Pennsylvania is one of the states that does not require 150 semester hours of educational requirements to sit for the exam, but the full 150 hours are needed to obtain the CPA license.
PA is one of the few states that specifically asks for auditing in the experience requirements.
Pennsylvania CPA Requirements
1. Education Requirements to Sit for the Exam
- Bachelor degree or above.
- 24 semester hours of accounting courses, including accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as a part of your undergraduate work.
2. Additional Pennsylvania CPA Requirements to Get the License
Education (effective January 1, 2012)
- 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution.
- 24 semester credits of accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board.
- additional 24 semester credits in accounting, auditing and tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as part of the individual’s undergraduate or graduate work.
Special note: the PA State board refers the CPA license as the “CPA certificate”. This is not to be confused with the CPA certificates available in two-tier states.
- 1 year of related relevant work experience counted as 1,600 hours. 400 hours must be in attest activity in public accounting or in internal audit.
- The experience must be supervised and verified by a US CPA.
- Candidates must obtain the license within 60 months (i.e. 5 years) of passing the CPA exam. The time allowed was 10 years before Jan 1, 2012.
Special note: Rep. Gordon Denlinger, CPA, introduced HB 2354 to amend the Pennsylvania CPA Statute to eliminate the attestation portion of the working experience requirements. You can get more information here.
- None required.
3. Pennsylvania CPA Requirements on Residency & Age
- US citizenship not required but Social security number is required
- State residency: none
- Minimum age: 18
- First-timers: $723 (4 CPA exam fees) + $95 (initial application fee) + $95 registration fee for each part of the exam.
5. Continuing Education
CPE is required for license holders. Please click here for Pennsylvania CPA CPE requirements.
6. Other Useful Information
- Pennsylvania CPA exam application form and procedure for first-timers
- PA CPA licensing form and information
Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy
2601 North Third St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
- Email: ST-ACCOUNTANCY@state.pa.us, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 717-783-1404
- Fax: 717-705-5540
Can’t Get Qualified in Pennsylvania?
Don’t give up, as you may well be qualified to register through other states and sit for the same CPA exam — check out the other states’ CPA exam & licensing requirements here.
What if the Pennsylvania CPA Requirements Don’t Work for Me?
I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to get qualified for the CPA exam for international candidates. Chapter 3 has 26 pages dedicated to tips on how you can sieve through the maze of rules in different jurisdiction in order to find a workable path, together with study tips and test taking strategies that you’ll need afterwards.
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