Citizens of other countries tell us that a U.S. CPA certificate is valuable on a resume for someone in international business.
There are 54 different offices in the U.S.A. to which you can send an application to become a U.S. CPA (that’s right, 54!). Each of the 50 states issues its own CPA certificate, as do Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Education and experience requirements vary by state.
If you know the state in which you would like to apply, see the state boards. If you aren’t sure in which state to apply, you are looking at the right page. Keep reading……
The minimum educational requirement to sit for the U.S. CPA exam is generally a four year university degree. Most states require 150 university semester hours before you can sit for the CPA exam.
The U.S. CPA examination is being offered in several countries other than the U.S. (Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, and the UAE). For details see The AICPA Website
Once you have passed the exam in one state you can transfer to another state. You will have to meet the education and experience requirements of the new state, but normally you are given credit for having already passed the CPA exam.
The CPA certificate is not directly comparable to the articles of a chartered accountant. A chartered accountant who wishes to have a U.S. CPA certificate must take the exam to become a U.S. CPA. The only exception is a special examination for members of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) and the Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP). The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) web site has information on the IQEX examination. (On that page click “EXAMS” then “IQEX”)
Some states do not require that you be a resident of the state or a U.S. citizen to earn a CPA certificate issued by that state. The last time we checked, these states were:
Some states will grant a CPA certificate with no experience, but require evidence of experience before a “permit to practice” is issued. If you just want a U.S. CPA certificate for your resume, you might investigate the current requirements of these states. The last time we checked, these states were:
Most states have adopted a 150 university semester hour educational requirement. A few states require only a four year university degree. Each state has specific requirements for evaluation of your transcripts, so you must pick a state before you can have your transcripts evaluated. The last time we checked, the states requiring only four years were:
Most states allow you to download their CPA exam application forms over the Internet in PDF form using the free Adobe Acrobat reader. To download forms, or for information on how to contact a particular state board, see the state boards.
To apply for the CPA examination, contact the appropriate board of accountancy to obtain an application.
To ensure that you will have enough time to obtain the required recommendation letters, transcripts, photographs, and other documents, you should request your application several months in advance. Keep a copy of your completed application, and send your application by certified mail (return receipt requested).
The states are constantly changing their CPA exam requirements, their addresses, and their phone numbers. Check with the appropriate state board for current information. If you find that any of this information is out of date, we would be thankful for an e-mail message to Yvette at
If you are outside the U.S., you might start at the U.S. Embassy, at the “Information Service.” Their people and books are very helpful. What, you say this is the Internet and you want information, not instructions to wait in line at an office far away from you? OK, here you are!
For U.S. immigration information, try REFERENCE – U.S. Immigration Law, Regulations and Procedures
Accounting Institute Seminars® (AIS) offers self study CPA exam books. Most are available on-line, for download to your computer. The electronic version is less expensive than paper books. You can magnify pages on your screen, fill the screen (view – full screen), search for terms, and print pages. Best of all, you can start studying it now instead of waiting days for it to arrive!
Here is the list of our currently available E-BOOKS CPA REVIEW.
For more information on e-books or for paper copies, refer to CPA REVIEW SELF STUDY BOOKS.
If you would like to know more about AIS, see answers to questions frequently asked about AIS.
AIS…We provide the formula….
Comments or questions to Yvette at yvetteh (at sign)AIS-CPA.com or Brandon@AIS-CPA.com