"Easiest" state to get CPA license in?


D

David

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
graduate.

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.

Thanks.
 
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B

Bluepen

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.
 
P

Paul A Thomas

David said:
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
graduate.

Also, does it matter what state you get a license in?



I don't intend to practice.


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.
 
W

Wayne Brasch

David said:
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
graduate.

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.

Thanks.
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
 
D

David

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.
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
about.

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
 
D

David

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
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.

-DM
 
D

David

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

"(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.

-DM
 
P

Paul A Thomas

David said:
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.


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.
 
J

John

David said:
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.

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
about.
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. ;)

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.
 
B

bobbie

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.

bb
 
D

David

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.
Yes, that's exactly my reason. :)
<snip>

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.

bb
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.
 
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B

Bluepen

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.
 
R

Ron Todd

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.
Simple, the candidate could take them post baccalaureate as 48 hours
of extension classes.
 
R

Ron Todd

....
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.
Yes on the license fee.

Not necessarily on the CPE. If the state allows "inactive" and/or
"retired" status, the CPE requirement is removed.
 
R

Ron Todd

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

Ron Todd

....
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.

FWIW.

You might look at California's dual track licensing system.
 
R

R

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,

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
www.tuncap.com
 
T

Thomas Healy

David,

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.
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.
 
X

xyzer

R said:
David,

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
www.tuncap.com
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
time.
 
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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.
 

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