The requirements for becoming a Certified Public Accountant or CPA differ in states. These requirements should be satisfied by an applicant before the person took the examination and before the individual gets the license. To avoid having problems, applicants can easily remember the requirements since these are classified into three categories, namely education, examination and experience. To assist applicants, below are the detailed descriptions of each of these categories.
To sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination, accounting graduates should attain a bachelor degree in any recognized college or university in the United States. Most states in America implement a 150 hour rule, which means that applicants should complete 150 semester hours in the college. Some states that do not implement this rule include Delaware, Colorado, California, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. The state board of Virginia implements a 120 hour rule, which means that applicants should complete 120 semester hours before they be allowed to take the licensure examination. It is important that applicants completed several semester hours in accounting, business management, economics and finance. In addition, some of the states in the country prioritize applicants who finish several semester hours in ethics.
Examination and Experience
It is necessary that applicants pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant to get their licenses. However, before taking the exam, applicants are advised if the board in their states implement the two-tier rule. This rule means that applicants should pass the exam and should have sufficient work experiences before they get their licenses. The states that implement the two-tier rule include Illinois, Alabama, Nebraska and Montana. Other states that implement the rule are South Dakota and Ohio. States that do not implement the rule include Oregon, Colorado and Virginia.
Ethics and Continuing Professional Education
Aside from the accounting examination, there are states in the America that require applicants to pass a special ethics examination. In present times, at least 40 states do not give licenses to accountants until they pass the exam. When it comes to maintaining their licenses, accountants are required by finish several continuing education units. The requirements for the renewal of licenses differ from one state to another. Some states require accountants to complete 40 hours of continuing professional education courses every two years while the others require them to finish 50 hours of the courses for three years. To enhance the morale of accountants, CPAs are required to take ethics examinations every time they renew their licenses.