CPA Application Process: What to Expect after Submitting the Form

cpa application processNow that you have submitted the form, you have officially started your CPA application process! In this post I am going to help you plan ahead by getting prepared for the actual examination.

For those who are just about to start the process, read these posts on steps to become a CPA or CPA application for international students.

CPA Application Process: the Second Stage

1. Wait For Your NTS

Once you have submitted your application and fees to the State Board (or CPA Exam Services from NASBA if your state board outsources the process to them), they will review your application and will either mail or email you the “Notice To Schedule” (NTS).

The wait could be long — 4-8 weeks depending on your state.

This document is very important. Remember to:

  • Triple check if your name is spelled correctly and that it matches with the two IDs you are bringing to the site on the exam day;
  • Bring it to the exam site. You can’t beg your way in without the NTS.

2. Schedule Your CPA Exam

Once you receive your NTS, you will have 6 months from the date of issuance (not date of receipt) to sit for the exam part(s) you have applied for. Simply go to the Prometric CPA website and arrange for a seat at the exam site of your choice.

If you have trouble taking the exam withing this 6 months — and the reason has to be compelling, such as hardship or medical reason — you can contact your State Board (or CPA Exam Services) for an extension. Please have the documentation ready to prove your case.

3. Take the CPA Exam

You don’t need wait until you get the NTS to start preparing for the exam. Instead, you should do so right after submitting your CPA exam application.

You can choose to study the exam using a couple of Wiley books; but I would highly recommend you check all the major CPA exam review courses to pick one that’s suitable for you. I have listed here the pros and cons of each program in this CPA exam review courses comparison.

Good luck!

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If you like this post and would like to learn more about the CPA exam, check out my mini-course which is completely free. I have two versions designed for candidates with different background:

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For US Candidates
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graduate/live/work in the US)
For Intl Candidates
(Those who study abroad, or
graduate/live/work outside of the US)

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley), and I also passed all 4 sections of the CPA Exam on my first try. Additionally, I have led webinars, such as for the Institute of Management Accountants, authored featured articles on websites like Going Concern and AccountingWeb, and I'm also the CFO for the charity New Sight. Finally, I have created other accounting certification websites to help mentor non-CPA candidates. I have already mentored thousands of CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CFA candidates, and I can help you too!

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