Certification Industry: Accounting
Certificate Name: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certificate Issuing Authority: Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA)
Certification Price: The estimated CPA Exam costs are about $1,500 USD.
Certificate Validity: Renewed annually (depends on the state the licence holder has it active)
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License is the backbone of all the accounting career opportunities. It is supposedly the most recognised and the most crucial certification in the accounting industry. A CPA is a trusted financial advisor who studies various proposals and guides the organisations towards successfully achieving their financial goals.
Who Should Apply?
CPAs are the only accountants who are licensed by State Governments and allowed to
write audit reports and give opinions on publicly traded company financials. They can also sign tax returns as paid preparers and represent clients in front of the IRS. All the candidates are required to meet the certification requirements in order to apply for the exam.
CPA License Requirements
Number of accounting hours is dependent on State Requirements.
Exam (Apply on the basis of State Requirements)
Pass all 4 parts
One/Two years in Accounting under a CPA
Meet State/Jurisdiction 3 E’s requirements
Ethics Exam (If needed)
State Boards of Accountancy determine the laws and rules for each State/Jurisdiction.
The CPA Exam consists of four sections.
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Business Environments and Concepts (BEC)
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
Each section consists of 5 Testlets which is basically a smaller group of test questions.
A Testlet may consist of multiple choice questions, task-based simulations, or written
Exam Time: 4 hours per Section
Passing Score: 75 per Section on a scale of 0-99
For more details, log on to The Uniform CPA Examination booklet (PDF).
Time Taken To Complete The CPA Exam
There are four testing windows to take the exam and one can take more than one section of the exam in the same testing window. All the four sections are required to be completed within a period of 18 months. This 18-month period begins right on the date on the first exam. The exam credits for the portions already taken expire after the 18 months if all sections are not completed, and then one has to retake those sections as the exam credits will no longer be valid.
For more details, log on to Become a CPA.