Illinois CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements To Become a CPA

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Are you preparing to get your CPA license in Illinois? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about the CPA Exam and license requirements in Illinois.

Illinois CPA Requirements

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

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

Educational and Credit Hours

  • A graduate degree or higher in accounting or business from a board-recognized institution with either or both Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation.
  • Candidates must complete 120 semester hours of education to sit for the CPA Exam, with 24 semester hours dedicated to accounting (including taxation and audit) and 12 semester hours of business-related courses.
  • However, you can also apply for the CPA Exam by fulfilling the 150 semester-hour requirement through a baccalaureate or higher education.
  • In this case, you must complete 30 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in business-related courses.

Work Experience Requirements

You need at least one year of experience in the accounting field. It can be in either the public or private sector. Experience doesn't need to be 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.

Illinois CPA Exam & Licensing - Cost and Fees

The initial application fee depends on how many exam sections you are applying for. You need to pay $255 for each section as an application fee.

Initial Application Fee
1 Exam Application $40
2 Different Exam Applications $76
3 Different Exam Applications $108
4 Different Exam Applications $120

*Please make sure you choose the number of exams you can take in six months because we do not offer refunds.

Illinois CPA Exam Fees
Initial Application Fee $120
Exam Section Fees (four sections) $1,020
Total: $1,140

*Pass the three core sections - AUD, FAR, and REG, and one discipline section - BAR/ISC/TCP

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. You can apply for a license through IDFPR with the certificate number. 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.

License Renewal Requirements

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

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: Exam Dates, Score Release and Scheduling

Let's go over exam dates, score release procedures, and some effective scheduling techniques to help you on your journey to becoming a CPA.

Exam Dates & Score Release

Illinois CPA candidates can apply for the exam year-round based on their preferences. The AICPA releases the CPA Exam score release dates every two years. We suggest that you refer to these dates when scheduling your exams so that you can plan accordingly.

Important Update: 2024 CPA Exam changes may lead to difficulties for some candidates with conditional credit due to limited testing and delays in score release. Therefore, candidates with CPA Exam credit(s) on January 1, 2024, will have those credit(s) extended until June 30, 2025. Source: CPA Examination Credit Extension Policy

Exam Section Scheduling

Here is a brief, step-by-step guide to the application process.

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.
After ILBOE has approved 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.
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.
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.
As previously stated, you must score 75 on each section of the CPA Exam to pass. There’s a 30-month rolling period to pass all the sections.
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