PICPA - CPA Exam


CPA Exam Questions

Q: How does PICPA membership help me with the CPA Exam?
A: PICPA Accounting Affiliate membership can help you through the CPA Exam process.

  • Visit the CPA Exam & Licensing Center for everything you need to know to sign up for, take, and pass the exam.
  • Win $500 with a CPA Exam Scholarship. Members can get financial assistance for exam and review course fees.
  • Significant discounts are offered to members for several review courses and materials.
  • Members can also attend free CPA Exam webinars, panel discussions, and more. Check your local chapter page often for these upcoming events.


Q: What are the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam?
A: To be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam, candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have at least 24 semester credits in accounting subjects.These subjects include accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Candidates have 18 months to pass all four parts, beginning when the first section is passed.

Candidates can sit for the exam with less than 150 credit hours, however they will be required to complete all 150 before a license is granted.


Q: What are the requirements to get licensed if I graduate after Jan. 1, 2012?
A: To earn a CPA license in Pennsylvania, candidates must have passed all four parts of the CPA Exam and fulfill both the education and experience requirements.

  • Education – Candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have at least 36 credits in accounting subjects: 24 credits in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy, plus an additional 12 credits in accounting, auditing, and tax subjects. Total credit hours must equal at least 150. Accounting related credits can be completed through undergraduate or graduate courses, or a combination
    of both levels of study, and do not need to be part of a degree program.
  • Experience – Candidates must complete one year (1,600 hours) of work experience through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice within five years of the date of certification application.

Work experience is providing any type of service or advice involving the use of:

  • accounting
  • attest
  • compilation
  • consulting skills
  • financial advisory
  • management advisory
  • tax

All experience must be of a caliber satisfactory to the State Board of Accountancy and verified by an individual who is currently licensed to practice public accounting as a CPA in Pennsylvania or another state.

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Q: What are the requirements to get licensed if I graduated before Dec. 31, 2011 and passed at least one part of the CPA Exam?
A: To earn a CPA license in Pennsylvania, candidates must have passed all four parts of the CPA Exam and fulfill both the education and experience requirements.

  • Education – Candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have at least 24 semester credits in accounting subjects. These subjects include accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Total credit hours must equal at least 120.
  • Experience – Candidates work experience must be through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice, but have two choices:
  • 120 Hours | Two Years – A candidate can become licensed with 120 credit hours, 24 of which in the accounting subjects listed above, and two years (3,200) of work experience within ten years of the date of certification application.
  • 150 Hours | One Year – A candidate can become licensed with 150 credit hours, 36 of which in accounting subjects, and one year (1,600) of work experience within ten years of the date of certification application. 

Work experience is providing any type of service or advice involving the use of:

  • accounting
  • attest
  • compilation
  • consulting skills
  • financial advisory
  • management advisory
  • tax

All experience must be of a caliber satisfactory to the State Board of Accountancy and verified by an individual who is currently licensed to practice public accounting as a CPA in Pennsylvania or another state.

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Q: What are the requirements to get licensed if I graduated before Dec. 31, 2011 and did NOT pass any parts of the CPA Exam?
A: You are subject the 150 semester credit education requirement in order to obtain CPA certificate.

To earn a CPA license in Pennsylvania, candidates must have passed all four parts of the CPA Exam and fulfill both the education and experience requirements.

  • Education – Candidates must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have at least 36 credits in accounting subjects: 24 credits in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy, plus an additional 12 credits in accounting, auditing, and tax subjects. Total credit hours must equal at least 150. Accounting related credits can be completed through undergraduate or graduate courses, or a combination
    of both levels of study, and do not need to be part of a degree program.
  • Experience – Candidates must complete one year (1,600 hours) of work experience through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice within five years of the date of certification application.

Work experience is providing any type of service or advice involving the use of:

  • accounting
  • attest
  • compilation
  • consulting skills
  • financial advisory
  • management advisory
  • tax

All experience must be of a caliber satisfactory to the State Board of Accountancy and verified by an individual who is currently licensed to practice public accounting as a CPA in Pennsylvania or another state.

 

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Q: When can I apply for my CPA certificate and license?
A: Once you have passed the Uniform CPA Exam and met the education and experience requirements you may apply to the SBOA for a CPA certificate and license.


Q: Can I take the exam outside of Pennsylvania?

A: Yes, but there are additional charges for taking the exam outside of your jurisdiction.

Q: When can I take the exam?
A: Testing is available the first two months of every quarter: January & February; April & May; July & August; October & November. It is not available in March, June, September, or December.

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Q: When can I apply to sit for the CPA Exam?
A: You can apply to sit for the CPA Exam once you have graduated with a bachelor's or master's degree with at least 24 semester-credit hours in accounting subjects.

Q: How long do I have to pass all four parts?
A: You have 18 months to pass all four parts once you pass the first section.

Q: What is a passing score?
A: A passing score is 75. The score does not represent percent correct.

Q: Who distributes the exam scores?
A: The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy distributes the scores. 

Q: How can a foreign transcript or degree be evaluated?
A: All educational credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by one of the following professional credentials evaluation organizations to show U.S. equivalency:

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