I Will Help You Understand the CPA Requirements, Pass the CPA Exam & Expedite Your Career Success

Welcome to the CPA Requirements HQ, where you will find all the information you need to prepare for and pass the CPA exam, get your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license and expedite your career success. You will find information on State by State requirements, International requirements, CPA exam review courses, study guides, practice exams and several tips and strategies to maximize your chances of success.

CPA Requirements

I passed all four parts of the CPA exam on my first attempt and was making a six figure salary by the time I was 28.

Not only that, but I still get 3 to 4 solid job offers in my inbox each month on auto-pilot and never have to worry about job security again.

How? Because of just a handful of key initiatives I took that are easy, yet most people don’t do them because they either don’t know or are not motivated enough to expedite their career success.

I started this website to give back to the CPA community, share how I was able to expedite my career success and help you achieve the same in the process. On this website, I will not only discuss the requirements to become a CPA, but also how to pass the CPA exam on your first attempt and most importantly, how to propel your career as a CPA so that you achieve maximum success as quickly as possible.

Why? Because your career is your number one asset, and the bigger and quicker you can grow it, the faster and more financially successful you will be.

The Inspiration Behind My Website

This website was inspired by a few questions I repeatedly got from friends and colleagues in the same or similar profession . . .

    • I was constantly asked about what the CPA license requirements are. Because requirements vary by State I decided to compile all the information on this website.
    • Because I scored above 90% in all four parts in one sitting, I was always asked what is the best way to study for and pass the CPA exam, as well as the best CPA course to take to prepare for it.
    • Because I am a naturalized citizen and not first generation American, many international students and professionals felt comfortable asking me how they can achieve what I have.
    • I was always asked how I am able to progress so fast in my career, both in terms of position and salary.
    • I was always asked why I don’t worry about job security and marketability, and how I was able to attract multiple, solid job offers coming to me regularly all on auto pilot.

I have poured everything I know into this website, and I hope you are able to benefit from what I know and have learned over the years in this field.

In addition to answering all the questions above and detailing out the various CPA requirements, I have also written some other relevant information for aspiring CPAs on this website.

You will find some information on what an average CPA salary is, the CPA exam requirements, the CPA ethics course and a bit about the Prometric CPA exam, which I have seen evolve over the last few years, as well as some of my thoughts on reasons to become a CPA, the different types of CPA careers and how to expedite your career success in this profession.

The Evolution of CPA Requirements

The CPA profession has evolved drastically over the years, and because of that so have the CPA requirements.  CPAs today are more than just traditional accountants.  Many take operational leadership roles of all sorts, while many others move on to become part of a company’s C level suite.  Many end up in boards of directors and audit committees.

Before you get too involved in this material, let me clarify right now that you need a CPA license if you plan on practicing in public accounting, especially if you aspire to become a partner in a public accounting firm.  You need a CPA license to performing auditing work and provide attestation services, the two main and biggest service offerings of a public accounting firm.  However, you do not need to worry about any CPA requirements if you plan on working inside a public or private organization.

Having said that, many companies prefer that their employees in key accounting and finance roles, such as the Controller or CFO (Chief Financial Officer) have an active CPA license.  So if you plan on holding a key position in accounting or finance within any organization, obtaining your CPA license is a key credential that you must earn to significantly enhance the chances of an ideal and lucrative professional career.

Some other lucrative careers where a CPA license is extremely valuable are management accounting, government accounting, tax accounting, internal auditing, mergers & acquisitions and consulting. I will discuss each one of these in detail in other sections of this website.

Global CPA Requirements are on the Rise

Because of a growing global business landscape, statistics show that there is a shortage of CPAs, but at the same time many students are pursuing a CPA career because of the opportunities it presents in the long run.  By 2020, the number of CPAs is projected to be just under 2 million.

CPAs are granted their licenses by each individual State’s Board of Accountancy. For this reason, the CPA license requirements can vary from one State to another. But that said, there are a lot of similarities between the States because each State has to comply with the Uniform Accountancy Act.

As far as educational CPA requirements are concerned, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree with 150 hours in education.  Once you have that, you are qualified to prepare for the CPA exam requirements.  You will likely want to take a CPA review course to methodically prepare for one of the biggest and most challenging professional exams that exist.

The CPA exam used to be a pencil and paper exam where you had to take all four parts at once. You can just imagine how challenging this can be from a preparation and psychological standpoint.  These days however you can take the Prometric CPA exam, which is a uniform exam and often can be taken at one of many testing locations at your convenience whenever you are ready.

Once you pass the CPA exam, you will have to invest 2,000 hours in relevant work experience, typically with a public accounting firm under the supervision of another licensed CPA. Once you have your 2,000 hours, your State’s Board of Accountancy will grant you your CPA license. However, the journey doesn’t end here. In fact it just starts here :)

Each State requires you to complete at least 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE). But don’t worry, CPA courses are readily available both online and offline almost everywhere.

So there you have it, the CPA license requirements in nutshell.  But a nutshell is merely not enough.  You will find in depth information on each sub topic on this website. Just use the header links to browse to the different sections.

Because of all the wonderful things involved in becoming a CPA, this website is dedicated to the CPA requirements you need to pass the CPA exam and enjoy a lucrative and fulfilling career.

I hope you find my website helpful.

Make sure you sign up below for my free personalized tips on how you can pass the CPA exam on your first attempt and earn a six figure salary quickly.

~Sunil

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

sushilpa

Good afternoon sir, I am Sushilpa, I am planning to write CPA exam can you please tell me the correct book that i can choose to study and where can i get the information about the exams and material to prepare for the test?

Reply

Sunil

Hi Sushilpa,

I’d be happy to help. But I need to know what your objectives are and the best way you learn (reading, listening, interactive, video, etc)? Where are you from? What is your budget/price range?

Please tell me as much as you can so I can better assist you.

Reply

shabnam kumari

hello sir . i m now persuing b com 2nd yer , then how can i take CPA

Reply

Sunil

hi Shabnam,

once you complete your Bcom, you will have to pick a State in the US under whose requirements you will aim to qualify for the CPA. You can read about the three best States to qualify under for international students here.

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shabnam kumari

hello sir plz tel me how much money require for doing cpa course , and how much yr i hv to spend for it to get certificate

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Ismaila E. Ceesay

I just came across your website and have got an interest in the CPA, would like to have an insight as a first step.

Reply

Sunil

Welcome Ismaila. What can I help you with?

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Ismaila

First of all where do i begin. I have completed high school a while ago, i have since registered with ACCA. What do i need to do as a first step?

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Sunil

if you are outside the US, you need to first make sure that you meet the education requirements to sit for the US CPA exam. you can read about this on my website. after the education requirements, you select a State and then apply to sit for the exam. there is one more step after that depending on whether you want to practice in public accounting in the US. you need to tell me more about your specific goals and objectives in detail.

Reply

sweta

I am from India Sir please tell me the cost and last date for reg. and duration of the course

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Sunil

Sweta, can you be more specific and clear with your question? I am afraid I don’t understand. Thanks

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Namrata

Sir,
We are in India and my younger brother is in 12th standard. He wants to become a CPA. His subject is commerce. Can you please guide us on right course of action to become CPA for him.

Thanks

Reply

Sunil

I think you will find the information on my website very comprehensive. your brother can definitely get his CPA. please read about the education requirements on my website which is the key criteria to qualify to take the exam. he can take the exam once the education requirements are met. do also read the foreign credit evaluation process on my website which is helpful.

Reply

Shashank ch

Hi sunil,
I would like to know if a mechanical engg graduate can try for the same where he has an experience in banking

Reply

Sunil

as long as you meet the requirements you can. your undergraduate background cannot hurt. it can only help

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Namrata

Okay!
You have said “Others come into college with credits from advanced courses taken in high school.”
Can you please explain advanced courses in particular.

Thanks

Reply

Sunil

there are some schools that offer advanced placement classes, which allow stellar high school students to take them and earn college credits while they are in high school. mae sense?

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SOHAIB KHAN

Hi Sunil

i get interested in CPA after visiting your web site. currruntly i am dong ACCA (two papers to qualify ) and b.com as private student,and do live in pakistan and work in tax section of an organization , now i want to know that how my acca studies wil help me to pass cpa exam

i will be great full if you help me

Reply

Sunil

there is overlap in concepts. however the US CPA has a different set of requirements. please visit my CPA License Requirements page to learn more. you will need to meet the education requirements first and foremost.

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SOHAIB KHAN

hi sunil
i read the eligibility criteria the only thing which prevnt me is 150 hours of university education but now i m doing job and my qualifications are private nature e.g acca and my beachlor degree is also private from a university.
please guide me how i can fulfill thiss requirement with my current complex status

thank you for early reply . .

Reply

Sunil

read my section on how to get your foreign education evaluated for US CPA education requirements. you have to go through this process to determine whether your current education in Pakistan can count toward US education requirements. if they do, then you can start preparing for the US CPA. let me know if you have any questions after reading this page.

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Muhammad Farooq

Good afternoon sir,
I am muhammad working in an invesment company currently i hlready hold ACCA whihc is no a bachelor can i still be able to do CPA.
Many thanks.

Reply

Mohit

Hi Sunil,
I am B.Com and a qualified CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India from Nov 2002 batch. I have also done Diploma in IFRS from ACCA, UK.
I don’t know from which Board of Accountancy I can apply for CPA Examination after recent strict regulations.
Please help.

Mohit

Reply

Sunil

I have an article on each State/board. why don’t you go through those, as well as the general articles for foreign candidates

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Mohit

I further wanted to add that I got the credit evaluation done from ECE and as per there report I have 121 credits. I am planning to go to USA during August 2013 for some other work and want to appear in exam at same time. Please reply accordingly.

Regards…Mohit

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Sunil

you will need more credits in 150 hr States. look into community colleges in the USA, a much economical option

Reply

Jaswanth

Dear sir,

I am Jaswanth Javvadi from Hyderabad. I am currently working as Audit Senior Assistant in Deloitte Hyderabad. I am a B.com Graduate .Please guide me how i can fulfill the requirement for CPA

Regards
Jaswanth Javvadi

Reply

Sunil

start with meeting education requirements

Reply

Meenakshi

Hello Sir,

I have done my Bachelors of Engineering ( Electronics and Communication)and Masters of Business Administration (sYstems and Finance) in India.So,I want to know if Iam eligible for taking up the CPA exam. in California,USA.

Reply

Sunil

providing that the FCE process accepts your Indian education credits then yes

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ARAVIND

HELLO SIR,
am a graduate from india hav completed my b.com. am i eligible for writing cpa exam ? if so how much will the expenses be for registration travelling and others?? should i come to usa and stay there for a year to take coaching and to write da exam?? sir plzz let me know da details !! if i want to caontact u in personal is it possible if possible plz prvde me da details???? eagerly waiting for ur response!!!!
thanks in advance

Reply

Sunil

two options – do as you suggest or visit my article discussing other places close to India where you can take the CPA exam, perhaps cheaper

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Sai Abishek

Hi Sunil,

I am a prospective CPA candidate from India who would be appearing for CPA exams in May for the first time. I have a bachelors degree in Commerce Honors and also an MBA Finance currently employed with Wells Fargo India at Hyderabad. Can you please share some of your tips and insights on cracking the CPA exam in the first go. I would be more than glad to provide you with more details about myself . Looking forward for your reply.

Regards
Abhishek

Reply

Sunil

Abishek – I have several articles about this on my blog. please refer to that – I know you will love the info within

Reply

SHAIMANAAZ SHAIKH

hello sir i am shaimanaaz from india pursing m.com first year how do i entered in this course

Reply

Sunil

would be happy to help if you are more specific

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Zoya

Hi..
I am from India persuing B.com (final year) from Delh University (correspondence) plus Diploma in software course (2yrs). I read your website and is really confused about the eligibility criteria i.e. 150 hours of university education.Please clarify and let me know how can fit into the requirement and do I need any other degree than B.com (3yrs) for CPA?
Thanks!

Reply

Sunil

yes you need 150 in most States. there are some exception States and you can read about those on this blog. you need to have your Indian credits evaluated by a foreign agency

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Zoya

Also suggest me some books for CPA and an institute in India where I can start learning.
Thanks again!

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Sunil

what do you want to learn specifically? would be happy to recommend resources

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Komal

Hello sir,
I m Komal….I m in USA from last 2 years..I hav completed my b.com in india
I dnt knw do I need to bachlor here again…or I can give CPA exam???
And how to evaluate my degree here??
Pls guide me

Reply

Sunil

Komal, read my article about foreign credit evaluation agencies. this should help you with everything you need to know. happy to answer any follow up questions once you’ve read it. all the best

Reply

aman

I am newly qualified Indian Chartered Accountant and also have completed my b.com . I wanted to know what should i to clear my cpa exams and get my cpa license so that i can be settled in usa .

Reply

Sunil

you will have to get your foreign credentials evaluated and “transferred” under US CPA requirements. if you meet the education requirements you can apply for the exam

Reply

aman

I have just read about 150 credit hours and some compulsory courses you need to before giving an exam. Can you please help on this topic

Reply

Sunil

not sure what you exactly need help with. need to be more and very specific

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aman

being a ca i can get 120 hours of credit … how will i have to earn the balance 30 hours of credit . i have heard that i will have to do some online course .. can u please guide me the process

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Sunil

you can do it online, at a university or local community college. all credits must be from an accredited institution

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Sumon

Dear Sunil,
I have two questions..
1. What is the difference between a “CPA license” and a “CPA certificate”?
2. I heard that some states allow candidates to sit for the uniform cpa exam with only 120 university credit hours, is that true?

Reply

Sunil

a cert doesn’t give you the permission to practice or display the initials after your name. a full license allows you to practice. yes some States allow early exam taking, with stipulations you need to meet within a certain time frame after. I have a breakdown of this in my State by State section on the website.

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Shagun

Hello Sir,
I am from India and I have written my final examinations for the degree Bachelors in Commerce this year. I am waiting for my result to be announced. I wish to do CPA in my future. But i have a very little knowledge about this profession. I came across your website and found it to be helpful so I signed up. I would like you to guide me and assist me as to how should I go for this profession and what are the steps required to be taken next.

Thanks!

Reply

Sunil

Shagun, your first step is to pick a US State that is most compatible with your situation. you can read about each state on my site. there are also some states that are more favorable for International candidates – also on my website

Reply

Sarah Jackson

Hello Sunil,

I’m looking at a career change into accounting. My BS is in physics, so I need to take a good number of courses to fill the CPA education requirements. Do you have any suggestions on how best to tackle a career change like this? Should I pursue a MS? Or just take bachelor classes? Online classes okay?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Reply

Sunil

personally I would do a one year master in accounting degree. alternatively, do 30 more hours in any discipline (to get 120 credits unless you already have them). just make sure you have enough accounting/business courses – however much your state requires. does that help?

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Wali S

Dear Sunil,
I came across your article in Accounting Today about the % of people passing the CPA exam, from there I clicked the link to your blog. I am impressed with your knowledge and achievements. I would like to sign up for career guidance from you. I have been in public accounting for almost 10 years but I still don’t have my CPA. I have passed a couple of parts but they have expired on me. I feel like I don’t have enough time to study and pass all four parts with in 18 months. I am thinking of quitting my full time job and devoting 100% of time to prepare for the exams. I am not sure if this a good idea. If I don’t take a step now, I will not be able to advance my career.
Please advise.

Wali

Reply

Sunil

I don’t feel it’s necessary to quit your career, but everyone has a different capacity and work load. the good thing now is you can take one part at a time.

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Gina

Hey Sunil,

Next year I will be a senior in college; and I want to know, is it wise to start preparing/studying for the exam now? Or should I wait ’til after graduation in 2015? Thanks.

Gina

Reply

Sunil

you don’t really gain much by waiting. that said, it’s best to study as close as possible to your exam dates. just in time learning!

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muhammad irfan

Hi brother I have done Master in Economics from Peshawar University Pakisstan. is there any scholarship for CPA for me.

Reply

Sunil

There is no subsidy to take the CPA exam

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muhammad irfan

I mean from where should i start now.

Reply

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