CPA License Requirements

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What Are the Requirements to Earn a CPA Certification?

CPA License Requirements

There is an education requirement and an examination that must be passed to earn a CPA certification. Since there is technically no experience requirement in many states, you can actually become a Certified Public Accountant without ever having worked for an accounting firm. You should be aware, however, that like the American Bar Association and the medical profession, the group that is already certified, in this case the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), has no desire to “give away” this designation and allow unqualified individuals into its fraternity. You must be prepared for a challenging examination covering all facets of the profession.

If your undergraduate degree is not in accounting, you will probably have to complete one or more courses, including CPA courses, to meet your state's education requirement to sit for the CPA examination.

The examination is standardized throughout the United States and administered by your state's CPA Board and graded by the AICPA. A four part exam, its focus and titles have changed recently since the test has become a computer-based test, instead of pencil-and-paper exam. The four areas of concentration are Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), Regulation, and Business Environment & Concepts. A combination of multiple choice and simulation (essay, real world problems) questions, the exam requires an in depth knowledge of all accounting theory.



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