What are the Requirements to Become a CPA?

CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants, are highly regarded professionals who must meet stringent state and licensing requirements in order to be recognized as the highest level of accounting professionals. When a person pursues a career as a CPA, he will have access to a wide range of job opportunities. Accounting, tax preparation and planning, auditing, and financial planning are all tasks performed certified public accountants. Accounting firms, corporations, government agencies, and small businesses employ them. Some even work as consultants on their own. A CPA is expected to follow a strict code of ethics no matter where she works.

Although the requirements for becoming a CPA vary state in the United States, there are some requirements that are universal. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is required, along with about 150 semester hours in subjects approved the State Board of Accountancy, in order to become a CPA. Accounting, Business Law, Finance, Business Statistics, Economics, and Liberal Arts are all required courses. He must also gain on-the-job accounting experience.

A prospective CPA must also pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in addition to these requirements (CPA exam). The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created the exam (AICPA). Auditing & Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts are the four sections of this computerized exam.

An applicant must apply with the state where she intends to practice in order to register for the CPA exam. An applicant must submit forms, transcripts, and fees to the State Board’s office. The tests are given in test centers across the United States. Exam fees range from $800 to $950 in the United States (USD).

To become a CPA, the accountant must pass an ethics examination after passing the CPA exam. After becoming a CPA, the individual must complete specific hours of professional development every one or two years to stay current on all aspects of certified public accounting. CPAs are only permitted to practice in the state in which they were certified.

What are the benefits of becoming a CPA rather than continuing to work as a regular accountant? To begin with, CPAs earn more than their non-certified counterparts. A CPA earns between $35,000 and $48,000 USD per year in large accounting firms. CPAs in small businesses earn an average of $29,500 to $40,750 per year. They also join an elite group of accountants who are sought after people looking for an accountant for personal or business purposes.

To become a CPA, a student must obtain an accounting degree, work as an accountant for several years, pass rigorous CPA and ethics exams, and commit to ongoing professional development. Despite the rigorous requirements, becoming a CPA is an excellent long-term investment. Many people work toward earning that coveted certificate in public accounting because the prospect of earning a higher salary than regular accountants and becoming universally respected the business world motivates them.