"Easiest" state to get CPA license in?

Discussion in 'Accounting' started by David, May 26, 2005.

  1. David

    David Guest

    What's the state that has the lowest bar in requirements when it comes
    to getting a CPA license? I live in Washington (WA), but I do
    not meet the strigent education requirements (24 semester hours of
    accounting + 24 semester hours of business administration). I have 0
    hours in one and 4-5 in the other. I have no accounting work experience,
    and very little general work experience because I'm a recent college

    Also, does it matter what state you get a license in? I don't intend
    to practice.

    I have already looked at
    http://www.aicpa.org/download/states/require_pract.pdf , but it didn't
    particularly help. Looked like North Dakota might be easy, but ND's
    website contradicted that information.

    David, May 26, 2005
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  2. David

    Bluepen Guest

    All states require a bachelors in Accounting, not must a business
    degree with an accounting major. This adds up to about 24 semester
    hours of accounting. You then have to take the test and get
    experience to become a CPA. There are no shortcuts that I know of.
    Bluepen, May 26, 2005
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  3. Then why are you bothering to get a CPA license? You'll have to obtain CPE
    on a continuous basis to keep that license, as well as actually ~pay~
    licensing fees on a regular basis.
    Paul A Thomas, May 26, 2005
  4. David

    Wayne Brasch Guest

    Why bother if you don't intend to practice? That is a lot of learning and
    work you have to go through to pass that exam regardless of the State. The
    exam is the same for all States. Just the requirements to take the exam
    varies among the States.

    Wayne Brasch, May 26, 2005
  5. David

    David Guest

    I want to get a CPA so that it might help my career in the future.

    I really don't intend to ~practice~ in the immediate future because I have
    other commitments, but getting a CPA is something I've always dreamed

    I am aware of the CPE requirements, and I have no problem working to get
    them. It's not that I'm against getting the required amount of credit for
    my state; it's that I'd prefer to study more on my own.

    I don't know if my short-sightedness offends CPA's like you, but I hope it
    doesn't. ;)

    -Dave Moore
    David, May 26, 2005
  6. David

    David Guest

    See my response to Paul for "why" I want a CPA. I think self-studying for
    it might be a great learning experience, and passing it might help my
    career sometime in the future.

    I am aware of the uniformity of the exam across all states, and I know
    that passing the CPA is no cakewalk.

    I'm looking for the state with the lowest requirements so that I can say
    that I have a CPA license to practice in [fill in state] should the need
    ever arise. I know that being licensed to practice in one state doesn't
    affect the license to practice in another.

    David, May 26, 2005
  7. David

    David Guest

    I disagree. If you take a look at
    http://www.cpaboard.wa.gov/rules/wac/wac4_25_710.html , the requirements

    "(a) At least one hundred fifty semester hours (two hundred twenty-five
    quarter hours) of college education, including

    (b) A baccalaureate or higher degree; and

    (c) An accounting concentration defined as ... 24 hours of accounting
    subjects ... and 24 hours of business administration subjects."

    Most states have a similar requirement. You don't need a BA in
    accounting, but you do need a fair number of hours in Accounting and
    Business subjects. You can get these hours even after you graduate with
    a BA in basket-weaving.

    David, May 26, 2005

  8. Not sure what you mean by "being licensed to practice in one state doesn't
    affect the license to practice in another", because to practice in that
    state, you would need to be licensed in that state. While most states allow
    a reciprocity with other state's licenses, going with the one with the
    weakest requirements might leave you with a license that won't transfer to
    other states.

    If you need to have your CPA license to land a job, then the employer NEEDS
    you to be licensed in that state most likely.

    While self-study isn't going to slow you down, if that's all you do, it
    probably isn't enough.
    Paul A Thomas, May 26, 2005
  9. David

    John Guest

    other commitments, but getting a CPA is something I've always dreamed
    them. It's not that I'm against getting the required amount of credit
    my state; it's that I'd prefer to study more on my own.
    doesn't. ;)

    you can study on your own but the experience and education requirements
    are very similar among the states, I don't think you are going to find
    an "easy" state! At this point you should be evaluating your aptitude
    for accounting and whether you like detail type work and not so much
    worry about the minimum requirements at this point.
    John, May 26, 2005
  10. David

    bobbie Guest

    Hi David,

    I understand why you would get a license without wanting to practice.
    I, too, don't want to practice long-term, but want to attain the
    license for career advancement purposes.

    The bottom line is, that you will have to practice for a period of time
    in order to achieve the license. That is where I am in my career right
    now. Currently I work in a small firm, and I am studying for the exam.
    I've almost completed my second Master's degree (this one in
    Accounting) which will give me the education requirements. I can tell
    you that the requirements (both educational and practice) are not just
    there as a barrier to entry, they are absolutely necessary.

    Everyday I encounter issues that I've learned about in school, but when
    it comes to putting it into context with what I am dealing with, it's
    not that simple. I NEED the help of my colleagues.

    Even if you could self-study to take the exam, you would not be able to
    apply what you've learned from the books correctly without guidance. I
    am working on my first audit, and I am auditing the Accounts Payable
    account. This morning I was so focused on making sure that amounts
    were accrued in the correct period, that I didn't realize the nature of
    the payable I was working on was actually a prepaid expense (as opposed
    to a regular expense). This is a minor example where I was corrected
    by one of my colleagues, and that was just this morning!

    Working with other CPAs is the only way to insure that when you become
    licensed you are MINIMALLY competent to be called a CPA. Also, the
    requirements help keep the standards for the profession high, which is
    very important, considering we deal with other people's money.

    I wish there was a short-cut, as I am 40 years old and changing careers
    (from corporate sales) but there isn't. Every day I go to work at my
    small firm, I learn exactly WHY there is no simple path.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, but I started this path similar with a
    similar idea as you, so I thought I'd chime in. Best to you.

    bobbie, May 26, 2005
  11. David

    David Guest

    Yes, that's exactly my reason. :)
    Wow, thanks for that reply. Even if it didn't answer my question, it was
    very helpful. It's given me something to think about. For now, I think I
    will go ahead and take a few accounting classes and see how I like them.
    David, May 27, 2005
  12. David

    Bluepen Guest

    I may have been over generalizing. I think WAshington actually
    requires a degree in accounting, but I could be wrong. With that
    number of accounting credits, though, I can't imagine not qualifying
    for a degree in accounting.
    Bluepen, May 27, 2005
  13. David

    Ron Todd Guest

    Simple, the candidate could take them post baccalaureate as 48 hours
    of extension classes.
    Ron Todd, May 27, 2005
  14. David

    Ron Todd Guest

    Yes on the license fee.

    Not necessarily on the CPE. If the state allows "inactive" and/or
    "retired" status, the CPE requirement is removed.
    Ron Todd, May 27, 2005
  15. David

    Ron Todd Guest

    I would not count on that. I have never met anyone, in a position to
    hire, that was impressed with the license in the least.

    On the other hand, I've met many who were not in a position of
    authority to hire that still seem to be impressed with the
    Ron Todd, May 27, 2005
  16. David

    Ron Todd Guest



    You might look at California's dual track licensing system.
    Ron Todd, May 27, 2005
  17. David

    R Guest


    I think you've come to the right conclusion... take a few accounting
    classes to see if you really like it. Like most professions, the
    reality doesn't always fit the image... not that the classes will give
    you a taste of reality, but it's the starting point. The two key
    classes will be your intermediate accounting classes. The
    intermediate classes are typically the "weeding" class... that's to
    say, if you can pass those classes and not get "weeded out," then you
    have a good change of finishing the requirements. I don't know if it
    is true, but I was told that there is a statistical correlation to how
    well you do in your intermediate classes will indicate how many times
    you'll need to sit for the CPA exam before you pass all parts.

    Good luck,
    Russell Tuncap, CMA, CPA
    R, May 27, 2005
  18. David

    Thomas Healy Guest

    I also became a CPA as a mid-thirties career change. Here in Colorado at the
    time (and still the case), you could waive the experience requirement to sit
    for the exam with an additional 30 hours. There has been discussion about
    what effect the 150-hour requirement has on that (i.e., if you've got the
    150 hours, you automatically qualify to sit for the CPA exam in Colorado).

    A quarter century ago it was tough to find entry-level work, where the
    seniors on the job were 10 years younger than you. Fortunately, I got the
    highest grade on the exam in Colorado, which meant that at least one firm
    that had turned me down earlier was suddenly very interested in me. I lasted
    9 months with them before their idea of "family man" and mine clashed. I've
    been my own boss since then.
    Thomas Healy, May 29, 2005
  19. David

    xyzer Guest

    For me, the intermediate financial accounting classes, especially
    intermediate 2 (intermediate 1 had a mediocre professor), were not very
    difficult at all. Having a good professor who explained things CLEARLY
    helped a LOT, even though I know learning accounting is mostly
    something has to teach oneself eventually. It helped that I had
    already had finance though. In fact, having had finance was very key
    for intermediate two. It was simply a matter of practicing and reading
    the chapter material a couple of times for me. Deferred tax assets was
    probably the most difficult part.

    I would say the most difficult class for me was the Systems class. I
    simply never understood what I needed to understand in systems, yet I
    know it was my own fault really, even though the professors weren't
    that great or either the system itself of teaching systems wasn't that
    great. Something about learning data-flow diagrams for make-believe
    companies and trying to make your own flowcharts of make-believe
    companies -- I never really was that good at it.

    Of course, I guess this is what makes accounting difficult... just
    knowing proper accounting treatments of any given situation is not
    enough ...

    On the subject of taking the CPA exam more than once, now of course
    it's computerized, so accountants have the option to take spread out
    passing the CPA. It's kind of nice to take things one section at a
    xyzer, Jun 1, 2005
  20. David


    Aug 20, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Nashua, NH
    Just a note for this interesting discussion:
    Becoming a CPA can open up job opportunities at the federal level. There are individuals that utilize accounting skills for things such as governmental and forensic purposes.
    Airgeadais, Aug 20, 2014
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