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CPA Licensing FAQ

 

Utah CPA Licensing FAQ

Below you will find answers to all the questions you have ever had about getting licensed as a CPA in the state of Utah. Questions are organized by topic. If you don't see an answer to your question, send us a line at mail@uacpa.org, and we'll get right on it!

 

Questions Regarding Alternative Routes to Licensure

 

Q: How can I be sure the credits I have taken will qualify me to sit for the CPA Exam and become licensed?

A: The NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) offers an Advisory Evaluation as an optional service for students looking to confirm their credits and qualifications. As stated on their website: "An Advisory Evaluation will identify any academic deficiencies in your education before you submit a first-time application for the Exam. Please visit CPA Central for more information about submitting an Advisory Evaluation in Utah. You must create a CPA Central user account to begin the Advisory Evaluation process."

 

Q: If I have finance or accounting experience, but my degree is in something other than accounting, can my experience qualify me to sit for the CPA Exam?

A: As much as we would like to say that experience would let you sit for the CPA exam, NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) is pretty strict on education requirements to sit for the exam. Below is a link for the Utah requirements.

https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/utah/

Typically we see candidates going back to school to do the undergrad work needed. Some of your hours may count if you took any classes that were accounting related.

As for experience, if you worked directly under a CPA, you can count hours worked towards the 2000-hour requirement to license.  

 

Q: My undergraduate degree was in accounting, and I'm thinking of pursuing an MBA. Will I be able to sit for the Exam with an MBA?

A: To qualify to sit for the exam while pursuing an MBA, you will need to make sure you take enough accounting-related classes in your coursework. It's a good idea to talk with your counselor and review the requirements for licensure outlined on NASBA's (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) website. Option 2 on the education checklist is for students pursing an MBA. Your counselor can help you make sure you're taking the correct classes to qualify. NASBA is the entity that approves the CPA Exam application.

 

Q: Do I need a master's degree to become a CPA in Utah?

A: While you do not officially have to have a master's degree, you do have to take master's level coursework in accounting as part of your 150 credit hours, so the master's is the easiest route. If you want more information about qualifying without a master's degree, see NASBA's education checklist options 3 and 4.

 

Q: I have transfer credits from a university outside of the U.S. and a master’s degree in professional accountancy from a school in the state, but I have fewer than 150 credit hours from the school in Utah. Is it possible to have my foreign credits count towards my 150 hours?

A: NASBA (National Association of State Board of Accountancy) has a service for evaluating foreign education credits. You can find the information about their service here. You can also have your credits evaluated by the NACES here

 

Questions Regarding the Basics of Getting Licensed as a CPA in Utah

 

Q: How much time to I have to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam?

A: When you register and pay for one or more parts of the CPA Exam, you have nine months to complete that/those test(s) you registered for. However, you do not need to register for all four parts at the same time. The window to pass all four parts of the Exam is 18 months from the day you pass your first test.

 

Q: If I want to meet the qualifications to sit for the CPA Exam, is there a grade cutoff under which a class would not count? Or, do all classes count as long as they were passed?

A: As long as you passed all your classes and meet the requirements to sit for the exam, you're good to go.

 

Q: How many credit hours do I need to complete to sit for the CPA Exam?

A: 135

 

Q: Can I sit for the CPA Exam if I am currently enrolled in the last few classes I need for 135 hours, or do I need to have completed the semester?

A: You cannot schedule to sit for the CPA Exam until your grades have posted for all 135 hours. 

 

Q: I have 120 credits from college and 15 from AP classes in high school. Do my 135 credits with the AP credits allow me to sit for the Exam? 

A: Unfortunately the 15 hours AP credits will not qualify.

 

Q: I passed all four sections of the CPA Exam in another state, can I use the passing scores I earned in another state to license in Utah?

A: Yes! Once you pass all four sections of the CPA Exam in any state, you are set for life. You can use those scores to license in any state. However, each state will have its own set of unique additional requirements to license. For example, Utah requires you to pass an AICPA ethics exam, a Utah laws and rules test, and complete 2000 hours of accounting-related experience under the supervision of a CPA. You can find more information on that on the DOPL's website. The DOPL is the entity that will grant you a Utah CPA license.

 

Q: I have completed my required 2000 hours of accounting-related experience. However, my boss, who is a CPA, will be retiring soon. Will my time working for her still count for the requirements even if she has retired once I am eligible to sit for the exam?


A: She can sign off on your hours as part of the application process as she would have been a CPA at the time of your work experience.

 

Q: Can I get my 2000 hours of experience from multiple jobs?

A: Yes. You will just need to get each CPA supervising you to sign off on the number of hours you worked with them. We suggest printing off the form from the DOPL and getting them to sign it when you leave so you don't have to go back and get them to sign it later. The form can be accessed on page three of the application here.

 

Q: Do the 2000 accounting-related experience hours need to include any specific experience? I gained all of my hours in auditing, do some of the hours need to be in tax or other areas?

A: The short answer is no, there is not a list of specific subjects you must cover in your experience hours. You can have your 2000 hours with any "accounting experience." The exact verbiage on the application for CPA licensure in the state of Utah is as follows: “'Accounting Experience' means applying accounting and auditing skills and principles that are taught as a part of the professional education qualifying a person for licensure under UCA 58- 26a and generally accepted by the profession while under the supervision of a licensed certified public accountant." 

 

Q: Do I have to obtain my 2000 hours of accounting-related experience within any specific timeframe? For example, if I got my experience three years ago and plan to study for the test next year, do those hours need to be more recently obtained?

A: You can complete your 2000 hours at any time as long as the CPAs you worked under are willing to sign off on those hours. There is no specific window in which you must obtain those hours relative to when you pass the CPA Exam.

 

Questions Regarding Schools and Programs in Utah for Obtaining a CPA License

 

Q: Can I sit for the CPA Exam with a master's degree in accounting from Western Governors University?

A: Yes. WGU's college of business programs are accredited by the ACBSP. As it says on their website: The Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSAC) program alone does not meet the education requirements to be licensed in Utah. The combination of the BSAC and the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program meets the education requirements for CPA examination and licensure. For more information, click here.

 

Q: Can I sit for the CPA Exam with a master's degree from the University of Phoenix?

A: University of Phoenix is accredited by the ACBSP and offers an MBA with a concentration in accounting. According to their website, "some of our degree offerings are aligned with materials on the CPA exam." We suggest double checking with them before you start to make sure you are taking the correct courses to qualify to sit for the exam in Utah. 

 

Q: If I want to become a CPA, are there valuable accounting programs that can be completed online? 

A: All eight of Utah's universities have good accounting programs that are placing 96% of graduates. As far as online courses, SUU's program is a great course that can be taken all online. Most of the other universities do provide online options, but they will require some class time. 

 

Q: What career paths and work experience can I expect if I pursue a CPA license?

The CPA designation opens up many opportunities as far as a career paths. If you're already involved in a financial roll in your organization, your CPA license will enable you to move further along the corporate ladder at a much quicker pace. You've probably heard that accounting is the language of business. If you understand accounting, you can do about anything with it. We have members that are in public practice, industry, comedy, non-profit, government, music, etc - you can do anything!

 

Q: I have obtained undergraduate credits from an institution for which I can't find accreditation information. Is there a way to determine if the classes I took will count?

A: Sometimes we've had to go before the State Board of Accountancy with regards to individual classes at universities that aren't certified for NASBA requirements. As a state we can override that. If this is your situation, send us a note at mail@uacpa.org with more information.

 

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