Steps on How to Pursue CPA in the USA – And Its Demand

Posted on October 7, 2022 By Mathew Berg

You probably already know that there is no universal set of standards for becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) as different countries follow different procedures, but US CPAs are well-known internationally and always in demand. Read on to learn how to pursue CPA in the USA.

CPA in the USA: What to Expect

Gaining your CPA certification will be a strenuous but ultimately worthwhile endeavor. Learning the fundamentals is the first step in a long process. Education, passing an exam, and work experience are the three main requirements for obtaining a CPA certificate. Depending on the state or province you choose to practice in, you may also be required to pass an Ethics test as part of the licensing process. You may find helpful material for your CPA journey in the CPA Exam Booklet from the AICPA and the Candidate Bulletin from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

A 5-Step Guide on How to Pursue CPA in the US

Are you ready to give your career a big boost? Here's how to pursue CPA in the US.

Step 1 – Choose the State

Choosing the state is an important part. Different states require different qualifications to deem candidates eligible for CPA. This makes it important to choose the state carefully. If you cannot locate a state where you may apply to become a CPA, you should not continue. 

This will likely occur if you lack the requisite accounting credits. In that case, you will first need to return to school to get a prerequisite degree. It is best to opt for United States credential evaluation to avoid troubles along the way.

Step 2 – Submit Your Application

After determining your eligibility, it is time to apply. Complete the application through the CPA Central site of the NASBA and provide the relevant verification materials.

You will need to assemble all documents, including authentic diplomas and transcripts for all the academic courses you intend to apply for as credit. If they are not written in English, obtain a certified translation to avoid any problems. 

If you are an international student, you will also need a valid passport to take the exam. In case you have received your education outside the United States, you will require foreign transcript evaluation for CPA.   

Once eligibility has been validated, you will get your Notice to Schedule (NTS) required to schedule your CPA Exam section.  

Step 3 – Schedule Your CPA Exam

After determining when you wish to take a section of the CPA Exam, use your NTS to arrange a test date with Prometric. International applicants may not be permitted to take exams at all Prometric facilities outside the United States.

You should investigate the individual testing venues accessible. Keep in mind that you can’t retake a test section more than once within the testing window, but that’s the only limitation.

Step 4 – Prepare & Take the Exam

You will take one section at a time. Therefore utilize all available materials and tools, such as the CPA Exam Blueprints and Sample Tests. Map out when you’ll be studying and when you’ll be taking each exam section. Do your preparation and planning for next year’s studies while you wait for the assessment agency’s findings.

The CPA Exam is conducted continuously throughout the year, allowing you to schedule your examination at your convenience. You will have 18 months to get a minimum score of 75 on all four CPA Exam sections. Check our score release dates to determine when you may anticipate receiving your test score.

Step 5 – Get your Certified Public Accountant Certification.

To become a certified public accountant (CPA), you must pass all four sections of the test within 18 months. The final step before applying for your license is to determine if your state or province requires an additional Ethics test after the four you’ve already passed.

Visit the website of your state’s board of accountancy, verify the extra paperwork you need to submit, pay any costs, and submit the paperwork. The board will review and authorize your application within a few weeks. If all goes according to plan, you should be able to add “US Certified Public Accountant” to your resume.

The Bottom Line: Demand for CPA in the USA is High!

In recent years, accounting has experienced phenomenal growth. Yet, there is a continuing shortage of qualified accountants at all levels. The need for accountants proficient in new accounting areas and who can provide such services has increased steadily in light of the current economic climate. Therefore, professionals with valid US CPA licenses have an advantage in the job market. If you want to take your career to the next level, pursue CPA in the USA.

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