How to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – USA


It may be your most intelligent career path to become a certified public accountant (CPA) in the USA, however, it is not basic. To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the USA requires months of practice in education and career accounting as well as years of rigorous work to pass the exams.

CPAs are around 20% higher than that of non-CPAs, and they also enjoy easy job opportunities and enhanced job security. Being a Certified Public Accountant is always a daunting journey, but it provides a great deal of credit for those who want to do so.


EDUCATION: A few states require a specific bachelor’s, although some necessitate a business degree or accounting, such as finance.

  • The criteria for education differ between states, but most states need many validity and reliability. The primary qualification is that a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or 120 college credit hours should be accomplished to qualify.
  • Requirements vary to different standards, several states require at least a level of an accountant and corporate training.
  • Some states go far beyond standard academic qualifications and allow their applicants to complete at least 150 hours of university credit for the test. 
  • It is generally not the case since only 120 credits are required to be eligible for the test. However, the majority of states allow a qualification period of 150 credit hours.
  • I advise you to contact your board of state “NASBA”. They can check your records and say whether or not your college credits are valid.

CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS: Many countries in the USA tend to be allowing non-citizens to become CPAs. That said, certain countries are just going to approve US citizens. You can check this with your respective state board site.

  1. For verification purposes, the majority of states need a valid social security card.
  2. However, there is no provision for social security in some states such as Montana, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This may meet a revision/survey on the respective section of the state board.

AGE: The CPA exam requires at least 18 years of age for all 55 licensing authorities.


You are legally qualified to start the registration process once you have completed all your CPA exam credentials. If you unintentionally miss a move or make it out of order, it can be a complicated parody.

  • Submit transcripts of official classes and credit hours as required by the respective state board. This covers junior colleges, community colleges, and universities. It is recommended that you submit your documents as early as you fulfil the CPA exam education eligibility of your state to Fastrack the registration process. 
  • Give your application for the CPA exam and pay the processing fee. The fees usually vary from $150 to $250 depending on the State.
  • Receive your State Board’s Authorization to Test. This form allows you to register in your state for a section of the CPA test. Normally, it’s only valid for 90 days to choose which section of the exam you want to appear for. When the 90 days are up, they will forfeit your processing fee, and you’ll have to spend this again.
  • You will need to sign in to the NASBA account and pay the exam section fee after choosing which section you first want to take. Depending on the state, each country charges slightly different exam fees. Only set up and pay for the segments you wish to take over the next 6 months. You may register afterwards for the rest.
  • Get your NASBA notice to Schedule. NTS is your official document allowing you to sit in the United States for a CPA examination. Usually, it takes 3-6 weeks to receive.
  • Each state has a “testing period” for the NTS, meaning that you have essentially a deadline to take all tests you paid for in STEP 3. 
  • Go over to the site “Prometric”, and arrange your test. 
  • Click the “My Test schedule” tab, and pick the state you want to test in. Enter the ID and first 4 letters of your last name in the exam section. From here you can select the date, place, and section of the examination(s) you prefer to pursue.
  • You will not be eligible to appear for test if you do not possess your NTS, you must take your Notice to schedule with you to the Prometric Centre. You also need to display two identification forms at the test centre, one of which must include a recent photograph. Each ID form must have a valid signature with no expiry date.



The licensing requirements differ between states. Since CPA licenses and permits are issued by individual state accounting bodies, the regulations can be a little confusing. 

Most regions typically require one or two years of experience in accounting under an engaged CPA instruction. Your employer must hold a current active license for the certified public accountant in the United States.

Most parts of the USA also allow you to take a CPA licensing ethics exam. Also, several Boards must consent to the rigorous course of ethics in the AICPA.

After you find out you have fulfilled the requirements of your state, fill out the application, and send it along with it in any other form or fee. Besides, the State Accounting Board will include all forms required to be submitted.

You will obtain your certified public accountant permit within a few weeks after these measures have been completed and approved by your state board of accountancy.

See the website of the State Accounting Board to ensure that you have met the applicable requirements. See also the simple Chart of State criteria to be thorough.

CPA tests are challenging and stressful, as they are somewhat complex. There are various steps that you’ll have to take to become a Certified Public Accountant; else your application will face rejection. They could end up charging a lot of extra fees.

This guide is intended to help you navigate the Uniform CPA Assessment application process step by step, so you don’t make an expensive mistake.