Illinois CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements to Become A CPA

Illinois CPA Requirements

See what you need to become a CPA in Illinois.
Are you preparing to acquire your CPA license in Illinois? If yes, then it’s time to explore the CPA Exam and license requirements in this state. The Land of Lincoln has one of the strongest financial services markets in Chicago, making the state a desired destination for big firms. Thus, having a CPA license in Illinois will help you grow your CPA career in the long term. Below, we have listed all the CPA Exam and license requirements!
150

Semester Units

1

Years of Experience

$1,073

In Application Fees

No
Residency or Citizenship
Requirements
One
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Yes
Participates​ in International
Exam Program
150

Semester Units

1

Years of Experience

$1,073

In Application Fees

No
Residency or Citizenship
Requirements
One
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Yes
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Illinois CPA License Requirements

The Illinois Board of Examiners (ILBOE) maintains the standards of the Uniform CPA Exam by verifying candidates' academic credentials, granting them permission to take the exam, and issuing certificates of CPA Exam Completion.

Social Security Requirements Yes
Age, Citizenship, and Residency Requirements
  • No age requirement
  • U.S. citizenship is not required
  • No need to be a resident of Illinois
Education Requirement for Licensure 150 hours (including B.A.)
Pass the Exam Need to score 75 in each section to pass
Work Experience 1 year of working experience in accounting
Ethics Exam Requirements Yes
International CPA Examination Program Yes
Social Security Number Requirement

The necessity of a Social Security number is not in effect in the state of Illinois. However, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) license application procedure is easier to complete if you have a Social Security number.

Citizenship, Age, and Residency Requirements
  • U.S. citizenship is not required to appear for the CPA Exam or to obtain a CPA license.
  • There is no age requirement to obtain a CPA license in Illinois.
  • There is no need to be a resident, employee, or to keep an office(s) in the state.

Illinois CPA Exam Requirements - Educational and Credit Hours

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or business from a board-recognized institution is required.
  • The institution must have Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation or Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation for the accounting/business degree.
  • You must complete 150 semester credit hours.
Pass the Exam

The most critical requirement for your CPA designation is passing the CPA Examination. It has four sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). A score of at least 75 is required in each section to pass the exam. In addition, you must pass all four sections within an 18-month period.

Work Experience Requirements

You need to have work experience in accounting for a year. It can be in either the public or private sector. Experience does not need to be obtained under the supervision of a certified public accountant. It can be gained through work in any sector of the economy, such as government, industry, universities, or public practice.

CPA Ethical Exam Requirements

The last stage of obtaining your CPA license is passing the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) ethics examination. It is an 11-hour self-study course that is easily available on the AICPA website. You will get a CD-ROM that contains multiple-choice questions for study and review. The passing score for the ethics exam is 90.

The International CPA Examination Program

Illinois is an active member of the International CPA Program that is solely developed to allow non-U.S. candidates to sit for the CPA Exam. This program is sponsored by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Illinois CPA Licensing Cost and Fees

Illinois is a two-tier state. Naturally, the licensing process varies a little in other states. Once you are done with the ethics exam, the AICPA will send your score to ILBOE. Within 3 days of receiving your ethics exam score, you will get an email with an official certification letter.

The certification letter contains your certificate number. With the certificate number, you can apply for a license through IDFPR. Candidates with both international and domestic credits must submit applications, fees, and supporting materials to both NASBA and ILBOE. The application fee to become a certified public accountant is $120.

Illinois CPA License Renewal Requirements

Individual CPA licenses expire on September 30 every 3 years. A license can be renewed up to two months before its expiration date. The renewal fee is $40 per year.

Illinois CPA Continuing Education Requirements

A licensed CPA must complete 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every 3-year renewal period. These 120 hours have to include at least 4 hours of a professional ethics course. There is a CPE requirement exemption for all the CPA licenses for the first renewal following the actual issuance of the license. Licensees must preserve CPE data for a minimum of six years.

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Illinois CPA Exam Dates and Score Release Dates

Exam and Score Release Dates:
July 1 – December 31, 2022
Took exam on/before Target score release date
July 23 August 9
August 15 August 23
September 7 September 15
October 1 October 11
October 23 November 8
November 15 November 23
December 8 December 16
January 1 January 10
Exam and Score Release Dates:
January 1 – June 30, 2023
Took exam on/before Target score release date
January 23 February 7
February 14 February 22
March 9 March 17
March 31 April 11
April 23 May 9
May 16 May 24
June 8 June 16
June 30 July 11

How to Apply and Schedule for the CPA Exam in Illinois

  1. Submit CPA Exam Application

    The first step is to determine if you are eligible to appear for the exam. If you meet the educational and other requirements, open an online account on ILBOE. After that, apply for a credential evaluation application. Make sure your transcripts are sent directly to NASBA. You will receive a confirmation letter stating that you are eligible to sit for the CPA Exam. Now, you can submit your CPA application through your NASBA account.

  2. Obtain Authorization to Test (ATT)

    After ILBOE has given approval to your original application, they will send NASBA an Authorization to Test (ATT). This will notify NASBA of your intent to sit for the CPA Exam.

  3. Receive Your Notice to Schedule (NTS)

    A "Notice to Schedule” (NTS) is a crucial document to schedule your CPA Exam. It is delivered within three to six weeks of applying for the CPA Exam.

  4. Schedule Your Exam With Prometric

    The CPA Exam can be scheduled through the Prometric website. To schedule your CPA Exam, you will need your NTS, as it contains your NTS number.

  5. Pass the CPA Exam

    As previously stated, you must achieve a score of 75 on each section of the CPA Exam to pass. The AICPA discloses the anticipated score release date so that you can estimate when you will receive your results. Passing the CPA Exam is the most important step for obtaining a CPA license in Illinois.

Illinois CPA Exam Costs and Fees

The initial application fee for the CPA Exam in Illinois is $120. Each section of the CPA Exam also has a fee of $238.15.

Initial Application Fee $120.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $238.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $238.15
Regulation (REG) $238.15
Total: $1072.6
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Do you want to know how the CPA Exam is graded? Learn more about the scoring and grading process here.
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Learn your CPA State Requirements!

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Learn your CPA State Requirements!

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Learn your CPA State Requirements!

Fill out this form to get your free guide sent directly to your email address.