California CPA Requirements 2014: What’s New?

california cpa requirements 2014New California CPA Requirements have become effective.

California is the most popular state to register for the US CPA exam, representing 15% of total candidates. Since Jan 1, 2014, the state board’s rules have changed such that 150 credit hours and accounting concentration are required to obtain the California CPA license.

One Important Note for International Candidates

California strictly requires a social security number (SSN) for the CPA license. For those who are not familiar with SSN, it is a government issued ID given only to US citizens, residents, and those allowed to study or work in the US.

What’s confusing is that California does allow candidates with SSN to sit for the exam, so technically, you can still apply and think about transferring your exam credits to other states. However, I strongly recommend you try another state because there is a lot of risk in the transfer. You can check out this page for state boards popular to international candidates.

California CPA Requirements 2014

1. Exam Eligibility

(i) General Educational Requirement

  • 4-year bachelor degree or above.
  • 150 credit hours is now required.
  • If you are enrolling in a master’s degree or a program that would make you fulfill the 150-hour rule upon graduation, you may take the CPA exam before graduation by seeking prior approval from CA state board*.
  • For other “regular” bachelor degree holders with 120 credit hours, you can make up for the remaining 30 credit hours with:
    • An additional master’s degree;
    • Non-degree courses in community colleges, and other accredited educational institutions. It can be done either online or in classroom setting. Here are some suggestions on how this can be done.

* You need to ask your school to send (1) your current transcript; (2) a letter from the registrar stating that you are enrolled in a master’s/150-credit-hour program, that you have already fulfilled the bachelor portion of this program, and the date you are expecting to complete all courses.

(ii) Accounting Courses

  • 24 credit hours.
  • Qualifying courses include Accounting, Auditing, External or Internal Reporting, Financial Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, Taxation.
  • Other accounting courses that can be counted include Assurance, Attestation, Bookkeeping, Cost (Cost Analysis, Costing), Peachtree, QuickBooks, and CPA Review courses taken from regionally/nationally accredited institutions (e.g. Roger’s program in partnership with CSU Chico).
  • Refer to CBA Regulations section 9.2(b) for details.

(iii) Business Related Courses

  • 24 credit hours.
  • Qualifying courses include Business Administration, Business Communications, Business Law, Business Management, Computer Science/Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Mathematics, Statistics, Business, related law courses offered at an accredited law school.
  • Refer to CBA Regulations section 9.2(c) for details.

ACCA Holders:

California state board does NOT consider ACCA membership (and professional qualifications other than these) equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. However, it *may* count some coursework towards the 150 credit hour requirement. There are many factors involved, including when you took the ACCA courses.

California State Board (CBA) is kind enough to clarify the situation upon my email inquiry (Aug 2012):

We will consider coursework from the ACCA, to the extent that the ACCA program is equivalent to coursework for academic credit at a U.S. nationally or regionally accredited degree granting institution. However, the ACCA syllabus itself is subject to change over time.”

The only way to find out for sure is to obtain a foreign credential evaluation report from agencies accepted by CBA.

BCOM + CA Holders:

Here is CBA’s reply regarding the CA certificate:

In response to your question, the evaluation of foreign education is conducted by a case-by-case basis and the CBA relies heavily on the U.S. equivalency determinations made by the CBA-approved foreign credential evaluation services.  If a candidate has a question regarding the U.S. equivalency of specific education they should be advised to contact one of the CBA-approved services.  The CBA does not provide a blanket acceptance of any education.”

In other words, you have to go through the evaluation agencies to find out. For next step, you have two choices:

  • Apply to the agencies knowing that you may not get a favorable result;
  • Contact Leslie-Anne, who handles CPA exam qualification at CPAexcel, for assistance (with a fee).  More information can be found here for Indian candidates.

2. Additional California CPA Requirements to Obtain the License

First of all, new requirement or old requirement?

If you…

  • Passed the exam before Jan 1, 2014: you can choose to fulfill old (easier) license requirement within a two year period ending Dec 31, 2015.
  • Did not pass, but got the NTS or registered for the exam before Jan 1, 2014: can take the exam under old rules, but need to follow new rules for license application.
  • Did not pass and did not register before 2014: fulfill new requirement as shown below.

(i) Education

Apart from the 24 accounting credits and 24 business course credits, you need the following additional courses for the license:

a) Accounting Study Subjects

  • 20 credit hours. Again, this is in addition to the 24 accounting credits.
  • The state board is essentially looking for an accounting concentration. You can check out the detailed requirement under CBA Regulation Sections 11.1.
  • You are automatically qualified if you have a master’s in Accounting, Taxation or Laws in Taxation.

b) Ethics Study

  • 10 credit hours.
  • Qualifying courses include Auditing, Legal Environment of Business, Business Leadership, Morals, Corporate Governance, Business Law, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resources Management Fraud, Management of Organizations, Business, Government & Society, Organizational Behavior, Professional Responsibilities.
  • Details can be found in BPC section 5094.3.

Tips

The state board does not have pre-evaluation service, but they provide this self-assessment worksheet to determine your eligibility for the California CPA license.

3. California CPA License Experience Requirements

150 credit hours + 1 year of experience is the only way to get the license effective Jan 1, 2014.

General requirement

  • 1 year of experience in accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skill.
  • Experience acquired in academia does NOT qualify.
  • 500+ attest hours are needed for those who want to sign attest reports.
  • Part-time work is accepted. 170 hours is equivalent to one month of full-time employment.

(i) Experience from public accounting

  • Must be supervised and verified by “an individual who holds a valid active license, or comparable authority to practice public accountancy in any state or country”.
  • My interpretation is that your supervisor can be a CPA and CA from other countries. Giving the language is quite vague here, it is best to double check with the state board by email if your boss is not a US CPA.

(ii) Experience from non-public accounting / private industries

  • Supervised and verified by a US CPA.
  • If this person is not the owner of the company, then a second signature from his boss (not necessarily a CPA) is required.

(iii) Special Note to Out-of-State Supervisor License Verifications

If your experience is obtained outside of California, the state board requires written verification from the out-of-state licensing body with which the supervisor holds a valid active license to practice public accountancy.

4. Ethics Exam Requirement

The CA State Board only accepts the Professional Ethics for CPAs (PETH) from the California CPA Education Foundation. The exam has to be taken within 2 years after the submission of the license application.

5. California CPA Requirements on Residency and Age

Non-US citizens and residents are welcome to apply. There is no minimum age requirement. Social security number is not required to sit for the exam, but mandatory to obtain the license.

6. Fees

  • First-timers: standard exam fees + $100 $50 initial application fee*
  • Repeaters: exam fees + $50 $25 repeat application fees*
  • Special note on NTS: Unlike most states, NTS approved by CA State Board is valid for 9 months (instead of 6 months) counting from the date of NTS issuance. The Exam Handbook has the details.

* There is a temporary fee reduction from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016.

7. Continuing Education

CPE required for license holders. Click here for California CPA CPE requirements.

8. Useful Links

Almost all the information on this page is extracted from these very useful and informative handbooks prepared by California State Board:

9. Contact

California Board of Accountancy
2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95815-3832

  • Email: examinfo@cba.ca.gov
  • Phone: 916-561-1703
  • Fax: 916-263-367

What if the California CPA Exam Requirements Don’t Work for Me?

how to pass the cpa exam bookI wrote a step-by-step guide on how to get qualified for the CPA exam for international candidates. Chapter 3 has 26 pages dedicated to tips on how you can sieve through the maze of rules in different jurisdiction in order to find a workable path, together with study tips and test taking strategies that you’ll need afterwards.

The book is published by Wiley and is now available in major bookstores, including Amazon.com.

Free Mini e-Course

You can also sign up to my free e-course to learn about the CPA exam process here:

Comments

  1. Marwan says

    please mention in the requirement of license :

    Prior to issuance of a California CPA license, all applicants must provide a United States Social Security Number (SSN)

    • Stephanie says

      Thanks Marwan… will do. If this is the case I need to check the possible impact on overseas candidates. Stephanie

  2. Shobha says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have masters degree in accounting from India, I recently got my foreign credentials evaluated from Joseph Sliny and associates, for state Board of South Carolina, since I live in South Carolina. I stumbled on your very informative web site, and happen to be reading about different states, and want to ask you a question, so with my qualifications I can be a CPA when I give exam and pass it from CA or Delaware, a little confused please help. Thanks

  3. Stephanie says

    Hi Shobha, I am sorry, but what is your question please?
    If you are qualified for the CA CPA exam requirement, then go ahead and register in CA then, because if you decide to work in California as a public account it will be much easier.

    If you find out that you can’t qualify after the evaluation, then it is another story… just let me know more and I’ll try my best to help you out. Cheers, Stephanie

  4. Varni says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I got to know about your websitew from Shoba. Quite informative. Great service for all aspiring CPAs. Need your advice on my case.

    I live in NJ. My educational qualifications were completed outside the U.S. So got them evaluated by ECE.

    Obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from CIMA, UK. Both combined I have 178 semester hours of credit which includes 42 hrs in Accounting, 36 hrs in Business Studies and 6 hrs in Business Law. But my degree is a three year degree. So ECE will not consider it equivalent to a U.S degree. Therefore NJ board says that I am not eligible to sit for the exams.
    Also I need to mention that I’m aiming for my CPA to enhance my credentials. I am currently sitting for my CMA exams… since IMA has recognised my degree & work experience.
    Can you please give me any suggestions on alternative routes I can try to become a CPA?

  5. Stephanie says

    Hi Varni,
    I’m glad to know you find my site through Shoba! IMA is much better at recognizing international credentials isn’t it? Sometimes it’s frustrating for me to see a totally qualified candidates who just can’t meet the strict requirements for CPA in the US…

    Anyway, if yours is a 3-year degree, then you’ll have to go through Delaware, which I believe is the only state left that allows 3 year degrees. The catch is that you’ll need to fulfill 4 years of working experience in getting the license.

    Since 2006 Delaware has stopped giving out the CPA certificate for those looking for enhancing their credentials only. That’s why you are kind of “forced” to get the full license these days.

    Please go to Delaware CPA exam requirements for details, and any follow up questions are most welcome!

    Best of luck to you Varni, Stephanie

  6. Varni says

    Thanks Stephanie for your quick response. It’s quite frustrating since my degree is treated equivalent to a U.S. degree when it comes to applying for Masters in most of the U.S. universities. But not in the case of CPA. Can’t complain too much… because I want CPA not vice versa!

    Regarding Delware they need one course in U.S. federal Taxation. Any idea where I can obtain it? Online preferred.

    Thanks again Stephanie for you all your help.

  7. Lenny says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I came across your very useful website and had a couple questions regarding the CPA exams. I reside in Toronto and wanted to do the CPA exams basicaly to enhance my credentials since I have no intent to practise in the US. I am an ACCA member and recently completed an MBA from the University of East London (UK). Can you please suggest the best suitable US State in which I may qualify for the CPA exams and the eventual license to use the CPA designation?

    Thanks!

    Lenny

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Lenny,
      Thanks for your kind note regarding my site. Unfortunately AICPA no longer recognizes ACCA as equivalent in terms of the educational requirements… so could you tell me a bit more of your education background, e.g. your degree (whether it’s 3-year, 4-year or 5-year/master program?) because this is a critical information to determine the suitable state you can go for. Cheers, Stephanie

  8. Varni says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Saw the suggestions. Thanks so much for the time & effort. I’ll also update the page if I get hold of any new info regarding this.

  9. Stephanie says

    Varni, you are most welcome. Please do let us know for any findings or your thoughts on any of these courses. Cheers, Stephanie

  10. karen says

    Hi Stephanie, I have bachelor degree from the University of London, UK. it is a 3 year undergraduate study. I got my evaluation today saying that it’s the equivalent of the completion of 90 semester credit hours of undergraduate study and the US degree of Bachelor of science in Accounting and finance. so am I qualified for the CPA exam in CA? thank you for your help!

  11. Stephanie says

    Hi Karen,
    Yes, this would mean that you are qualified for the CA exam in terms of the degree, but you’ll have to take extra courses to make up the remaining 30-60 credit hours.

    If you go for Pathway 1, then 30 credits (+ 1 year of working experience later on); for Pathway 2, then 60 credits.

    If you are thinking of the possibility of working outside of CA as sa public accountant, then Pathway 1 is preferred because this pathway is considered “substantially equivalent” to the other states. Please check this CPA reciprocity link for more details if this applies to you.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie

  12. PURVI says

    Hi Stephanie..I have done my Bachelors of Commerce (15 years) from India and Chartered Accountancy from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. I am keen on enrolling for CPA from California Board of Accountancy and currently given my documents for degree evaluation, however, while am awaiting the evaluation would like to know if my studies make me eligible for enrolling for CPA exam or do I need 16 years of education for the same.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Putvi,
      May I ask is your B.com degree a 3-year degree? It also sort of depends on your university and the grade you get from what I know from WES. So hard to tell… but you can check out the Indian policy link from WES to give a general idea on how evaluation agencies do their job. Obviously FACS may give a slightly different result.

      You can get the link from this page: http://ipassthecpaexam.com/foreign-credential-evaluation/

      Cheers, Stephanie

  13. Gurjot singh benipal says

    Hello Stephanie…I have done my B.com degree from India which is of three years.I got my transcripts evaluated . I am having 90 total US semester credits ,30 accounting credits and 45 business credits.So I want to know I am eligible for CPA exam in California with my 3 years of degree. Even i am thinking of doing my master in accounting and finance from national university so that i can complete my 120 or 150 semester credits.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Gurjot,
      At this stage you probably can’t sit for California yet because they require at least 120 semester hours. But your plan of doing a master in accounting will work — in fact, if you can reach 150 credit hours you’ll only need to work for 1 year to gain the license.

      By the way, since you are in India, do you have a social security number? You need that for California.

      Stephanie

  14. Purvi says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your response. I have got my degrees evaluated from International Education Research Foundation, Inc and as per the evaluation, it is stated that

    I have completed studies from University of Mumbai earning the Bachelors of Commerce and these studies are considered equivalent to ninety two and one half semester units of undergraduate coursework at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. (92 semester units)

    I completed additional studies at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India earning Certificate of membership.

    In conjunction with previous coursework i.e. Bachelor of Commerce, these studies are considered equivalent in level and purpose to the Bachelor of Science in Accounting, awarded by regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. (150.5 semester units).

    Considering the above, I would like to know whether I will be eligible to sit for the CPA exam from California or would I need to do some additional studies for being eligible. If so, what additional courses or studies should I take up and which universities offer these courses..also are there any online courses which could be done or will I have to go to some university only..

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Purvi,
      Looks like you are all set! But you’ll likely need to go through the evaluation process through the agency again because California state board will ask for a report directly from them (please double check which agencies are qualified — it’s in the application form). While you should have fulfilled the 150 hours they need to check whether there are specific courses that you have fulfilled in order to sit for the exam.

      In general, with 150 hours you can work for only 1 year in public/non-public accounting to get the full license. By the way, you also need the social security number in CA for licensure… Stephanie

  15. Swathi says

    Hello Stephanie,
    I have done Bachelors of commerce (B COM) in India which is a 3yr degree. I have got my transcripts evaluated. It says my completed course work is equivalent to 90.00 total semester hours of college level credit including 24.00 semester hours of accounting and 24 semester hours of business courses and it is also saying that the accounting courses which i have taken include at least one course in:
    Audit: No
    Tax: Yes
    Financial Accounting: Yes
    Managerial Accounting: Yes
    Here my question is am i eligible to take CPA exam in California if no do i need to take some course in audit subject?And i don’t have SSN number. Thanks in advance.

  16. Stephanie says

    Hi Swathi,
    Does it say that your degree is equivalent to an associate degree or bachelor degree? You can always get extra credits in any accredited colleges but the degree you are deemed to have obtained will determine your eligibility.

    If you don’t have SSN, better check out other state boards. CA will let you sit for the exam but won’t give you the license.

    Just come back and let me know the degree information and we’ll see what we can do. Cheers, Stephanie

  17. Swathi says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you very much for your kind response.
    Firstly, The letter from IL board of Examiners has NOT mentioned about my degree i.e either equivalent to associate or bachelor degree.
    All it says is that “I am not academically eligible in IL to sit for CPA because of the following 2 deficienies.
    1. No course in Audit
    2. Total hours less than 150.”

    Here are some more queries i have. Please share your perspective on them.

    1. As stated above, It clearly appears that I need to take Audit course to meet sufficient credit hours in Audit subjet. Could you suggest where i can take courses(preferably online) in Audit? And How many credit hours are going to be covered for Audit courses? I mean will I be able to get 30credit hours by doing Audit course alone?

    2. I am moving to CA from IL in 2 months. I definitely want to take further required credits such as Audit etc and then write CPA exam in CA. So am I required to get my credintials evaluated again from CA board of Examiners?

    Best Regards,
    Swathi.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Swathi,

      I guess the evaluation from IL board isn’t that helpful is it…

      30 credit hour is equivalent to something like 1 year of coursework. That sounds kind of too much for audit… (unless you love the subject!) Sorry I haven’t got the time to research on the courses yet, but you can take it anywhere as long as it is accredited… I promise I will write something in the near future because it has been a frequent request.

      Looks like for Illinois if you can fulfill the 150 hours you are fine. But that’s quite a lot of work from 90 to 150… something you may need to consider. For CA, it won’t work for CPA licensing purposes if you don’t have SSN. Don’t worry you can still register in IL and then physically take the exam in CA.

      By the way, Colorado might work too but the CO rep is still not responding to my question on the SSN issue (whether license will be granted to non-SSN)… if I manage to bug her for the answer I will let everyone know. Thanks. Stephanie

  18. Derek says

    Hey! I’m kinda hazy on the work experience aspect of the pathway 2 requirement for CA. It says 1 year, but is that full time? I wish it would be more specific on number of hours and/or what type of environment they would accept. For example, I’m the treasurer for my church part-time where the guy I took over for/consult with is a licensed CPA…would that suffice? If not, some clarification on the minimum I need to do in this area would be great, so I wouldn’t need to leave my current day-job position as a cost accountant at a company where nobody’s a CPA. Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Derek
      Based on this official document, part-time work is only counted as 1 month of full time work… so it works but probably not enough. Is your current job have CPA equivalent, e.g. Chartered accountants from Canada, Australia etc.? California is nice enough to count those.

      Here is the primary source for your reference:
      http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/publications/applbook.pdf

      Have you done your CPA exam yet? There are states such as Indiana that recognizes work being verified and not supervised by CPA licensee. So your “supervisor” at church can probably verify your day job experience for you. Some other states are also much more lenient on part-time experience.

      If you have passed your CPA exam via CA, you can still consider transferring your credit to a state that works, if everything in CA fails.

      Hope things will work out!
      Stephanie

  19. Farzad says

    Hi
    I got my bachelor honors degree in accounting and finance(120 credit) from Ireland, I would like to get the CPA title in the united state , does CPA entitles me to get a USA study visa ? can i do the CPA exams with the degree i have in California state ?

    regards

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Farzad,
      No I don’t think you can get a US student visa by taking the CPA exam, but if you successfully enroll in one of the accredited educational institutions you should be able to get it. If you have 120 credit hours, you should be able to sit for the exam in California, but please note that they need a social security number (sort of the identity card number in the US) to ultimately get the license.

      If you don’t have the SSN, check out Illinois. IL asks for 150 credit hours but you don’t need experience in order to get the CPA certificate.

      Hope it helps. Just let me know if you have further questions. Stephanie

  20. Sewalini says

    Hi
    I completed MBA (Marketing & Finance) from IIPM, India after Bachelor of Commerce (3 yrs/Accountancy Honors) from Jadavpur University. I have sent my transcripts to IERF for evaluation as a part California Board of Accountancy requirement. I live in CA but currently on H4 and do not have an SSN. My husband’s green card is in process which will take 4-5 years or more. There are remote chances that we will be re-locating anywhere from CA in future. Do you advise me to sit for exams under CA jurisdiction or look for other states as I do not have SSN. Thanks for the help!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sewalini,
      Yes I would recommend that you try other states because you won’t be able to get the license from California without SSN. If you have a MBA, why not take a look at Illinois? It doesn’t require a SSN and doesn’t require working experience as long as you have 150 credit hours and doesn’t mind just the CPA certificate. You can always “upgrade” to full license after gaining 1 year of experience.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  21. karen says

    Hi Stephanie,
    If I take the CPA exams in CA, can I obtain my working experiences outside CA?

    Thanks
    Karen

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Karen,
      Yes you can, as long as your experience can be supervised and verified by an active CPA licensee.
      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  22. Punam says

    hi Stephanie,

    I have a 3 Year Bachelor of Commerce Degree from an Indian University, which I believe would not be considered a 4 Year Bachelor degree equivalent in US. Checked the WES Website, and my college is B+ so I dont think they would consider it as a 4 Year Degree.

    I am currently pursuing UCLA Extension Certificate in Accounting course

    https://www.uclaextension.edu/r/ProgramDetails.aspx?reg=CF028

    Will this help me in qualifying to sit for the CPA Exam in California ?

    I do not have a SSN ( I am on an H4 Visa).

    Appreciate your help in this regards.

    Thanks,
    Punam

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Punam,

      On the courses, as long as the course shows up on an official transcript it will be counted. Also, the extra courses won’t make your 3-year degree into a 4-year degree… so Delaware should still be your only choice for now.

      But then, if you don’t have SSN, you should try other states to save you the hassle of credit transfer. You can register in places as far as Delaware and physically take the exam in CA.

      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  23. komal patel says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I completed a 3 year Batchelor of Arts degree in Accounting & Finance in the UK. I also passed the first half of the ACCA exam and then moved to the States. I am currently living in South/North Carolina border and am considering taking the CPA exam. Do I currently qualify to take the exam or what additional steps do I need to complete in order to qualify?

    Thanks for your help!
    Komal

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Komal,
      While in general 3 year degree is considered an associate degree in the US, please give a call to any of these foreign credential evaluation agencies and see if they can give you an indication whether yours can been seen as a 4-year degree equivalent. If it’s not possible, then Delaware would be your only choice (please check the working experience and see if it is doable). You can register in Delaware and physically take the exam in S/N Carolina.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  24. John Failla says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I passed the CPA exam in New York in 1991 and never went to public accounting. Worked in private for 20+ years. Which state would I qualify to receive CPA license (I have a BBA in accounting).

    John

    • Stephanie says

      Hi John,
      It depends if you can fulfill the “new” CPA exam requirements for most state i.e. 150 credit hours of education. Would you mind telling me this before I give any recommendations? Stephanie

  25. Jason says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am starting the process of getting my CPA license. Have a 4 year degree already but not in accounting. Going to fulfill the 24 extra units of accounting and Business but want to know where I can go to see what online school classes qualify for the credits for California license. Also, I am assuming once I complete those units along with my degree I already have that should probably equal more than the 150 credits needed for pathway 2.

    Link or recommendation for qualifying online school would be great if you know. Thanks.

  26. Rathi says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I just went through your forum today and found very interesting.You are really doing a great job.
    I am on H4 visa and I live in California.I have done B.Com and M.B.A(finance) in India.I am very new to this country ,just came 10 months back.I had sent the application to the Board and just today I received the approval notification from them.I am not sure whether I can post these questions here.My questions are:-
    1) Many of my friends suggested me that Becker is the best CPA review classes.Here in the USA everything has a deal! I was just wondering that how much would be the reasonable price to pay to the Becker classes.Is there any deal on Becker classes?Could you please suggest me?

    2)I just went through some of the websites and many recommend to take the BEC exams in 2010.What would you suggest me?Would it be possible to prepare for the exam within a short span of time?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rathi.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rathi,
      On the courses, yes Becker is the oldest and most well-known CPA review courses. I went through their live classes but didn’t like it, but I am sure others find it ok. More importantly, you’ll have to see if Becker is good for you. Please check out this page where I list out the pros and cons of the top 10 CPA review courses. Just drop me a note there if you have other questions.

      On whether to take BEC first… BEC will go through major changes in terms of the format (i.e. not content). If you don’t like the simulations / written communciations you should try to take it this year. But looks like you have a strong command of English anyway so I don’t think it’s a big deal. Also BEC takes a shorter time to prepare so it might be good for you as a start.

      In general I recommend taking FAR first but given you only have one window before 2010, BEC might as well be a good choice.

      Cheers, Stephanie

      P.S. You can meet other H4 visa holders here in this page. Best of luck to your exam!

  27. Rathi says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you so much for the information and advice. I really appreciate it!
    I have one more query.Can you please share your perspective on this.
    Would it be possible to study FAR within 2 months?What is the average time needed ?

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Rathi.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rathi,
      You are most welcome! On FAR… yes I guess it is possible but you’ll need to study pretty much on a full-time basis. And hopefully you’ll have a good grasp of the accounting concepts. OK for you? Stephanie

  28. Rathi says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you the information.I can grasp the accounting concepts pretty well.I will study on a full time basis and will take FAR exams at the end of November.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Rathi.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rathi, shouldn’t have any problem then. Keep working hard – let’s get this done once and for all! stephanie

  29. Purvi says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks a lot for helping me out during the registration phase. I just got a mail today from the California board that I am approved to sit for the CPA Exam as a California candidate. Now I need to start the process of getting the ATT and NTS. How much time generally all this will take and will I be able to schedule atleast one section this year coz its already mid September. If I will apply for all the 4 sections then I will have to appear for all 4 within 9 months or wat and also since the syllabus is changing in 2011, which section should I take first if at all there is time left for me in this year.

    Thanks for all your help till now and will keep bothering you henceforth as well but trust me its a great guidance for all CPA candidates.

    Purvi

  30. Nicole says

    Hello,

    Can anyone tell me where I can go to see the exact status of my qualification to sit for the CPA exam? I am in the very beginning stages of becoming a CPA. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics in 2008 and am trying to figure out which classes I have already taken can be applied to the requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

    Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nicole,
      Is you bachelor degree from the US or elsewhere? More importantly, is it a 4-year degree? If so you should have quite a number of choices. Stephanie

  31. Purvi says

    Hi Rathi..m also appearing for CPA from California board and got my approval to sit for the exam recently..let me know ur email id so tat we can get in touch with each other as I do not know anyone doin CPA here..u can write to me at [purvi_np2001@yahoo.com].

    Thanks Stephanie for this immensely helpful column..

  32. Nicole says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I received my Bachelor’s from UC Santa Barbara in California. It is a 4-year degree and I attended UCSB for all 4 of those years.

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  33. Rathi says

    Hi Purvi,

    I have sent you an email.Can you check it?Where do you stay in California?

    Thanks Stephanie for all your help.

  34. Gina G. says

    I have a B.A. in communications from 1988. Can I go back and take required accounting and business coursework at a junior college to be eligible for CPA exam?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Gina,
      Shouldn’t be a problem, but given your mind is probably no longer tuned to the “academics” you’ll need all the dedication to get pass the exam!
      If there is anything I can help please drop me a note again.
      All the best,
      Stephanie

  35. Diego says

    Stephanie,

    Very helpful website, I have a Bachelors degree in accounting, I graduated on December 2009 from Florida International University and I live in Florida. I would like to get my CPA licenses without getting a master’s degree if possible. Even though I have been working in Banking for the last 5 years, I have not worked directly in any accounting position. Please let me know if it’s possible to get get my CPA license or if I have to get the master’s degree in order to do so.

    Thank you,

    Diego

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Diego,
      Thanks for your kind words! Assuming that yours is a typical bachelor degree with 120 credit hours, you can take a look at this page where I list out the states that allow you to sit for the exam with only 120 credit hours… but there are various restrictions so please take the time and click through the link to find out more.

      If you have any questions on each of the state, just drop a note there and I will be happy to help you out.

      Cheers, stephanie

  36. Marie says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for taking the time to put this great website which is almost a one-stop-shop for all questions related to CPA exam.

    I have > 150 semester units with a BS in accounting. What is considered as a general accounting experience? What is the requirement for general accounting experience such as (active CPA supervisor, etc.)? Can my supervisor sign my experience form even prior to passing the CPA exam? I am working for a non-public company, do I need to have two people sign the e-form? I am using EXCEL as my review course, do you have any suggestions if this is a good tool to use in studying for the CPA exam? or do I need to get an additional tools?

    Thank you!
    Marie

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Marie,
      Thanks a lot for your kind note!
      If you plan to register in CA, then working experience can be public or non-public accounting. In other words, anywhere that allows you to have accounting experience, be it CPA firms, corporates, private businesses, government agencies… as long as your experience is supervised by an active CPA licensee.

      Yes I believe most State Board recognizes experiences prior to the passing of the exam. California should be one of them but it’s better to double check with an email or quick phone call.

      While I generally recommend Yaeger I also think CPAexcel is pretty good. The people there e.g. Phil Anthony is GREAT who genuinely cares about candidates.

      If you need extra (free) tools, you can also check out CPAreviewforfree.com. This is a site run by a former CPA review course owner who sold his company to Kaplan, and the questions are really free with no strings attached.

      Good luck to your exam! Stephanie

  37. Marie says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just to add to my posting above: I went to a California State University college in California. I want to take a CPA license in CA.

    Thanks,
    Marie

  38. zarak says

    hi
    i got 103 credit hours from FACS for Colorado board. now what i have to do stephanie..now i wanna sit in California state.plz teme what to do…

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Zarak,
      Sorry I couldn’t find our earlier correspondence so I couldn’t recall your specific case, but for California you’ll really need to get 120 credit hours to get qualified. Here is something I wrote about how to get extra credits for 120/150 hours… Nothing magical, but could probably point you to the right direction.

      Just let me know how I can be of further help… Stephanie

  39. Purvi says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have my 3 yr. Bachelor of Commerce from India. I am currently pursuing MBA from University of Phoenix. Will the Accounting, Finance, and Economics courses in my MBA be enough for me to sit for the CPA exam in CA? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Purvi,
      Technically yes, but the credential evaluation also takes into account the individual courses in your bachelor education. So for a firm answer you will still need to go through the credential evaluation agencies.
      By the way, you do have SSN right? Just want to make sure.
      Regards, Stephanie

  40. uytre says

    Stephanie,
    After careful consideration I decided to become a CPA in California. I now reside in Pennsylvania. Will I have to travel to CA to write the exam. This will certainly add to the cost.
    Please respond

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Uytre,
      Good news! There is absolutely no need to travel to CA to take the exam. Once you get the NTS (notice to schedule), go to prometric.com and pick a exam site to take the exam. As you will see you are free to pick any site including those from Pennsylvania.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  41. Jay Cee says

    Stephanie,
    I recently passed all 4 parts of my CPA exam in California. Will I lose my credits and have to retake all 4 parts again if I don’t apply for my license within a certain amount of years?

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Jay,
      I can’t recall if there is a “Deadline” for California, but generally state board gives you 10 years. Would that be enough?
      A few states gives you only 5 years so if this is what you are planning, better check with CA state board. Stephanie

  42. Len Silva says

    Stephanie,

    Some states require that credit hours are from an actual face to face, campus class. I am attending University of Phoneix which in Texas is considered a hybrid class of both campus and online. Is California specific as to what type of credit hours they require? Do they accept Online and Hybrid credits?

  43. Ashley says

    I was wondering if being certified by the ACCA in conjunction with a US undergraduate degree (that is not in accounting but similar to general business) is sufficient “education” to sit for the CPA exam in California. Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ashley,
      As far as I know, I am afraid that ACCA is no longer recognized as equivalent in most states. I am quite sure the answer is no for California.

      But don’t worry as your GSB qualification in France can probably enough to make you qualified. Yes being a US citizen is great because California requires a SSN to get the license in the state.

      Please go to this foreign credential evaluationpage for details on how to do the evaluation. Stephanie

  44. Ashley says

    I would like to add I have an Masters in International Business from Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France (recognized world-wide) and I am an American citizen currently living in the UK. I don’t know if that information matters but I thought I would add it. Also, details of my undergraduate degree are: a degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. 30 hours of “business and finance courses” to make up a minor in Corporate Strategy and a minor in Financial Economics. Thank you for the help, this is a great website!
    Ashley

  45. Yuki says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Quick question about the general experience requirement for California licensure.
    I have worked as an accountant at my current company for over 2 years. My current supervisor is a CPA but he has only worked here for about a year. Can he still sign off on my 2-year general experience even though he has not been supervising me for the entire 2 years? Or do I have to obtain my old supervisor’s signature as well?

    Thanks so much,
    Yuki

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Yuki,
      My understanding is that you will need to obtain your old supervisor’s signature as well. Hope it’s not too much trouble for you… Cheers, Stephanie

  46. gurjot says

    Hello Stephanie,
    I am gurjot from california.I did my graduation from India and when i got my evaluated transcripts I got total 90 semester units.Even I applied for CPA exam now i got email from california board of accountancy and according to them i can sit for CPA exam.Now i am confused like it is mentioned if u have 120 semester unit u need to get 2 years of work experience and if u have 150 semester units then u need to get 1 year work experience for CPA license.Now If I go for CPA exam and then I can complete my remaining units while taking work experience.Please tell me what is best option for me.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Gurjot,
      You know what I am confused as well… did you submit anything other than your evaluated transcript report? Stephanie

  47. Natalie says

    Hello Stephanie,

    I’m a Bcom student from Canada. I am planning to work in CA for two years and get the CPA license there.
    I’m a little bit confused about the SSN. From my understanding, in order to work in the States, we have to get a SSN. Therefore, every CPA candidate is suppose to get a SSN because we have to work in the States to fulfil the work experience requirement (well, I know there are exceptions to a few States that do not have this requirement) . If this is the case, then what is the point for the CA State Board to issue license with SSN? I feel like I have misunderstood something here. Can you please clarify this for me?

    Thanks in advance,
    Natalie

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Shirlyn,
      No you don’t need to do that at all — just keep your registration in NY but reserve a space at the exam site nearest to your home in CA. Yes you can register in one state but take the exam in another because it is all the same as far as the test is concerned. Cheers, Stephanie

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Natalie,
      You are right that SSN is required to work in the state. But there are two ways to overcome that:
      (1) you can work in Canada but work under a CPA (US) or CPA equivalent (i.e. Canadian CAs) which can verify the work experience for you and is recognized in most (but not all) states. Gotta to double check if your state allows that.
      (2) pick a state that issues CPA cert/license without working experience requirement. This would include mainly Illinois and Colorado. If no SSN, then Illinois is basically the choice because for Colorado, SSN is required ultimately when you get the license.

      Many Canadians choose Illinois because of reason #2.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  48. Dennis Lau says

    Hi. I just apply for the BEC exam and pay the exam fee. Since I don’t anticipate myself to take anymore within the next nine months because of work, BEC is the only exam that I apply for. I plan to take the BEC part in February 2011. I know that in order for me to re-apply, I need to pay the $50 for each application. I just wonder when can I start re-apply and and how do I reapply since the client account does not allow me to re-apply now. Do I have to create a new client account for each application?

    Thanks.

  49. Natalie says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I’m afraid I can’t choose Illinois because I can’t fulfill the 150 credit rule (I hold a Bcom degree). I checked the CA requirements and I meet most of them except that I don’t have a SSN.

    Actually, I do want to work in the States for a few years. According to my research, SSN can be obtain once we get the TN visa. NAFTA permits Canadians to obtain TN status at the border, with a job offer in one of the NAFTA categories (CPA is one of them). However, I’m not sure whether I qualify for this category even if I pass the CPA exam. Because I will not be able to get the CPA license right after the exam. I will double check that.

    Because it is crucial for me to get a job offer, I’m wondering if it is easier to get a job in the States if I pass the exam. By the way, do you think CA is a good choice for me?

    Thanks,
    Natalie

  50. Stephanie says

    Hi Natalie,
    Yes it should work if you plan to stay in the US — my sister has Canadian passport and she works in California using a TN visa,which from what she told me is relatively easy to obtain.

    I would think that under this environment, getting anything extra such as a CPA title (or at least something to show you are working on it) is very helpful. So if time and money allows, I’d encourage you to give it a try!

    Also, all the states are working towards complying to the 150 credit hour rule, which means that in the near future, it would be even more difficult for bachelor holders to get the CPA title. Let’s get it while we can.

    Hope this is helpful for you to make a decision. Best of luck to you!

    Stephanie

  51. Nicole says

    Hello,

    Do you know when California will no longer accept the 120 credit hour / 2 years of experience option as far as meeting the requirements to become a CPA? I still need to take a couple of more classes to fulfill the 120 credit hours requirement. Would I have to pass all of the tests before the cutoff date? Or would I just have to have the requirements met and in the process of taking the tests by the cutoff date?

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  52. Stephanie says

    Hi Nicole,
    The latest update I got (around May 2010) is that it will be phased out on Jan 1, 2014. In any case it won’t be 2011 and 2012. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  53. Stephanie says

    Hi Dennis,
    I am afraid I am not familiar with the online application system used by California State Board (for other states, you can just apply for the rest of the sections now). Sorry I can’t help on this but you can put in a quick call to the state board. If you are not in a hurry, email could be a better option so you can have something black-and-white to hold on to.

    Cheers, Stephanie

  54. ameet says

    hi stephanie…..
    hope you donig good..my question is …i am from pakistan i got 120 credits hours from ECE .. i applied for California board…m i eligible? i have send them original documents and they have returned them. now whether i have to resend the documents back to california for application ??? thankyou so much in advnace..tc

  55. Dan says

    Hi Stephanie!

    I graduated w/ a 4 year business degree (concentration in accounting) from SJSU in 1989. Assuming I satisfied the requisite number of units, is there a time limit that would preclude me from using that education to meet the education requirement? (I sat for exam in approx. 1991 but didn’t pass any parts then).

    Thanks, Dan

  56. ameet says

    hi stephanie

    and pplz tel me as i live outside usa and dont have SSN then whether california board give me certificate after passing the exam? and how much time they allow me to apply for license. cuz once i got the job so then i ll be able to get the SSN. kindly advice

    regards

  57. Sushma says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have a 3 yrs accounting degree from India. Based on what i read in other websites, 3 yrs degree is not sufficient to appear for a CPA exam in california. Is that right? Pls clarify.

    My other question is, unless we are planning to start our own business, we don’t need to possess the resident’s state CPA license. Is that right? For e.g. based on my 3 yrs degree, i can appear for CPA exam in delaware and work on CPA related jobs right.

    Can you pls clarify? Thank you very much

  58. Joanna says

    I am about to finished my four parts of exam, but i haven’t got my working experiences. After passing all four parts, within how long should I get the experiences?

  59. Uday Reddy says

    Hi Stephanie

    My wife is having 3 years Bachelor degree from India and passed one group of Chartered accountancy Intermediate couse. Recently she got evaluated her credentials by ECE and they gave 98 total credit including of 28 semister credits for Accounting subjects and 25 for Business subjects.
    California requires 24 Accounting and 24 Business subjects credits for writing CPA examination.
    Exact words of evaluation by ECE is given below.
    It is the judgement of Educational Credential Evaluatorsl Inc, that the applicant has the United States equivalent of High School diploma and completion of undergraduate work.
    This academic work represents a total of 98 semister hours of credit which can be grouped into the following categories:
    Accounting AC 28
    Business Subjects BU 25
    Other Subjects OS 45
    Since CA requirement is 24 for Accounting and 24 for Business subjects to eligible for CPA examination, then in my view she is qualified to take examination.
    But as per the information given in your website, only Delaware is accepting 3 years bachelors degree. Ofcourse she has passed one group in Indian CA course, which feches her 8 Accounting Credits.
    So please advise me whether she qualifies for the California requirement or not.
    Thanks

    Uday Reddy

  60. Dan says

    Hi Stephanie – Do you know if there is a time limit as far as how long ago I earned the B.S. Degree in California?

  61. Annie says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for the wonderful info you have on your website. I was hoping you can help me with the situation I’m in. Any advise is appreciated.

    I graduated from M.S in Computer Engg. from CA in 2003 but I’m ready for a career change now and want to go back to my first love of accounting. I’m taking accounting and business classes from a community college. CPA exam requirement of bachelors degree is that in just accounting field or any field as long as the semester units condition is met?

    Pls. advice.
    Thanks.

  62. Quyen says

    hi Stephanie,
    I’m very happy when I can see this website. I have 4 years Bachelor degree in accounting and auditing in Vietnam. Now I’m an auditor in Big 4 in Vietnam. And I’m also studying in ACCA. But next year I will move to CA to live with my family. And I don’t know what can I do there? You said that ACCA was no longer recognized as equivalent in most states. So if I want to enhance the CPA exam, What will I do next?
    And if I have CPA, I can work here like an accountant or not? And with my experience in auditing in Big 4, ỉt can help me in studying, working in CA or not?
    I hope I will receive your comment as soon as possible.
    Thanks and regarding.

  63. Maria says

    Hi Stepahanie,

    I’m taking some online accounting courses to fulfill the 24-semester units requirement. I took Principles of Financial accounting about 6 years ago. If I take another Principles of Fin. Acct. at a different institution, will this count? i.e. Do introductory accoutning courses count, or do they have to be more advanced to meet the 24-units requirement?

    Thank you!

  64. Maria says

    If anybody else knows the answer to my question above, any responses would be appreciated. Thank you!

  65. Kent says

    Hi Stephanie, I have two bachelor degree from the University of India, it is a 3 year B.Com ( Bachelor of Commerce)and 2 year Bachelor of law, Am I qualified for the CPA exam in CA? thank you for your help!

  66. Faye says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have 4year finance degree from the university in China. I will get my master in accounting in the US this May. Right now I live and study at Alabama. I have read through your website. I feel CA might be the best state for to take CPA. Do you have any suggestion? My another question is if I need to fly to CA physically to take the tests?

  67. Faye says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have 4year finance degree from the university in China. I will get my master in accounting in the US this May. Right now I live and study at Alabama. I have read through your website. I feel CA might be the best state for to take CPA. Do you have any suggestion? My another question is if I need to fly to CA physically to take the tests? Thanks a lot!

  68. Addy says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Could you please define ” 1 year General Experience” part, I am working for non public accounting firm. Is 1 year working in non public accounting firm qualified for it?

  69. garvit tandon says

    hi stephanie
    i m in my 3rd year of graduation and i want to get a cpa license.is it possible for me to get a licence without SSN..Currently i am doin my graduation from india n will i be eleigible after doin my graduation to sit for cpa exam.
    regards
    GARVIT

  70. tarik says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have my Masters degree in Finance from Morocco. I asked some counselors at Sacramento State University and they told me that it will only be recognized in US as a Bachelors degree. Am I qualified to takethe CPA exam?? Thank you

  71. rani says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I found your website very informative for the CPA candidates. I had my Bachelors in Accounting from India and just finished my MA in Accountacy from University of Phoenix. I wanted to take the CPA exam in CA. I am eglible to sit in the exam. I have SSN.

  72. Tarik says

    Hi Rani,
    I was wondering if you can tell me how much does the Masters program at Phoenix cost? Thanks
    Tarik

  73. majd says

    hi
    my name is majd and iwould like to ask you should this 1year work experience be supervised by a licensed cpa please reply to my e-mail

  74. Aniket says

    Hi,

    This is Aniket. I have done my Bachelors in Commerce (3 yrs degree) and also an MBA in Finance (2 yrs degree), both in India. I am intending to do the CPA certification from California. — If not, then what should be done?
    > Will both of my above mentioned degrees satisfy the requirements?
    > I am just about to get my regular transcripts (from my colleges) (NOT foreign credential evaluated) in a short period. Still, do I need to get a “Foreign Credential Evaluation” done?
    — If yes, then which one is accepted for California, FACS, WES or ECE?

    Also, please let me know of any additional things that I need to take care of, much appreciated.

    Thank you so much.

  75. Aniket says

    ” PLEASE IGNORE MY ABOVE (earlier) COMMENT ”

    Hi,

    This is Aniket. I have done my Bachelors in Commerce (3 yrs degree) and also an MBA in Finance (2 yrs degree), both in India. I am intending to do the CPA certification from California.
    > Will both of my above mentioned degrees satisfy the requirements? — If not, then what should be done?
    > I am just about to get my regular transcripts (from my colleges) (NOT foreign credential evaluated) in a short period. Still, do I need to get a “Foreign Credential Evaluation” done?
    — If yes, then which one is accepted for California, FACS, WES or ECE?

    Also, please let me know of any additional things that I need to take care of, much appreciated.

    Thank you so much.

  76. Gurjot says

    Hi Stephanie,
    This is Gurjot. I have done my Bachelors in Commerce (3 yrs degree) . I want to know I am having 90 semesters units and in
    Accounting courses: 45 semester units
    Business courses: 45 semester units
    So I want to know I can give CPA exam or not in California state. Waiting for your reply.
    Thank you

  77. Sadaf says

    Hey Stephanie

    I have done a 4 year Bcom(major in accounting ) from University of Karachi. Will i be able to sit the California State CPA exams?
    I haven’t submitted my degree for evaluation. Do I need too?

    Waiting for a quick reply :)

    P.S: I do have a SSN

  78. rohail says

    hi sadaf ..

    m also from karachi and applied at california board of accountancy..u have to evaluate your credentials first from their approved list of evaluators…4 years degree is sufficient for getting 120 credit hours,,,,any help u can contact me..

  79. Jamie says

    Hey Stephanie,

    I am currently doing my undergrad accounting major (four year degree) in Canada. I am looking to get a CPA in California. Just a couple questions:
    -do you need 2 years work experience before taking the CPA? Or do you take the CPA then work for two years?
    -I do not have an SSN, so is the best way to become CPA in California to find a job before going there?
    -also, if you don’t mind, any advice as to how most Canadians get the CPA and move to the US??

    Thank you
    Jamie

  80. SUNIL S says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I HAVE DONE B.SC. ( BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NON-MEDICAL) FROM INDIA . CAN I DO SOME THING TO SETTLE IN USA/US-CITIZENSHIP ?

  81. Win Maung Maung says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have done my Bachelor in Economics from Myanmar in 3 years program. I have some other credits from ACCA(UK). I have done my credential evaluation from WES and it said that I have three and one-half years of undergraduate study at an accredited institution and have total of 110.0 undergraduate semester credits. I am currently taking 24 semester credits in Accounting Certificate courses at UC San Diego. I would like to know, Am I eligible to sit California CPA exam after I have done my current 24 credit at UC San Diego? BTW, I am US citizen now.

    Thanks,
    Win

  82. Femi says

    Thank you for this website – I’m glad I came across it. I registered & passed the CPA exams in California (I reside in another state & have a ss#). My intention was to be able to call myself a CPA. I dont have any attest experience. Would you still recommend CA, or would applying in any other state easier?
    Thanks again,

  83. Natasha says

    Hi Stephanie

    I am a MS resident and I would like to sit for the CPA Exam. If I was to pass it in MS and later decide to move to California. Would it still be relevant or would I have to retake it in California?

  84. HW says

    Dear Stephine,
    I just earned my credits from CPA exam, and got my SSN too. I have 20 years of working for investment banking, but never with any accounting job experience. Should I apply license now, or wait until I get an accounting job under a CPA supervisor? Thank for sharing your wonderful experience.
    HW

  85. Hassan says

    Hi Stephanie,,
    I’d like to thank you for the valuable website and the effort you put to
    Make things much easier for us..
    Im international candidate in my first steps to start CPA journy,, I had read “California requirment” and i felt its the best option for me exept that i have no idea about the social security number or how can i get it ??
    Ps: thank you for CPA reviwe comaprsion,, i didn’t choose my course review yet but it was so helpfull

  86. Aqeel says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I currently live in MD but plan to do CPA from California or Colorado. I got my foreign credentials evaluated from WES (world education services) and i am currently completing my remaining credit hours from University of MD. I need a bacehlors degrees (120 hours) as i have the required hours in accounting and other subjects based on WES report. I have a couple of questions and would appreciate your response and time.

    - I have now 15 remaining credit hours towards 120 which i plan to get next semester, so i will have my bachelors degree in August this year. Does California or any other state allow to sit for CPA exam if you are close to completing your 120 hours requirements? I work with CPA firm and they require me to get the CPA degree by October this year.

    - If i pass CPA from California and then transfer it to MD or VA, should i expect a lot of difficulties? I have currently 4 years of experience in public accounting with one of BIG 4 here in MD.

    Thanks very much. Let me know if there is any other information i can provide.

  87. Jennifer says

    Hi, Stephanie:

    Thank you very much for your information. I am Jennifer, I would like to take the CPA exam in US. I live in Los Angeles right now and have my own SSN. But I think my education can not match the 150 credits requirement.

    I have a AA degree only in China, but I am a member of CPA of China and I passed ACCA exam last year.

    Could you please advice me how to meet the 150 credits in LA? or any other states I am qualified to take the CPA exam?

    Thanks & Best regards
    Jennifer Bi

  88. rimmi says

    hi stephanie
    im doing bcom and side by side i am also doing CA course in india.i want to know whether indian ca degree is valid in usa and what will be minimum salary for that in usa.i heard we need to give cpa exam.what is the duration of cpa course and fees?please please let me know…

  89. Stephanie says

    Hi Aqeel,
    I checked with the first-time application of the CA CPA exam (link above in the article) and looks like you’ll need to complete all the coursework in order to get qualified for the exam. But please take a look yourself and see if you have a different interpretation.

    As for the transfer, since CA is not strictly a substantially equivalent state and CO is simply not one, so there might be challenges, and can still work depending on each state. Please check with MD and VA state board for their current rule on CA and CO reciprocity.

    Hope things will work out for you!
    Stephanie

  90. Stephanie says

    Hi Jennifer,
    For an associate degree the only option would be delaware, but please note the strict working experience requirement — please click on the link for details.

    If you can get a 4-year bachelor degree or equivalent, then California will work for you as well. Online courses are acceptable too as long as the provider is an accredited educational institution.

    Hope it helps! Stephanie

  91. Stephanie says

    Hi Rimmi,
    You are always work as an accountant without the CPA title so there isn’t anything that is required, or “valid” per se. But I have to say an Indian CA is not that useful in the US i.e. this is not considered equivalent to the CPA (US) qualification.

    If you are an international candidate and would like to pursue the CPA qualification, please see if this introductory page will help.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie