How To Become A CPA Without An Accounting Degree

How To Become A CPA Without An Accounting Degree

how to become a cpa without a degree

Many CPAs also pursue a specialization, which may require additional training and credentials. Professionals can pursue this training through professional organizations and certificate programs. Before you start your journey toward becoming a CPA, you may want to know what job or career opportunities you’ll have after obtaining the certification. After all, the certification requires putting in a lot of time, effort, and resources. Most states require 150 hours of relevant coursework, while a few will let you slide with only 120 credit hours. Your next step could be securing an entry-level role that does not require a degree.

Understanding the CPA Exam

You will need to complete educational requirements specified by the state in which you plan to obtain your license. Getting a CPA in each state has different requirements for taking the CPA Exam and becoming a licensed CPA. These variances can include residency or experience requirements, requirements for semester hours in accounting and more. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is a valuable resource for accountants planning to pursue licensure. NASBA offers information and links to the 55 jurisdictional accountancy boards that operate in the United States. Consult the board specific to the jurisdiction where you plan to work for details on local licensure requirements.

  1. Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project.
  2. It may require additional time and commitment, but the career opportunities and professional recognition that come with the CPA certification make it all worthwhile.
  3. Each certification has its own set of prerequisites and education requirements that must be met in order to take their respective exams.
  4. If you don’t have an accounting degree, you may still be able to become an accountant without going back to school.

Gaining Relevant Experience

Unlike the college environment, where discretionary time might have been more abundant, life’s complexities necessitate a realistic approach to study time allocation. Preparing for the CPA Exam is often likened to running a marathon—an academic marathon. Be aware that while most states will accept non-public accounting work experience (corporate or government accounting, for example), there are some that will not. The CPA Exam includes four tests, and you must pass all four within an 18-month period.

Step 5: Registering and Taking the CPA Exam

While this is increasingly uncommon, it may be possible to become a CPA without a degree. After passing the CPA exam, you will have to get licensed in your state and maintain that license for your accounting practice. You will need to be prepared for an intensive season of study and preparation to pass that test.

how to become a cpa without a degree

CPA education requirements include a four-year bachelor’s degree and 150 total credits. However, your degree must include a minimum number of credits in accounting and business subjects. CPA candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree and additional educational qualifications. But most states require aspiring CPAs to earn 150 credits — or about 30 credits beyond a typical bachelor’s program. Do you lack experience but still want to become a tax or bookkeeping professional?

This exam tests candidates on the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and Accounting Rules. Multiple choice questions are straightforward in structure but can be complex. The only additional type of test question will be present in the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) test, which includes written communication tasks.

In addition to rote memorization of facts, it’s important that you thoroughly read all study materials. This will help you understand the ideas behind the facts, which is what the CPA exam is really designed to test. This keeps the materials fresh for the industry and also presents a challenge to test-takers.

However, the process for becoming a CPA is relatively straightforward in most states. Due to its requirements, the prestige that comes with a CPA license will garner a wealth of trust and admiration how to perform bank reconciliation from colleagues and potential clients. Alternatively, as an auditor, especially internal auditing, you can provide value through ensuring compliance and enhancing operational efficiency.

Additionally, those who seek further education or certifications, even after starting their careers, may see even higher salaries and opportunities. offers detailed insights into the numerous accounting positions and their respective earnings. For a career in management accounting, the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is key.


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