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 advisers and decision makers.
Their roles range from accountants to controllers; from chief financial officers of Fortune 500 companies to advisers of small neighborhood businesses.
How do you become a certified public accountant (CPA)?
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Download the Guide to Becoming 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.
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. Candidates who have graduated with 150 credits are required to complete one year (1,600 hours) of work experience through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice within five years of the date you apply for your license.
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