New York is another one of the most popular states for CPA candidates. And generally, New York’s CPA requirements are fairly standard. However, this state does have its exceptions. And, even though it works for other candidates, it may or may not work for you. So, use this information about the New York CPA requirements to learn how to become a CPA in NY and determine if this state board is best for you.
To earn a CPA license in New York, you must meet the following requirements:
In addition, you will also need to pay CPA Exam fees and CPA licensure fees.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) welcomes both non-US citizens and non-residents to apply for licensure. So, this news is great for international and out-of-state candidates.
However, New York does have an age restriction for CPA licensees. You must be at least 21 years old to become a CPA in New York.
Although you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen in order to become a New York CPA, you must disclose your Social Security number (SSN) to the state when you apply for licensure. For those who are not familiar with an SSN, it is ID the U.S. government only issues to U.S. citizens, residents, and individuals allowed to study or work in the U.S.
However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you can still have the chance to become a CPA licensed in the state of New York. The state board will give you an automatically generated 9-digit number that they will use for state recordkeeping.
In order to receive the CPA license from the state of New York, you must pass the Uniform CPA Examination in its entirety. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) creates the CPA Exam, which covers a wide range of accounting topics over 4 exam sections:
You can only sit for the CPA Exam during these 4 annual testing windows:
To pass a CPA Exam section, you must score 75 or higher.
You have 18 months to pass all 4 CPA Exam sections, but this time period does not begin until the date you pass your first CPA Exam section. Therefore, you really have 18 months to pass the remaining 3 sections. If you don’t pass the other 3 sections during this time, your credit for your first passed exam section will expire, and the start date of your 18 months will move back to the date you passed your second CPA Exam section, if applicable. This process of losing exam credit and having your 18-month window restart will carry on until you pass all 4 exam sections within this time.
In New York, once you have successfully passed all 4 sections of the examination, your credits will not expire. Additionally, the New York state board does not place a time restriction on candidates for meeting the education or experience requirements once you pass the entire Uniform CPA Examination.
With the exception of candidates who already have 15 years of acceptable public accounting experience, candidates must hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree or above in order to sit for the CPA Exam in New York.
If you applied for licensure and completed your education prior to August 1, 2009, NASBA’s NY page explains the exceptions to the education requirements that apply to you.
Otherwise, as of August 1, 2009, candidates applying for the CPA license in New York must earn at least 150 credit hours of higher education. You can acquire 150 credit hours in one of 3 ways:
Additionally, the state board allows you to count courses in taxation offered by community colleges or 2-year universities, but not in auditing, attestation, or advanced accounting. You can get more information on NYSED’s website.
The New York state board does offer the NASBA Advisory Evaluation as a pre-evaluation service to candidates. This service can help you determine your eligibility for the New York CPA license and will judge whether you have any academic deficiencies. You can visit CPA Central for more information about this option.
For candidates who already have 15 years of accounting experience, New York waives the 150-hour education rule. In order to apply for licensure this way, you must have earned your experience under the direct supervision by a U.S. CPA or a New York State Public Accountant, and you must have proof of it.
The work you did should have involved the application of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), and contain substantial exposure to auditing and financial statement preparation.
If you obtained your education in another country, you will need to have NASBA International Evaluation Services evaluate your educational credentials. Please note that this examination will only determine whether you are qualified to take the CPA Exam. Then, after you submit your license application, the board will conduct your license eligibility evaluation.
In addition to filling out all the required forms, you will need to submit translated copies of all your international transcripts so the agency can evaluate the courses you took and the credits they were worth. They will also analyze your credentials to determine whether the degree you earned was comparable to an academic degree earned in the U.S. Consequently, you must have completed your academic coursework at an accredited institution.
What’s more, professional training, such as classes completed to become a Chartered Accountant, will not count towards the educational requirements for the U.S. Uniform CPA Examination.
If you are an Indian candidate, you can get even more advice about how to meet the CPA education requirements.
You must have at least 1 year of experience to get the CPA license in New York. This 1 year of experience must include accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills. Additionally, a U.S. licensed CPA or a New York public accountant must have supervised and verified your experience.
Furthermore, the NYSED will accept part-time work as long as you have acquired the equivalent of at least 1 year of experience. The state board for public accountancy defines part-time as at least 20 hours of experience each week. According to their calculations, 2 weeks of part-time experience can count for 1 week of full-time work.
If you already possess a CPA license from another state or country, you may be able to obtain a New York CPA license if the NYSED or a national professional accounting organization deems the license to have similar standards as those of NY. Even if the 2 certifications have a lot of differences, you could still obtain a NY license. In order to do so, you must demonstrate that you have personally obtained more education or experience to meet or exceed the standards of New York.
In addition, you will need to prove that you have had at least 4 years of professional accounting experience and that you earned acceptable grades on a comparable professional competency exam. NYSED will require you to fill out an application in order to verify the things mentioned above as well as proof that you possess a CPA license and are in good moral standing in the state or country where you earned your license.
In New York, you do not need to take the AICPA’s CPA ethics exam. The logic is that you should have taken relevant courses in ethics as part of your educational requirements.
However, one of the requirements to become a licensed CPA in New York is that you must “be of good moral character as determined by the department.” The NYSED site does not extensively define good moral character, but understandably, all professionals must abide by certain principles and rules of conduct. If you want to find out more information about these rules and regulations, you can obtain a copy of the NYS Education Law and the Commissioner’s Regulations by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 320.
To apply to take the CPA Exam and receive the CPA license in New York, you must pay the following fees:
At this time, New York adheres to NASBA’s fee schedule for the CPA Exam sections:
To account for these costs and develop your CPA budget, you must learn more about the CPA Exam fees.
The state of New York requires CPAs to fulfill continuing professional education (CPE) requirements in order to maintain their CPA license.
In New York, you must accumulate your continuing education requirements by the end of each reporting period (January 1 – December 31). You must renew your CPA license itself every 3 years. Therefore, you should keep your CPE records for at least 5 years.
During each year, you need to complete either 24 or 40 contact hours of acceptable formal continuing education. If you concentrate your studies on just one of the recognized subject areas listed below, then you only need to acquire 24 hours for that year. Otherwise, you must complete 40 hours if you decide to take a combination of CPE subject areas.
New York recognizes the following as viable CPE subjects:
Additionally, once during each triennial licensing cycle, CPAs must complete at least 4 hours of professional ethics education. Those hours can count towards that particular year’s CPE requirement total.
Thankfully, for newly licensed New York CPAs, the continuing education requirements don’t begin until January 1 immediately following the last day of their initial registration period. In other words, if your initial registration period is from January 1, 2020 — December 31, 2022, you won’t need to worry about accruing CPA continuing education requirements until 2023.
Other extenuating circumstances, like a health crisis or extended military service, may excuse you from completing CPE courses. However, if you claim one of these hardships as a reason for why you cannot keep up your continuing education, you will not be allowed to practice public accountancy or use the designation “CPA” until that adjustment in your status has been acknowledged by the board.
For more info on which courses you can take and how to ensure your New York CPA CPE compliance, check out this video:
To earn the CPE credits you need to maintain your New York CPA license, you can use Becker CPE courses.
The state board requirements change from time to time and without much notice. Therefore, to ensure that you can satisfy the most up-to-date NY CPA requirements, you should contact them before you apply. You can use this information to do so:
New York State Board for Public Accountancy
State Education Department
Division of Professional Licensing Services
89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Fl.
Albany, NY 12234-1000
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Phone: 518-474-3817 x160
Meeting all of the New York CPA requirements can be overwhelming, especially if you are not a typical CPA candidate. But, the process will be easier when you learn more about the CPA educational requirements and the CPA experience requirements.
Furthermore, my free CPA e-course is another great resource for discovering the entire CPA process. It takes you through each step to CPA certification. Additionally, it tells you how to pass the CPA Exam on your first attempt. And I actually have 2 versions of my course to help candidates with different backgrounds: one for domestic CPA candidates and one for international CPA candidates. So, learn more about my courses today or sign up now!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites
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