two to get a feel for things. This will save you from having to pay again for portions that you either did not pass or did not have enough time to complete.

Making the decision to become a certified public accountant is a life-changing decision that needs substantial commitment, effort, and ambition. It is a challenging road, but it is one that is entirely worthwhile in the long run. It’s worth it just for the sense of accomplishment, but you’ll also acquire a lot of respect as soon as you become a CPA.

Preparing For The CPA Exam

In addition to textbooks, flashcards, video lectures, and live test-preparation courses, there are a number of other options for studying for the CPA exam.

To assist you in creating an effective study plan, think back to the techniques that have worked best for you previously. For some students, the framework of a video course or a live lecture is essential for their success, while for others, a self-directed approach is more effective.

Studying for the CPA exam is widely accepted to take about 400 hours. Each of the four parts takes roughly 100 hours to study for before taking them.