|Steps to Becoming a CPA|
Step 1 - Education & Experience
You must complete 150 hours of education to meet the education requirement set forth in the Utah Accountancy Act and defining rules. If you are unsure if your acquired education qualifies you to sit for the exam, use our non-authoritative CPA Education Checklist.
Hint: The general rule of thumb is that obtaining an undergraduate degree in accounting plus a MAcc or an MBA with the correct accounting courses, from an appropriately accredited institution will qualify you to sit for the exam. If this scenario does not apply to you, refer to the CPA Education Checklist.
$$$: If you attend a four year public university in Utah from which you also obtain an MBA or MAcc, you will most likely spend between $40,000-$60,000 on tuition.
You must obtain 2000 hours, roughly equivalent to one year of “Accounting Experience,” prior to applying for licensure. "Accounting Experience" means applying accounting and auditing skills and principles, under the direct supervision of a current CPA, that are taught as a part of the education qualifying a person for licensure and generally accepted by the profession, under the supervision of a licensed certified public accountant.
Hint: "Accounting Experience" may be obtained before or after the education requirement is met. Internships and part-time jobs may count toward the experience requirement. Have your supervisor sign the required paperwork before you leave - collecting it later can be difficult. Most often, individuals are obtaining their "Accounting Experience" while studying to sit for the exam.
Step 2 - Examination
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is the administering body for the CPA Exam. A first time application must be completed by applicants who have never applied to sit for the exam in Utah or who have previously applied and were denied as ineligible or incomplete.
You may apply for one or more sections of the exam at a time, but we recommend that you apply for all four sections at the same time and plan to take all four sections within the following nine (9) month window. This will save you money by only having to pay the application fee once and will set a firm goal of taking all sections of the exam in a reasonable amount of time.
Send your official college transcripts as soon as they are available to help avoid delays. NASBA will not review your application until official transcripts are received.
Hint: There is no one right way to prepare to sit for the CPA Exam. You have completed 15 years of schooling and know what works for you. Speak with your peers and those that have come before you. Get different input on what worked for others and create your own study plan. Go to cpa-exam.org for all the gory details about the Exam.
$$$: The cost to sit for each section of the exam varies between $175 and $250.
Step 3 - Notice to Schedule
Once your application has been processed and it is determined that you are eligible to take one or more sections of the exam and have paid your fees, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA. One NTS will be sent to you listing the section(s) of the exam that you are approved to take. You may now contact Prometric, the CPA Exam testing organization, to begin the scheduling process.
Hint: When you apply to take the exam, choose to receive your NTS via email to speed up the process. Otherwise, the NTS will be mailed to you.
Step 4 - AICPA Ethics Exam
The AICPA Ethics Exam is an "open book" self-study exam that can be purchased directly from the UACPA. You must submit your answers to the AICPA before the expiration date noted on your particular exam - usually 9 months to a year after purchase. Your passing score, however, will not expire.
Hint: The Ethics Exam may be taken at any point in the process being described in these steps. You do not have to wait until you finish your education or experience. Upon purchase of the Ethics Exam from the UACPA, you may be eligible for a free one year trial membership.
$$$: You can purchase the Ethics Exam directly from the UACPA for $110.
Step 5 - Utah Law & Rules Exam
You must pass the Utah Law & Rules Exam prior to sending in your application for licensure. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of the Utah CPA Licensing Act (60% of test content) and Rules as well as the DOPL Act, and General Rules of DOPL (40% of test content).
PSI administers the Utah Law & Rules Exam, which is an open book test that is completed on a computer. More information is available at candidate.psiexams.com.
Hint: Although the test is open book, it is timed. You should read through the materials at least once and highlight important sections so that you can easily find and refer to them during the exam.
$$$: It will cost $72 to register for the Utah Law & Rules Exam.
Step 6 - Application
Wow! That was a lot of work, but you've finally made it! The final step is to make application to the State of Utah Department of Professional Licensing for your CPA License. Now just sit back and wait for that certificate to arrive and plan on joining us at our Annual CPA Inauguration!
$$$: The application fee for CPA Licensure is $85.00.