US CPA Exam for Filipinos: Complete Guide to Get Your License

us cpa exam for Filipinos

This page is dedicated to Filipino accountants who want to obtain a US CPA license.

If you are looking for something else, see if this is useful:

  • I am an American CPA looking for job opportunities in the Philippines
  • I am a Filipino looking for help in passing the CPA Board Exam in the Philippines

US CPA Exam for Filipinos: An Introduction

Are you one of the Philippine-licensed CPAs who aspires to work abroad as a CPA but can’t use your local license in other countries?

While it is frustrating that Filipino CPAs don’t have reciprocal recognition from the US, getting the US CPA license is still a rewarding and achievable goal.

You are Smart!

I would like to congratulate you on passing the CPA Board Exam in the Philippines. I heard it is one of the most difficult professional exams in your country. Passing rate is typically less than 50%.


My CPA exam site gets a lot of traffic from the Philippines so I bet many of you are seriously thinking about the US CPA. If you…

  • work in Big 4 with the aspiration to transfer to different countries;
  • work in multi-national companies especially the ones headquartered in the US; and
  • plan to work abroad someday…

… then the US CPA qualification is useful.

Basic Requirements

To get the CPA license, all candidates need to fulfill the “3E”, that is, Education, Exam and Experience. Generally speaking, you need to:

  • Obtain a 4-year bachelor degree AND accumulate 150 credit hours
  • Pass the 4 parts of the CPA exam within 18 months
  • Get your relevant experience properly verified

Detailed Steps

1. Determine Your Eligibility

In the US, a typical accounting student goes through 4 years of university (or what is commonly known as “college”) plus one year of Master’s degree in accounting. 1 year of studying generally means 30 credit hours, so a 4-year and 5-year degree roughly translates to 120 and 150 credit hours respectively.

The good news is that the Philippines has the same 4-year bachelor program. Since you have to go through additional years for the Masters’ Degree, fulfilling the150 hours credit should not be an issue for you.

2. Pick a State and Register for the CPA Exam

Since the US CPA license is granted by individual states instead of a centralized agency, you have to choose a state board before registering for the exam.

Each state has slightly different rules but you can find a summary of the exam requirements by state here. I have also written an article on the popular states favored by international candidate for your reference.

3. Send Transcripts to Evaluation Agencies

Once you have chosen a State Board, the next step is to send your transcripts to a “foreign credential evaluation agency”.

Note: If you get part or all the educational credits from a US school, then for this part of the education you don’t need to go through the evaluators but you’ll need to ask this US school to send the transcript to the State Board directly. Please refer to the instruction on the CPA exam application form.

4. Get Approved for the Exam

Once you are approved to sit for the exam, you will receive a Notice To Schedule (NTS) which will allow you to schedule your exam in exam sites known as the prometric center.

You will have to fly to a US jurisdiction for the exam, but since Guam is so close to I don’t think this is an issue.

For your information, there are a few non-US prometric centers, but only citizens or long-term resident in Japan, Brazil, India and in Middle Eastern countries are qualified.

5. Study for the Exam

In terms of the CPA exam, it is likely the easiest step for international candidates. At least it is something within your control. If you need help I’d suggest that you take a review course from one of these Top 10 CPA review courses.

Once you complete the 4 parts of the exam, most states require that you take the ethics exam but this is much easier in comparison.

6. Fulfill the Experience Requirements

Most states require 1 to 2 years of experience. The challenge is that the State Boards only recognize “relevant” experience that is “properly verified”.

Some states only recognize public accounting i.e. auditing or related work in a CPA firm. If you work in the corporate, non-profit organization and non-US government agencies your experience cannot be counted.

IMPORTANT: when you pick a state to get qualified for the exam, this is an important consideration.

7. Verify Your Experience

All experience will have to be verified by a US CPA who keep his/her license active during the time you work(ed) for him/her.

Most states require that this person to be your direct supervisor. Some states allow CPA “or equivalent”, which usually means a Canadian CA or Australian CA, but for the exact definition of this equivalency you will have to check with your State Board.

If you have previous working experience in the Philippines, unless you worked under a US CPA (or for some states, CAs from the “reciprocal countries” e.g. Canada and Australia) your experience cannot be counted. I know it is frustrating but an important note to remember.


1. I’m a Filipino, how do I become a U.S. CPA Licensee even if I am not a US Citizen?

Most states allow non-US resident/citizen to apply for the CPA exam and license. Please go to this page for more info on the application procedure.

2. Which credential evaluator should I use?

The State Board of your chosen state should indicate which evaluators you can pick from. Some allow you to choose anyone that is a member of the evaluators’ association (i.e. NACES), while others only recognizes one. Please double check the list in the application form for details.

3. How many credit hours do you think I can get?

It depends on the subjects you have taken at the university. To go further, you will have to make some commitment i.e. to pay the evaluators for a professional evaluation. It costs anywhere from ~ $150-200.

Express service is available but will cost multiples of that. Some states offer pre-evaluation service which will indicate which courses you lack. I think it is a good idea if you aren’t sure whether you can get qualified for that state.

4. Which State Should I Apply?

You can apply to any state that you are qualified in terms of the education requirements. It is also wise to pick a state that requires more flexible or even no working experience requirements.

5. Illinois is the most favorable state for me in terms of requirements, but I want to take the exam in Guam. What to do?

You are allowed to take the exam in a state that is not your registered state. For example, if you register through Illinois state board but want to sit for the exam in Guam, it’s totally fine.

I am All Confused… Can You Help Me?

If you are serious about taking the US CPA exam, I welcome you to join our community by signing up for my free mini course. You will get the basics on CPA exam application, registration procedure, what to do (and not to do) during the process:

Enter your name and email address and
I will send you the newsletter right away!

Feel free to learn more about this CPA exam mini-course here before signing up.

About the Author Stephanie Ng

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

follow me on:
  • lhay says:

    I am a cpa in the Philippines and migrating to usa. Do I need to take up the 4-year bachelor’s degree or just the mAster’s degree to complete the 150 credit hours?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ihay, typically in the US, the person can only have a master’s degree if they finish the 4-year bachelor. For international students who have 3 year bachelor, for example, it is best that they have a two year master’s so the 3+2 years = 150 credit hours. Regards, Stephanie

    • Wilfredy says:

      HI Ihay,

      Im Wilfred from the Philippines and a CPA like you. Migrating to the US soon. Just wanna ask how’s your plan to take the CPA board exam. Can i add you in facebook? by the way here’s my email add: wilfredygamueda[@]


    • John says:

      If you have a lot of money, then get a master’s degree. If not, you can just take classes that will give you credits. Usually, if you got your bachelor’s degree in acctg from the PH, you already fulfill the required upper level acctg and business units. You just need to complete the 150 required total units. I’ll be taking the us cpa exam hopefully by the end of this year. I had my education evaluated by NIES. I have 126 units and right now I am taking the acctg certificate program in one of the universities in WA. After this, I will have 18 units more which is still short by 6 units. I was thinking of getting a master’s but it’s expensive lol. So I’ll just go to a community college instead. But take note, semester credits and quarter credits are different.

      I am a CPA in the PH too. When I got here, all I wanted to do was to take the exam right away, get a good job and be successful. But unfortunately, cpa requirements here are way different and standards are way higher. And I thought the 150-unit requirement didn’t make sense but after taking classes, I appreciate it. There may be bumps along the way and the journey may be longer but I aint gonna give up on this dream.

      If you guys wanna connect, you know, exchange resources, knowledge and stuff let me know.

      Yun lang. Bow.

      Hey Stephanie,

      Thanks for this site. You’re such a big help! Keep it up.

      • Stephanie Ng says:

        Hi John, thanks so much for the thoughtful sharing. As a non-Filipino I can only help to a certain extent, so your first-hand experience is invaluable. I am glad you appreciate the 150-rule and the high entry barrier. This is one of the reasons why US CPA title is respected around the world. Regards, Stephanie

      • Krizzle says:

        Hi John, I wanted to know if your CPA license in the PH have helped you in getting the US CPA license? I have finished my BSA degree in the PH and currently I’m in the US now.

        • John says:

          Hi Krizzle,

          I haven’t taken the exams yet I’m still 6 semester units short so I’m taking more classes this fall.

          You probably know already that we don’t have reciprocity with the US, so our cpa license in the PH is of no use in the US. But considering the education and cpa exams we have in the Philippines, I can say that we are at par. I mean, if you have managed to pass the cpa exam there, then you have enough knowledge to pass the US cpa exam. Of course, there are differences so taking review classes will definitely help.

          Which jurisdiction are you planning to take the exam?


          • Krizzle says:

            Hi John, I’m planning to take it on New Jersey. Thank you so much for your response. I’ve been thinking of going back home(PH) to take the exam but I think it will just be an impractical decision if I do that.

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Krizzle, I don’t think the CPA license in PH helps in getting exemptions or waiver for the US CPA exam.

      • Wilfred Gamueda says:

        Hi John,

        Can i add you in FB?Just arrived here in the US a months ago.:)


      • Wilfred Gamueda says:

        Hi, Can i add you in FB please. Just arrived here in the US.


        • Romel Abalos says:

          Hi guys, I’ll be moving to the US on a K1 visa. I am a CPA here in the Philippines with 5-year experience in a BPO as Accountant. What are my chances of getting a job related to accounting. Will plan on taking the US CPA Exams once I’m settled financially.

          Appreciate your feedback.

      • faye says:

        Hi. I’m planning to take it up soon. I just want to know your experience and how did it go? 🙂

    • Jay ar roldan says:

      Hi lhay,

      Can I add you in facebook? I just wanna know what you did in preparation for taking thr US CPA license exam.


  • mae says:

    Hi! Thank you for this page. I would like to ask for some assistance as well. I am a recent graduate of a 5-year Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree course and a recent CPA board passer both in the Philippines. I immediately migrated here in California right after passing. What are the necessary steps do I need to accomplish in order to find a job related to my profession and/or pass the CPA board examination here in California? Thank you so much! Your anticipated response will be of great help and will be very appreciated! God bless 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Mae, you will likely be fine to take the CPA exam now, and while you do that, try to get an accounting job with a supervisor who is a US CPA. If you aren’t picky, you should be able to find one. You’ll need to work for this person for at least a year (and that he/she is willing to sign your experience verification form). Then you are all set. You can take the exam and work at the same time. Most candidates do that anyway. Good luck! Stephanie

  • John Emil Yumol says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a graduate of BSA in the Philippines and a licensed CPA as well. I do not have Masters Degree. Will I still be qualified to take the Exams? Do you know anyone from PUP-Manila who took the US CPA Exams without the need to take Masters Degree? Thanks!

  • Katherine says:

    Good day! Would like to know if there is any review center or institute that is providing the US CPA review here in the Philippines. My company would like to provide assistance to our employees and we are currently looking for an onsite training vendor.
    Thank you in advance.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Katherine, I am not sure. I bet Becker has a center in the Philippines, but you can also contact the major providers (Wiley, Gleim) and see if they can help arrange something onsite. Regards, Stephanie

  • Kat says:


    I took my CPA board examination in 2007 and passed it on the same year. I was not able to get an accounting related job because I immediately got into law school. Currently. I am her in the US as an immigrant. I need your advice on the following: 1. do I still need to review ( meaning take at least refresher course as its almost been 10 years since i graduated and passed the exam). Thank you. 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kat, thanks for your note. The license requirements have changed quite a bit for some states so it is best to double check with your state directly. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Kat says:

    Hi Steph,

    I previously worked for publicly listed companies as a CFO. Although I had my Phils CPA license, my actual experience already surpassed that by leaps and bounds. How can I get my experience verified if I’m the one leading the finance dept? Can I get the company’s HR dept or the CEO instead?

    I want to take the US CPA exam in the hopes of managing US-based BPO companies here in the Philippines. Your suggestions would be extremely helpful.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kat, thanks for your note. I assume that you are referring to the US CPA license? I heard of cases where state boards give exemptions to special cases or that they are fine with HR doing it. Good luck! Regards, Stephanie

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Steph,

    After months of looking online, I’ve finally stumbled on your page and I can say that your page is very helpful and very informative. I don’t know if you happened to come across the same situation as mine but hopefully you could give me some advice. I graduated Accountancy from a state university in the Philippines in 2008, took and passed the CPA board on 2011 and currently working as a Chief Accountant in a local government here in Marshall Islands. Obviously it’s not a public practice and I don’t have a US CPA boss. I am planning to take an online review from one of your recommended CPA review courses. After the review, I am somehow confuse on what to do next. Do I need to pick a state to have my credentials and work experiences verified first or can I already proceed on taking the exam first and decide on which state later? Can I take the exam in Guam either way? How can you determine if the bachelor’s degree is 120 or 150 credits, is it based on the number of years it was completed? Please advise. Thank you very much.

  • MARK says:

    Hi there, I’m a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a licenced CPA as well. I’m also an MBA graduate. Do i still need for a short-term training to qualify for the certification?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Mark, you mean you are licensed in the US right? If so you need to fulfill the CPE requirements. If you mean you are licensed in the Philippines, then there is no reciprocal agreement between US and the Philippines and you need to follow the the process above in order to become a CPA in the US. Regards, Stephanie

  • Josephine says:

    Hi, thank you for this very informative article. I’m a graduate of 4- year BS Accountancy course in the Philippines but I am not a CPA in Philippines either. I now reside here ni CA. I would like to be a CPA here is US and I am hoping to get my license here in CA. I am just wondering if I am qualified to take CPA exam here even if I am not a CPA in Philippines and do I need to take my Masters here to have the 150 credits, then work and be supervised by a US CPA before I can take the CPA exam in US? Thanks a lot!

  • Ben says:

    HI! I am a a CPA here in the Philippines. I graduated a 4-year bachelor’s degree in accountancy with honors from a state university (public school here in my country). I passed the boards last October 2015, and currently working in the government but not as accountant. I am planning to go in the US soon because someone might sponsor my air fare. What job/s awaits for me there? Can you be kind enough to share some insights or pieces of advice so that later, it would still lead me in the US CPA title. I am not expecting to get the license as soon as I arrived in your country, what I am expecting is a job that could be useful for me in pursuing this dream. I hope you would consider this comment. Thank you very much! You can email me at if you would be willing to help. Again, a warm thanks! 🙂

  • Annabelle Layos says:

    Hi Ben,
    I’ve read your post. Just want to ask if you are in US now and are you successful in finding any accounting jobs? I am set to fly to US too this month and same as you, I wanted to know the possibilities of finding jobs for non immigrants. Appreciate your reply. Thank you so much.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Not sure if Ben sees this post but in general you need a company to sponsor a H1B visa for you to stay. It’s pretty hard to get I have to say. You can google H1B visa for more info. Regards, Stephanie

  • Joyce says:

    Hi☺ I’m one of a student of senior high in Phil. May I ask if is it better if I continue my stud of accounting in us?? Thanks.

  • Johnson says:

    Hello, maam Stephanie , Im still a 2nd yr Accountancy student here in the Philippines in 4 yr. degree program. May you please help me by giving some wise advice and tips on my way to taking the US CPA exam? Is it wise to take the 5 yr. program instead which conforms with the 150 credit hour requirement? or just to take the 4 yr program and take masters later? We’re just poor and I want to take the most affordable way possible because I think getting a masters after the 4 yrs is quite expensive. Moreover, after I passed the CPA exam here in Philippines, is it advisable to go to US immediately because as what you have mentioned, even if I earned experience here on one of the Big4 firms Im still not qualified for the experience. Please help me maam, I have no helpful idea on how to fulfill my dream of working in US since Im just a student. Im very confused. Please help me and God bless you!

  • Inna Crisostomo says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am so glad I subsribed to this blog as you have it all detailed and it’s really helpful for us people dreaming to get such reputable license.

    I am a Filipino CPA, working for a US private bank here in the PH. I thought that getting the license would be useful for me so I came to this really helpful page.

    However, is there a forum here in your site where we can post our specific questions? I am in need of assistance and would be great to talk to Filipino CPAs preparing for the exam application as well. It’s overwhelming to do everything by oneself and it would be great to have people support and share their experiences – especially ones who come from the same background.

    Please please reach out to me on Facebook or email, any Filipino who is planning to take it, is taking it or have already taken it.

    Thanks again for this, Stephanie!

    Facebook: Inna Crisostomo

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hello Inna, yes I tried to set up a forum twice, but each time the site was hacked because I don’t have the time and manpower to maintain it. So, I am afraid you all have to rely on the comment section, for now 😉

      Thanks for your note and hopefully you will be able to figure this out. The process is indeed pretty complicated for international candidates. But it is doable 🙂 Stephanie

  • Jiana says:

    Hi stephanie, do you have any idea if the us cpa exam will adapt the ifrs anytime soon? Thank you 🙂

    • John says:

      IFRS is actually being tested in the US CPA exam not just US GAAP. There are a lot of similarities, on some standards they are essentially the same but differ in how they are worded. Collaboration between the two is still on going, but US GAAP adopting IFRS is not impossible, but I don’t think it will happen. Companies in the US are different, at the same time companies would not allow that especially those that use LIFO method. A lot is at stake, e.g. taxable income.

  • Carla says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am a CPA in the Philippines and is currently living in New York. I recently had my transcript evaluated by NIES and they confirmed that my bachelor’s degree in the Philippines is equivalent to 130 credits. I read that I can already take the exam here in NY as long as I meet the 120 credits, which i do. My issue is, taxation and business law between PH & US are different and so I am thinking if I should enroll in a tax class. Or will enrolling in a review school be enough to learn what I need and pass the exam. Appreciate your help.


    • Emelyn Burton says:

      Hi Carla,

      I am going to have my transcript evaluated by the NIES, I am a CPA in the Philippines and living in Washington State. Is it possible for me to add you on facebook so I could ask you how you did yours? (I mean the evaluation)



      • John says:

        I had my evaluation done by NIES for WA state. If you took 5yr acctg program in the PH and/or took master’s, strong chance you have 150 units. If not, I suggest take more classes. I’m just suggesting to save you money and time

      • Romel Abalos says:

        Hi Emelyn, i will be moving to the US this year and I am also a CPA here in the Philippines with 5 years of accounting experience in a BPO. What are my chances of getting a job related to accounting? Will take the US CPA Exams once I’m financially settled. My concern now is getting a job right away after moving.

        Appreciate your feedback.

  • Rose says:

    Hi! I’d like to ask whether non-accountants can take the exam. Your requirements only mentioned a “4-year degree”. I am a Business Administration, major in Management Accounting graduate and a Bachelor of Law graduate. Am I eligible to try the exam? Hoping you would give light to my query. Thank you.

    • John says:

      Yes you can! As long as you meet the required accounting and business credits. Number of credits depends on which state you’re applying to.

  • Julie says:

    Hi Steph!

    I am a graduate of a 5 yr accountancy program and a CPA. But my college is in the province although I might say we are not behind other famous universities in the Philippines in terms of passing percentage my concern is will US credit my subjects if ever I will take my masters degree in the US. I dont have a plan to take US CPA exams. I just wantto ask about taking my masters.

    Thank you in advance!

  • julie says:

    It is university of maryland. Do you think i stand a chance?

    • John says:

      Yes. You will have your education evaluated by an agency (ex. NIES) to see how many credits you have. Check the requirements for the program, most uni require English proficiency and gmat

  • Julie says:

    Yes. I already know about that and i do not have to take english proficiency because they said. Im from the philippines. I also have an option to go to community college because it is less expensive. Can i also get accounting courses necessary for me as a CPA?

  • Thy says:


    I am a CPA in the Philippine. I got my license 20 years ago and migrated to the US. Currently, I am working as an accountant. Does anyone know if I have to go to school again to satisfy the requirements for the US CPA Exam?

    Thanh you.

    • John says:

      It depends on which state. I’m not sure if some states consider experience equivalent to credits. I know for sure in WA that’s not the case. I suggest you check your state’s requirements

  • Stan says:

    Hello can i add you in fb or can i get your email add. I was approved by nasba and nies docs evaluated. Do you have any reviewer in pdf. I could share mine. We could exhange or appreciate your kindness.

  • Jay ar roldan says:

    Hi stan,

    Can i add you on facebook so that we can exchange ideas and thoughts in preparation for the exam. I recently migrated here in the US and planning to take the exam.

  • Beatrice says:


    I am a graduate of a 4 yr accounting course in the Philippines. I passed the CPA board exam in the Philippines last May 2017 and migrated to the US last July. I started my application with NIES for them to evaluate my transcript. Assuming I’ve already passed the 150 credit requirement, would you suggest for me to take some review courses? Is there a review center you could suggest? Either online or not.

    If anyone has any information regarding taking the CPA here in the states and any accounting related jobs, or have any insights about it, please feel free to reach out to me! My linkedin account is Beatrice Leonardo.

    Thank you!


  • Clarissa Fulgencio says:

    Hi.. While I’m not planning on migrating to US soon, a US CPA designation is well recognized than any other accounting profession. I’m a CPA in Ph and had taken a 5-year accountancy course. Do i still need additional credits? If Yes, what are the avenues to do so?
    Also, what are the required documents/ forms to prove my 5-year course (hence my educational eligibility).

    Thank you. :*

    • Iris says:

      To find out if you still need additional credits, you have to send your original transcript to NASBA. They’ll evaluate it and they’ll tell you if you’re missing some credits.

  • Madel says:

    Wow Stephanie! Thank you for this site! I appreciate everybody’s questions and inquiries and they are all very helpful.

    I graduated from PSBA Manila in 1988, majored in Accounting. I did not pass the CPA Exam in the Philippines though. I am currently working as a seasonal tax preparer; 2018 will be my 3rd season. I live in Hawaii and have looked over the requirements for CPA License here.

    My main concerns are these– How long does it take NIES to evaluate a foreign transcript? And… I hope my PSBA credits will count! Even just some of it!

    I would appreciate comments and tips!

    Thank you!

  • Robert says:

    Interested Workers Needed soon with $300 Weekly allowance in USA. contact me with your Details if anyone like to work as House Work,Gardener soon and Driver. roberthandersonhall500(at)

  • Alma says:


    I just had my credentials from the Philippines evaluated from the accredited California Board of Accountancy evaluators, I had 158 units credits I assume I don’t need to take other classes or is there any potential they will require me to take another classes. I actually submit my application already I am just waiting for the approval notice. But I still have doubts if I qualify or not. Are there anyone here experience taking the exam without taking classes here in the US?

    Thank you!


    • Iris says:

      Is it not included in the result of the evaluation whether you are lacking some accounting credits? In my experience in Illinois although I have more than 150+ credits, I lacked credits for some accounting subjects and they indicated what classes I should take. If it’s different for California, i should say just wait for the result if you’re approved or not.

      • Alma says:

        Hello Iris,

        Thank you for your reply. It doesn’t say on the result that I need to take any accounting classes, but I actually taking some accounting related classes now, in case. This is what they wrote on their evaluation ” United States EDUCATIONAL EQUIVALENCY RECOMMENDATION” Having satisfied standards concerning status of the institution (accredited/recognized) admission criteria, required length of study and purpose of program, the studies completed and credential earned represent a level of learning equivalent to the following: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting as awarded by regionally accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. But still I have doubt, I messaged the evaluators and they said the CBA will conduct their own assessment hopefully I would qualify, fingers crossed!!! I hope I will get a letter from them next week, you are right. I just need to wait. Thanks again 🙂



  • Hall says:

    Wanted House Helper,Driver,Gardener in USA get back to if Interested along with your Resume. roberthandersonhall500(@)gmail .com or andersonhall939(@) gmail .com

  • Angela says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I graduated and passed the CPA board in the Philippines. I just moved last Dec 2017 here in Oahu, Hawaii.

    I hope to take & pass the US CPA soon. I’m not sure when to start.

    I’m thinking to get a third party to evaluate my document first or go to UH and study since law & taxation are different. I don’t know if UH will also do their own evaluation to check the subject equivalent.

    Which do you think is more practical?

    I want to save money & time. I am free after February 2018 and hoping to focus on career growth.

    Is it better to work first in any accounting firm than to take the US CPA?

    Please help. Thank you so much!

    • Iris says:

      You need to have your transcript evaluated first to know if you’re missing credits. If you do, they’ll tell you what you are missing and you can decide the classes you have to take.

      I’d say you can work while studying and that is the most practical. For some states, you need to have accounting work experience as part of the requirement for CPA license.


      • Romel Abalos says:

        Hi Iris,

        Is it hard to find a job related to accounting/finance in the US for Filipino CPA’s?


        • Iris says:

          For my experience, I moved here when I was newly grad so I don’t have any work experience that time. I see that the employers and recruiters are looking for work experience even just an internship. I say it’s not easy even though you have your CPA in the Philippines with no work experience. I was able to get a contractual accounting job and the company absorbed me full time and I work my way up from there. I’d say just be determined and don’t lose hope in trying! Once you set your foot in the field, get enough experience and you can move anywhere.

          • Romel Abalos says:

            Thank you so much for this Iris, greatly appreciated. The part where I am anxious about moving to the US is the “looking-for-a-job” part. I can say that I have a solid experience in accounting since I have been working for about 5 years now.

            Another question, what documents, aside from work permit of course, are required for the job (TOR, Diploma, etc)?

          • Iris says:

            If you have an accounting experience, i’m sure you won’t have that much of a hard time looking for an accounting work. Be prepared to start from the bottom tho. If you’re already like a senior or manager in the Philippines, i’m not sure if it will be easy to find the same level of work here as a first job.

            In my case, they did not ask for TOR or Diploma. They would just ask if you can legally work here or if you need sponsorship.


      • Angela says:

        Hi Iris,

        Thank you for the response. The University which I graduated translated my TOR in full English and then sent it to NASBA yesterday.

        I think around November 2017 when I requested it and they emailed me last week that they will process it soon.

        I worked at PwC Philippines for two years. I hope they can give me credit for my work experience. But if not, I’m planning to apply at EY or Deloitte and get the necessary experience requirement to qualify for the US CPA.

        Thanks & God bless!

        • Iris says:

          Yes, for NASBA evaluation they need an official TOR.

          Good luck on your search!

          • Angela says:

            Hi Iris,

            Thank you!!! I’m hoping for the best 🙂

          • Angela says:

            Hi Iris,

            Who told you about the credit deficiency?

            I emailed NASBA they said they will only give me a report with regards to foreign equivalent of my credits.

            I went to University of Hawaii, they are not sure on what to do with me. If they will consider me as a graduate or transfer student . They encourage me to pursue a related bachelor degree.

            I don’t know my next step.

            I’m thinking to apply for US CPA licensure at Board of Accountancy right now.

            Oh oh, I am really confused on what to do.

            I’m planning to take the board next year.

          • Iris says:

            When I got the result from NASBA ( I think it was 3 years ago ). It was specified in the result the credits that I am missing to be able to qualify here in Illinois. I remember I was lacking Ethics and Business Law/Tax credit.

            I did not pursue another Bachelor’s degree. I only took the required classes in a community college then. When I was finished they sent my transcript to NASBA to be evaluated and added to my initial transcript.

            Try inquiring to a different University or College because if you’re gonna pursue a Bachelor’s degree that would be redundant and unnecessary better pursue Masters.

          • Angela says:

            Hi Iris,

            Thanks for sharing. I’ll
            check Hawaii Pacific University.

            Your right, the units from masters might also be considered as part for 150 credit units requirement.

            Did you take the US CPA? How was it?

            Thank you!!!

          • Iris says:

            You can also check the website for Hawaii CPA licensing for accredited schools, if they list it.

            Yes, i’m done last year. Already a CPA. I can’t compare it to Philippines because I haven’t took it there but I can say it’s doable. You just have to be dedicated in studying.


          • Iris says:

            Hey Angela, you can email me at if you have other questions. 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    Hi. I recently passed the CPA board exam and I currently am looking for work. I have recently acquired a tourist visa for USA. I want to have experience in any accounting related work in USA. I want to migrate and be a US CPA. Is it possible that they’ll grant me a working visa while I am there so I can study and take the exam?

  • John says:

    Is anyone here taking FAR soon?

  • RLEJ says:

    Thanks for this page! The comments helps me… I have just a question for my kabayans who have already passed the exam, does it really help getting job specially for new comers like me..

  • Joana says:

    Hi, Steph!

    I’m a BSA student and planning to take the CPA exam here in the Philippines right after I graduated. Just want to say that your site is very helpful. I want to work internationally someday but I don’t know how to do it with my program. I’m glad that I’ve stumbled in this site.

  • Angela says:

    Hi Iris,

    I’m not fond of computerized exam but I don’t have a choice.

    Wow!!! Congrats!!!

    What review materials did you use?

    I’m thinking Gleim or Wiley…

    • Iris says:

      Thanks! Me too but everything is computerized so gotta get used to it especially the calculator on screen during the exam.

      I used Yaeger and Wiley books for some parts.

  • J says:

    They let me use their small office depot calculator during my FAR which made me so happy. I would’ve have not finished that exam if they didn’t let me use a calculator, not a big fan of the software calculator either.

    For those who are wondering how the PH exam is compared to US CPA. For FAR (financial acctg) it is different in a sense that it has simulations which are technically comprehensive problems that include a lot of documents for you to review and reconcile.. ex. Invoice, lease contracts, bank statement etc. Also, not for profit and government acctg are two things that are very important to US FAR.

    • Angela says:

      Hi J,

      Thanks for the input. I hope they will allow me to use a calculator in the future.

      Wow, long comprehensive problem. It’s easier to understand if somebody has a work experience before taking the simulated exam.

      Did you finish all four?

      Thank you!

      • J says:

        I’ve only taken FAR, still have 3 left. The use of calculator I think depends on the prometric center. I would use the term overwhelming instead of long problems. Overwhelming in a sense that for example, on my 2 sims there are like 5-6 documents attached that needed to be accounted for.

        I picture “long” problems as doing the amortization for a lease for 10 years. But I didn’t have something like that.

        Also they’ll give you a dry erase marker instead of a pen. That was a little annoying.

        Hope that helps and good luck!!

        • RB says:

          Hi J,

          Did you take your FAR exam in Q2? I took mine couple weeks ago and you got it right, it’s so overwhelming that I almost didn’t finish the exam on time.

          By the way, what materials are you using for your review? Was it helpful? I’m currently using Becker but I think that now I’ll be taking REG this August, I might need other materials to check on.

          • J says:

            Hey RB,

            Yes I took FAR and AUD, currently waiting for the results. I’m using Becker as well. My next exam hopefully is BEC. I’m planning to take REG last as it’s completely new to me. Did you take tax classes here?

          • RB says:

            Hi J,

            We are on the same boat, I don’t also have any background on US tax and business law since I studied in the Philippines. Do you by any chance work here in the US as an auditor?

          • J says:

            Hey RB,

            I worked at SGV for 1 year then moved here. Currently, I’m working for RH. I don’t have audit experience here but that’s my plan when I get my CPA. How about you? Which state did you apply to?

          • RB says:

            Hi J,

            I worked with SGV for about 5 years before moving here. I’m currently working as an auditor in Illinois but I actually applied in Virginia because their requirements to sit for an exam are more lenient as compared with the other states. How bout you?

  • DP says:

    Thank you all for your inputs here. I am a CPA in the Philippines and working as an Accountant here in CA US (but not CPA). I have a 5-year BS Accountancy degree. I am in the processing of getting my academic records evaluated (not sure how long it will take). I am at the same time reviewing FAR & using Wiley’s Trial. I can’t decide yet which reviewer to use but so far I like Roger & Wiley (tried the trial versions). Please update us on your progress in becoming a US CPA! Best luck to all of us.

  • ghely says:

    Hi Steph,

    I just moved here in the US under K1 visa. I’m a CPA in the Philippines and worked for 13 years already. I’m eyeing to take US CPA as well. Right now, I don’t have SSN yet so figuring out what’s the best way to start here…Appreciate your help.. 🙂

  • Jchellyn S. Hadjibun says:

    Please upate me

  • Fritziegay Manuel says:

    I am interested in becoming a US CPA

  • Jennie C. says:


    What’s agency is more preferable to evaluate my earned credits here in the Philippines? IERF or NASBA? Thank you.

  • >