CPA Exam Information

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The Uniform CPA Exam, administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is a prerequisite for earning the CPA certificate in Florida, as well as throughout the rest of the United States and its territories.

Here are some helpful tips to navigate the process of sitting for the exam and obtaining licensure:

Step 1: Meet requirements to sit for the CPA exam

In Florida, to be permitted to take the CPA exam for the first time, a candidate must have successfully completed at least 120 semester hours of acceptable college credit as determined by the Florida Board of Accountancy, and must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent. Applicants for the examination must have completed 24 semester hours of upper division business courses, 24 semester hours of upper division accounting education courses  and 6 semester hours in business law courses.  The state of Florida also requires an additional 30 hours of coursework (for a total of 150 hours) and one year of work experience under the supervision of a CPA in order to become licensed after completion of the CPA Exam. To view a full list of requirements for taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Florida, please view the Florida Board of Accountancy’s website.


Step 2: Apply with the Florida Board of Accountancy to sit for the CPA Exam 

Applications may be submitted online or mailed to the Florida Board of Accountancy on a printed application.  There is a non-refundable application fee of $50. The BOA will respond to your application within 3 to 5 business days.


Step 3: Schedule CPA Examination

Once your application to sit for the CPA Exam is approved by the Florida Board of Accountancy; you will receive a Jurisdiction ID number. You may then apply online with NASBA to take the examination, or contact CPA Examination Services.  NASBA will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS). The Notice to Schedule (NTS) is your notification that you may begin scheduling your examination with Prometric and you are now able to apply for one or more sections of the examination at a time; however, you are advised to only apply for a section of the examination if you are ready to take it within the next six months.

Examination 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



Registration Fees
4 examination sections   $105.00
3 examination sections   $90.00
2 examination sections   $75.00
1 examination section   $60.00

 

Florida law requires an 18-month “rolling window” in which to complete all other sections of the exam once you pass a section of the exam. You will lose credit for any section that you passed more than 18 months before.


Step 4: Submit Original Licensure Application

After passing all four parts of the CPA Exam; applicants must submit CPA Original Licensure application to the Florida Board of Accountancy along with a $50 non-refundable fee within three years of receiving notification from NASBA of passing the last part of the CPA exam.  Applicants must also provide evidence of one year acceptable work experience and submit official transcripts evidencing completion of a baccalaureate degree, plus an additional 30 semester hours/45 quarter hours of education in excess of the baccalaureate degree to include 12 semester hours/18 quarter hours of upper division accounting and 15 semester/22 quarter hours of upper division general business courses.

*If an applicant does not apply for licensure within this three year period, CPA examination grades expire and the applicant must reapply and retake the CPA examination. Furthermore, applicants will be required to meet the education requirements in effect at the time of the new application.*


Useful Links

CPA Exam Candidate Bulletin
Learn more about the CPA Exam
The Uniform CPA Examination Alert And Recent Changes To The CPA Exam
Apply for the CPA Exam
Schedule your CPA Exam
Study And Prepare For The CPA Exam: CBT-e tutorial


Exam Review Courses

The CPA Exam is one of the most important and rigorous exams you will take so you want to make sure you do everything possible to pass it. Taking a review course is a great way to ensure success. The resources noted below provide seminars and self-study designed to help you study the way that works best for you, to help you pass the CPA Exam.

The FICPA does not publish examination review materials nor endorse any specific review method or course. To obtain advice on various review courses, speak to faculty members or colleagues. Also contact the vendor(s) for more information on their specific products.
Here are two providers that offer special discounts to our FICPA members:

Image: Becker

Becker CPA Review
www.becker.com/accounting
FICPA members receive $300 off a full review system when purchasing this course at www.becker.com/accounting

Image: Gleim

Gleim CPA Review
http://www.gleim.com/accounting/cpa
FICPA members receive a 20% off discount on any review course product when purchasing through this link: Gleim's CPE catalog
(The discount will show on the final page of the checkout process).

Here are other providers that do not offer FICPA member discounts:


Bisk Online CPA Review
http://www.cpaexam.com/
(800) 404-7231

MicroMash CPA Review
http://www.micromash.net
(800) 272-7277

Bisk Online CPA Review
http://www.cpaexam.com/
(800) 404-7231

Roger Philipp CPA Review Course
http://www.rogercpareview.com
(877) ROG-4272

CPAexcel
http://www.cpaexcel.com/
(888) 885-5669

The Tutorial Group, Inc.
http://www.tutorialgroup.com
(800) 435-3769

CPAreviewforFREE
www.cpareviewforfree.com
(703) 373-7585

Wiley CPA Review
http://www.wiley.com/
(800) 272-2100

Lambers CPA Review
http://www.lamberscpa.com/
(800) 824-2811

Yaeger CPA Review
http://www.yaegercpareview.com/
(800) 824-2811


Questions & Answers

Q: Can someone evaluate my transcript to determine if all of my courses are acceptable?

A: No, the FICPA does not evaluate transcripts and the Florida Board of Accountancy will only evaluate transcripts during official application processing. If an applicant has questions concerning courses/classes, they should contact the Accounting Division of their college/university.


Q: What is the difference between taking the CPA exam and licensure?

A: These two concepts are often confused. Taking the exam is the first step. Under the new law, you will be qualified to take the exam after completing 120 hours. In order to be licensed, and thus, to be called a CPA, you must pass all four sections of the CPA exam, complete an additional 30 hours of coursework and have one year of work experience under the supervision of a CPA. The last step is to make a separate application to the BOA for licensure and pass the BOA's laws and rules exam.


Q: Must I complete my baccalaureate degree prior to taking the exam?

A: No. You may take the exam prior to completing your degree. However, you must complete your baccalaureate degree prior to licensure. In fact, if you are on financial aid, you may benefit from delaying your degree completion so that you remain eligible for aid. Check with your financial aid advisor.


Q: How many accounting and business hours will be required in the 120 hours needed to take the exam?

A: The answer depends upon the rules promulgated by the BOA. However, it is likely that you may not have to complete all 36 accounting hours and 39 hours of business core classes prior to taking the exam.


Q: Is it possible to successfully pass a section of the CPA exam without all the relevant coursework if I complete a CPA review program?

A: Yes, but it is not wise. It would be better to wait until completing the relevant coursework before taking each section. This will make it much easier to pass. Remember that a CPA review program is only a review. It not designed to be the place to first learn large amounts of material that should have been covered in coursework.


Q: Should I take sections of the exam while still in school?

A: Certainly! However, preparing for the CPA exam takes time, and taking the exam is exhausting. Plan your workload realistically.


Q: How long do I have to complete all sections of the exam?

A: Florida law requires an 18-month “rolling window” in which to complete all sections of the exam once you pass a section of the exam. You will lose credit for any section that you passed more than 18 months before. Carefully plan for this window, and try to take all sections of the exam within a reasonable amount of time. We recommend taking all sections within one year, allowing yourself time to retake any section(s) that you did not pass on the first try, and avoiding the loss of credit for sections you successfully passed.


Q: Assume I pass all four sections of the exam but have not yet completed all my 150 hours. I'm tired of school! Could I take a break from school?

A: Yes. However, why would you want to delay your licensure? Obtaining the CPA license is a major professional accomplishment that will increase your marketability and enable you to earn more money! Don't put it off, no matter how tired you are of school. You don't want to be one of the students who “just took a break from school” but never returned. Complete your 150 hours while school is a normal part of your life, and before life catches up with you. You will be glad you did!


Q: Should I complete my one year of work experience prior to taking the exam? Maybe the experience will help me pass.

A: While you may complete your experience prior to taking the exam, we do not recommend delaying your coursework to do so. The CPA exam is based on the material you have studied in your coursework. It is unlikely that actual work experience will help you to pass more quickly or with a higher score.


Q: I have completed the required hours of accounting and general business subjects. I still need some additional hours. May I take any courses that I would like?

A: Yes, as long as those hours are from an accredited college or university, not a vocational program, and do not duplicate courses you have already earned.