Guest Series Part 2: How International Candidates Become a CPA

Roger CPA Review is partnering with Stephanie Ng, publisher of CPA Exam resource site, With the CPA designation under her belt, Stephanie has an expertise on the qualification process for international CPA candidates. Please read on below and learn how you can qualify, sit for and pass the USCPA Exam today. 

In the first post in this series, we talked about the general CPA exam educational requirements and common obstacles faced by international candidates, as well as possible remedies. In this post, I would like to provide an overview of the foreign credential evaluation agencies and why they are in integral part of your CPA application. 

What Is The Role Of The Credential Evaluators? Education system can be very different from one to another, and it is difficult for the state board to determine eligibility based on a non-US curriculum. Therefore, candidates who obtained any part of their education outside of the US must submit their transcripts to these evaluation agencies. 

Here are three important considerations before you start the process: 

1. Not all credential evaluation agencies are recognized by your state.

Each state board provides a list of recognized foreign credential evaluators in the application form. This list varies from state to state, and therefore you should first select which state to register for before contacting the agency. 

A few states such as Illinois have their in-house evaluation team. International candidates should submit their transcripts to the state board directly. 

 2. It can take a long time.

On average, it takes 2-3 weeks for the evaluators to get back to you with a report. However, for some agencies such as FACES, it generally takes 6-8 weeks, and in the case of one of my readers, 12 weeks during the busy season. Note that a few states, such as Montana, recognize FACS as the only evaluator. In this case you will need to plan way ahead in advance for a smooth application. 

3. Most agencies require original documents.

Nowadays many agencies require the submission of original document directly from your school. I understand that this could be an issue for candidates from certain countries to get this arranged. 

In this case, you can pick an agency that accepts copies of your transcripts and then verifies the authenticity directly with the school. Please expect to pay a considerably higher fee for this service. 

If you have any questions regarding this process involving evaluation agencies, feel free to leave me a comment below or contact me directly at

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