California CPA requirements 2024 : Exams & License

Educational Requirements

Requirement Details
Total Semester Units – 150 hours (including B.A.)
Accounting Subjects – 24 semester hours
Business-Related Subjects – 24 semester hours
Additional Courses – 20 semester hours in accounting study

– 10 semester hours in ethics

Eligibility to Sit for CPA Exam

Requirement Details
Credit Hours – 120 semester hours
Minimum Degree – Bachelor’s degree
Specific Coursework – 24 semester hours in accounting subjects

– 24 semester hours in business-related courses

Work Experience Requirements

Requirement Details
Total Experience – 1 year of experience
Full-Time Equivalent – 170 hours of part-time work equals one month of full-time work
Attest-Related Experience – At least 500 hours of attest-related experience to sign attest reports
Supervisor – Experience must be under a licensed CPA

Ethics Exam Requirements

Requirement Details
Exam Type – Professional Ethics for CPAs (PETH)
Number of Questions – 50 multiple-choice questions
Passing Score – 90 percentile
Attempts Allowed – 6 attempts
Completion Time – Must complete within one year after paying the fee
Validity of Results – Results valid for two years

Other Requirements

Requirement Details
Social Security Number – Required (SSN or ITIN)
Age – At least 18 years old
Citizenship – No U.S. citizenship required
Residency – No in-state residency required
Good Moral Character – Yes
International Exam Program – Yes

CPA Exam Costs and Fees

Description Amount
Initial Application Fee – $100.00
Exam Section Fees – $238.15 per section (AUD, BEC, FAR, REG)
Total Exam Fees – $1,052.60
Re-Application Fee – $50.00

CPA License Application and Renewal

Description Amount
Initial License Fee – $250.00
Fingerprint Processing – $49.00 (for non-California residents)
License Renewal Fee – $250.00
Renewal Processing Time – 24 to 48 hours

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements

Description Details
Total CPE Hours – 80 hours over two years
Yearly Minimum – 20 hours per year
Specialized Subjects – 12 hours in accounting, auditing, taxation, financial planning, regulatory review

CPA Exam Scheduling and Score Release

  • Exam Dates: Year-round
  • Authorization to Test (ATT):
    • Issued after application review
  • Notice to Schedule (NTS):
    • Issued upon payment confirmation of exam section fee

Note for International Students

  • Credential Evaluation:
    • Required for foreign academic credits
    • Must be performed by NACES members
  • Steps to Become a U.S. CPA:
    • Choose a U.S. jurisdiction
    • Contact the Board of Accountancy
    • Submit application and fees
    • Schedule and pass all CPA Exam sections within 18 months
    • Apply for CPA license after meeting all requirements

By organizing the requirements into tables and bullet points, you can easily navigate the essential information needed to become a CPA in California.

    • Credential evaluation required for foreign academic credits
    • Steps to become a U.S. CPA include choosing a jurisdiction, contacting the Board of Accountancy, submitting application and fees, scheduling and passing all CPA Exam sections within 18 months, and applying for CPA license after meeting.

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