How to Become a CPA and Get CPA License in 4 Steps

how to become a cpa without accounting degree

Each section of the CPA exam is designed to assess specific areas of expertise necessary for a CPA. The AUD section focuses on auditing knowledge and procedures, while the BEC section covers business concepts and the economic environment. The FAR section tests your proficiency in financial free xero course accounting and reporting, and the REG section assesses your understanding of federal taxation and business law. While preparing for the CPA Exam may not be quick or easy, the guidance of Vishal ensures that candidates have the necessary tools, resources, and support to overcome challenges.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

how to become a cpa without accounting degree

Studying for and successfully passing the CPA Exam is one of the most difficult endeavors you will undertake along your CPA journey, so set yourself up for success by studying with a CPA Review course. If you’re not sure which CPA Review course to take, find out how to choose a CPA Review course. With two young children, personal commitments and my ongoing professional commitments, work-life balance is a great deal more challenging. There is no possible way I could devote the time I did when I initially prepared for the exam given my life today. One more time, you have to be realistic with how much time you can set aside each day, each week and each month for your studies.

  1. If you have already been working in an accounting or finance-related role, be sure to assess whether your current position meets the experience criteria set by your state board.
  2. The ethics exam is a multiple-choice test and it is administered as an open-book test.
  3. If you have a degree in finance, you’ll have an even easier time transitioning over to accounting to work towards your CPA.
  4. These ethics courses address the professional responsibilities and ethical considerations that CPAs must uphold.

Complete Additional Coursework

If you’re looking for specific steps to follow to apply for the CPA Exam, check out our CPA Requirements page. Obtaining relevant work experience is a crucial step in becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) without an accounting degree. Work experience not only helps you meet the requirements set by your state board of accountancy but also provides valuable practical knowledge and skills in the field of accounting.

Education Requirements for CPA Certification

how to become a cpa without accounting degree

The non-traditional CPA Exam candidate is challenging, if not impossible, to define directly. Instead, let’s start by defining a traditional candidate as a recent college graduate with a degree in accounting (or a related field) seeking or starting in their first professional position. Remember, achieving CPA certification without an accounting degree requires dedication, commitment, and continuous learning.

Keep in mind that the exact work experience requirements may vary by state, so it’s important to refer to the guidelines provided by your state board of accountancy. Consult with a mentor or supervisor who can guide you through the work experience process and provide the necessary documentation when applying for CPA licensure. Now that we have discussed the educational requirements, let’s explore alternative paths available for individuals without an accounting degree who aspire to become CPAs. Most states require candidates to pass all four sections of the exam within a certain timeframe, usually 18 months to two years. However, the specific requirements may vary depending on the state in which you plan to be licensed.

In addition to the required college coursework, some states have additional experience requirements that students must fulfill to be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam. Most states require a year of experience working under a licensed CPA before you can be licensed, and other states require more experience. You will also need to meet the 150 general higher education credit requirement in order to demonstrate that you have enough experience. Most four-year degrees will leave you with 120 hours, which is why many students turn to a master’s program to help them reach the 150 mark. If you’re a non-accounting major, this can be an opportunity for you to take accounting classes to boost your credits. For this, you need a minimum number of accounting credit hours which varies from state to state.

Once in the graduate program, simply take as many applicable accounting courses as you can. I’m sure you know by now that the CPA credential is regulated by individual states. This means that each state sets its own requirements and rules for the certification process. Candidates may spend 20 to 25 hours per week preparing for the exam over a period of months. Becker’s study planner will help you structure your time studying for maximum efficiency on your journey to becoming a CPA.

With relevant work experience under your belt, you’re one step closer to becoming a CPA. The next crucial step is to prepare for and successfully pass the CPA exam, which we’ll explore in the next section. While completing the required coursework, take advantage of resources such as textbooks, online materials, and interactive learning platforms. Engage in interactive discussions and seek clarification from professors or instructors to deepen your understanding of the subject matter.

This is actually a good thing for non-accounting majors because it gives them a chance to earn some of the accounting requirements that they didn’t earn in their undergraduate degree program. Remember, the purpose of completing the required coursework is not just to fulfill the educational requirements but also to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed as a CPA. Take the coursework seriously, participate actively, and strive for a thorough understanding of the accounting principles and practices. Once you have assessed your eligibility to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) without an accounting degree, the next step is to complete the necessary coursework. Meeting the educational requirements set by your state board of accountancy is critical for obtaining CPA certification.

These alternative paths allow individuals with diverse educational backgrounds to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in accounting and gain eligibility for the CPA certification. The most common educational pathway to becoming a CPA is earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. This degree provides you with a solid foundation in core accounting principles, financial management, taxation, and auditing. It also helps you develop the analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills necessary for a successful career in accounting. The CPA exam is rigorous, and the certification process involves meeting specific education and experience requirements. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can overcome these challenges and achieve your goal of becoming a CPA.