How to take the CPA Exam Internationally? A Guide for International Students

Many students outside the USA wonder how to take the CPA Exam internationally. Before 2011, anyone who wished to acquire the CPA credentials needed to travel to the United States to sit down for the exam. However, the CPA exam is now offered in most major countries around the world.

But if there is no exam center for this in your country, do not panic. You are allowed to sit down for the exam in a nearby country.

Note that only 55 boards can issue the CPA license, so anyone ready to write the exam must first check if his or her state is part of the state boards of accountancy.

Procedures to Follow as an International Candidate to Take CPA Exam

1. Select an active U.S state 

You need to know that nine territories participate in the international management of the CPA exam.

So, you will need to register with one of the boards that allow international candidates to sit for the exam 

2. Get in touch with the board of accountancy

You must contact the board of accountancy that you picked and acquire the application form from them. 

Fill out and submit the application form. At this juncture, you will have to pay a specific sum of money. The application fee varies based on the state boards.

3. Accept your Notice to Schedule 

NTS is known as Notice to Schedule. It is the document that highlights the part of the exam you have been accepted to write. If you are qualified for the exam, NASBA will notify you that you ought to print your Notice to Schedule from your NASBA CPA Candidate account.

The authentication of this NTS varies depending on the law that guides each state, but most states give it a six-month validity period.

4. Schedule your CPA exam

You will log in to your NASBA CPA Candidate account and assign the sections of the exam you wish to write.

5. Email Confirmation

After selecting your exam appropriately, you will receive an email for confirmation. It is critical to confirm the information in it.

Check if the exam time, date, and location you picked are correctly stated in the email.

What is the examination fee?

The sections of the exam include:

– Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

– Regulation (REG)

– Financial Accounting and  Reporting (FAR)

– Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

You have to pay for the domestic testing, which varies but costs around USD 200 for each section.

You will also have to pay the registration fee, which also varies, but it would be around USD 300 for the entire four sections.

Moreover, the CPA exam application fee is between the range of $50 – USD 200 based on the state in which you selected to write the exam.

I suggest that you budget USD 835 for your CPA exam.

Alternative Route to get CPA credential for International Students

There is an easier way to gain CPA credentials – it is through the International Qualification Examination (IQEX)

IQEX allows qualifying International students to skip the U.S. CPA exam and acquire a U.S. CPA license through reciprocity.

How does this work?

International candidates who belong to specific non-U.S. professional associations became qualified to take the CPA license without taking the Uniform CPA exam.

1. You must be a member of one of the professional bodies like CPA Australia, CPA Canada (CPAC), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA), Chartered Accountants of Ireland (CAI) and more 

2. You need to take the International Qualification Examination

This particular exam covers professional ethics, business rules, and taxation.

But you can’t acquire the CPA license by these alone; there are other requirements that the state boards must meet.

List of Countries That Offer CPA Exam

The CPA exam is  presently taking place in the following countries:

1. Japan

2. England

3. UAE

4. Scotland

5. Bahrain 

6. Kuwait

7. Germany

8. Lebanon 

9. U.S

10. Ireland 

11. India

12. Jordan

13. Egypt 

14. Saudi Arabia

15. Nebal

16. South Korea 

17. Scotland 

Other valuable information

1. The CPA exam consists of four papers, and each of them lasts for four hours

2. You need a passport; it is an essential requirement. But if your country passport did require your signature, you will have to provide another identification that includes your signature.

3. Once your NTS (notice to schedule) expires, there is no refund, and you won’t be able to reschedule your exam.

4. Your score will be out 1 – 2 weeks after your exam date.

5. If you are looking for CPA preparation as international student, we would highly recommend to try either Becker or Surgent.

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