Alabama CPA Exam Requirements 2022: 5 Critical Steps

Alabama CPA Exam Requirements

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Alabama CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in Alabama, we’ve summarized the Alabama CPA exam requirements so that you’ll know the exact steps to become a licensed CPA in the Cotton State.

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Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
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Summary of Alabama CPA Requirements

Credits required to sit for CPA exams120
Bachelor’s required to sit for CPA examsYes
Accounting major required to sit for CPA examsNo
Accounting credits required to sit for CPA exams24
Business credits required to sit for CPA exams24
Credit hours to get Alabama CPA license150
Accounting credits to get Alabama CPA license33
Business credits to get Alabama CPA license27
Ethics exam required to get Alabama CPA licenseYes
Required CPE hours every year for license renewal40
See the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy Website for more information…

Education Requirements

To become a CPA in Alabama, you must first finish 150 semester hours of college-level education, including having a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The Board requires 33 semester hours of upper-division undergraduate or graduate accounting coursework (introductory courses are not counted).

General Requirements

Alabama is one of the few states that requires CPAs to be a United States citizen or legally present in the United States. A valid Social Security number is also required. The state also has a 19-year-old minimum age restriction. If you want to practice accounting in Alabama, you must be a citizen or confirm that you legally reside in the United States. You must also submit transcripts.

Alabama CPA Education Requirements

One of the main Alabama CPA education requirements is to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting requiring 120 semester hours, pursuing a master’s degree in accounting or post-baccalaureate certificate is the most tried and true option to obtain the 30 more credits needed to become a CPA in Alabama. Many of these programs are entirely online.

There are also specialized five-year CPA track programs that offer a hybrid bachelor’s and master’s curriculum tailored exclusively to provide you with the 150 semester hours required to meet Alabama CPA requirements.

Accepted Educational Institutions

The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy recognizes all relevant degrees and credits obtained at colleges and universities that have essential institution-level accreditation from any of the six regional accreditors that operate in the United States:

Required Courses

You may have a bachelor’s degree that meets specific curriculum requirements, or you may qualify through one of two routes if you have a master’s degree. To comply with Alabama’s CPA degree and coursework requirements, your 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) must include a precise blend of business and accounting courses from your bachelor’s degree, any additional undergraduate credits you acquire, or a master’s or post-baccalaureate certificate. These should comprise of:

  • 33 upper-division semester hours in accounting (no introductory courses) and must include:
    • Nine semester hours in financial accounting
    • Six semester hours in auditing
    • Six semester hours in taxation
    • Three semester hours in managerial accounting
    • Three semester hours in government/not-for-profit
    • Six semester hours in accounting electives
  • 27 semester hours in business courses other than accounting and must include: economics; legal and social environment of business; business law (in addition to above); marketing; finance; organization, group, and individual behavior; quantitative applications in the industry; communication skills; and, business ethics; or

You will automatically be considered eligible for the CPA exam and meet state CPA education requirements for licensure if you hold a graduate degree from a school of business or accounting accredited by the AACSB.

Foreign Education

If you received your degree in another nation, your credits would be evaluated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Alabama

Applying for the CPA Exam

You can take the Uniform CPA exam and have your transcripts examined by the Board now that you’ve completed Alabama’s educational requirements. The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy must review your official transcripts to arrange the exam. Request that your official transcripts be sent directly to the Board by your school.

Send in the required documentation. Suppose you take the CPA exam for the first time, retake the exam in Alabama, or take the CPA exam in another state. In that case, you must complete the CPA Exam Application Package and sign it in the presence of a notary. Send it along with  A 2” x 2” passport photo and official transcripts (sent sealed by you or by your degree conferring school directly).

Studying for the CPA Exam

The CPA exam is divided into four components, each taken separately. Each of the exam’s four sections addresses a distinct aspect of the accounting profession. There is no set order in which the exam portions must be completed. The four components of the CPA test are as follows:

  • Auditing and Attestation. This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparing agreements.
  • Business Environment and Concepts. This exam section covers general business concepts, such as economics, business communications, and related courses. 
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting. This exam section covers financial accounting topics for all business entities, including the government and nonprofits.
  • Regulation. This exam section covers federal taxation, tax services, professional ethics, and business law for individuals and business entities.

Choose a CPA Review Course

The CPA Review Course is useful. For years, they have been training accounting professionals to pass the exam. Almost every accountant who has earned the CPA designation employs a review method. In other words, they are an excellent investment. That’s why in this article, we gather the most suggested CPA review courses:

  • Becker CPA Review
  • Surgent CPA Review
  • Gleim CPA Review
  • UWorld Roger CPA Review
  • Wiley CPAexcel

Signing Up for the CPA Exam

Set up the exam. You can register to take the exam through Prometric once you have received your NTS. You must arrange the exams through their Prometric system.

Alabama CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Alabama CPA exam cost consists of two main fees: $226.15 per CPA exam section, for a total of $905 for all four sections, and then the $100 annual registration fee for your actual CPA license.

Alabama does not require an initial application fee or a re-examination fee. However, if you fail a section and need to retake it, you will still need to pay the $226.15 examination fee again.

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15

Passing the CPA Exam

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) designed the Uniform CPA Exam, a standardized exam required for a CPA license in all 50 states. To take the exam in Alabama, an individual must have completed 120 semester hours of college-level education, including a bachelor’s degree and 24 semester hours of appropriate accounting and business courses. CPA applicants must submit the CPA Examination Application to be permitted to sit for each exam section. The Board will look over the candidate’s coursework to see if the educational standards have been met. Applicants must then register with Prometric to schedule a time to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

Within an 18-month rolling period, applicants must pass all four portions of the Uniform CPA Exam with 75 or above. After passing the Uniform CPA Exam, candidates have 36 months to complete the total education requirement.

Alabama Work Experience Requirements

How to Meet Alabama Work Experience Requirements

If you pass the exam and complete all of the requirements in Alabama, the state will offer you a certificate. To complete the full CPA, you must have prior expertise. Before you may get your full license in Alabama, you must fulfill the following Alabama work experience requirements:

a. Gain the necessary work experience. To become a licensed CPA, you must have one year of full-time experience in public accounting or two years of full-time work experience in the accounting industry, business, government, or college teaching (must be courses in accounting) or any combination of the two. For work experience in these respective areas to qualify for licensure, it must have met the following criteria:

  • Work experience in the accounting industry or business: You must have been employed by a person or entity whose primary duties involve financial accounting or auditing, internal controls, management, financial or consulting advisories, or compliance with tax or regulatory laws.
  • Work experience in the government: You must have been employed by a government agency recognized by the Board.
  • Work experience in teaching: You must have taught courses primarily in accounting for academic credit at a regionally accredited college or university.

b. Document your work experience. Have your supervising CPA verify your work experience by sending a letter of experience to the Alabama State Board of Accountancy. PO Box 300375, Montgomery, AL  36130. It may also be filled directly by the board’s website.

c. Complete CPE requirements. While gaining the necessary work experience, 40 hours of CPE must be completed by standard Board protocol for yearly CPE requirements. Submit the CPE Reporting Form, found within the CPA Registration Package, to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy no later than September 30th.

Apply for Your Alabama CPA License

Submit Your Application for Issuance

You are now fully licensed as a CPA in Alabama after passing the exam and gaining practical work experience. To see if you meet the requirements, use the checklist below.

a. Checklist

  • Complete education requirements of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours of post-secondary education.
  • Have your official school transcripts sent directly from your school to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, PO Box 300375, Montgomery, AL 36130-0375 or online.
  • Complete the CPA Exam Application Package and mail it with a $100 check to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, PO Box 300375, Montgomery, AL 36130-0375.
  • Schedule, take, and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  • Complete one year of public accounting or two years in a qualifying accounting position in the accounting industry, business, government, or teaching. Your employer must verify work experience.
  • Complete the 40-hour CPE requirement.

b. Apply for your Alabama CPA license. The licensing process begins here with the Alabama Board of Public Accountancy website. Applicants may choose to apply online or send their paper form to Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, P.O. Box 300375, Montgomery, AL 36130-0375. The Registration Form must bear your original signature and date.

Out of state candidates should follow these steps:

Interstate Reciprocal License

If you hold a CPA license in another state and wish to practice in Alabama, you must have your official transcripts sent to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. You will be required to comply with the 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) of post-secondary education unless you have four years of public accounting experience since becoming certified.

1. Send the Interstate Exchange Form to your Board of Accountancy to determine if your license is current, active, and in good standing.

2. If your experience is not from public accounting, you will need to submit a letter from your employers verifying your experience. Two years in a qualifying business, government, or college teaching position is required.

3. Complete the Application for Certificate of Reciprocity, sign before a notary, and mail it along with a $100 to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.

International Reciprocal License

The board allows a holder of a foreign license to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam upon showing that the candidate has:

  • It was duly issued by a foreign agency that regulates the practice of public accountancy.
  • Entitles the holder to issue reports on financial statements.
  • Was issued based on educational, examination, and experience requirements.
  • The applicant resides in the United States.
  • The applicant had, within the six years before residing in the United States, been continuously employed for no less than three years.

The board will then grant a CPA certificate if the applicant has:

  • Passed the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Has gained one or more years of public accounting experience.

AICPA Ethics Course

For the Alabama CPA ethics exam requirement after passing the Uniform CPA Exam, Alabama CPA candidates must complete the AICPA’s Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course, available online on the AICPA’s website. The course and exam must be completed with a grade of 90 percent or above to qualify.

Receiving Your Alabama CPA License

Alabama has a two-tiered CPA licensing structure. The state will first issue a CPA degree to candidates who have completed the schooling requirements and passed the CPA exam. Individuals with a CPA certificate are not permitted to practice or represent themselves as CPAs unless the experience criteria are satisfied.

Alabama Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing Education Requirements

Following the passing of the Uniform CPA exam on October 1, CPE requirements will begin. Permits must be renewed every year, with renewals and continuous professional education (CPE) completed by September 30.

Every year, all licensed CPAs must complete 40 hours of CPE, including eight hours of accounting and auditing and two hours of ethics. Personal development classes may not be counted for more than 12 hours.

Summary

Accountancy is a diverse and intriguing discipline that is constantly evolving. Almost every firm needs an accountant for tax purposes, if not for financial transactions such as a merger, restructuring, or computer system audit. Certified Public Accountant is the pinnacle of the accounting industry. Having not just professional experience but also passing a demanding test that many argue is even more difficult than the attorneys’ Bar Exam. This is why it’s best to plan and be informed to help chart the course of your CPA journey, and a big part of that is making sure you go with the right tools and methods to get it.

Alabama CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Alabama’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.

Do CPA scores expire in Alabama?

A passing score is valid for 18 months from the date indicated in your CPAES letter. If you have not completed all four components of the exam within 18 months, your score will expire, and you will have to repeat that section of the exam.

What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Alabama?

The applicant must be at least 19 years old and a US citizen or legally present in the US. Must complete 120 semester hours and must be completed—24 semester hours of upper-division (300 level or higher) accounting at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

How do I register to take the CPA exam in Alabama?

Request that the Board reviews your transcripts. The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy must review your official transcripts to arrange the exam. Wait for your Notification to Schedule to arrive (NTS). Your eligibility will be determined by the Board. After determining your eligibility, the Board will submit an Authorization to Test (ATT) to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Set up the exam. You can register to take the exam through Prometric once you have received your NTS. The exams must be scheduled using their Prometric website.

How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Alabama?

The accounting credits you need to sit for the CPA license in Alabama are complete postsecondary education requirements of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours.

Does Alabama require an ethics exam for the CPA?

Alabama offers a set of standards for acquiring CPA certification once you’ve passed the CPA Exam. These include passing an ethics course and gaining relevant job experience.

How much is the CPA exam in Alabama?

In Alabama, the cost of taking all four portions of the CPA test is roughly $900-$1,000, plus a $100 application fee. The application price for re-examination is $50, in addition to the exam fees.

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