Becoming A CPA In Florida

Studying for the CPA Exam is a long process that takes a lot of time, commitment, and discipline.  Of course, finding out whether or not you meet all the requirements to sit for the exam is important as well. No matter where you go to take the CPA Exam, you will have the same style, time, and testing environment; there is no variation to the CPA Exam save the actual questions. 
The requirements to sit for the CPA Exam varies for each state, but this article will discuss what you need to know about sitting for the CPA Exam in Florida and obtaining your license.

Educational Requirements to sit for the CPA Exam:

        A Bachelors Degree or higher

        120 semester or 160 quarter hours from an accredited college or university (including):

Accounting Educational Requirements:

         24 semester or 36 quarter units of upper division accounting classes

o   Upper level classes must cover Taxation, Auditing, Cost Management, Finance, Accounting Information System   

o   Upper division courses are the classes you take during your junior and senior year at a four year university. Lower division classes are classes you take during your freshman and sophomore year at a four year university or any courses taken at a junior or community college.

Business Educational Requirements:

         24 semester or 36 quarter units of upper division general business courses

o   Upper level courses must include Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics, Business Law, Introduction to Computer

General Business Requirements:

          6 semester or 8 quarter units in Business Law.

o   These courses must cover Contracts, Torts, and Uniform Commercial Code. Excess upper level accounting courses may be used to meet general business requirements. Elementary accounting courses are not acceptable for credit.

Additional Requirements needed to obtain CPA Licensure:

In the state of Florida, you are able to sit for the CPA Exam under the Educational Requirements listed above. However, in order to obtain your CPA License, you must complete additional requirements as stated below.

  • 150 Semester units or 200 quarter units from an accredited college or university
  • 36 semester or 54 quarter hours of upper level classes that include Taxation, Auditing, Financial, Cost/Managerial, Accounting Information Systems.
  • 39 semester or 58 quarter hours of upper level business courses that includes at least 6 semester or 8 quarter hours in business law.
  • Pass all four parts of the CPA Exam
  • One full year of relevant work experience supervised by a licensed CPA. Volunteer work is accepted as long as a CPA verifies your work on the Certification of Work Experience form.
    •  *Part time work is not allowed
  • Submit your official transcripts stating that you completed a bachelors degree

If you are still in school, visiting your school counselor and reviewing your courses can be a great help to make sure you are accumulating the correct classes and credits. If you have already graduated, review the course information provided by the Florida Board of Accountancy.

It is important to note that to receive your license in Florida you must submit your license application within three years of receiving notification from NASBA that you passed the your last part of the CPA Exam. If you fail to apply for licensure within three years, your CPA Exam grades expire and you will have to take the exam again.  In addition, you will have to meet all the education requirements when applying again to take the exam. If you need any more information you can contact the Florida Board of Accountancy. Be sure to check out Florida CPA Application Instruction and Form to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information when sending in your application to take the CPA Exam.

How to Apply for the CPA Exam:

  1. Apply for the CPA Exam with the Florida State Board of Accountancy. You will need to request the application, complete it, and then submit it online. If this is your first time applying, you will need to submit an application fee with your application. Upon approval from the board you will be given a jurisdiction ID numberwith this you will be able to apply online to take the CPA exam. Below is a breakdown of the cost for the exam and registration fees.

Helpful Tip: Only apply for the section of the exam you are ready to take.Exam Fees:

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$190.35
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$171.25
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$190.35
Regulation (REG)$171.25

2. Receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS). As soon as your application has been processed and you are considered eligible to take one or all sections of the CPA Exam you will receive a NTS from NASBA.

Helpful Tip: Make sure that all of your information is correct on your NTS. You will need to bring your NTS on your exam day as well as two forms of ID. These two documents must match!3. Schedule your exam date as early as possible at a Prometric Center. Be mindful that the earlier you schedule your exam, the more likely you will get the date you want.

4. Take the Exam
Use this Checklist presented by NASBA to help you in your test taking process. For more detailed information, refer to the Candidate Bulletin presented by the AICPA and NASBA

What to expect on Exam Day:

5. Bring your Notice to Schedule (NTS). If you have scheduled to take more than one part of the exam, make sure you bring the correct NTS to the correct exam date.

6. You will need two forms of ID your name must appear exactly the same on your NTS as it does on your ID. If there is any slight difference, you will not be able to take your exam.

7. No food or beverage are allowed

What to do next? Study! Hopefully you found this information useful on your quest to becoming a CPA in Florida. Your next step should be to start studying for the CPA Exam, which is a long process that can take a lot of time, commitment, and discipline. Remember, as Roger says, The CPA Exam is not an IQ test, rather, a test of discipline – if you study, you will pass! 

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