CPA for International Candidates and Students: Best States to Apply

cpa for international candidatesHow to become a CPA for international candidates and students?

Since most international candidates do not have a “preferred” state to practice their profession (they either need the qualification for credentials only, or that they work outside of the US), they are free to pick a state with the most favorable CPA exam requirements.

However, this flexibility could be overwhelming when there are 55 states and jurisdictions to choose from. How should you start? Which are the most popular states for international candidates?

Updated:  December 2014

CPA for International Candidates: States that (in My Opinion) No Longer Works in Your Favor

Here are a few popular states that worked for many non-US candidates for many years, but they may no longer work due to change of rules.

1. Colorado — Getting A Lot More Restricted

Colorado used to be one of the most attractive states for international candidates. Not only that the full 150 credit hour is not necessary, members of ICAI and ACCA are automatically qualified for the CPA exam.

Unfortunately, on 9th December 2009, the State Board has restricted this rule. Specifically:

  • The State Board is no longer accepting Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) certificates as evidence of having met educational requirement.
  • Chartered Accountant (CA) qualifications from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand (part of the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) MRA agreement) is accepted; but those from other jurisdiction (e.g. India) is no longer accepted.

Sometime in early 2012 there were further restrictions applied to candidates with 3-year degrees:

  • CA certificate is NO LONGER evaluated as equivalent to a 4-year accounting degree in the US. In other words, it will no longer work for BCOM + CA holders. Candidates with MCOM should be fine.

Working Experience

  • Colorado has a rather strict working experience requirement: it has to be supervised by an active CPA in the US or the CA in the “qualified” jurisdiction as stated above.
  • But you can go through the “education in lieu of experience” rule which allows you to use 150 credit hours to “exchange” for the working experience requirement.
  • This rule is scheduled to be removed in 2015.

Details on Colorado CPA Exam Requirement

2. Delaware: Little Reason To Pick This State Now

Delaware used to be the only state that allow Associate degree holder (equivalent to a 3-year Bachelor degree) to sit for the exam. Rule has been changed in August 2012.

Details on Delaware CPA requirement

3. Michigan — All Waivers Removed

Michigan used to be a state that automatically gives out NTS (your CPA exam admission ticket) if you have a Chartered Accountant membership certificate.

They have since restricted the rules and are no longer consider CA as an educational requirement.

Details on Michigan CPA requirement

4. New Hampshire: New Rules Effective July 1, 2014

New Hampshire used to recognize Indian CA certificates but have stopped doing that since 2012. The latest rule (effective July 1, 2014) further restricts the eligibility.


NH used to require only 12 credit hours in accounting, which suits non-accounting majors. Starting from July 1, 2014, 30 accounting credit hours, 24 business credit hours and 150 overall credit hours is required.

Working Experience

New Hampshire has a strict working requirement: that you have to work under a direct supervision of an active CPA, but the rule has been relaxed such that non-public accounting experience is allowed and “CPA equivalent” are qualified to supervise and verify the experience.


After the July 2014 rule, you essentially need to be an accounting major to get qualified. There isn’t much reason for international candidates to pick this state going forward.

Details on New Hampshire CPA requirement

States that I Think Should Work in Some Degree

It depends on your educational background, but the following could be a good starting point for you.

1. California: 150 Credit Hours Now Required

Since January 2014, California requires 150 semester hours, 48 accounting credit hours (vs the previous 24) and 10 credit hours on ethics  to obtain the license.

Note that while California does not require a social security number (SSN) to sit for the exam, the state board requires a SSN to grant you the license.

Working Experience

One advantage of registering in California is that the state board may recognize working experience verified by a non-US CPA, but it’s quite a hassle if your experience is gained outside of California.

Details here on California CPA requirement page.

2. Illinois — Standard Exam Rules but Flexible Experience Requirement

Illinois was a 2-tier state until July 1, 2012. The full 150 credit hour is required and the approval process takes longer than most other states.

There is still some advantage to go through Illinois. It is one of the few states that clearly does not require social security number. There are great flexibilities in the working experience requirements e.g. you don’t need a CPA to sign off your experience; your supervisor (who may or may not be a CPA) can be the verifier.

Note: IL state board requires candidate to take 3 credit hours in Research & Accounting. You may need to take a special class for this special requirement.

Details on Illinois CPA exam requirements

States that Provides the Flexibility

1. Virginia: May Accept BCOM + CA; Your Supervisor/Verifier doesn’t Need to be a CPA

You can sit for the exam in Virginia as long as you have 120 credit hours, 24 accounting credit hours and 24 business credit hours. Also, I heard that BCOM + CA could be deemed an equivalent US bachelor degree as long as the evaluation report says so. Given rules change all the time, BCOM + CA holders who want to take this route must first double check with Virginia state board.

Another great advantage of Virginia is the flexibility of working experience requirement. You need to work 1 year in a relevant field, but, unlike most other state boards, Virginia doesn’t require your supervisor (i.e. your verifier of experience) to be a CPA. This means that as long as you work in accounting, you can qualify to get the license.

Restrictions/disadvantages of Virginia:

  • Strict requirement of social security number, which makes most international candidates and all H4 visa holders ineligible.
  • You need to be concentrated in accounting, i.e. this state is not for non-accounting majors.
  • At the end of the day you do need 150 credit hours to get the license.

Details on Virginia CPA requirements

2. North Dakota: Supervisor/Verifier Doesn’t Need to be a CPA

North Dakota is a typical state that requires 150 credit hours. However, if your bottle neck is on the experience requirement (i.e. cannot find a CPA to work under or verify experience for you), then North Dakota should work. Similar to Virginia, it does not require your supervisor to be a CPA and this supervisor can sign the verification form for you. What’s better than Virginia is that social security number is not required.

More Info on North Dakota CPA requirements

3. Guam: 120 Credit Hour + No Experience Needed if You don’t Mind the Inactive License

To me Guam is a hidden gem — as long as you are an accounting major with a 4-year bachelor degree, and do NOT practice within Guam territory, you can get an “inactive” license without SSN, working experience and fulfilling the 150 credit hours.

If you are not an accounting major you do need to fulfill the 150 credit hours.

Details on Guam CPA exam requirements

4. Montana: Can Sit Before Getting 120 Credit Hours

Montana is one of two states that doesn’t require a full 4-year bachelor degree to sit for the exam. All you need to do is to get 24 credit hours of upper-level accounting courses and another 24 credit hours of business courses. Note that you still need to fulfill the 150 credit hours to ultimately get the certificate or license.

Two great things about Montana:

  • SSN is not required
  • You can get your experience verified by a US CPA without the need to work under him/her.

Montana Working Experience Requirements

You may be glad to know that Montana remains a two-tier state which means that you can get a CPA certificate after passing the CPA exam and fulfilling the educational requirements. In other words, no working experience required.

Even if you want to get the full license, you can get your experience verified by a US CPA but that CPA doesn’t need to be your boss, which makes life much easier. This means that you should be able to verify your experience outside of US.

More info on Montana CPA requirements

5. Alaska: Somewhat Similar to Montana — Can Sit Before Getting 120 Credit Hours

There are quite a lot of international candidates going through Alaska so it’s worth mentioning here. Since Alaska allows candidates to sit for the exam before the graduation, 3-year BCOM degree holders can technically sit for the exam as long as they fulfill enough accounting credit hours (the requirement depends on whether you are an accounting or non-accounting major).

The working experience requirement is also quite vague: 2 years of relevant experience deemed appropriate by the Board. I suggest that you find out whether your work is acceptable (by double checking with the state board) before applying for the exam.

Similar to Montana, you need 150 credit hours to get the license. If you are a 3-year BCOM graduate, it means that you will most likely need a 2-year master’s degree to complete the licensing requirement.

Details on Alaska CPA requirements

6. Washington: Experience can be Verified by Someone other than Your Boss

Washington requires candidates to have the full 150 credit hours to sit for the exam, but the state board allows you to have your experience verified by a CPA who is not your supervisor. In other words, it is similar to Montana in that you can verify your non-US experience by someone you know who happens to be a US CPA — could be  friend, a mentor, a business partner… which makes things much easier.

Note that for Washington, this verifier must be an active CPA for 5 years or more.

More info on Washington CPA requirements

For Your Further Reading

CPA For International Candidates Still A Reality. Questions Are Welcome!

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  1. Manish says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all, many thanks for maintaing this website. I’m wondering if you know whether the credit for the CPA exam expires anytime? What happens when one passes the exam in 18 rolling months, does not bother to get a license for few years and then tries to get one after say 5-6 years? Does the exam credit expire by that time frame? Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Manish, thanks for your kind note! Well, for most states, you only need to pass the exam once in your life. But I think I have seen a few states that have an exception… that they expect you to get the license within 10 years or something. From what I remember it is a fairly long window — more like a 10 year than, say, a 3 year window.

      I will keep an eye when I spot these exceptions and let you know. Please remember to click the box “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” so you will get an update from me if I do find something later on. Cheers, Stephanie

  2. Brijneet says

    Hi Stephanie

    Your website is extremely helpful for anyone who is aspiring to become a CPA. I do have some questions regarding the CPA experience requirements. I am a graduate in B.Com from Canada with a 4 years degree. I am leaving for India if I get experience from a big 4 CA firm in India and clear all the CPA exams is there any state that would recognize my work experience from India for CPA designation?


    • Stephanie says

      Hello Brijneet,
      Thanks a lot for your kind note. For experience, please note the following:

      (1) some states only start counting your experience AFTER the CPA exam

      (2) The state boards generally recognize your experience as long as it can be supervised/verified by an active CPA licensee. Whether it is supervised or verified depend on the specific rules of the state board. E.g. Delaware, Colorado, New Hampshire strictly ask for supervision, while Illinois is ok with verification only (this means that the CPA who endorse your licensing application can be someone other than your boss).

      In most cases, a “CPA equivalent” e.g. a chartered accountant from Canada and Australia will work. Please note however that Chartered accountants from India are NOT qualified to verify the experience for you.

      My guess is, if you work in Big 4, there should be a good chance that there will be supervisors who are CPA from US, or CA from Canada / Australia.
      Hope it helps in your planning?

      Cheers, Stephanie

  3. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Your website is a very good source of information for all candidates interested in becoming a CPA.

    I would greatly appreciate if I could get some advice on my situation. I have passed by CPA Exam from Vermont in 2005. When I passed the exam I had a bachelors degree from India which made me eligible to sit for the exam. I did not have any idea about the 1-tier and 2-tier systems. I wish I had seen your website back then. Anyways, after I passed the exam a letter was sent stating that I need to gain 4 years of work experience by working under a direct supervision of a CPA license holder in public accounting. I was later told that the work experience requirement could be reduced to 1 year if I had 150 credit hours.

    Since I did not work to work in public accounting, I finished my Master’s degree from India just recently in 2009 and have 3 months of public accounting experience and over 10 months of audit experience in the industry.

    But now VT says that the max experience should be in Public accounting and not industry experience. Given this situation, my question is which state can I transfer my scores to get a Certificate or License sooner? Somebody mentioned NY since they accept experience outside of public accounting. But NY is a 1 tier state if I am not wrong.

    Is there any 2-tier state that I can apply to? Also, I reside in IL and IL does not let you write CPA in front of your name if you do not hold a certificate from state that is substantially equivalent.

    After taking all the trouble to pass the exam and complete a Master’s degree with a 2 1/2 year old daughter I really want to get over with this now. So, any advice will be greatly appreciate.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Manisha,
      You are almost there! Let me see how I can be helpful.
      Okay… if you have a master’s degree from India, maybe you can try go through Colorado? Because if you are deemed to have 150 semester hours you can go through Colorado’s “education in lieu or experience” and get a full license without any working experience.

      Please take a look at Colorado cpa exam requirements here and then get your transcript evaluated specifically for this education in lieu of experience rule (Rule 2.5). WES is probably the best evaluation service in your case because they have a transparent policy for Indians. You can find out more here in this foreign credential evaluation page.

      I hope it works! Do let me know later if things go well or not so I know I am recommending the right strategy to people similar to your case. Thank you! Stephanie

  4. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for the information. This is going to be of great help. Can I use ECE as an evaluation agency for CO because my Bachelor’s degree from India was evaluated by them and they gave me 100 credits for it?

    Also, do you think NY or NJ would work for me as well? CO is not a substiantially equivalent state in IL. I know eventually all states will be substantially equivalent? These things are so tough decisions to make. I thought passing the exam was difficult…didn’t think have to go through all this after passing the exam..

    Anyways once again Thanks a lot Stephanie ..atleast now i have a direction to head to…

    Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you…!

  5. Stephanie says

    Hi Manisha,
    You are most welcome! And you are exactly right CO is not a substantially equivalent state… It’s only fair, given it is easier to get licensed there. If the CPA title is for credentials only, it’s fine; but if you plan to practice (I guess you probably want to, given your experience) then yes you’ll need to reconsider that.

    CO will possibly be recognized in 2015 or so when it fully converts to the 150 hour rule, but no one can say for sure. So it depends if you want to wait.

    I am not as familiar with NY and NJ but I’d be happy to take a closer look. Got quite a lot of questions on NY rules in particular.

    If you don’t mind waiting for a few days, maybe I can have an updated page on NY cpa exam requirements…


    P.S. By the way ECE is perfectly fine, but for the education in lieu of experience requirement you need to ask for another evaluation because apparently the rules are different… I was told by my readers that they *may* give you (hopefully) more credits with the same transcripts. I do hope you can get more than 100 credits because you have to get 150 credits to get qualified by this special rule… otherwise you have to take some online courses which costs extra money and efforts.

  6. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks again ! ECE gave me 100 credits for my Bachelor’s degree ..don’t know about Master’s how much they will give. Do each evaulation agencies evaluate differently? Is one better than the other…the only problem with WES is if I have to get my Bachelor’s degree reevaluated it is going be really tough to official transcripts from the Univ directly…as it is extremely difficult in India.

    For Master’s I can get official transcripts but the Univ has a policy of providing it. And the master’s degree I did from India is in credit systems…unlike other univ…For Master’s I should get 60 credits per the programme I have done in India but don’t know if I will be given exact same credits here in US as well…

    I don’t mind waiting Stephanie at all…take your time…just want to make an informed decision this time. I don’t want to practice independently but I am mostly targeting Internal Audit/IT Audit positions. Do I need to be licensed for that ? I don’t think Internal auditors certify financial statements…not sure though..atleast so far that I have worked in Internal Audit ..i didn’t need to do so…

  7. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Wanted to give you some info regarding the NJ state board of accountancy.

    Well, first of all let me give you a quick background. When I sat for the CPA exam I had 109 credit hours..(100 from Bachelors and 9 credits from other extra courses I had to take to sit for the exam in VT). At that time VT had a rule that you could sit for the exam if you have alteast 60 credit hrs.

    I called the NJ board to ask if they accept public and industry experience under the supervision of a licensed cpa. They said “YES” which is good..bcos that is what I have.

    My 2nd question was I have fulfilled the 150 credit hour requirement after I have passed the exam. Will that be acceptable? (Bachelor’s + Master’s) should hopefully give me 150 credit hours in total. The NJ board rep said that it depends on the Board’s discretion to accept the fact that the education requirements were met after passing the exam. So I have to give it a shot.

    Some states like IL say that you should have fulfilled the 150 hr credit requirement before passing the exam.

    I thought I will let you know ….might help someone else. I just want to get a license from a State that is equivalent to IL so I can call myself a CPA.. !

    • Stephanie says

      Manisha, thanks very much for your sharing, and I’ll incorporate your valuable piece of info in NJ’s page when I get back to my to-do-list…
      anyway, the answer to the 2nd question isn’t giving us 100% confidence, but sounds like NJ should work for you? I wonder if you have checked NY as well. Stephanie

  8. Ramya Rangarajan says

    Hello Stephanie
    Thanks for all the information- very valuable!

    I am Chartered Accountant from India and also hold a MCom & BCom degree from the University of Madras with a First Class. I am currently living in the US (Wisconsin) on a H4, dependent visa. I am looking at the CPA option and also considering a one year masters in accounting program in summer/ fall 2011. In view of the changing structure of the CPA exam, I’m thinking I should take the BEC exam by November 2010. Could you please help me with the following:

    (1) Which states would suit me the best? While IL may be good, one of your comments mentioned long processing times. Do you think MI or CO (even now since I hold a MCom + CA?) or Delaware would be good as regards processing timelines -since I look to taking the BEC by Nov 2010?

    (2) Do you think I may not have enough time to prepare for BEC?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Ramya,
      Thanks for you kind note!
      First of all, let me ask you the following: do you plan to practice as a public accountant in the future? Or do you want to get the CPA as a credentials only?
      With a MCom and BCom, you might be considered fulfilling the 150 semester units requirement. If this is the case, then a lot of states will work for you.

      MI is probably good in your case, but please note that it recognizes only public accounting experience AND you have to complete an audit to get qualified.

      For CO, it is the easiest to get but the problem with CO is that you may not be able to transfer your CPA license to Wisconsin (because the qualification is not consider equivalent — please check the substantially equivalent state page for details).

      IL should work too… I wouldn’t worry too much about long processing time if you manage to fulfill the requirements and so on.

      I can’t recall, but H4 visa doesn’t entitle you a social security number right? If you don’t have SSN, don’t apply to California because you need it to get licensed. in that state.

      On BEC — yes I think you should have enough time to start off with BEC in the Nov window, assuming you start the studying no longer than, say, August/September. By the way, you should start studying before getting your NTS.

      When you have sorted out all the application procedure, remember to check out my CPA exam review course comparison page so you have an idea on the pros and cons of each program. Good luck, and let me know which state you pick at the end!


  9. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just wanted to share this with you…I think I might qualify to get Montana’s license…coz..i spoke to them and based on my initial conversation it seems I might qualify for the license…

    So I am going to go ahead and send all the documents..and will keep you posted…!

    Thanks..ur website has given me a good direction to go to..This is some great work you are doing here…


    • Stephanie says

      Is it! that’s great Manisha. Haven’t heard readers go through Montana really but will definitely look into Montana then — that’s great news. stephanie

  10. sona says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I really appreciate all your in detailed explanations to the questions asked in here.Great JOB!!!!!!
    I am really in a fix.I wanted to do CPA at any cost.I hold Masters in Business Administration major in in finance.My bachelors is from Biotechnology back from India but now I wanted to do CPA and hence i am unable to understand where to start so as to get the required credits to do CPA.I would like to do CPA from Georgia but if I am eligible to do from any state I would do that.My concerns are

    1.I am a Non immigrant here on work visa.
    2.I can only go for evening/online classes.
    3.Can I go for some private colleges like Atlanta Metro College and do few accounting courses and in that case can they be considered 120 credit hour requirement for CPA Exam ?
    4.Can I do CPE courses and will that satisfy the requirement s for CPA.
    5.My major concern is instead of going back into Bachelors I would prefer doing another masters and get the required 120/150 credits through CPE/online classes from Accredited universities.
    6.Please help me with my career.
    Please guide me the most economical as well as time consuming way to proceed to my dream of becoming CPA.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sona,
      Thanks for your encouraging words! Let me see… I would recommend the following steps:

      1. Is one of the states mentioned above fit your case? You have to pick a state first because it determines the no. of accounting courses you need to take. If you are serious about getting the CPA you can also consider my guide, CPA Exam Navigator, on the CPA application just for international students. The link was broken before but is now fixed.

      2. Send your transcript to the foreign credential evaluation service and see how many hours you are lacking. Since you have an MBA you can probably get qualified for the 150 semester hours, but it really is up to the foreign credential evaluation agencies to decide given at least your Bachelor is from India.

      3. Once you make sure the state works for you, you can take any online/evening course as long as they are accredited. Just pick the cheapest/quickest… but first step would be to determine the no. of accountant class you need first.

      – Generally, a non-immigrant isn’t an issue as long as your specific state allows non-citizen / non-resident to sit for the exam. Please check the cpa exam requirement by state for details.

      – Georgia has a very strict working experience requirement — you might be better off going through other states. Please go to this CPA reciprocity page on how you can/cannot transfer your license from state to state depending on your situation.

      Hope it helps? Please come back for more questions. I hope I can help sort it out for you.

  11. Anu says

    Hi to everyone,

    Can someone please help me with my situation? Here is my situation,
    1. I have appeared for FAR and studying for AUD now through Newhampshire university.
    2. I am having 120hrs credit.( + Master’s in financing)
    3. I am living in Wisconsin with H4 visa.
    4. No previous work experience to get license.

    Is it possible to get H1 sponsor nowadays? or is there anyway i can get certificate and license without work experience? I am ready to work here but i don’t know the way. Please i need some suggestion. Thanks in advance.

  12. sona says

    Dear Stephanie,

    I have no words to express my gratitude towards you for such a great excellent explantaion.

    Please help me in answering these questions.
    1.When they say 150 credit hour rule,would they consider my 3yr non accounting bachelors degree(i did in Bio technology) along with my MBA (finanace)

    2.What differnce would it really make having a CPA licnesure from one state and practising in another state.For eg.I would like give My CPA from Delaware and I am a resident of GA,What privielegs would I miss in having a GA CPA permit?

    3.As you said I can go for online/evening classes to fulfill the 150 credit requirement can I even go for CPE classess.

    I am longing to do my CPA.I thank you wholeheartedly for all your time and patience in answering me.


  13. Nitu says


    I have a bachelors degree and am an Indian CA. I plan to go for a masters degree through correspondence in India itself. Will this help me to meet minimum 150 hr credit requirement

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nitu,
      I don’t think correspondence course is recognized but the professionals (the foreign credential evaluation agencies) can tell you. Can you figure out which state from the above fit you the best? As an international candidate these are most likely your best shots.

      You can consider WES in terms of the credential evaluation agencies because they have a pretty transparent Indian policy. Please check out this foreign credential evaluation page for details.

  14. Sai says

    Hi, I wish to know where can I get the census of CPAs in USA & the World. To make it more clear how many qualified CPAs available as of today or by 2009 end, how many candidates appear each year and how many passout, etc. I am preparing a presentation and this information would be helpful… Thanks

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Sai,
      I have this page on number of CPA which you may find useful. Unfortunately the data is rather old… if you manage to get some updated info please share with me. Thanks!

      Good luck in getting all the stuff for your presentation,

  15. sona says

    Dear Stephanie,

    I have no words to express my gratitude towards you for such a great excellent explantaion.

    Please help me in answering these questions.
    1.When they say 150 credit hour rule,would they consider my 3yr non accounting bachelors degree(i did in Bio technology) along with my MBA (finanace)

    2.What differnce would it really make having a CPA licnesure from one state and practising in another state.For eg.I would like give My CPA from Delaware and I am a resident of GA,What privielegs would I miss in having a GA CPA permit?

    3.As you said I can go for online/evening classes to fulfill the 150 credit requirement can I even go for CPE classess.

    I am longing to do my CPA.I thank you wholeheartedly for all your time and patience in answering me.


  16. Bhumi says

    Hello Stephanie,

    Your website is awesome and it has tons of information. I greatly appreciate that you are maintaining such a website and helping others.

    I would appreciate if you can guide me on my case because I am confused after calling Colorado state who says I require SSN number even if I am on H4 Visa.

    Please guide me what state I should choose. Currently, I don’t have work experience under CPA and I assume experience taken as CA(India) in other country will not be counted here. Moreover, most of the states ask for experience after passing CPA exam in order to get licence. I want to work here and not to go for public practice after passing CPA exams. I also like to know if experience is compulsory before getting CPA certificate then how can I work or intern under CPA on H4 visa.

    Thank you in anticipation,

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Bhumi,
      First of all, thanks for your encouraging words on my site. It’s always the kind notes from readers that motivates me to update and make it more informative to all.

      It does seem strange that if you are completely outside the US (and so no SSN), you can get qualified via “affidavits in lieu of social security numbers”. Now that you do live in the US legally and without SSN… I don’t know the answer but I have already sent an email to the State Board for clarification. Keep our fingers crossed that they will respond to us.

      Another challenge is that other than Colorado’s “education in lieu of experience”, you have to work at least a year to get the full license. As a H4 visa holder you aren’t allowed to work unless an employer is willing to sponsor the H1-B (or equivalent) visa for you. How about you apply for a school and become a student so you can get a student visa (then you can get the SSN and work)? You probably need extra credits from an accredited university to make up for the CPA education requirements anyway…

      I understand it can be quite a lot of work, so it depends how much you’d like to become a licensed CPA in the US.

      From your comment you seem to be an experienced accountant and I would really hope you can utilize your experience in some way! And I always strongly encourage the wives on H4 visa (I assume you are one) to make good use of the time to pursue something meaningful in America.

      If everything fails, see if there are private businesses and corporations who are looking for accountants. They don’t necessarily look for someone with a full CPA title (but of course it will help quite a bit).

      Please come back if needed and I’d love to offer any help I can. All the best! Stephanie

  17. Stephanie says

    Hi Sona,
    Thanks very much for your kind words!

    Since this comment section is getting too long, I have set up a simple forum to answer questions especially the FAQ. The forum format is easier for others to navigate and look for the answers they need.

    For #1 and #3, please go to here:

    For #2, please go to:

    See you there!
    Please feel free to continue the conversation at the forum.


  18. Shyam says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Many thanks for your constant updates.

    Keep up the great work, Really it helps people like me who were looking for right information.

    I am a qualified CA from India and also did BCom( as correspondence).
    I am currently a resident of Arizona state and has a SSN as well.

    I would like to pursue CPA course( only for credentials).

    Request yo to clarify the below questions:

    1. AZ has authorized ECE as the authorization agency. Does my current qualification will fetch me the required credit hours to sit for CPA exam?
    2.I understand ECE doesnt require orignal certificates and also dont require themt o be notarized.. Is this true?
    3. I need to apply for AZ board with ECE evaluation results, transcripts directrly received from ICAI alsong with the application and fees.. Please confirm.

    Thanks once again.


  19. Miguel says

    Hi Stephanie,
    First of all, congratulations for your website!!. I´ve been looking for information about CPA for international applicants in a lot of sites/blogs and this is the best.
    This is my situation:
    1) I´m from Chile and work in a big four (some of my colleagues are US CPAs)
    2) I´ve 2 bachelors degrees (in accounting and administration), 2 master´s degree (in accounting and finance) and CIA certification.
    3) I would like to sit for CPA, getting a diploma or certificate and, if possible, getting license.
    I would really appreciate if you could help with a few questions:
    a) wich would be, in your opinion, the most convenient state for me to apply? and wich would be, after passing the exam, the licensure requirements in that state??
    b) will I have to take courses regarding american tax laws and commercial regulations in order to apply for the exam in that state??
    c) what kind of information will I have to send to credential evaluation services?? (only diplomas??)
    thanks in advance!!
    kind regards, miguel

  20. Kary says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m writing u because I would like to know if u can helpe me.
    I already sent my credentials to evaluation for the CPA certificate in Illinois, because they just ask for 150 semesters hours education. But I got concern when I read some comments where people say that they don’t trust their evaluations.
    Do u know how they do the evaluations?
    I know they include Audit, Tax, Finantial accounting and managerial accounting as part of accounting courses, but what are the business courses they include? have they a maximun?
    How can I simulate an evaluation? I need to anticipate their answer…

    Thank u very much!!!

  21. stephanie says

    Hi Kary,
    Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a pre-evaluation process in IL like other states. On whether people don’t “trust” their evaluation, in a way they are the one to ultimately grant you the license, so I guess it’s fair to say that they should have the ultimate authority to evaluate the transcript…

    Having said that I also agree the process is not transparent and can be very frustrating.

    I would like to point you to the IL State board website. There is a FAQ in their homepage ( and if you click you will find a FAQ section specifically on academic credential evaluation.

    They attempt to answer your question on business courses:

    Q: Which courses are accepted towards the 24 hours of business?
    A: Economics, Business Law, Marketing, Finance, Business and Technical Communication, Business Ethics, International Business, Legal and Social Environment of Business, Management, Business/Management Information Systems, Quantitative Methods and Statistic courses taught by the accounting department. All courses are subject to review by the Illinois Board of Examiners.

    Please check out the other Q&As. Hope it helps a little bit?

  22. Prasad Ram says

    Hi stephanie

    I have done a bachelor degree in accountancy in India.I recently become certified internal auditor and i got a certification in SOX as well.

    I would like to pursue CPA. Please advise if Delaware would accept my credentials or should i have to do taxation course to get qualified.

    PLease advise if there areany other state to which i can apply.

    Best regards

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Prasad,
      Would you be able to tell me whether your bachelor degree in accountancy is a 3-year degree? If so, then yes, Delaware is likely your only choice but then you can check out whether you can be qualified as a 4-year degree depending on the grades and school you go to. Please go to this foreign credential evaluation page and check out the “Indian policy” under the agency called WES.

      If you can get qualified as a 4-year degree candidate, then you’ll have a lot more choices. Good luck!


      P.S. As for the taxation courses, if you haven’t done any US taxation course in India (probably none right?) then you can easily fulfill that with some online courses. More details here:


  23. Sandhya says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m a CA from India with BCOM. I’m applying for the colorado board and have 146 credit hours. I guess this makes me eligible to sit for the exams. But my concern is, once i complete my exams, how do i complete 150 hrs for getting license. Since i’m on H4 visa, i will not be able to work to satisfy “experience requirement” so i have to opt for “education in lieu of experience” . Will my scores expire before i satisfy post qualification requirements?
    Is it possible to get my transcripts evaluated again by another agency for the purpose of “education in lieu of experience”requirement, hoping to get 150 credit hours

    Appreciate you advise

    • Stephanie says

      Hi sandhya,
      If I were you, I would simply take an extra course or two to fulfill the 150 semester requirements.

      Another way for you is to call up the evaluation agency and see if they are willing to give you an indication of whether you can actually fulfill the 150 semester hour based on the education in lieu of experience route.

      My understanding is that the way they evaluate for the qualification of the CPA exam and this particular education in lieu of experience is different, so you could very well get 150+ credit hours with the same set of transcripts.

      In any case, definitely go for education in lieu of experience. Let me know if it works for you!

  24. kitty says

    hi Stephnaie

    i have done my Bsc and from india in management and i have done my Msc in International Banking and Finance from Manchester at the moment i am currently studying for ACCA from Kaplan university, papers and have just few more.

    I want to find a job in Usa and would that require me to do a CPA or will the companies accept ACCA. I have not had any work experience as of yet but looking for one in the USA. Please do let me know if i get any exemptions. Thank you

  25. Troy Persaud says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Which is the best state for ACCA members without undgergraduate/graduate degrees?


    Troy Persaud

  26. Stephanie says

    Hi Troy,
    Generally ACCA doesn’t help in terms of fulfilling the cpa exam requirements for the CPA in the US, and the lowest degree you need for CPA is an associate degree (something like a 3 year degree program).

    Maybe you can tell me about your education qualifications and I’ll see what I can do? Stephanie

  27. JAYASHREE says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Wonderful job for aspiring CPAs. I would appreciate if you help me out regarding my queries, as I am planning to do CPA
    1. I am B.COM. (3 yrs) graduate from University of Madras (1989) and have not done any taxation paper in my B.Com. Which state board witll I be eligible?
    2. I am also an Associate member of ICSA UK. will that be of any use in calculation of semester hours. It had financial accounting and financial management papers apart from other corporate laws.
    3. Currently I reside in Abudhabi and the becker rep informed me that Delawere is the only choice for me provided I do some online course in Federal taxation. In that case which is best option fordoing the course from abudhabi.
    4. WIth all these factors, also as I havent initiated any action like sending credentials for evaluation etc., is it possible to take the exams in 2010. Since I understand that the syllabus will undergo some changes from 2011.
    Please help me out in clearing my doubts. I must say that you are really doing a great job by helping people like me.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Jayashree,
      Thanks for your kind words! If you have a 3 year degree, you will most likely be eligible only in Delaware as Becker said. If that’s the case, you can take some online courses on federal taxation. It’s a hassle and cost you some money and time, but it is doable. Here is a list of online/off-line taxation course you can choose.

      But please note that by going through Delaware you will be facing very tough working experience requirement: they need 4 years of experience for 3-year degree holders and your experience has to be supervised and verified by an active CPA in the US (not even equivalent such as Chartered accountant in Canada, Australia etc).

      One idea for you is to check out whether you have a chance to get qualified as a 4-year degree candidate. Please visit the Indian policy page from WES as they outline how the evaluate Indian candidates and how they may give them a 4-year equivalent qualification. You can get the link from the credential evaluation page here.

      One last note: For Delaware, you have to go through FACS which takes 4-6 weeks (for me, it took more like 8 weeks but generally it isn’t that bad). So you might still be able to take one section of the exam…

      hope it helps! Stephanie

  28. Troy says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly.

    Beside the ACCA, I have a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University. However, this was awarded based on completion on ACCA level 2 and a research paper. I don’t think this is acceptable.

    I am living in Canada, so I have the Certified General Accountants (CGA) designation. Again, I don’t think this will work beacuse i got this through an MRA with ACCA and CGA.

    Someone from NASBA said that Michigan still accepts ACCA credit hours once evaluated. I read on a blog someone got 102 credit hours for ACCA from ECE. What’s your take on this?

    I am at a point where I need to acquire credit hours cheaply and fast. Should I go through Associate, BSc/BCOM, MBA? Onliner or brick and mortar?


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Troy,
      On the education qualification, actually there are two requirements: first, the no. of semester hours; and second, a bachelor or higher degree.

      The first part is easy (easier) because you can simply take some online courses to make up whatever is required — it is a hassle and needs money, effort and time, but certainly doable.

      However, the second part is tricky because let’s say if you get a 3 year bachelor degree, it could very well be considered an Associate degree. And this can’t be changed no matter how many online courses you take. The only way to fulfill this is to get a degree, whether it is a master’s program or something like that, instead of just courses.

      Anyway, it looks like the ACCA can translate into some credit hours for state like Michigan (by the way, I have also heard of that so it should work). However, without a bachelor degree it will still be a challenge.

      I would think that your next step is to call up a few foreign credential evaluation agency and see if they can give you any indication at all on the BSc you get for applied accounting. Sounds like it is a stretch but who knows… if they recognize this degree you are all set.

      Please let me know how it goes. Hope things will work out! Stephanie

  29. Sandhya says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have decided to apply for the exams and then on completion, get my credentials evaluated for the “Colorado Rule” for license..
    Finally, i can now concentrate on studying for the exams..Phew! :)

  30. JAYASHREE says

    Hi Troy,
    Just saw your message. I am a landed immigrant in canada and planning to relocate to canada next year. How easy or hard is it to get CGA in Ontaria? Having done CGA, why do you want to do CPA and how is it helpful in canada for job prospects. I want to do CPA as i wanted to have an internationally accepted qualification. Can you throw some light on my question.

  31. Caro says

    Hi Stephanie,
    how can I demostrate my 2 years of public accounting experience under direct supervision of an active CPA licensee?
    I’m from Chile and I just wanna get the certificated no the license for working.
    Anf if I can’t demostrate my 2 years of public accounting experience and I have 120 semester hours of education, which state can u recomend me for getting the CPA certificate?

    Thank u very much!!!

    PS: I love ur web site, many of my friend too. :-)

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Caro!
      Very glad you and your friends find the site helpful!
      In terms of the verification process, first of all you have to figure out whether your boss is an ACTIVE CPA licensee. You can either ask him/her straight or check it out online. But checking it online is a bit tricky because you need to get the full name and know the state in which he/she is registering.

      If indeed he/she is an active CPA licensee, then there is a form for licensing application that you need to fill out and ask for your boss’ signature.

      If it’s hard to demonstrate your working experience, I would recommend that you take 30 semester hours of courses in any accredited colleges (you can do it online) and go through Illinois to get their CPA certificate. Please note it’s not a full license but you’ve said clearly that you don’t need that.

      I have mentioned above but please do so within 2 years because Illinois is going to take away their 2-tier system that allows people to be just CPA certificate and not license holders.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  32. Rajan Koirala says

    Hi Stephanie

    I passed CPA from the State of Colorado. I have a CA and CWA from India. I don’t have Bachelors Degree. I don’t want to get license in CO but want in other state that is substantially equivalent.

    Do you have any suggestions?



    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rajan,
      Hmm… the states that are deemed substantially equivalent tend to following the “3E” rules, i.e. education, exam and experience. By education they usually means 150 semester hours and at least a bachelor degree. So I would think it is tough to find a substantially equivalent state that fit your current profile…

      sorry this isn’t really a suggestion but I hope at least to clear up the logic behind substantial equivalency.

      Regards, Stephanie

  33. Eli Perl says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I hope you could help me I have 150 credits 33 are accounting while 22 are business. I am trying to get the CPA the easiest way possible because I plan on switching it to CA in Canada and living there.I have no work experienced and according to your site it seems that Colorado is probably the right choice if you could help me clarify this it would be great.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Eli,
      I understand that many Canadians go through Illinois — what they did is to get a CPA certificate (not the full license) because no experience is required. You are lucky because Illinois was going to scarp away this CPA certificate in July 1, 2010 (or technically, you have to get the cert and the license together) but upon request of the IL Society of CPA and others the Governor has signed a law to postpone this for 2 years.

      I am not very familiar with the Canadian system so please double check if Illinois will work for you. I am also learning from fellow readers and various forums because around 10% of my readers are from Canada.

      If you think IL is good to go, please let me know so I can also learn something new and can write a page or so on the process for Canadian candidates. Thanks in advance! Stephanie

  34. Caro says

    Thank u very much for ur answers!!!

    So when you say that I have to figure out if my boss is an Active CPA licensee, you mean at the time were I was working, rigth?
    Where can I find on Internet if hes is or not? (he got it in Colorado)
    The form for licensing application that I need to fill and get my boos signature, where can I get it for Illinois?


  35. Conrad says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I really appreciate your great work for guiding people.
    I would like to request you to please guide me.
    I have ( 3 years) and then (Bachelor & Master of Commerce (both full time) from India. I have 4 years experince in India, 9 years in UAE and 3 years in Canada as Accountant. I would like to go to USA and work in the corporate sector. Can you please tell me which state’s CPA is suitable for me.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Conrad,
      Thanks for your note – I really appreciate it!
      If you have a degree, I am sure you can sit for the CPA exam in states where they require 120 semester hours, and likely (but not too sure) that you can get evaluated to have 150 semester hours.

      As for the experience, did you work under a CPA in US or equivalent (i.e. CA in Canada or Australia)? Because the State Board only counts experience that can be verified by active CPA licensee, and for most (but not all) state, also by CPA equivalent.

      Also, just checking if you are a CA in Canada at all — if so, you can go through a simplified process by taking the IQEX exam which you can learn about here.

      If you are just looking at the corporate sector and assuming that you can get a 150 semester hour, then Illinois would be great because no experience is required (because even if you work under a CPA it’s quite a hassle to ask for verification etc).

      If you fall short of 150 semester hours, then you’ll have to take a look at the states mentioned above. But I would say let’s try and see if you can get 150 semester hours in your belt first.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  36. Gopala Raghavan says

    I am a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors USA. I am an engineering degree hodler from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India, but there was no accounting subject in the course. I have large experience in developing ERP solutions and accounting software because of which I passed CIA recently fairly easily. I am currently working in Kuwait and would like to appear for the CPA exam.

    I want to know if any state accepts CIA certification as satisfying the semester hours eligibility requirements for CPA ?

    Do distance education courses count for semester hours ? Which is the shortest course which will allow me to fulfill the requirements ?

  37. Stephanie says

    Hi Gopala,
    My understanding is that CIA is not helpful in satisfying the semester hour requirement, but since different states have slightly different guidelines I can’t say for sure.

    For fulfulling the semester hours, I think most states allow you to do it online as long as the online courses are offered by accredit educational institutions. However, given you have no accounting courses done before it might take you quite a while to fulfill all that. Some states require that your bachelor degree to be substantially an accounting degree so please be aware of that.

    I would think that in your case you might want to consult Leslie-Anne at CPAExcel who has more experience than me in this regard and has been helpful to a number of my readers.

    Just go to this website and call/email Leslie-Anne and tell her I (Stephanie from introduce you to her.

    By the way, you must be real smart to have graduated from IIT. Best of luck!


  38. Venugopalan says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a Chartered Accountant from India with 3 year Bachelor degree in Mathematics from India. There was no accounting subject in the bachelor degree. Also, I have passed Cost and Works Accountant course (from India), besides CAIIB (certified indian institure of Bankers), CIA (Certified internal auditor from US) and CISA (Certified Internal Auditor). Except for the bachelor degree, I had accounting and auditing subjects in all the courses I have passed.

    Can you please tell me whether any of the state / CPA Board, recognises Indian CAs for educational requirements.

    Thanks a lot.

    with best regards


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Venugopalan,
      Aer your accounting courses done by accredited eductaional instutions recognized by the US? (you can check with the institutions for the status.) If so they should be ok; if not they are unfortunately worthless in the eyes of the credential evaluators.

      Colorado used to recognize CAs for educational requirements to sit for the exam; as of November last year they stop doing that but they still recognize part of it as long as you submit the certificate to the credential evaluation agencies for an official evaluation.

      I also understand that Michigan may still accept CA cert to satisfy the requirement; but then they have a strict working experience requirement (at least one year of PUBLIC accounting experience including an experience in at least one financial audit in a CPA firm).

      So please take a look at these two states and see which one you prefer, then the next step would be to submit the transcript to evaluation agencies.

      Hope it helps!Stephanie

  39. Kusuma says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I wish I had seen your website months earlier, when I had a mind-boggling task to know more about taking up the CPA exams. The time and patience you have taken to answer each query is exceptional.
    I have B.Com degree from India, with ICWAI (Cost and Work Accountant) qualification. I am planning to apply for CPA exams through the Colorado state board. I currently am on H4 visa, with a SSN. As I am not sure how long I may live in USA, I am really not worried about a license, all I am aiming at is getting a CPA Certificate. My question is: Will I get a CPA certificate after I clear the 4 exams from CO state board? If not do you suggest any other State Board that would give a Certificate just after the completion of Exam? Also just to confirm my knowledge, the License is required only if I intend to work as Public Accountant/Auditor right? To work in any other industry in the accounting/finance department is the CPA certificate just sufficient?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Kusuma,
      First of all, thanks for your compliment on the site. I really appreciate it.
      Yes Colorado sounds like a good state for you but in order to get the license without any working experience, you will have to accumulate 150 semester hours and go through the “education in lieu of experience” requirement. The process itself is simple because you only need to resubmit your transcript to the agencies to evaluate another time (this time specificaly for this education in lieu of experience), submit the application and done.

      Another state that should work for you, at least within the next 2 years, is Illinois. They give out CPA certificate (not full license) as long as you pass the CPA exam and complete 150 semester hours of coursework.

      With a B.Com degree from India I am not too sure how much credit you can get, but if you prefer not to deal with the working experience requirement this is likely the only routes you can go.

      And on the license, yes if you plan to work in corporate, non-profit, academia etc, no need to get the full license. Some state may restrict the use of “CPA” in your business card but some allows it as long as you state “not in public practice” or something like that. Or you can say you are the holder of CPA certificate… anyway it works. As a CPA certificate holder you get the wall certificate and you can join the AICPA just like the active licensee.

      If you have any follow up question, please don’t hesitate to post here. All the best!
      Cheers, Stephanie

  40. Aparna says

    Hi Stephanie
    I have a CPA certificate but want to be licensed in GA. Presently i have applied it through Delaware . I have a degree from India which is equivalent to an associates degree. I have no work experience under a CPA. Can you please let me know if I can transfer my scores to GA and work under the direct supervision of a CPA to be qualified for the license. Also do I have to do an undergrad plus grad course to get 150 semester hours coz that might take me quite sometime to complete it. I would appreciate if you could reply me a.s.a.p. Thank you.

  41. kitty says

    hi Stephnaie

    i have done my Bsc and from india in management and i have done my Msc in International Banking and Finance from Manchester at the moment i am currently studying for ACCA from Kaplan university, papers and have just few more.

    I want to find a job in Usa and would that require me to do a CPA or will the companies accept ACCA. I have not had any work experience as of yet but looking for one in the USA. Please do let me know if i get any exemptions. Thank you

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Kitty,
      I guess in terms of finding a job in the US, it’s not like if you have a CPA you will guarantee a job and you get nothing otherwise. Nothing black and white like this at all. So no worries you don’t need any “exemptions” to get an accounting job in the US — to give you an example, I would think most first-year in Big 4 are not CPAs, although they should have a plan to become one.

      If you have a ACCA, it helps if for example you work for a UK company so they feel like you understand the accounting in the corporate level; but this shouldn’t be a big factor, at least in my opinion. In short, if there is some use it only helps a little bit.

      Anyway, do aim to complete the ACCA and then if you gain accounting experience anywhere (but preferably, something related to US such as a US-based multi-national company) it will be more helpful I would think.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  42. Mangesh says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am an engineer from India(4 year Degree) and working in a Software Company (7+ years). I also hold a part time Certificate (Post Graduate Diploma in financial services- 1year course) from India.
    Will I eligible to do CPA ? If yes which state?
    If no, what is the way (education) to make me eligible for CPA exam?


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mangesh,
      I think you *should* be able to be qualified to sit for the exam in the state that requires only 120 semester hours (the ones stated above). But since your degree is quite different from accounting and business, you’ll have to get your transcript evaluated by the foreign credential agencies to make sure.

      For the part time certificate, I am not sure if your school is accredited so it’s hard to say. State Board recognizes courses from educational institutions even if they are outside of US, but they have to be accredited. You can call up the school for that information.

      Another factor you need to consider is whether you want to work as a public accountant or just get the qualification for credentials only… once you have made up your mind of all these you can then choose a state.

      Good luck! Stephanie

  43. Vipula says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am Vipula from India and I have done Bcom(3yr), Mcom (2yr) (Accounting and business statistics) with first division. I have also done one year correspondace diploma in business management from ICFAI university. I would like to sit for CPA exam but i m not able to decide which state board i should select for CPA . I want a CPA qualification for my credential only, i dont want to practice in USA.
    It would be great help if you can let me know that with the above mentioed qualification i could be eligible to sit for CPA exam and also which state board i should select.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vipula,
      I would think your Bcom and Mcom will probably be enough to give you 150 credit hours (esp you are in 1st division) but the foreign credential evaluation agencies will give you the answer after looking at your school, your grades and possibly other factors on the course-by-course basis. Not sure whether the correspondence course can count, but hopefully you don’t need that.

      Given you are in India I would pick a state that doesn’t require experience (because it will be such a hassle to verify the experience etc). In this case I would recommend Colorado and Illinois.

      The good thing about Colorado is that you can get a full license using the “education in lieu of experience” route with 150 credit hours; and flip side is that it is not a substantially equivalent state (although it doesn’t really concern you given you need the title for credentials only).

      For Illinois, you get a CPA certificate vs a full license but no experience required and the process of issuing of the certificate is very easy. One thing to keep in mind is that Illinois does its own foreign credential evaluation so you will have to send in original marksheets to them. Not sure if it is difficult to get it for you; I know for some Indian candidates this can be quite a challenge.

      If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to come back here. Cheers, Stephanie

  44. Vipula says

    Hi Stephanie,
    many thanks for suggestion.
    As per your suggestion, if i select Colorado as my State board of CPA then do i need to submit following along with the application. if yes then how will i arrange these.
    1. Completed Affidavit of Eligibility;
    2.A complete SSN Affidavit, if applicable.

  45. Stephanie says

    hi Vipula,
    If you have a SSN, then complete the SSN affidavit; if you don’t have SSN and live outside the US, then fill out the Affidavit of eligibility.

    In the case for some dependents (e.g. H4 visa holders) that may not have SSN but live in the US, I understand from a reader who successfully contacted CO board that you can simply send in the affidavit of eligibility.

    Cheers, Stephanie

  46. Mangesh says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for the reply. Which institute would suit my education for qualifying to CA board?


  47. Stephanie says

    Hi Mangesh,
    I am not familiar with the schools in India so I am afraid you’ll have to ask around there. But if you are interested in online course I am currently doing some research on this and plan to publish my finding here shortly.

    If you have checked the “notify me” box below then you can get updated with my new page.

    Cheers, Stephanie

  48. Mangesah says

    Thanks Stephanie. I will check out with evaluators.
    You are doing a wonderful job.
    Many thanks!

  49. Sonnerat says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I just bought your CPA exam navigator, good material by the way! Thanks for this document.

    I have been trying to privately e-mailing you a question using the e-mail adress (one reported in yourCPA exam navigator) but it does not work. Could you please be so kind and send me the proper e-mail adress to ask you a question (how to transfer the grades to another state)?


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sonnerat,

      Oh sorry the email address does seem to have a problem. Don’t worry I have sent you an email using another account (for now, before I fix that)… please see if you receive it. If not, definitely let me know here.

      And thanks so much for supporting the site with the purchase!

  50. Stephanie says

    Hi Aparna,
    Sorry to have missed your comment on Aug 5. Let me see…

    Yes unfortunately you’ll have to fulfill GA’s requirement which is quite strict. They require 150 semester hours and 2-5 years of experience depending on whether it’s public or non-public accounting.

    May I ask why you want to switch to GA? If you just want a CPA license you might as well get it from one of the substantially equivalent states which should allow you to work in GA as a public accountant.


  51. rohan says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I was reading about your Illinois 2 tier system. I wanted to know whether if I was eligible to sit for the CPA exam with 120 credit hours from NY and after clearing my exams from NY with 120 hours, Can I transfer my scores to Illinois state and get a CPA certificate with 120 hours?



  52. Stephanie says

    Hi Rohan,
    No since 2009 New York is no longer accepting 120 credit hours as educational requirements. you’ll have to get the full 150 credit hours to get the license.

    And basically, if you want to apply for one of the other states that deem 120 credit hours as sufficient to sit for the exam (listed above) you still have to fulfill the 150 credit hours to get the IL CPA certificate.

    In other words, they have closed the loopholes in this aspect.

    As far as I know, if you want to get the CPA qualification without any working experience, you can go through either IL or CO but both requires 150 credit hours.

    Guess we can’t take advantage of both goodies :)


  53. Grace says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am in Toronto Canada. I am a CGA and have 4 year experience in a CA accounting firm and supervised by a CA. I am qualified for the requirment of 150 hours.

    Is there any way to have CPA exam examption in my case? I would like to have your opinion which state is best for me. IL or CO? However, could I have the title of CPA and put in my business card if I only get CPA certificate? Any additional procedures I should do to transfer my credit to Califonia and get my CPA licence there provided if I get CPA certificate from IL or CO?



    • Stephanie says

      Hi Grace,
      My understanding is that many Canadians go through IL, so why don’t you try that? IL is better for you in my opinion because it is one of the substantially equivalent states.

      By the way, there is a shorter version of CPA exam, IQEX, that you may qualify. Please check out my write up on IQEX for more information, and let me know if this works for you.

      I am not too familiar with how IQEX works (because I personally didn’t go through this) so would greatly appreciate if you let me know whether you think it works in your situation. Thanks!


  54. Praveen Saggurthi says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Reading thru all the correspondence you had with various people, it seems to me that you are a very helpful person! It is encouraging to see the amount of information you have given to help aspiring CPA’s beginners to achieve their goal.
    I am one of the aspiring CPA beginners who would like to request your advice on how to go about getting in to the grind of applying and writing the CPA examinations.
    I hold a Bachelor in Business Administration from a college in India and then pursued to complete a masters degree in Economics in India. After completing my studies I started working as a missionary for the past 10 years in various parts of the world. I would like to know which state will be ideal for me to apply.

    Thank you.


  55. Bikash says

    Hi! Stephanie
    I am Bikash from Nepal. I have a 4 year undergrad degree from Nepal. I am looking to apply for California CPA. I have taken Auditing, taxation and Business Law in my undergrad but these courses are general and not specific to United States. Please let me know if I need to take these courses in US again to apply for US CPA.

    Thank You

  56. Stephanie says

    Hi Bikash,
    Nepal is a beautiful country! I’ve been there 10 years ago :)
    For specific course evaluation, I am afraid you have to go through the foreign credential evaluation agency because they will have to look at your school, grades, and then evaluate on a course-by-course cases. You can go to this page for more info.

    By the way, California does not give out CPA license without a social security number. Do you have one? If not, please try another state.


  57. Stephanie says

    Hi Praveen,
    I am honored to have a missionary stopping by! If you have a master’s degree, you may be able to fulfill the 150 semester hour requirement, but it really depends on how they evaluate your bachelor degree as I understand it is likely a 3-year degree in India?

    Same question for you: do you have a social security number?


  58. ziead says

    Hi Stephanie

    i would like to thank you for the great effort and the precious information you sharewith us.
    I am ziead from egypt. I have bcom(4years) from egypt. I am looking to apply for CPA.
    i am looking for the certifcate only to obtain and gain better jobs in here
    what is your advice? which state board i should go with?

    i can not have work experince in US , so what it will be the best for me?

    many thanks

  59. Stephanie says

    Hi ziead,
    Thanks for your note. One of my first commenters of this site, Marwan, is also from Eqypt. So nice to see you here!

    If you don’t want to go through the working experience, I believe for now Illinois and Colorado are your only choices.
    In both cases, you’ll need to fulfill some extra credits to make up to the 150 credit hours.

    Between the two I would pick Illinois if you only go for the certificate, because the process is a lot simpler. For Colorado, I *think* you may need a social security number (currently checking with CO State Board). I assume that since you don’t live in the US you don’t have a SSN?

    By the way, if your working experience is outside the US but is supervised and/or verified by a US CPA licensee, it works as well. But it’s probably difficult to find such a person in Eqypt to work under though…


  60. ziead says

    dear Stephanie

    thanks for your quick response
    i am willing to go through Illinois
    so i will send my official paper to
    for evaluate my degree
    and i will let you know

    thanks again

    • Stephanie says

      hi Ziead,
      If you are going for Illinois, there is no need to contact the foreign credential evaluation agency because Illinois evaluates even the foreign transcripts themselves. Best of luck and let me know how it goes! Stephanie

  61. Praveen says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I hold a four year bachelor degree from India. I am currently a missionary in Papua New Guinea. Therefore social security number is out of question.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Praveen,
      Since you mentioned you have a master’s degree in Economics… does it mean that you have a 4-year bachelor + 1 year of master? if we have 5 years of tertiary schooling, you could try Illinois which does not require a social security number and doesn’t need working experience if you are only aiming for a CPA certificate (i.e. good for credentials). If you work in the accounting field for 1 year, you can also choose to “upgrade” to a full license.

      Please take a look at Illinois CPA exam requirements and click on the links for the various application forms and see if it works for you.

      Best of luck! let me know if it works. Cheers, Stephanie

  62. Sai Giridhar says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I really appreciate your guidance for the budding CPAs and wish you good luck. I am a CO CPA from Australia. I am giving a presentation to a group of individuals on the value of US CPA. I am looking for statistics about the number of candidates appearing each year for AICPA exams and the pass percentage (Possibly for the past 10 years) and the current CPA population world-wide.. Do you have any idea where I could get this sort of info? I tried googling and I came across your site..

    Cheers & keep the good work,


  63. Stephanie says

    Hi Sai,
    I have this page on number of CPA in the US (possibly not just US but worldwide) — the data is quite old but this is the best I can gather so far.

    As for the number of candidates, I recall one the the latest (or the Spring 2010) CPA exam bulletin mentioned the number to be around 90K+ on the first page… if you can’t find it please come back and I’ll take another look.

    For the historical data, should have annual data on the site.

    Hope at least I can help you for a good start! If you have additional information to share, would appreciate you let me know as well.

    Regards, Stephanie

  64. HSM says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a CIA, and CA (from India). I am based at Dubai nowadays and want to go for CPA. I worked in India and Dubai for since last 7 years as Audit Manager. I am not interested to do practice in USA.

    So how should i process further for CPA as international student, Which state is best for me, what is estimated cost of CPA certification, Which study materials is best for this CPA, If i register now but will give exam in 2011 than i have to go with new cpa exam format?, is new exam format more difficult for new students.

    This may be not reasonable to ask you so many questions in one go, but pls reply.

    Thanks & BR// HSM

    • Stephanie says

      Hi HSM,
      No problem at all! I will try my best to give you a clearer picture.
      An important question for you is whether you have worked under an active CPA licensee in the US? If so, things will be much easier; if not, you might need to take extra courses to fulfill the 150 semester requirement, go through states such as Colorado or Illinois that doesn’t require working experience.

      If you may not have the social security number, there are also states that you should avoid because they only grant license to SSN holders.

      In terms of the 2011 new format, yes there are uncertainties for sure, but I don’t think it’s going to be a huge issue because it’s more like a small addition of content (on IFRS) and a change in the simulation format, which to you is brand new anyway. In terms of whether it’s more difficult, I think even the examiners won’t know until they look at the passing rate statistics, but my gut feeling is that this is not their intention to make it more difficult. They just want to incorporate new topics as well as changing the exam format.

      Hope it helps! stephanie

  65. Suresh says

    Hi stephanie,
    First things first, I really was desperately searching for a website where I can ask some doubts that I do have. Then I found this website. I heartily thank you.God bless you!!
    I am suresh and have a 3yrs graduate degree(commerce) from Indian.After my graduation i was working for JP Morgan chase for around 9 months. I was into Treasury services. And now I want to do CPA. So tried searching all the information but I just wanted to know how many credit hours do i need to attend the exam. As per my knowledge i am eligible to write the exam at Delaware. I also wanted to know what else do i need to do and any other suggestion from you???

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Suresh,
      I am very glad you find the site helpful!

      Do you mean you have 3 years of undergraduate or graduate degree? If it is the former, then yes, Delaware is your choice. Please note however that Delaware’s working requirement has become very strict that for “associate degree” holder or equivalent (your situation), you’ll need to secure 4 years of working experience, working directly under a licensed CPA in the US (yes, has to be US CPA).

      An alternative is to check whether your degree can somehow be viewed as a “4 year or equivalent” in the US because it will give you more flexibility. Check out WES’ Indian policy website and see if this applies to you. Please go to this page on foreign credential evaluation for more info.

      hope things will work out! Let me know your thoughts and I’ll see if I can be more helpful to your CPA journey. Cheers, Stephanie

  66. HSM says

    Thanks a lot for information Stephanie,

    One more clerification, which state is easy, less expensive and less confusing for indian or international students.

    Best Regds// HSM

    • Stephanie says

      Hi HSM,
      Ha ha this is a million-dollar question. The ones listed above are theoretically the “easiest” ones. In terms of the cost, every state costs more or less the same and all of them are very confusing… :)

  67. Suresh says

    Hi stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your reply.
    Yes, It is a 3 years undergraduate degree. I thought even If this 3 years degree is not eligible I would go ahead and take some courses which would give me the extra 30 hrs learning that i need in order to write this exam. But regarding the Experience just wanted a clarrification that if I dont have a Experience For 4 yrs and complete my CPA will that help me or Is there any other way to get a job without a experience or how does it go?? And what would be your suggestion at this point of time??? I am in a dilemma I really need someone to guide me??

    If you need any further Information about me. Please let me know.

    Thanks in advanvce

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Suresh,
      Yes you can certainly take some courses to make up for the credit hours, but you will still be considered having an associate degree unless you go ahead and get another 4-degree degree somewhere. Just want to make sure you get my point.

      On the experience, you can certainly get a job without the CPA title — all the first-year associates at Big 4 aren’t CPA yet! If you show that you are taking the CPA exam etc on your CV the employer will at least know you are motivated and theoretically should be easier for you to get a junior accounting job.

      But for Delaware you just have to be patient and be careful because they only recognize the experience directly supervised by an ACTIVE CPA licensee in the US (i.e. CPA/CAs from canada, australia, india… don’t count)

      Hope it helps! stephanie

  68. Sagun says

    Stephanie, 1st of, you are doing a wonderful job helping out a ton of ppl like my self. I have the following problem: I am a bachelor of business administration conc. in finance. This degree is provided by Troy University – Sharjah Campus, the main campus of which is in Alabama. I took SIX accounting credits during my bachelor of 120 credit hours. I have been working for nearly 3 years for one of the big four in the middle east. Could you kindly advice me as to which state do i qualify for? and if i can take one of those a la carte courses, should i not qualify for any of the states, could you suggest any online line providers?

    Its been a year since i am banging my head all over the place. your reply would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie says

      hi Sagun,

      Thanks a lot for your kind note!
      The good news is that you do have a 4-year bachelor degree but with 6 accounting credits you will most likely have to take extra classes in any of the online courses. Sorry I still haven’t got the time to research on the online courses – but this is one of the top priority so hopefully I can do that in a week or so.

      In order to pick the best state , can you tell me whether your Big 4 experience is supervised by an active CPA licensee (preferably CPA US, but CAs from Canada and Australia should work for some states). If the answer is yes, then no problem you should be good to go after a few accounting courses.

      Just let me know and we can continue the discussion. Cheers, Stephanie

  69. Ozgur says

    Stephanie, thank you for the valuable information. I think this is the best website I found so far on answering the most popular questions on becoming a CPA.
    I have read through most of it and my conclusion is that I don’t stand a chance to get a “certificate” (I am only interested in the certificate -not the licence- as I am an international candidate working in private industry.) I have 120 hours of education and I am working as a finance manager in private industry (not in a public accounting firm). And I don’t have any CPA in my company who can verify my experience. While some states do not require 150 hours, they are strict on the experience requirements. The ones that are not so strict on experience require 150 hours. I hope there is a state that I am missing so that I can officially use the 3 letters once I pass the 2 remaining sections. Can you help me find that state?

    Thanks a lot

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ozgur,
      Yeah unfortunately the state boards have closed most of the loop holes so you either need 150 hours or some experience (and for most states, both) to get the CPA title.

      In your case, I would think that if you don’t mind taking 30 hours worth of online courses Illinois will be a good choice, since the state board doesn’t require working experience (until July 2012). It’s much easier to take those courses than to get the experience under a CPA. What do you think?


  70. Bhumi says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I had already posted comment earlier for ur guidance to apply to Colorado State without SSN and staying in US on H4 visa . In this regard i would like to inform you that my application has been successfully processed.

    Now that i have received NTS i need ur assistance. Presently i have NTS for one section (BEC). Can i apply for new sections (AUD, FAR, REG) as a reexamination candidate since i feel i can appear for these sections within next six months or i have to appear for BEC exam and then only i can apply for NTS of new sections?

    i thank u in advance for your kind co-operation. Once again you are really doing great job by assisting CPA aspirants. Your site is full of precious information.

    Thanks a lot.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Bhumi,
      Congrats of getting the NTS! You can apply for the NTS now as long as you plan to schedule the part(s) within 6 months.
      By the way, I’ve got the most updated info that Colorado *may* need SSN to ultimately get the CPA license. My readers, who are kind enough to share their info, seem to be getting conflicting info from the CO rep at NASBA so I am in the process of confirming with her via email. Haven’t heard from her yet for more than a week but just want to keep you in the loop.

      Anyway just focus on the studying first and let the rest of us figure this out.
      Regards, Stephanie

  71. Ozgur says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for the feedback. I guess you are right. I checked Illinois board of accountancy website and I meet their requirements except the 150 hours of education. My only option would be taking some online courses and applying there. Thanks a lot once more.


    • Stephanie says

      Ozgur you are most welcome! If you gather more information along the way, please let us know. I am always learning, especially from my readers. Stephanie

  72. Vinodhini says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Like others, I have to begin with a thank you for this great service you are doing. All I can say is please continue to do this as long as you can.

    Here is my story,
    1) I have SSN
    2)I have BCOM and MBA from India currently living in Maryland.
    3) I dont have plans to practice CPA. I was planning to include CPA in my resume and purse career as Financial analyst.
    4) Currently I do not have any work experience in US.

    I had my credits evaluated by Josef and Silny and obtained 160 credits for it. I originally applied for Virginia. Virginia did not approve my application saying even though I have enough credits, my Financial Accounting course which I believe is a core course for Virginia is marked as NOT UPPER LEVEL in the evaluation report. In the report I had 33 total accounting credits but Cost and Financial accounting are marked as NON-UPPER level courses.

    Now instead of evaluating with any other agency, I am trying to figure out others state that accept jsilny evaulation. Here is the list of states that accept jsilny and doesnt have citizenship or Residency requirements,
    Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin

    I know none of the above states come under the Two-Tier system, so no CERTIFICATE for me after the exams. I guess I HAVE to get a license to include CPA in my resume. Is that correct?

    As far as the state is concerned, from the above list, I am inclining towards California, Kentucky, Colorado, Washington. Please provide your opinion. I really want to pick the right state this time so that I dont end up paying again for the application fee and credential evaluation.


    P.S. The reason for me to stick with Jsilny is not to delay the process any further (due to 2011 changes) and also because I got pretty good number of credits in the evaluation (160).

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vinodhini,
      Thanks for your kind note, and looks like you have done a lot of research yourself. Good for you!
      A lot of Indian candidates go through Colorado so it should be a good choice as long as you don’t plan to practice in the US (because CO is not a substantially equivalent state). If you go through the education in lieu of experience you don’t need any experience to get the license.

      An alternative is Illinois, where they are still keeping 2-tier status until July 2012. If you have 160 hours you are all set. The problem is that IL does its own evaluation and it takes VERY long… so might not be good if you want to take the exam before 2011.

      Hope it helps? Please come back if you have more questions. Cheers, Stephanie

  73. suresh says

    Hi stephaine,
    Thanks for your reply.Your post was really helpful. But one more question stephaine. I was checking the website And in that website I was checking details for New Hampshire requirements and it says”BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2005 In order to sit for the CPA examination in New Hampshire you need to have a Bachelors degree earned from an accredited university or college. You must also have a minimum of 12 credits in accounting and 12 credits in business. If you do not have enough accounting or business within the degree/s you may earn the hours needed at an accredited university or college. AFTER JANUARY 1, 2005 RSA 309-B: 5 III, (b) After January 1, 2005, at least 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate; provided however, that candidates for a certificate may sit for the examination described in paragraph IV if they have at least 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate. What this means for candidates applying for the CPA Computerized examination in the State of New Hampshire after January 1, 2005, is that you will have to meet the following conditions. 1) A conferred bachelors degree from a recognized university or college that is accredited; and 2) Either within the bachelors degree or earned outside the bachelors from a recognized university or college that is accredited, a candidate must have a minimum of 120 credit hours; and 3) A minimum of 24 credits in business of which 12 must be in accounting earned either within the bachelor’s degree or earned outside the bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college that is accredited.” So am I eligible for this state??????

    THanks in advance.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Suresh,
      Sorry I will have to ask you to summarize this for me because I still have lots of comments to take care of… thanks, Stephanie

  74. Ben says

    Hi Stephanie,

    This is a very useful site and you have been very helpful to everyone who aspires on becoming a US CPA. My name is Ben and I currently reside in Canada. I sat and passed the CPA exam as California candidate. My question is regarding the 150 hrs requirement. When I sat as a California candidate I only have a BS degree in Accounting with 136 hours. I am currently taking up my master’s degree to complete the 150 hrs but is it acceptable to apply for a practicing license (Oregon or Illinios) if I get to 150 hrs. even without completing the whole program?

    Thank you so much for your assistance and more power.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ben,
      Thanks for your note! May I ask whether you have applied for the California CPA license? If you get the license (Pathway II), you will likely be able to use the substantially equivalency to practice in Illinois, Oregon or other states. Also, may I ask why you would like to do that? Just want to understand more to make sure I answer your question correctly.

      Thanks, Stephanie

  75. Rajesh says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have CA and CWA right after 10+2. I do not have Bachelors or Masters Degree. I took the CPA test in Colorado and passed all 4 parts. I got NACES evaluation and got 198 credits (just for CA & CWA) which includes 80 for accounting.

    I am currently working for a CPA in Massachusetts and just completed 4 months. However, I am now trying to get license without public accounting experience.

    I want CPA license so that I can start my own practice eventually. Can you please suggest me which State gives me Non-Reporting license based on above credits?

    Thank you for your help.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rajesh,
      I believe that all states require at least a bachelor degree (except for Delaware, in which case an associate degree is ok)… so why don’t you get your full license from Colorado first? CO is currently not a substantially equivalent state but it should be after 2015 when it tightens the requirements. So hopefully by the time you start your practice your CO license is recognized throughout the US.

      Hope it helps? Stephanie

  76. jenny says

    I have a bachelor degree in Finance and 120.50 credits. Also i do have three years experience in accounting.
    I want the CPA license. I live in new york and i m thinking giving the exam in new york.
    The problem is that i did my study abroad , i did the evaluation at WES. Do you think i ‘ll get qualify ? And what documents should i sent to them ?is the WES sending them a transcript of my courses or is me?

    Thank you so much for your help

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Jenny,
      I think New York requires 150 credit hours to sit for the exam now… so you might need to pick one of the states mentioned above on this page.
      For WES, they specifically ask for original transcripts directly from your school. Is it easy for you to get that? You can refer to this foreign credential evaluation page for more details on the process.

      Just come back if you have more questions! Cheers, Stephanie

  77. Vinodhini says

    Thanks for your suggestion. I infact mailed the application for Colorado this morning, hopefully they provide me the NTS by end of this month. I am planning for FAR during the first week of October and BEC for last week of November.
    If I had to retake any of these exams, then most likey it will be next year which could be a tricky thing (new stuff to learn). Also I assume they would provide new NTS for retaking the exam and it doesnt have to fall under the 6 month window of the original NTS. Am I right?


  78. Ben says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your reply. I did not apply for a California license because they require SSN which I do not have. I am looking at Oregon or Illinois because they don’t require SSN and are accepted for mutual recognition for a Canadian Chartered Accountant license.

    Again, thanks in advance.

  79. Stephanie says

    Thanks Ben. I am quite sure that Illinois is the most popular among Canadians so you should definitely explore that further. Best ot luck! Stephanie

  80. suresh says

    hi stephanie,
    I was looking for your reply for the question I posted on 08.29.2010. And thank u so much fr ur reply.

  81. Stephanie says

    Hi Suresh,
    I was asking here if you could kindly summarize your question because the cut and paste is hard to read and is too long…

    Thanks, Stephanie

    P.S. You can check the box below so you can keep track of the reply more easily.

  82. Belal says

    Dear Steph,

    I am a MI candidate, already passed 2 parts. I am from Canada with only 120 hours hence I chose MI. I was originally planning to work in the States but I recently started a very secure and highly paid job. I am thus looking to transfer credit to Illinois. However I am not sure whether it would work?

    They say on their website that I have to have met the education requirement at the time of writing the first part. Since I have already written 2 parts with MI without 150 hours, would I be allowed to transfer credit to IL? Is there any solution?

    Can you recommend something? I am really frustrated. I have over 3 years of Information Technology Audit and Internal Audit experience. I am also a fully certified CIA and CISA. Is there any possible way for me to get the CPA certificate or license without working in public accounting in US or Canada?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Belal,

      May I ask where you read about Illinois requiring candidate to fulfill the 150 hours at the time of writing the first part? I also read the exam credit rules regarding Illinois but the one I found is very ambiguous:

      The educational requirements of the Illinois statute were met at the time of initially taking the exam or at the sitting at which the candidate initially conditioned or passed the exam.

      I don’t really understand the part in the italics but there might be a glimpse of hope that maybe this will work for you?

      Colorado will let you get the license without working experience (using the in lieu of experience). They also need 150 hours but they might allow you to make up after the exam. Also, you need a social security number which I’m not sure whether you have.

      Same for Montana but you’ll need a SSN.

      Alternatively, you may be able to transfer to a state where they recognize accounting experience supervised and verified by CPA equivalent, which most likely include CAs from Canada. In any case you’ll likely need to get 150 hours first.

      So please let me know if you have plans to get the 150 hours and we can start from there… Stephanie

  83. jenny says

    Hi Stephanie

    I have 120 credits .I have almost three years experience in general accounting. Do you think California will fit me? thank you
    Is it for sure that new york requires 150 credits?

    thank you so much !

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Jenny,
      If your 120 credit hours include the necessary accounting and business courses, and that the 3 years in accounting is supervised and verified by an active CPA licensee, it should work.

      On NY, you can check the State Board website (which you can find here) to confirm, but Yes I am quite sure NY is now requiring 150 credits.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  84. zarak says

    hi step!!!

    m so confused regarding colorado state, first every one told me that its 120 hours requirement now i heard abt 150 hours …i did my bacholers and Post graduate chartered accountancy from pakistan and have 4 yeras audit experience in big 4 under CPA ..plz suggest me abt state which is suitable for me. i studied International auditig standards so whetehr CO board accepts that or do i need to study GAAS?


  85. Stephanie says

    Hi Zarak,
    For Colorado, the state board allows you to sit for the exam if you have 120 credit hours. But you’ll need to fulfill the working experience requirement.

    If you have 150 hours, then you can go through the education in lieu of experience route which means you don’t need to gain relevant experience to get the license.

    Please note that while you can sit for the exam without social security number, you need a SSN to ultimately get the license in Colorado. The website wasn’t clear but the CO coordinator at NASBA has confirmed this with me via email.

    Please go to the Colorado CPA exam requirements page for details.

  86. Belal says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your reply. Yes I will definitely be completing the 150 credit hours requirement. However, I do not have a SSN.

    As for where I heard about the IL transfer credit requiring 150 hours at the time of writing the first part, its from the same sentence that you italicized above….”at the time of initially taking the exam or at the sitting at which the candidate initially conditioned or passed the exam.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Belal,
      I see… another reader, Aslam, is in a similar situation and he will check with the IL board on the exact interpretation of this sentence. (you can find Aslam’s comment in the CPA study lounge for Indian candidates) I will let you know once I hear from him. Stephanie

  87. Nohemi says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Let me start off by telling you that your page is awesome and i found nothing but useful information. I recently graduated from a 4 year University in California with a degree in Accounting, so therefore i qualify for path number 2 because i definitely have more than 150 units. My transcripts were recently sent to the board of California, do you think i will have enough time to take any of these exams by the end of this year?. I Heard the process is long, also would you recommend taking more than two exams by the end of the year??. In regards to my status in this country I have been living in this country for 10 years and there isn’t a way for me to become legal up until this day. Therefore, i have no SSN and i know that in CAlifornia i will not get my license until i have one, but do you know of any states that does not require a SSN to take the test and to grant the license?? Also could i take two parts of the exam in one state and then in case there’s a state that does grant a license without a SSN could i take the rest of the exams in that state???
    I know that i bombarded you with so many questions, and i apologize for that but i really need some advice, What should i do?? help please!!!!!!!


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nohemi,
      First of all, thanks for your kind words on my site!
      May I ask… did you take extra courses beside your 4-year university in California? Because a 4-year degree is typically equivalent to 120 credit hours only. But if you do have 150 semester, you can instead go through Illinois because (1) they don’t require SSN and (2) you don’t need to gain working experience to get the CPA certificate (note: it’s not a full license).

      I’m not sure on your residency status, but I guess if you are not a citizen or permanent resident you’ll need to at least have some sort of visas in order to sit for the exam. Hope it’s ok for you?

      And on your last question, yes you can take the parts in different state. In fact, you can register through, say, Illinois but physically take the exam in California.

      Lastly, on whether you can sit for the exam within this year, it’s hard to tell given it’s already September (last day to take the exam will be November 30)… If you go through Illinois, they take 6-8 weeks (more like 8 weeks) so it’s really close to the “deadline”. Having said that, it’s not the end of the world to take the exam next year with the new format. It’s just a small addition on content (on IFRS) and format changes. If you are new to the exam it really doesn’t matter too much.

      Hope I haven’t missed your questions but if I do, or if you have follow up questions, please let me know. Cheers, Stephanie

  88. Belal says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Sorry I forgot the mention earlier. I had actually confirmed with IL board on Friday about this over the phone. Its sad news for ppl like me.

    They basically said if you want to transfer exam credits (parts) to IL from another state, you must have had completed the 150 credit hours at the time you passed that exam (part).

    The reason they say “at the time of initially taking the exam” OR “at the time…..initially passed the exam”, is to make provision for a situation where you wrote an exam with only 120 hours but failed it and then subsequently you wrote another part which you passed but at the time of writing it you had completed the 150 by then, you are considered OK.

    Hope this helps everyone else in my situation.

    Given this, is there any other way….other than getting married to my GF who coincidentally is US citizen and thus getting a SSN. The only problem with that is, it sounds too selfish. LOL!

  89. jenny says

    Hi Stephanie,
    i actually do have a four year degree college which is equal to 120 credits.I do have three years experience in accounting but in general accounting and its not supervised by an active license cpa. I’m a resident so for me is not problem SSN.So which state should work for me ?
    And i have another question about the necessary credits.How many do you need in accounting and business to qualify?
    Thank you so much

  90. Stephanie says

    Hi Belal,
    Thanks a lot for sharing…
    … maybe destiny has led you to decide whether it’s time to get married (other than the reason re CPA exam of course).

    Well do tell me the good news if this is your decision :)

  91. Stephanie says

    Hi Jenny,
    Since your experience is not supervised by CPA, I am afraid it cannot be counted, at least in California.

    As far as I know, no state allows candidates to have 120 semester hours and no qualified experience to get the license (either one is ok, but not both).

    I have 2 suggestions for you:

    1. Illinois allows you to get a CPA certificate (note: not a full license) if you accumulate 150 credit hours. For CPA certificate you won’t need to get workin experience to get qualified.

    2. Indiana recognizes accounting experience (could be non-public accounting) that is not supervised by CPA, but you need 150 credit hours and also a CPA you know to verify your experience.

    Please click the links to find out the minimum accounting and business courses you need. Also, you can make up the 30 semester hours by taking courses and the link points to a page with my suggestions on how you can do it.

    Hope it helps!

  92. Nohemi says

    Thanks Stephanie for replying so fast. I do meet all academic requirements to take the CPA examination in California even the 150 units since i was able to complete a second major besides accounting so i have more than 150 units. However, I do not have a SSN, a Visa or anything, i’m basically illegal here, and i’m not sure if the board is going to let me take it since i don’t have any type of State ID, I only have my home country passport and a Consular Registration that is an identification card issued by the Government of my country through its consulate offices that are located in Los Angeles, CA. I also obtained my passport through these offices. Have you heard of any cases like mine? Also i wanted to ask you if there’s a statue of limitations when it comes to the License. For Instance, let’s say i pass all the exams next year but i’m not able to get a SSN until 5 years from now, would i have to re take the exam again??

    Thank you so much for taking your time to answer all these questions you’re so sweet and helpful to all of us.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nohemi,
      Interesting case… never heard of this. Let me see…
      I guess if you present yourself as an “illegal” resident you will never be able to get the CPA license. But then, maybe you can check out Illinois because IL doesn’t require a SSN. All they need is the 150 semester hours. You get a CPA certificate (not a full license) but this will give you most of the benefits of a CPA. You can check out the difference between CPA cert vs license here.

      So the game plan could be to position yourself as a non-resident alien when you apply. You can check out the procedure of credit transfer to Illinois State Board here.

      By the way, just strictly out of curiosity, didn’t your university request a SSN when you enroll in their degree program? Stephanie

  93. jenny says

    hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your response.It is very helpful to me.
    So right now i do have 120 credits . How can i earn the 30 more credits so i can meet the requirements? Do i need to take the GMAT exam or get some accounting classes ?
    What about in new york ,if you have the 150credits do you need the experience as well ?
    thank you so much !!

  94. Nohemi says

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thanks for replying, yes i know my case is kind of complicated. However, i still have faith that i will fix my status in this country one day, hopefully in the near future. In regards, to school and the SSN, is not required, at least here in California. As long as you can afford tuition anyone could go to school here : )

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nohemi,
      Yes I do help you can fix that some day – it will be much more convenient for you to live and work in this country. Best of luck!
      In the meantime, maybe you can explore the possibility of positioning yourself as an international candidate with foreign passport… Stephanie

  95. Manuel R says

    Hi Stephanie

    Great Website. I am an Indian Chartered Accountant. I do not have a bachelor’s degree. Do you recommend sitting for the CPA exam from Michigan? I need the credentials only.

    Is it possible to transfer credits from Michigan to some other state with lower requirements for licensure?

    Thanks and god bless for putting all this information in the public domain.

  96. Paul says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Very helpful website. I have an undergrad in Econ. + an MBA with up to 10 credits in accounting (7.5 undergrad and 2.5 grad). I am only looking for a CPA for the resume and my boss, a CPA, can verify that I worked under him in a non-auditing capacity for 2+ years. Would it make sense to take the exam in ME or NH (+ an online course to get to 12 credits) and later transfer the CPA exam credits to another state for licensing?

    Any other route to get the CPA in less than a year?

    Thank you,

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your kind note, and I see that you have done quite a lot of research yourself!
      Well, the problem with transfering exam credit is that for most states, they want you to have their requirements fulfilled before (or maybe, during) the sitting for the exam.

      And I assume that you wouldn’t want to work in public accounting so NE and NH don’t really work.

      The next best option I can think of now is Delaware – 21 credit hours of accounting. The good thing is that introductory courses are accepted, and you can make use of your experience as they accept non-public accounting. But you have to make sure that your boss has an ACTIVE CPA license during the time you work for him, and that he has a CPA US license (not, say, CPA from Australia). Delaware is very strict in that.

      What do you think? Just come back if you need another suggestions… Stephanie

  97. Paul says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your prompt and insightful response.

    After sending you my note I purchased your e-book and am now trying to decide between DE, CA and IL. I sent you a more detailed note with my concerns about DE to your ‘private’ email address, but it bounced back, so I sent it to your ‘support’ email. Please check it out.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your support and the purchase! Sorry that particular email seems to have problems from time to time. Yes I just saw your email and will get back to you today. Stephanie

  98. jenny says

    Thank you so much for your response.It is very helpful to me.
    So right now i do have 120 credits . How can i earn the 30 more credits so i can meet the requirements? Do i need to take the GMAT exam or get some accounting classes ?
    What about in new york ,if you have the 150credits do you need the experience as well ?
    thank you so much !!

  99. Mani says

    Hi Stephanie

    I would like to know if there is a State that will issue a CPA licence without a SSN or residency. I have a B.Com degree and MBA with many years accounting and finance experience (Australia). I do not intend to live in the USA but would like to get a CPA Licence. My qualifications were assessed by WES with the following summary US Semester Credits = 186.5 and for Required Subject Areas Total = 179.0.

    Please advise which will be the best State in my situation.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mani,
      Sounds like Illinois will work just fine. Please check out the details here. No SSN and no working experience requirement necessary to get the CPA certificate.

  100. Achilles says

    Dear Stephanie,

    Many thanks for the nice website and do keep up the good work for all the budding CPAs.

    I am just starting my quest for a CPA and am really confused as to which state to register with. I am an international candidate and do not plan to work in a public accounting firm, but would like to use the CPA credentials. I have a bachelors in Finance from the UK. I work in the Corporate Banking division of a Bank hence do not have public accounting experience, my supervisor is not a US CPA and I do not plan on changing my job anytime soon. Please help.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Achilles,
      Thanks for your kind words! The state board will allow Bachelor degree holder OR people without verified accounting experience to get the license, but not both. Looks like unless you pursue a master’s degree or somehow accumulate ~30 more credit hour (approx 1 year of work) you can get qualified to sit for the exam in Illinois.

      For Illinois, there is no need of the social security number (basically the ID in the states) and no working experience is required in order to get the CPA certificate. It’s somewhat restrictive than the full license but should be enough for your purpose.

      I know this is not the perfect answer to your question but at least you’ll know the next step. All the best! Stephanie

  101. bilal says

    Hi Stephanie

    First of all, i congratulate you on this great website. NASBA should look forward to your helping style and i am sure they can learn a lot.

    I am a cheartered accountant from Pakistan and have not done the bachelors viz. cleared CA through its own courses.

    I was informed that i could apply to MI for CPA exam, so i checked them out. However, now i have some queries and you seem to be the best person to guide me.
    For MI, they(staff at MI) ensured that i can sit for CPA exams but could not really answer my question for the need of any extra studies for gaining the prerequisitew 150 credit hours. I am not sure whether my CA from Pakistan would even suffice for the 150 hrs requirement.
    Secondly if i try to apply to New Hampshire, will any evaluation agency likely to consider CA from Pakistan equivalent to 150 hrs.

    And lastly, is SSN required for the lincensure of both Michigan and New Hampshire.

    Looking forward.



  102. Ramya Rangarajan says

    Hi Bilal
    Stephani should be able to give you a more accurate answer. But here’s my view since I’m also a MI state candidate and am a chartered accountant from India. I am eligible to sit for the exam and am assuming that I’ll be able to satisfy the 150 hours condition since I have a BCom and MCom as well from India.

    In your case, I’m afraid you may not satisfy the 150 hour requirement. I researched a lot about which agencies give a lot of credit for CA – but it looks like they’re all more or less the same. From what I read in some forums, they give about 30 – 40 credits for CA – and they might consider the different levels (i’m assuming its similar to India CA) to be the same and not award more credits for completing each level. But you could how many credits CAs got from FACS – let me know too. And either way, without a Bachelors, 150 hours may not be possible. Maybe you should consider doing some additional courses to earn credit. Am not sure about New Hampshire though. SSN is not required to sit for the exam for MI State – but licensure – hmmm, now you’re getting me worried!

  103. Achilles says

    Dear Stephanie,

    Many thanks for your response.

    Can I take the online CPE courses (e.g. and make up the missing 30 credit hours in that way? Will the Illinois Board recognise that?

    I don’t want to leave my job and study full time. I have a CFA, but they do not count that towards the credit hours. Any help in finding a way to fulfil the 150 credit hour education requirment will be much appreciated.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Achilles,
      Hmmm… I don’t think the CPE courses work but you can always call them up to double check.
      I wrote an article on getting extra credits for the 150 hours here. Please see if it is of any help… Cheers, Stephanie

  104. Winston says

    Hi Stephanie, i’m sorry but the rules are so confusing, which state would you recommend I go through if I am a Canadian, have a bachelor of commerce degree and work in the investment industry thus don’t work in an accounting firm. Just want the designation.



    • Stephanie says

      Hi Winston,
      You are right it is terribly complicated and confusing! Many canadians I know go for Illinois, because they don’t require social security number nor workin experience requirement as long as you don’t mind getting only the CPA “certificate” (sounds like you don’t mind). Please click here to go to Illinois CPA exam requirements.

  105. Jacqui says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all, I want thank you for all the information you put on this website, it’s very useful, and easy to follow. I will be very appreciate if you could help me with some questions about the registration of the exam of CPA US.

    I used to work as an accountant in AU,for more than 3 years.
    1. I have Bachelor in Accounting and Master in Finance, both University are not accredited, which degree I should use to evaluate in US?

    2. If I use ECE to evaluate my degree, which service I should choose?

    3. I am in NJ now, and probably going move to NY, which state should I choose to submit the application? or which state you recommend other than these two states? (I actually do not want the license)

    Thank you ,and Best Regards,

  106. Bruce says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Hey great site. I am looking into CMA, ACCA or CPA and was about to give up on CPA until I found your site. I’m Canadian and live in Toronto. I do not hold any accounting designation but I do hold the CFA designation. My undergraduate degree was a 4 year bachelors of commerce degree. I have worked in the investment field for 8 years but in internal auditing for a Canadian bank for the last 7 months (I imagine i will internal audit for a few more years). Anyway, i would want the CPA by the time i have 2 years internal audit experience. Am i a realistic candidate for the CPA? I wouldn’t practice, i just want the fancy letters after my name. I look at the states and it seems Deleware is the place for me – am I right on that?

  107. says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am looking to move to the US in a year or so, to either Illinois or Florida.
    I am a UK citizen who has a 1st class BSc (Hons) degree in Biology and holds the ACA accounting qualification (since 2003). I am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). I have worked for 6 years in public practice, 3 yrs in the UK and 3 in Grand Cayman where I currently live.
    My aim is to get the CPA certificate (as I understand I would not get any exam exemptions) and get licensed in a State where I meet the eligibility requirements and where I can move between States in the future if necessary.
    I will be writing to the individual State boards, however given my educational background, would you have any recommendations or suggestions for whether I am likely to be accepted and which State may be best.
    Finally, as I have not completed any US tax courses will this hinder me in taking that exam if I complete one of the self-study courses alone. If so, can you recommend any fast-track or online courses I could take?
    Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  108. DanL says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for your blog, all the information is very helpful and it helps me understand more about the CPA exam. I used to only think how I can pass my CPA exam, and i never think about how to get the license.

    About me, I would like to take one of the exams by the end of this year because i know there will be lots of changes in 2011 cpa exam, but after i read your blog, i am very confuse which state i should send the application to. I finished my undergrad in Accounting and Minor in computer information system in Idaho, I also have 150 credit when I finished my B.S. degree. I checked that Idaho doesn’t require 150 credit to take the exam, but i am not sure how long to get the license in this state. Moreover, I am thinking to move to TX next year, so, should I apply for TX’s cpa exam directly? I am really no idea about this right now. could you please give me some suggestion? I do want to get license. is it CO a better choice?

    If i finish my all exam in ID, can i transfer to TX or other states? or I need to retake the entire exams?

    I know there are so many questions from me, I really hope you can help me on this and give some suggestions.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi DanL,
      Thanks for your kind note on the site! You are exactly right most people only think about passing the CPA without checking thoroughly the step in getting the license. I am glad you are the smarter ones :)

      On your question, let me see…
      If you have 150 credit hours, then no problem you are qualified to most states. Since you will likely move to TX then I’d recommend you to register for TX to save the hassle of transferring credits later (it’s doable, just another hassle you want to avoid during the already complicated cpa exam process).

      For TX, please note that for the working experience, the wording is quite general but my interpretation is that candidates need to work in the public accounting field to get qualified. If you are looking to work in accounting department in corporates, then this may not work and may need to consider other states.

      Just let me know your thoughts and I’ll see what I can do. Cheers, Stephanie

  109. Shinu Mathew says

    I would like to register for CPA in Taxas. But state asks for 3 hours ethics course that I don’t have…….please advise

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Shinu Mathew,
      You can either take it at local community college or online courses (provided that they show your course in a transcript). I wrote a page on how you can make up classes for the CPA exam requirements – please if it is helpful. Cheers, Stephanie

  110. bruce says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Hey great site. I am looking into CMA, ACCA or CPA and was about to give up on CPA until I found your site. I’m Canadian and live in Toronto. I do not hold any accounting designation but I do hold the CFA designation. My undergraduate degree was a 4 year bachelors of commerce degree. I have worked in the investment field for 8 years but in internal auditing for a Canadian bank for the last 7 months (I imagine i will internal audit for a few more years). Anyway, i would want the CPA by the time i have 2 years internal audit experience. Am i a realistic candidate for the CPA? I wouldn’t practice, i just want the fancy letters after my name. I look at the states and it seems Deleware is the place for me – am I right on that or maybe Illinois?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Bruce,
      Glad you find the site useful! Yes Illinois is popular among Canadians but if you have a 4-year bachelor degree, most likely that you will be considered having 120 credit hours. For Delaware they ask for 2 years of experience from bachelor holders, but the only thing is that they only recognize experience supervised and verified by CPA from the US. Not sure whether your bosses have that?

      Otherwise, you can take some online courses to make it up to 150 credit hours, then go for Illinois. IL doesn’t require experience for CPA certs which is pretty attractive.

      Either Delaware or Illinois does not require social security number (I assume you don’t have it). So that’s good.

      Just let me know and see how we can start from there. Cheers, Stephanie

  111. bruce says

    No, my bosses are CAs not CPAs and I do not have a SSN.
    Are the CA, CPA and ACCA all about equal in value?

  112. Jacqui says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Sorry to bother again, I read all your website and other material, still very confuse. I have a 3year degree in Accounting, and a master degree in Finance, both from Australia, which one I should use to get evaluation? or should I evaluate both? I am in NJ now, and have SSN. Thank you for your help.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Jacqui,
      In terms of which degree you need to get evaluated — as long as the course/degree is taken outside of the US, you will have to get them evaluated. In this case both your bachelor and master’s degree needs to be evaluated. Hope it is clearer? Stephanie

  113. Shishir says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks a lot for sharing some very valuable info. I had some questions abt licensure requirements. I passed my CPA exam in May-10. Now I need to appear for the ethics exam. In the ethics exam page I have been given a choice of any 5 states. As I am a B.Com from India I fall into Delaware jurisdiction and based on information obtained I can also apply for IL as both the states dont require a SSN. Could you please suggest some other states that dont require a SSN and whose requirements I meet. I have also completed the US Federal Taxation course.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Shishir,
      I don’t think you need to use up the five states. For example back then I only filled out one state.
      So go ahead and put in IL and DE so you can have a choice. Please note that if you are to transfer the exam credits to IL you need to have met all the education requirements, i.e. 150 credit hours.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  114. Lisa says

    Hi Stephanie

    This information was great! Thank you for putting it together.

    I have a few questions and was hoping you could give me your opinion.

    I currently hold a BS/MBA/JD. I have 6 undergrad ACCT credits, 6 MBA ACCT credits, took 6 graduate ACCT credits during law school, and 8 credits from law school in tax (Personal Income Tax and Corp Tax).

    I have not taken auditing yet, but I have enrolled in a community college to take auditing and intermediate accounting this spring.

    First, do you think the tax courses I took at the law school level will count as ACCT courses?

    Second, I do not plan on meeting the experience requirement. Therefore, I was debating between IL or CO. For IL, I believe I meet all the requirements for a certificate — however, should I ever want to practice in another state, can certificate holders from IL get reciprocity for the exam in a new state and practice. For example, if in 5 years I decide to go into public accounting, can I use my IL certificate to waive into another state and then only work to meet their experience requirement? If so, is there a date limit — can I do this 10 years out? 15 years out?

    For CO, I do not yet meet all the ACCT requirements for the “education in lieu of experience”, which requires 45 semester ACCT credits. How long do I have to meet those requirements? Do I have to meet them (a) before I take the exam or (2) before I pass the exam or (3) within a certain time after passing the exam?

    Any advice on these two states or any other states that might fit for me would be very appreciated!


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Lisa,
      First of all, thanks for your kind note!
      If you are able to fulfill the requirements of both IL and CO, I would prefer IL because CO is not considered a substantially equivalent state. If you are getting the CPA title for qualifications only, it’s fine but if it is something you can avoid it is just slightly better. Please note however that IL will give you only a certificate but you can always upgrade it to license status when you fulfill 1 year of accounting experience.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  115. Tarek Rana says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I like to take CPA exams in 2011 and want to be a full member. I need your assistance to pick the right state for me. Please find below my qualifications and experiences and advice which state would be best for me and how can I get registered with them for the exams.

    Academic qualifications:

    1. CPA Australia qualified (2008);
    2. MBA (2 years program) from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada (2001-2002);
    3. Master of Commerce in Accounting (1 year program) from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (1997-1998);
    4. Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting (3 year honors program) from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (1993-1996);

    Professional Experience:

    1. Partner in a small CPA firm (2008-Present);
    2. Senior Accountant in a Chartered Accountant firm (2003-2008);
    3. Management Trainee (1999-2000)

    Please note that I am living in Australia and do not have SSN. I like to get Australian CA down the tract under the MRA between US CPA and Australian CA. Should you require further information please feel free to ask me. I will really appreciate your help and comment in this matter.

    With kindest regards,

    Tarek Rana

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Tarek Rana,
      Thanks for your note! If you are a CPA in Australia, you are likely able to get qualified to IBEX which is a simplified version of CPA/CA from IQAB countries (i.e. countries with reciprocal agreement with US on accounting).

      I didn’t go through that so can’t tell you the personal experience, but I believe it is something you can explore. Just come back if you have further question as I can find someone else to answer your questions on IBEX if I am not able to do that. Cheers, Stephanie

  116. Ahmed Seddik says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Now I’m working for a public accounting firm in Egypt & I have been working now for 2 years, but actually not under the supervision of a CPA licensee, so is there any state that will accept working for a public accounting firm regardless to the CPA licensee matter?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ahmed,
      Maybe you can explore state such as Illinois which doesn’t require working experience? This will only give you a CPA certificate but for most international candidates this is good enough. Cheers, Stephanie

  117. Bedru Wolde says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am highly impressed by your clear and useful information .

    I have ACCA (UK) and Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Addis Ababa University. It is fours years program. I have worked for for profit and non profit organisations in accounting department for more than 17 years and would like to got CPA. I don’t plan to move the US now but may consider for future when opportunity comes. Would you please help me to fulfil my interest to be come CPA? 1) What should do to start the process? 2) Where should I send my credentials? Which credentials should I send? 3) Which State would best you think may fit? 4) Will they considere the ACCA qualification towards CPA or may give exemption? Would you please kindly send the response to my e-mail address? Thanks for help.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Bedru,
      Thanks for your note! May I ask that you start with visiting this page for international CPA candidate first? It should cover your questions regarding where to start and credential evaluation. You can ask me further questions over there.

      Cheers, Stephane

  118. Ozgur Oncu says

    Hi Stephanie,

    You suggested that I consider Illinois on your post dated 08.26.10. I just want to mention what I have discovered also for the benefit of other CPA candidates. You need to have 150 hours of education at the time of taking the exam. Since I have already taken the exam, Illinois is not an option for me anymore. To be honest I don’t know what option I have at this stage with 120 hours, no public accounting experience, and no SSN. It would be a shame if cannot get those three letters after having studied for months and having passed the exam. Let me know if you see a way out.


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ozgur,
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to let us know. Sorry that IL doesn’t work out…
      I forgot our conversation but technically Delaware should work with <120 hours and no SSN, but of course the hurdle is the working experience. If we have discussed DE before then I am afraid I also run out of ideas. You might want to check with Leslie Ann at CPAexcel (their international sales division I think) who has been helpful to some of my readers before. Just let her know that you are referred by Stephanie @

      Hope things can work out for you! Stephanie

  119. Ahmed Seddik says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you Stephanie for your response, you are such a great person & I really appreciate your effort.
    But I wanna know two things, what if I worked for an international Public accounting firm such as the Big 4 or BDO or Crowe Howarth as I am looking forward to moving to BDO soon here in Egypt, will the years of experience in such an international firm count for the experience needed for the CPA?
    Second I wanna know how to calculate the credit hours, as I am graduated from Cairo university & got a 4-year bachelor degree in Accounting, with 8 semesters with 5 classes(subjects) each semester with 3 hrs for each subject per week for 12 weeks. And if the hours not met will a pre-masters in Cairo university be enough to reach the credit hours needed knowing that the pre-masters lasts for 1 year. Also wanna know the states that needs a working experience verified only & not supervised by a CPA.
    Best regards,

  120. Tarek Rana says

    Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for your note. I really appreciate your comment on my situation. Did you mean IQEX for me? I have done some research as you suggested and hope that US CPA could allow me for IQEX but so far what I have gathered is that, you are absolutely right and there is a reciprocal agreement between US CPA and CPA Australi. But it seems to me that there is a little catch. The catch is only for Australian CPAs with overseas Bachelor degrees. What I have read is that, US CPA require both Australian CPA and a Bachelor degree from an Australian University. Althoguh I have qualified as a CPA whithin Australia I got my Bachelor degree in Accounting from Bangladesh and Master degree from Canada. My question to you is, am I eligible for IQEX? I will be indebted If you or someone else could help me in this matter and let me know whether I could go for IQEX and in which state.
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    With thanks and kindest regards,


    • Stephanie says

      Hi Tarek,
      You are most welcome!
      Oh yes I didn’t read your comment thoroughly enough – my apologies! You are right if you get a degree outside of the IQEX country (sorry did I mistype that) you can’t get qualified. Don’t worry just stick with the Uniform CPA exam. Shouldn’t be a big deal for you given you vast experience.

      Given you have a bachelor + MBA you will likely be evaluated to have 150 or more credit hours, which will get you qualified to most states. I can’t say for sure though because it depends on how the evaluators look at your bachelor degree in particular given it is a 3-year program. Please go to this page on foreign credential evaluation for the next step.

      In terms of the experience, have you been supervised by CPA US or CPA/CA from Australia? If so, it should work then.

      In any case I would recommend that you try Illinois because (1) the state board doesn’t require SSN; (2) you can get a CPA cert with experience; (3) if you want to get the full license (which I understand is your goal), you only need to have 1 year of relevant experience, which you have if the experience is verifiable.

      So another point to check if whether Illinois state board allow CPA/CA from AUstralia to verify your experience. If you can quickly check if it works then I think the plan should work. Please let me know. Cheers, Stephanie

  121. Stephanie says

    Hi Ahmed,
    You are most welcome — I am just trying to help whenever I can!
    On big 4 etc experience, unfortunately the CPA (US) licensing procedure is very American-centric in a way that they will only recognize verification from “their guys” (i.e. CPA licensee) rather than the company the candidates are working in, no matter how big/important that firm is.

    But you can certainly explore the state that only recognize verification without supervision. There are a few of them but I think Indiana is the only that makes sense to international candidates.

    As for the semester hour calculation, looks like the system in Eqypt is very similar to that of the US. So your degree will likely be evaluated as a full 4-year degree, i.e. 120 semester hours. This will give you a few choices but if you can somewhere take extra credits to get to 150 hours you have a much better position to pick the state that works the best for you.

    Hope it helps! Stephanie

  122. Sinyih says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have a Bachelor degree in law from Australia. Is that possible for me to sit for the CPA exam in Delaware or any other States that don’t require the 150 credit hours requirement?


    Best regards,

  123. Mel Suico says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your website. I am one of your readers who also have problems on where to go after passing all four exams or almost all of them, in my case. I applied in CBA and currently passed 3 sections and waiting for the result of the last one. I expect to get the results before the end of this year.

    I am a CPA license in the Philippines; has 2 years audit experience in a big 4 firm in the Philippines ten years ago; worked in general accounting in private companies in the Philippines, Europe and presently in the Cayman Islands, none of which are supervised by a US CPA. I don’t have an SSN and maybe the experience that CBA requires. When you have a moment, can you please tell me what is the best fit for me to transform my examination credits to a CPA license?

    Mel Suico

  124. Mathew says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for all your effort in helping us to get information on CPA. My name is Mathew and I am currently residing and working in Bahrain in the Middle East. I am a CA + Bcom from India. I heard that bahrain will be a centre in 2011.
    My questions are –
    1.) Can I write the CPA exam in Bahrain in 2011 when the centre opens here.
    2.) Which state will be suitable for me (considering that I am planning to move to canada and work in a company there in Accounts dept.
    3.) which evaluation agency will be suitable ?
    Please help me as I am getting confused by all the info.

  125. Salman says

    I am doing bachelors in management from the university of Kent England. Can I sit for the CPA examinations in Colorado. I am Pakistani.

  126. Robin says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have a four year degree in Business Economics from the Netherlands and am a CMA. I have almost two years work experience in auditing and eight years in accounting and controlling.

    Which US states in your opinion would be most suitable for me to obtain the CPA; secondly what are the benefits of now being able to sit for the CPA exam in selected countries outside the US; thirdly does it make any senses to do ACCA first?

    Best regards,


  127. Areef says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am a CA from india. Also, a CIA from IIA, USA and I hold 3 year Bcom from Mumbay university. I would like to give CPA exams (need CPA not for practicing). Could you please advise me which is the appropriate foreign credential evaluation agency I should submit my certificates and also which state I should apply for CPA exams. Your reply is highly appreciated Thank you very much

  128. Parvez Khimani says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have done B.Com (full 3 years degree course) from Nagpur University (India) and have done my CA in 2000. I have worked in Uganda as internal auditor for 3 years and since then I have been practicing in India. When I was in Uganda, I also had taken membership (under reciprocity agreement) from CPA-Uganda. My experience in my practice in India is of 7 years and 3 years of employment experience in Uganda.
    I am shifting to US in february 2011 in Georgia State as my wife lives there. Please let me know, whether I am eligible to write CPA exams there.

    Thanks and regards

    Parvez Khimani

  129. Ketki says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am a CA from India and I have also done Masters in Accounting from Ohio but I did specialization in Information Systems. I cleared CPA exam from Michigan board just now. Now I don’t know where to apply for CPA license.
    I am currently working in a CPA firm but no audit/tax experience. I have accounting experience of 2 years. I have not taken any taxation course in US.
    Please let me know which state I can apply for license.
    Also, I don’t have any plan for practise in near future, so does it really matter to have the license or I can apply for better jobs based on CPA exams cleared? Thanks for your help!!

  130. adeel akhtar says

    I have come to know that AICPA is conducting exams in Middle East from 2011 which will be really very fruitful for candidates like me.

    I am also prospective candidate of CPA. I would be thankful to you if you could tell me whether am I eligible or not for taking CPA exams. My particulars are as follows:

    1. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from The Institute of Internal Auditors-USA
    2. CA Intermediate from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
    3. Bachelors Degree in Arts from The University of the Punjab.
    4. 4 Years External Audit Experience with EY. Almost 3 years experience in Internal Audit.

    I would be thankful for advice.

  131. shirisha says

    I hold bachelors degree (BCOM Computers) 3 yrs degree from osmania university ,India .now iam a H4 visa holder residing in Texas .pls let me know the process to sit for cpa exam

  132. Anshu says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a 20 yr experienced technology manager graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, India in electrical engineering. The B.Tech(Honors) program did have macro and micro economics as part of the curriculum but no accounting subjects.

    I want to get my CPA. What will be my starting point? Looked into local community colleges and they offer basic accounting credit courses. But taking them one by one would take 5-6 years for me to get 150 semester credits. Could you pls guide me how to complete the process within a years duration – I can give 20-25 hours additional per week keeping my day job.

    Could you guide if these expectation are realistic?


  133. Atul says

    Hi Stephanie, Hope you are doing fine. Its really a very good work done by you in helping and solving queries of students.
    I have done a 3 years B.Com degree in India and worked in MNC for more than 4 years too. Please let me know which state would suit my education best for CPA.
    Thanks & Regards
    Atul Bhasker

  134. Tinu says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m an MSc Finance graduate. I already have my 150 business hours but only a few hours of accounting, and I’m trying to get the remaining accounting hours through enrolling for some online classes. Do you know if online accounting hours are CPA acceptable? If yes, what states and what is the maximum of online hours they’ll accept.

  135. Imran says

    Dear Stephani,

    Firstly i would like to appreciate the work you are doing !

    I wanted to ask that I am have passed my ACCA ( Association of Certified Chartered Accountacts) exams. I don’t have any bachelors degree which is required for CPA. What can i do ?

    Thank you.

  136. Rash says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am thoroughly confused with which state I should be choosing for the CPA examination and would greatly appreciate your guidance.I am currently residing in NC and I am B.Com(Mumbai University) and CA Inter from India so my question is from which state would I qualify for the CPA examination without having to do anything extra like federal taxation course etc. I do have a SSN but I am not a resident of US.Also which state have good licensing requirements. I highly appreciate your time and efforts in starting this website which is so helpful to so many of the aspiring CPA’s .
    Thank you,

  137. Sadu Israel says

    Hi Stepahanie,

    I have done BSc (Agril), Msc (Agril) and PhD (Agrnomy) and likely to get MBA in Finance soon. I am a CISA, CIA and CFE, all from USA. I am working as an External auditor in India for the last 20 years. I want to do CPA to obtain the qualification. Can you suggest whether I will be able get the required 150 business hours of credit and which State Board can I try?
    Thank you

  138. Anshu says

    I have heard of CLEP program – do you know if I can study all 36 hours and give CLEP exam to get the requisite eligibility?

  139. Tushar Bhavsar says

    Hello Stephenie

    I have my MBA with Accounting and Finance majors and my bachelor in engineering. I will qualify for the 150 credits but the issue is accounting credits.
    Which state should I go for? I have my CISA certification and work as an IT auditor. (Experience of more than 8 years)

  140. Sara says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your support in advance.
    I have passed CPA exam(Maine) in 2002 but I didn’t apply for a licence as I didn’t have work expeirnce at that time.
    I moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2004 and now I have three years of work experience in public practice under the supervison of a Certified General Accountant in BC, not a licensed CPA nor a Chartered Accountant.
    I contacted a person in Maine board of accountancy and she confirmed only work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA or a Chartered Accountant in Canada is eligible.

    Is there any way I could try to get licensed in Maine or other states?



  141. Tarek Rana says

    Dear Stephanie,

    This is Tarek again from Australia. I have assessed my qualification from Josef Silny & Associates for Colorado. I have got 162 credit hours in total but 3 credit hours only in Audit. I can do the exams but for licence CO requires 6 credit hours in Auditing. Could you please suggest a way out for this? If I have to take another course in Audit which one is available online from Australia? Please advise. I look forward to hearing from you soon. With thanks and kindest regards – Tarek

  142. Vinay Bhoopalam says

    Hi Stephanie,
    This is Vinay Bhoopalam from Bangalore- India. I am a qualified MBA (Finance) from Bangalore university and Bachelor in Business Management(Finance) from Mysore university. I am sure that both of these should get me 150 credits and I will also get my transcripts evaluated by WES probably upon getting the transcripts from my respective universities. Hence I need your help to suggest me a state. I am not looking at practicing CPA in the US, A CPA certificate/Credential will be fine with me. I guess choosing a state is most important even before sending the transcripts to WES.. Looking forward for your reply.
    Warm Regards,

  143. Srijan says

    Thanks for the information.
    But i wanaa double check . I have 2 years of work experince with big 4 in auditing other than BCOM (h) . So where should i get myself register for the CPA . As i will be appearing outside US.

  144. Srijan Goyal says

    Thanks for the relevant information

    I have an CA degree from india and BCom (h). Post qualification experiance from one of big 4 in audting . I will be appering for the exam out of US . which state i should register myself .

  145. Hari says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a CA from india. Also, a CIA from IIA, USA and I hold 3 year Bcom from Indian university. I would like to give CPA exams (need CPA not for practicing). Could you please advise me which state I should apply for CPA exams. Your reply is highly appreciated

    Thank you very much

  146. Ahmed says

    Hi Stephanie

    Through the above posts, you have already helped me on clarifying many things but still want to take a chance to get your opinion on my situation;

    I am doing CA from Pakistan but somehow stuck in one paper to qualify as CA. I am holding 2-years Bachelors in Arts (B.A) and 3-years Bachelors in Law (LLB). I have 8 years of experience with one of Big4 Audit firms.

    I am very much desperate to go for CPA. Could you please suggest any state where I can give a try or any other way out to sit for CPA.

  147. Caro says

    Hi Stephanie

    I’m writing u because I would like to get your advise related to my application in Illinois.
    After almost a year, they finally acepted my credentials… so now I have to apply to take the exam.
    I don’t live in Illinois, I live in another state, so could u let me know what are the next steps for sitting on April?

  148. Zeeshan says

    Hi Stephnie
    I am ACCA affiliate and also holding Bsc. degree of applied accounting from Oxford brookes University. I would like to now appear in CPA exam in USA. Please tell me whether I will be able to get eligibility for appearing in CPA exam in any state of USA.

  149. Manisha says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I recently applied for the Montana Board for the CPA License..I meet their educational requirements, but they said that since my experience more than 3 years old from the date of applications it is not acceptable.

    I am currently working as an Auditor in the Internal Audit department but primarily doing IT Audit not Financial Audits. Do you know if IT audit experience is acceptable for CPA? Also, do you know if the board verifies what exactly you are working with the Company directly or just the person certifying your experience. I am so close to getting a license and after all the hard work I have gone through I cannot let go now..

    Please advise..


  150. rainier says

    hi stephanie,

    I was planning on taking Michigan state board and my credit unit counts more than 150 hrs the problem is…. they need US TAXATION to sit for exam… what other state can you suggest that i go for?

  151. Teresa says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First off, thank you so much for taking the time creating such a useful web page for people who are interested in taking the CPA exams.
    The information above summarizes lots of the pros and cons between some popular states for international candidates like me, however, I’m still kinda overwhelmed. Could you give me your recommendation based on my situation?
    I’m a Canadian candidate just graduated from University of Toronto as Accounting specialist, and I am thinking about taking the CPA exams. Somehow, the way we calculate or credits is very different from that in the states, so I have no idea which states will I be qualified to sit for the exam until I sent my transcript to the evaluation institutions. Nevertheless, from my understanding, I will have to choose a state where I want the institution to send my evaluation result directly to. Could you please give me some suggestions and help me solve this co
    I will be working in one of the Big 4s in Taiwan, so I assume there will be someone who’s an active CPA that will be supervising me so my experience will be recognized?! Correct me if I am wrong.
    I am more inclined to apply for the states which I can get my full license as soon as possible. However, I’m not quite sure whether I need it or not since I don’t see myself practicing in the states in the near future. I’m not quite sure what are the differences between a full license and just passing the CPA exams if I just stay in Asia? And if i were to work in the US some day?

    Thanks in advance,


  152. Pat says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for your helpful website.
    I have quite a unique situation; Am from Africa-Kenya (Obama’s country:-)) and would be grateful if you could give me advice on the way forward. I have a Bachelor of Commerce-finance specialty 4 year degree from my country. I have also completed the CPA (Kenya) exams. I have worked for 4 years in one of the big four (PwC, Kenya) though I recently moved to a different company. My husband will be coming to work in the US and I would like to sit for the CPA US exams and get licensed so as to improve my chances of a decent job. What would be my approach and what is the best State to sit the exams? Also, does my experience and education count?

  153. mona says

    Hello, I found your website is very helpful. I done my BBA with finance and human resource mgt form india. I did MBA with International business mgt in usa. right now i am on student status in usa and want to apply for CPA exam. So i want to know i am eligible in florida? or i have to take accounting courses. I dont have any work experience in accounting. If i take accounting classes so may be that would be help me to get more knowledge about us accounting.

  154. karan says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a Chartered Accountant(India), BCom from Mumbai (first class) and C.S. (inter). Please advice me on the the states which will be best for me to do CPA.

    Does any state require, US citizenship as primary criteria?

  155. Hannah says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I will have 120 credits by June 30th, but I will not receive a diploma until the end of August. Since I got an offer from an accounting firm in China and the work will start in October, I have to leave America in September. Is there anyway I can take CPA Exam in July and August without a diploma?
    Thank you very much.

  156. Ramya Rangarajan says

    CHANGE IN MI STATE Experience Requirement
    Please see the following links. In late 2010, the MI State Board of Accountancy has made it EASIER for us. So you no longer need 1 year of PUBLIC ACCOUNTING experience. Experience in Tax, Industry, Management Advisory etc is also considered! Thats great news – I’m glad I picked MI State!

  157. Kiley says

    Hi S!

    I’ve majored law and now doing accounting in a corp in USA. Ive been working for a year now.
    My case, I never took any business or accounting courses. and I am an international.

    In my case, can I take CPA exam in the states? Heard about Maine, but I dont have much information.

    Could u kindly give me some advise?


  158. Ketaki says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am an Indian Chartered Accountant and Masters in Commerce from University of Pune, India. I have 3 years of audit experience with a mid sized Indian CA firm and 1 year audit experience with a big 4 firm in India. I had the following queries:
    1. Which state would be best for me to give the exams and get certified?
    2. If I give exams from Indiana state, can I get certified in any other state?
    3. Will my auditing experience in India be counted for the requirements?
    Awaiting your reply..
    Thanks in advance,

  159. Riaz says

    Could you please advice me the application procedure as a candidate intended to write CPA from UAE? especially the education evaluation process, do we need to get the certificates evaluated first and apply in the NASBA website or we can do it together?
    Please advice.

  160. Ari says

    Hi Stephanie!
    I really appreciate the time and interest taken by you in responding to all sorts of queries. Great work!
    My question: I have heard that Delaware’s state requirements will change starting from August 1st 2012 and 3 years Associate Degree (B.Com) holders will no longer be eligible for taking the Uniform CPA Exam. However, will it still be possible to appear for the exam if I am a B.Com (3 yrs) and professionally qualified (ACCA/CIMA/ICAI)??
    Also, does the Colorado State still accept applications from 3 years degree holder plus professionally qualified candidates as meeting their minimum educational requirements if the 120 semester hours criteria is satisfied?
    Many Thanks!

  161. June Ding says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I do not have pure accounting experience(work on the border between accounting and IT) and I just need CPA as a credential with no intention to really practice in accounting. I’m a green card holder. And I already have my education evaluated by FACS for the state of Montana and only 18 credits short in accounting, so I’m going to take some courses here and there. You previously mentioned Montana is a 2-tier state. Would you recommend Montana in my situation?

    Also after I completed the addional 18 credit, shall I have FACS evaluate again?

  162. June Ding says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I do not have pure accounting experience(work on the border between accounting and IT) and I just need CPA as a credential with no intention to really practice in accounting. I’m a green card holder. And I already have my education evaluated by FACS for the state of Montana and only 18 credits short in accounting, so I’m going to take some courses here and there. You previously mentioned Montana is a 2-tier state. Would you recommend Montana in my situation?

    Also after I completed the addional 18 credit, shall I have FACS evaluate again?


  163. Ran says

    Hi Stephanie

    I did foundation course directly from 10+2. I have CA and CWA but no bachelors degree. I took the CPA exam in Colorado and passed in 2008. I finished 1 year work under a CPA. I want to be licensed. Do you know any state that I would qualify for?



  164. Ran says

    Hi Stephanie

    I applied for license in Colorado. But they put it on hold as they don’t seem to recognize CA from India meet education requirement. I am anxious. Can I apply in some other state?


  165. George says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m planning to do CPA. Wanted to know whether i’ll be eligible with a 3 year graduation (BSc) & an MBA (Systems) from India. I’ve 12 years of experience in outside accounting field.

  166. Rani says

    Hi Stephanie
    I am in great help of yours. I am planning for CPA, but i don’t know from where and how to start. Recently i am residing in NJ. My visa status is H4. I have 4 years Bachelor Degree (BBA) in Finance (2007) from Nepal and MBA Degree in Finance(2010) from India. I don’t have real working experience but have done couple of internship in banks. I have three state options NJ, PA and Delaware. As by law i am not able to work here in USA so have applied for next MBA. I have sent my documents to WES for evaluation (course by course evaluation) as per the MBA application requirement. I am confuse whether i should go for CPA or MBA right now. whether i am eligible for applying to CPA or not. In future i would like to first gain experience as an audit/ tax officer in industry and later i would also like to practice or own a firm as a certified CPA. Currently we are in NJ but in near future me and my husband is planning to move California. What if i get certificate/ license from NJ/PA/DE and if we move to California, will i would be able to work there or practice as licensed CPA.

    I read almost all of your comments and suggestions to people queries. You been great support and help to everyone. I am too hoping same from you.

    Thank you.
    Rani Gupta Rauniar

  167. Sunil says

    Dear Stephanie,

    Thank you very much for your updates with regards to cpa.
    I would be gratefull if you could advise the proceedings to enrole cpa and proper directives to pss out the papers at the earliest and affordable cost.

    I am qualified with BSC.Mathematics, and MBA Finance from Indian university and presently working with Finance department for a multinational company in Kingdom of Bahrain.

    I am waiting for your directives.

    Thank you,

  168. Bharti says

    I wanted to know if 150 hrs counts if i dont hold a bachelors degree in accountancy. I hold a bachelors degree in finance with 156 credit points.

  169. Olha says

    Dear Stepahie,

    than you for a very usefull information on your website. It was very important for me to get to know that California, where i wanted to apply, requires SSN.
    I would like to know in what states I can apply and get a CPA licence if I am not a US citizen and do not have a SSN. All other requirements incl. 2 years of work experiance I fulfill.

    Thank you a lot!

  170. says

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks for getting all this information together, it really does shed some light and some much-needed editorial discretion on this topic.

    I have a BA in economics and an MBA with a concentration in financial engineering, and have been working almost 10 years in a finance-related field (I support expert witnesses who testify about financial or economic issues). As part of my development, my firm has asked me to get a CPA. I have no intention of practicing, so I’m only interested in states that will either let me pass the exam and say that I have a CPA for credential purposes, or that will let me satisfy the experience requirement with education instead. Colorado and maybe Illinois seem promising. Any advice on my choice of state? Am I only looking for two-tier states, and if so, which ones do you recommend?

    My other issue is that while I have sufficient academic credit hours in total, I think I lack specific coursework, like auditing. Any advice for the easiest way to fulfill that requirement (or do I even need to worry about this if I don’t want to practice?)?

    Thanks so much in advance!


  171. Asadullah says

    Hey Stephanie’s

    I have 2 years bachelors of commerce degree from pakistan plus I am also a certified internal auditor (CIA)…additionally i have 4 years work experience in relevant field.

    Plz guide me if bachelors + CIA fulfill education requirement of any state???

  172. Anne says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m so glad to have stumbled upon your website, it had shed light and have greatly encouraged me to take up CPA which is something that I always wanted.

    I have a 3 year Australian degree in Banking & Finance with 7 years of accounting work experience in a non accounting firm.
    I’m currently working in China and planning to sit for the exams in Guam.
    However from the state board website, it mentioned that the working experience must be earned under the supervision of a licensed certified public accountant. Fortunately I have a friend here who is a US CPA licensee, will this help?

    From your website I believe that Delaware is most suitable state for me to register with, appreciate your advise if there are other alternatives for my situation.


  173. Stephanie says

    Hi Olha,
    Maybe you can check out Illinois because it doesn’t require SSN at all, but you’ll need 150 credit hours. Hope it works for you?

  174. Stephanie says

    Hi Ethan,
    Thanks for your note and your detailed description of your case. Let me see…
    Yes Illinois and Colorado sounds good because they don’t require experience if you have enough credit hours.

    On the point on how to tackle the fact that you lack specific courses… New Hampshire only requires 12 accounting courses, but then it needs auditing experience which you probably don’t have.

    When I think about it, if we are to skip the experience requirement, we can’t really also skip some of the academic requirements — so maybe you’ll have to take a few of those online courses to get it done.

    That’s what I did anyway. Would that work?


  175. Stephanie says

    Hi Anne,
    Yes Delaware would work for you with a 3-year degree, but then it probably won’t work when you accumulate your working experience because they require your supervisor to verify your experience, and for 3-year degrees they will need 4 years of experience to get the license.

    On the other hand, Indiana does allow you to have your experience verified by a US licensed CPA who is not necessarily your boss. But then they have the “standard” 150 credit hour requirements…

    Not sure if that gives you a solution but then at least you can check it out from there.

    Good luck!

  176. Stephanie says

    Dear all,
    This comment section is getting too long to benefit other readers… so I am trying something new by using Facebook-powered comment box which is located right after each article.

    If you have a question, please go back up and drop a note there. Thank you! Stephanie