How to Become a Certified Public Accountant

If you would like to start planning for your future career in accounting today, learn here what you need to venture on to become a Certified Public Accountant. A Certified Public Accountant will have a variety of career choices once they become certified. If you are pursuing a career in the finance sector or in accounting, it is important to consider all of the benefits of becoming a CPA. Not only does taking the time to become a Certified Public Accountant show that you are dedicated to the discipline, it also shows that you are an expert and that you deserve to be paid like one.

What Are the Educational Requirements to Test for Certification?

Each state has its own unique set of CPA testing requirements. Any applicant who is interested in sitting for the CPA exam to become certified must meet the requirements and submit an application to sit for the exam. Most states require that anyone who is testing to become a CPA has completed 150 credit hours of college coursework from an accredited school. These credit requirements are typically higher than the average Bachelor’s degree program, so many students decide to pursue a Master’s degree in Accounting or an MBA before becoming a CPA.

In states where the credit requirements are lower, obtaining your Bachelor’s degree may be sufficient. Be sure that you meet the business instruction requirements while you are in school so that you do not have to take additional courses to test. This can save you time and also prevent you from receiving a denial letter when you apply to sit for the exam at a center near you.

Familiarizing Yourself With the CPA Exam

Once you complete the educational requirements and you are certified as a non-CPA accountant, you will need to sit for all four parts of the CPA exam before you can truly say that you are a licensed Certified Public Accountant. CPA exams are used to test your competency in four separate areas of accounting. These areas of accounting include: Audit and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts. You can take all of the four exams in any order, but you must pass all four of the exams within a period of 18 months or you must reapply for testing. Make sure that you know the quarterly schedule for testing and learn about the blackout dates, which are in the third month of every quarter.

Should You Become a Certified Public Accountant?

Meeting the requirements to sit for the CPA exam takes confidence, dedication, money, and time. You need to be sure that earning this designation is truly what is best for you as a professional. If you are a thinker and an investigator, you could be a great accounting student. Intuitive individuals often make the best accounting managers, which CPAs often become.

If you have quality communications skills, you know good business practices, and you have mastered the principles of accounting, it is time to achieve your goals and get the training you need to pass the CPA exam. Gain on the job experience in an entry-level position for one or two years, apply to take your first section of the exam, and then celebrate once you can finally say that have become a Certified Public Accountant.

Scroll to Top