Many states have passed versions of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA). This has helped to create more consistency in licensing across states so that you can be mobile while working in this profession. Be certain to understand the requirements in your state and any states you intend to work in to ensure your license is accepted. You can also pursue management consulting, information technology, education, and financial planning careers.
- Many students find the FAR section the hardest to pass because it covers the most information, so it’s recommended that you take that section first to get it out of the way.
- You can also go the extra mile with a master’s degree if you really want to stand out.
- Some states do when the candidates can prove that substantial accounting skills have been relevant to their jobs.
- But most states require aspiring CPAs to earn 150 credits — or about 30 credits beyond a typical bachelor’s program.
They also give you an opportunity to gain experience using industry-standard computer applications and software. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you should use these additional college credits needed to reach the 150-rule to get all of your accounting classes finished. Many professionals who are interested in the accounting field, but have majored excel inventory in another area, often wonder how to become a CPA without a degree in accounting. The non-traditional CPA Exam candidate is challenging, if not impossible, to define directly. Instead, let’s start by defining a traditional candidate as a recent college graduate with a degree in accounting (or a related field) seeking or starting in their first professional position.
Salary and career outlook
If you were far from passing, or struggled in three or all of the sections, it might make sense to take a few months and really hone in on refining your skills. If you’re searching for the CPA exams pass rate, try not to stress too much after taking your test. If you’re concerned that you may fall on the fail side of the pass rate for the CPA exam, you may want to think about scheduling your next exam. The process of becoming a CPA can be hard, but CPAs agree that going through the education, experience, and testing required to become a CPA are well worth it. Let’s take a look at exactly what you’ll need from your education in order to qualify to sit for the CPA exam.
Many states require candidates to have more upper-level accounting and business courses than a typical bachelor’s degree involves. Others maintain that an accounting degree covers the coursework they’d like to see in a CPA candidate. CPA is a license awarded by the state you want to work in, which allows you to practice as an advanced accountant. To obtain a CPA license, you must pass all four parts of the CPA exam. Once you’ve passed them and met the work experience requirement, you’re eligible to apply for a CPA license with your state board of accountancy. Earning an accredited accounting degree prepares students to pass the CPA exam and obtain licensure.
ACCT 201 Accounting Principles I
Accountants deal with numbers all day, so you want to show potential colleges that your math skills are strong by taking a math class every year and getting good grades in those classes. You’ll take introductory business classes once you begin college, but having a solid foundation of knowledge in high school can make these classes easier in college. Many students also find that taking classes on government and politics is helpful as well, as understanding political systems can help accountants in many future career paths. As you explore how to become a CPA without a degree in accounting, you should also consider the other demands on your time. When students ask me about my work-life balance when I started out in public accounting, I answer that it was easy.
This track is for students who enjoy a bit more structure, but prefer studying at home. You will need to complete educational requirements specified by the state in which you plan to obtain your license. Many people who are after careers in public accounting imagine that they’ll work for a firm. Your benefits and paycheck will be steady, and you’ll be able to depend on the firm for any issues that you have with clients. The networking that you did while getting ready to sit for your CPA exam can serve you well as you begin to explore careers in public accounting in your area.
How to Get CPA Certification?
If you want to become a CPA without going to grad school, one option to consider is earning a double major as an undergrad. That way, you can get all the credit hours you need without having to pay separate tuition for graduate school. If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, you could take 30 credit hours worth of non-degree classes at your university or local community college. Some community colleges even offer CPA exam prep programs which allow you to earn credits while you get ready to take the exam. Just double check your state’s licensing requirements to make sure the board will accept credits from the school you’re attending.
Accounting – B.S. Business Administration
To practice as a CPA, you must hold a CPA license through your state licensing board. Certification simply means you have passed the CPA exam and qualify for the next steps in the licensing process. Licenses are issued by state accounting boards and require additional actions and professional development hours to maintain. Most states expect candidates to write the AICPA ethics exam as a part of their CPA license requirements. The ethics exam is an open-book test covering topics from the AICPA Code of Conduct. Generally, you are required to write the ethics exam within a year or two of passing the CPA exam.
It’s not easy to get your CPA license without an accounting degree, but it is completely doable. Eventually, all states will require a bachelor’s degree in accounting to sit for the exam. Georgia requires 20 credit hours of accounting courses and 18 credit hours of which have to be deemed upper-level classes. This means that remedial courses like accounting 101 and 102 don’t count toward the 18 credit hours. Maine only requires 15 credits of accounting classes, but it also has much more stringent experience requirements. Candidates must fulfill at least 4,000 hours of relevant work supervised by a CPA before they can become certified.
And it’s true that accountants deal with a lot of numbers, but the job goes far beyond just number crunching. A CPA license is the accounting profession’s highest standard of competence, a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality. Whether you are licensed or soon-to-be licensed, NASBA provides information and resources you need to earn and maintain the respected CPA credential. With two young children, personal commitments and my ongoing professional commitments, work-life balance is a great deal more challenging. There is no possible way I could devote the time I did when I initially prepared for the exam given my life today.
Picking a State Board Based on CPA Licensure Requirements
Since nearly every sector needs accountants, there are many options for places to intern. Businesses, public accounting firms, nonprofits and government organizations may offer accounting internships. Accounting students can find internship opportunities through their academic departments or college career services. After gaining enough college credit and professional experience, accountants may qualify to earn Certified Public Accountant licensure and other career-boosting certifications. You’ll need to keep up on your accounting knowledge in order to maintain your licensure. Licensed CPAs need to obtain regular Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours.
Two-tier systems allow candidates to earn their CPA certificate upon passing the exam, but their license is given after their experience requirements have been met. To acquire certification, CPA candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree and the equivalent of 150 semester hours of college credit. One year of relevant professional experience in academia, government, private industry, or public practice is also a common standard.
One of the strongest suits of an accounting degree is its interdisciplinary nature. An accountant, by training, often collaborates with professionals from marketing, operations, human resources and more. This equips them with a unique perspective and an ability to bridge various business functions. When most people think of an accounting degree, images of ledger books, financial statements and, of course, accountants may spring to mind.
Your exact path to CPA licensure may differ depending on where you live. This guide covers general CPA licensing details and standards followed throughout the nation. Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus.
Featuring in-person review sessions in your area, this is designed for students who require more structure and thrive in traditional classroom settings. If you’re interested in becoming a CPA, read the FAQ section below, which answers some of the most commonly asked questions about how to become a CPA. One of the most important skills for a CPA to have is critical thinking. They must be able to think independently and maintain their standard of ethics in all situations.