CPA Exam Cost & Licensing Fees
[Updated for 2024]

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While becoming a CPA is an excellent investment in your future, the financial burden can be intimidating, especially for candidates that do not have the necessary funds immediately available. But not to worry, below we’ve provided a breakdown of how much it costs to take the CPA Exam, what you can do to alleviate expenses, and why it’s all worth it.

How Much Does the CPA Exam Cost?

CPA Exam costs vary depending on your jurisdiction. Check our State Requirements page to find out your state’s specific CPA Exam fees and requirements, or visit your State Board of Accountancy’s website. Here we have compiled some estimated costs.

Cost & Fee Type 2024 CPA Exam Costs
Education Evaluation Application Fees $90 -$150 (Approx)
Examination Application Fees $1100- 1500 (Approx)
CPA Exam Retake Fee $50-$200
CPA Review Course $1,000-$4,000
Total $2240-$5850

CPA Exam Application Fee

Currently, there are no registration or initial application fees for the CPA Exam. All candidates need to pay a certain amount for the education evaluation application. The purpose of the education evaluation application is to check if you are eligible for the CPA Exam. The fee varies from state to state. However, it ranges between $90 - $150.

CPA Exam Section Application Fees

Most states use the CPA Exam fee schedule set by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The total CPA Exam costs for all four parts of the CPA Exam are around $1100- 1500 (Approx). A breakdown of how much each part of the CPA Exam costs is below:

CPA Exam Section Application Fees (Vary by State)
  AUD (Auditing & Attestation) $344.80
  FAR (Financial Accounting & Reporting) $344.80
  REG (Regulation) $344.80
  BAR/ISC/TCP $344.80

CPA Exam Review Course Costs

Varies between $1000 and $4000

CPA Exam review courses cost an average $1,000-$4,000. A CPA course should provide everything you need to pass the CPA Exam, including a large bank of practice questions with thorough answer explanations, practice text software that mirrors the exam experience, engaging lectures, and data-driven study goals. Studying with a CPA Course statistically improves your chances of passing the CPA Exam. One of the most unexpected expenses of the CPA Exam process is having to retake an exam part and incur the CPA Exam retake fee. This is why selecting the right CPA Exam Review can be so important.

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CPA Exam Rescheduling Fee

Varies based on advance notice days

Please remember, you will not be able to reschedule your exam if it is under 24 hours before your exam time; you will need to register again with your State Board of Accountancy. In other cases, if you reschedule the CPA exam

  • at least 30 days in advance, there is no fee associated with the reschedule
  • between 5 and 30 days, you’ll have to pay rescheduling fee of $35 to the Prometric Testing Center
  • within 5 days of your current exam date, you will need to pay the Prometric Testing Center the full amount for the CPA Exam section you are rescheduling.

CPA Exam Retake Fee

Varies between $50 and $200

For all re-examination candidates, instead of paying the application fee, they are required to pay both the reapplication fee and the examination fee when they register to re-take any parts of the CPA Exam. This is sometimes also called the “registration fee.” Some states will offer discounts on CPA Exam retake fees if the candidate is retaking 2 or more exams.

International CPA Exam Fees

$390 per CPA Exam section

International CPA candidates will need to pay domestic testing fees and additional fees for each section of the CPA Exam that is taken internationally.

International CPA Exam Fees
  AUD (Auditing & Attestation) $390
  FAR (Financial Accounting & Reporting) $390
  REG (Regulation) $390
  BAR/ISC/TCP $390

CPA Exam Cancellation Fees and Refunds

Unfortunately, CPA Exam fees are not refundable if your Notice to Schedule (NTS) expires or you do not show up for your scheduled exam. There is no cancellation fee if you cancel the exam at least 30 days in advance. If you cancel the exam between 5 and 30 days, you’ll have to pay the Prometric Testing Center a cancellation fee of $35. However, there are some exceptions to this policy for candidates with extenuating circumstances. Those circumstances include:

  • Visa rejections
  • Military deployment
  • Medical emergencies
  • Death

To see if you qualify for a partial refund or NTS extension based on hardship, contact the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Note: CPA candidates are only eligible for one NTS extension or a partial refund for an NTS for the same hardship.

CPA Exam Approximate Total Cost

The CPA designation is one of the most widely recognized credentials in the world, and for good reason. The total cost of the CPA Exam ranges between $2240-$5850. This takes into account application, examination, re-examination, and review course fees. Even though the total cost initially appears to be high, it is well worth every penny. Consider it an investment in yourself, knowing that CPAs typically earn up to 15% more over the course of their careers than non-CPAs.

CPA Licensing Fees

Once you pass the CPA Exam, there are a few more requirements needed to obtain a CPA license.

CPA Ethics Exam Fee

Varies between $150 and $250

Some states require passing an ethics exam and most state boards accept the AICPA’s comprehensive ethics course and exam. This exam can generally be taken before, during or after the CPA Exam and test results are valid for a 2 years period. CPA Ethics Exam Fee can be anywhere from $150 - $250, depending on the state.

CPA State Licensing Fee

Varies between $100 and $500

Once you have passed the CPA Exam and taken the ethics exam (if required), it is time to apply for certification. Your state likely has an online application process. They may require you to submit documentation such as a signed statement from a supervisor or licensed CPA that can attest to your work or additional educational or exam records. You may have to complete an in person interview with the board. CPA Licensing fee from $100 - $500, depending on the state.

CPE Costs

Varies between $0 and $300

After CPA licensing, most states require CPAs to complete continuing professional education (CPE) credit hours to maintain licensure. Be sure to check with your State Board of Accountancy to find out how many hours are required each year to maintain your credential.

How to Save on the CPA Exam Costs

Between application fees and study materials, the costs associated with becoming a CPA can add up fast. Here are a few tips to make your CPA Exam process more affordable.

  • Scheduling to Save

    Every time you apply to sit for any part of the CPA Exam, it costs money. For each CPA Exam application, you can apply to sit for as many of the exam sections as you want, but they have to be taken in the same six month period. However, if you know your ideal schedule and timing of sitting for your exams, you can easily split your tests up into two applications and save yourself $150.

  • Be Ready the First Time

    One of the best ways to keep costs down throughout your CPA journey is to pass your exams the first time. There’s no way around it: the more times you sit for an exam-part, the more you will have to pay. So, to spare yourself from those added costs, it is important to be as prepared as possible the first time around.

  • Choose the Right Review Course

    The best way to ensure you’re prepared to pass the CPA Exam is to study with a CPA Review course. Do your research before you commit to a course—or any type of study materials for that matter—to make sure that your investment will pay off.

  • Discounts, Financing, and Partnerships

    UWorld CPA Review offers several different types of discounts. For example, if you’ve tried another review course that didn’t work for you, you can save a lot with our Fresh Start Discount. If this is your first time studying for the CPA Exam, check with your employer to see if they are one of the hundreds that partner with us to provide their employees with special rates and discounts. Lastly, you always have the option to pay for your course with fixed monthly payments through our partnership with Affirm.

Ultimately, our goal is to make quality CPA Exam preparation attainable to anyone, regardless of your financial situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, the CPA Exam cost and fees might seem costly, but it will pay off in the end! Becoming a CPA is an investment in your career and future.
Yes, the CPA credential is worth all the cost and fees associated with obtaining it. The CPA designation is still considered the gold standard for those working in accounting and the benefits of becoming a CPA are numerous.
CPA Exam fees are not tax-deductible. The IRS views becoming a CPA as starting a “new trade or profession” because CPAs can legally perform additional services that non-certified accountants cannot. Also,the IRS states that CPA study materials that are used to prepare for the CPA Exam do not qualify as work-related study expenses or education.

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