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What does it take to be a CPA?

Answered by:
AICPA

Thank you for your question and interest in learning what it takes to become a CPA. Before you do anything else, complete a program of study in accounting at a college/university. The AICPA recommends at least 150 semester hours of college coursework. To keep pace with new developments in business and technology, a majority of states require 150 credit hours of education at an accredited college or university as a prerequisite to CPA certification.

The next step is to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. While the Exam is developed and graded by the AICPA, eligibility to sit for the CPA Exam is determined by the state board of accountancy in each of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions (includes the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam). To learn more about certification, please visit the AICPA’s dedicated member Web site for more information about the Examination process.

Upon passing the CPA Exam, you will receive your CPA certificate. This is not a license to practice. There are other educational and professional work experience requirements for licensure that vary from state to state. The AICPA’s dedicated member Web site provides more information and details on certification requirements.

Once you have obtained your CPA license to practice, you will need to take continuing professional education courses annually to retain your license.

Thank you again for your interest in becoming a CPA. We hope you will continue your journey and share your success with us.

Colleges & Classes, CPA Exam & Certification