CPA Work Experience Requirements

150 Hours and One Year

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.

If you did not pass one part of the CPA Exam before December 2011, you fall under the 150-hours and one-year requirements.

Qualifying work experience includes providing any type of service or advice involving the use of:

  • Accounting
  • Attest
  • Compilation
  • Consulting
  • 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 as a CPA in Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction.

 
Qualifying education requirements to obtain a CPA license:

  • Graduate with a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited school
  • At least 24 credits in accounting and auditing, business law, micro or macroeconomics, financial 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 150 hours
  • Accounting credits can be obtained as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a combination of both levels of study, and do not need to be part of a degree program

Conditional Candidates

Those who passed at least one part of the CPA Exam before Dec. 31, 2011, have two options:
1. Baccalaureate degree – 120 Hours | Two Years
A candidate can become licensed with 120 credit hours and two years (3,200 hours) of work experience through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice within 10 years of the date you apply for your license.

2. Master's or other post-graduate degree – 150 Hours | One Year
A candidate can become licensed with 150 credit hours and one year (1,600 hours) of work experience through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice within 10 years of the date you apply for your license.

Qualifying work experience – see above.

Qualifying education requirements to obtain a CPA license:

  • Graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school
  • At least 24 credits in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, micro or macroeconomics, or tax subjects sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy 
  • Plus an additional 12 credits in accounting, auditing, and tax subjects for 150-credit-hour candidates

Important!

  • If you did not pass one part of the exam before December 2011, you fall under the 150-hours and one-year requirements.
  • If you passed one part of the exam before December 2011, you can obtain your CPA certificate (after passing all four parts) even if the original CPA Exam credit expired.
Successful Candidates
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Have you passed all four parts of the CPA Exam in the last year?  If so, you qualify for a free year of PICPA membership.

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State Board of Accountancy

The State Board issues Pennsylvania CPA licenses once all examination and work requirements have been met. Contact the board for licensing inquiries.