PICPA - Become a CPA

Become a CPA

Certified Public Accountant

An accountant who has satisfied the educational, examination and experience requirements necessary to be certified as a public accountant. CPAs audit financial statements of public and private companies; serve as consultants in many areas, including tax, accounting, and financial planning; and are well-respected strategic business advisors and decision makers. Their roles range from accountants to controllers; from chief financial officers of Fortune 500 companies, to advisors to small neighborhood businesses.

How do you become a CPA?


First, you need a college degree in accounting, completing at least 24 semester-credit hours in accounting subjects. These subjects include accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects. As of Jan. 1, 2012, you need to complete 36 semester-credit hours in accounting subjects. This is referred to as the 150-hour requirement.

CPA Exam

The Uniform CPA Examination is the test that individuals must pass to qualify for licensure as certified public accountants. This is a four-part exam, consisting of Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation.

Experience & Licensing

In addition to passing the CPA Exam, you need to satisfy work experience requirements to become licensed.

All above information is part of the CPA-Passport to Opportunity program of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

CPA Careers

Explore real-life careers of eleven Pennsylvania CPAs. From partner at a national firm to CFO of the Phillies, the options are endless.

Request a hard copy >

Member-Only Discount

PICPA members receive a 20% discount for Surgent CPA Review.

Login for promo code >