Table of Contents
Alaska CPA Exam Requirements
How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
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 Alaska CPA Requirements
|Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam||120|
|Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA exam||Yes|
|Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam||24|
|Credit hours in business subjects to sit for the CPA exam||9|
|Total credit hours to receive a CPA license||150|
|Work experience required to receive a CPA license||2 Years|
|Ethics exam required to get a CPA license||Yes|
The Alaska CPA education requirements include the candidate must complete 150 semester hours of education to be eligible for a CPA license. A bachelor’s degree specializing in accounting is required as part of the education.
Credit Requirements for Alaska CPA License
Alaska’s educational requirements are less stringent than those of certain other states. They allow those who have not completed their entire bachelor’s degree to sit for the CPA exam. That doesn’t imply the procedure will be quick or easy, but it does mean that a motivated student can get a head start on their accounting career with minimal effort.
The Board defines an accounting concentration as at least nine semester hours of business law, economics, statistics, or qualifying math courses.
Accepted Educational Institutions
The Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy recognizes all accounting programs and applicable credits completed via colleges and universities in the United States that have essential institutional accreditation from one of the Department of Education’s six regional accreditors:
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools–Commission on Colleges
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
- Higher Learning Commission
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission for Senior Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Meet the relevant Alaska CPA degree and program requirements. You will need the following courses as part of the 150 semester hours of college credit acquired through your bachelor’s degree, plus any other credits gained at the undergraduate or graduate level:
- 24 semester hours of accounting subjects such as:
- Intermediate accounting
- Accounting principles
- Cost accounting
- Income tax
- Advanced accounting
- Governmental accounting
- Accounting theory
- Fraud detection
- Computer science
- Three Semester Hours in Business Law
- Three Semester Hours in Economics
- Three Semester Hours in either math, statistics, or computer science
You can also earn a degree that includes 15 hours of Accounting coursework.
If you don’t yet have your degree but wish to start the process of becoming a CPA, make sure you meet the following requirements:
- Be within 18 hours of a bachelor’s degree.
- Have completed 15 hours of accounting coursework.
If you have a degree but did not concentrate on accounting while in school, you may still take the exam in Alaska if you meet these conditions:
- Have a bachelor’s degree in another subject.
- Less than 15 hours in accounting coursework.
- One year of experience under the direct tutelage of a CPA.
To establish your educational level, you must present official transcripts from all universities. If you are applying under the accounting concentration provision, inform your schools or universities that this must be noted on your transcripts. All you need is a copy of your transcript if you attended the University of Alaska and graduated with a major in accounting.
If you study outside of Alaska, you must have your academic credits evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc., the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy International Evaluation Services, or the University of Alaska. To obtain a review of your credits, contact the international credential evaluation agency directly.
Alaska Uniform CPA Examination
Applying for the CPA Exam
After earning your bachelor’s degree (first 120 semester hours of the 150 total required for licensing) and meeting one of the following educational/experience requirements, you are eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam under the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy, and you can fill out an Application of Intent.
Studying for the CPA Exam
When you have qualified to take the exam, you will be required to sit for four separate sessions that will assess your knowledge of the following:
- 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
CPA review courses may be used to fulfill the 150-semester-hour requirement; however, commercial CPA review courses are not permitted. These are the CPA review courses that are recommended:
- Becker CPA Review
- Surgent CPA Review
- Gleim CPA Review
- UWorld Roger CPA Review
- Wiley CPAexcel
These review courses use multiple-choice questions and simulations to simulate the material and layout of the exam, which helps increase confidence and pass each of the CPA exams.
Signing Up for the CPA Exam
After you’ve selected the CPA exam you want to take, go to CPA Examination Services (CPAES) to register online or download application forms and submit the necessary documentation with your completed Uniform CPA Exam application, including:
- Request your official college transcript directly from your college, which must send it directly to the Board. This transcript should show either that you have earned your bachelor’s degree or that it is in progress.
- If you are still enrolled in college, submit a Certificate of the Enrollment form, signed by you, to your college. A college official must complete the form, sign it and send it directly to the Board.
- If you are taking the examination based upon one year of experience, complete the top portion of the Verification of Supervised Work Experience form, and give it to your supervising CPA to verify and sign and send directly to the Board.
- If you are taking the examination based on one year of experience and your supervising CPA is licensed in another jurisdiction, submit the Verification of Licensure for CPA Supervisor form to the Board where the supervising CPA’s license is held. That Board must submit the completed form to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy (if your supervisor is licensed in Alaska, you need not submit this form)
- Submit check, money order, or credit card form for application and examination fees, payable to CPA Examination Services
- Mail the above-noted items to CPA Examination Services – AK, P.O. Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam via mail, fax, or email (depending upon the method of notification you chose when you applied). Also, visit Prometric’s website to arrange your exam at a convenient testing location.
Alaska CPA Exam Cost Breakdown
The Alaska CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: an initial application fee of $185, a registration fee of $90, the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, the initial licensing fee that costs $300, and then finally the certificate fee of $390.
If you fail a section and need to retake it, you will still need to pay the registration fee of $90 and the $226.15 examination fee again.
Licensees who receive their original license within 12 months of the expiration date pay the full license fee and then at their first renewal pay a prorated renewal fee (half of the current license fee).
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD)||$226.15|
|Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)||$226.15|
|Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||$226.15|
Passing the CPA Exam
Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree with an accounting concentration; 15 semester hours of accounting coursework; or one year of experience; or candidates who are within 18 semester hours of meeting the education requirement and have 15 hours of accounting coursework may apply to sit for the AICPA’s Uniform CPA Exam. The application is available for download at the Board’s website.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy proctors the exam (NASBA). The four components of the exam can be taken in any sequence, but all four sections must be passed with a score of at least 75 within a rolling 18-month period to qualify.
AICPA Ethics Exam
To meet the Alaska CPA ethics exam requirement, the board employs the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Professional Ethics self-study course and exam to complete this criterion. To pass, candidates must finish the course’s open book test with a score of 90 percent or above. Professional Ethics can be found on the AICPA’s website. The AICPA exam will be waived for candidates who can present documentation of passing an exam deemed equivalent by the Board.
Alaska Experience Requirements for the CPA License
To meet the Alaska CPA experience requirements, candidates must have two years or 4,000 hours of professional accounting experience to obtain licensure. A year of experience equals 2,000 hours of work. Experience may have been earned in academia, government, industry, or public practice, but it must have included service or guidance in any of the following areas:
- Consulting Skills
- Financial Advisory
- Management Advisory
- Related Services
All candidates for CPA licensing in Alaska must meet experience criteria based on their education. You are assigned “experience points” based on your educational level:
- Option 1: If you have a bachelor’s degree with a 24 semester hour accounting concentration, you must fulfill four experience points
- Option 2: If you have a bachelor’s degree without an accounting concentration, you must fulfill six experience points
- How to earn experience points:
- One year of experience in public accounting under the supervision of a licensed CPA equals two experience points.
- If you qualify under Option 1, you need two years of public accounting experience.
- If you qualify under Option 2, you need three years of public accounting experience.
- One year of experience in private accounting or government accounting under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA equals 1 1/3 experience points.
- If you qualify under Option 1, you need three years of private or government accounting experience.
- If you qualify under Option 2, you need 4 ½ years of private or government accounting experience.
- Regardless of your experience points, you must have at least 500 hours of experience in attestation under the supervision of a licensed CPA
- One year of experience in public accounting under the supervision of a licensed CPA equals two experience points.
The experience must be performed within the last four years and supervised by a CPA who is currently licensed.
Use the Verification of Accounting Experience form (included in the Application for Certified Public Accountant, listed below) (found within the Application for Certified Public Accountant located below). Section A should be completed first, followed by Section B, which your supervising CPA should complete.
The supervising CPA must sign the form and return it to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy, P.O. Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806. Complete the CPA Supervisor Verification form if your supervising CPA is licensed in a state other than Alaska (also found within the Application for Certified Public Accountant located below). Section A must be completed before the form is sent to the state Board that holds your supervising CPA’s license to be completed and returned to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy.
Apply for Your Alaska CPA License
Submit Your Application for Issuance
You can apply for a CPA license in Alaska if you have completed all of your educational requirements, passed the Uniform CPA Exam, passed the AICPA Ethics Exam, and have the appropriate experience.
a. Complete the Application for Certified Public Accountant.
- Along with your completed application, submit:
- Proper fees (see an application for details) payable to the State of Alaska
- If your college transcript has changed since you took the Uniform CPA Exam, have a new official transcript reflecting these changes sent from the college directly to the Board.
- Ensure that.t your supervising CPA has mailed the Verification of Accounting Experience form to the Board.
- Request that the AICPA send official verification that you have passed the Ethics Exam to the Board
- If you passed the Uniform CPA Exam in another state, complete the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Certification Information (included within the application packet). Send this form to the state board where you passed the Exam. That Board must send the completed document to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Mail all above-listed items to Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy, P.O. Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806
b. Wait to receive a notification. Once all documents, completed applications, and exam fees have been received, the board will process your application. It may take eight to twelve weeks to notify the Board that your application has been approved and your permanent license to be issued.
Interstate Reciprocal License
Suppose you hold a CPA license in another state or U.S. jurisdiction (other than Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands). In that case, you may qualify for a reciprocal license in Alaska, provided that you meet the following prerequisites:
- Have four years of qualifying accounting experience after passing the Uniform CPA Exam within the past ten years
- Hold a valid CPA license in good standing.
- If you meet these qualifications:
- Download the Application for Certified Public Accountant form (located above). Check the appropriate box that you are applying for certification by reciprocity.
- Have an official college transcript mailed directly to the Board
- Have your supervising CPA complete the Verification of Accounting Experience form (included within the application packet). This must be sent by your supervisor directly to the Boar.d.
- If your supervising CPA is licensed in a state other than Alaska, complete the CPA Supervisor Verification (also found within the Application for Certified Public Accountant). Complete Section A, then send the form to the state Board that holds your supervising CPA’s license to complete the form and return it to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Complete the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Certification Information (included within the application packet). Send this form to the state board where you took the Uniform CPA Exam. That Board must send the completed document to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Make another copy of the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Certification Information. Send this form to the state board that holds your CPA license. That Board must send the completed document to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy.
International Reciprocal License
There are no special rules in Alaska for CPAs who hold a license in a foreign jurisdiction. You must still meet the state’s education, experience, and examination requirements.
Apply for the CPA license
After completing the prerequisites above, candidates should apply for licensing to the board and pay applicable fees. The application is available for download at the board’s website. The application will verify education, experience, and a passing score on the AICPA Ethics and Uniform CPA tests.
Receiving Your Alaska CPA Certificate
It may take several weeks for the Board to review and issue a license. At this time, the applicant is eligible to begin working as a CPA.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education To keep their Alaska license current, CPAs must complete the state’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.
a. Complete 80 CPE hours every two years
- At least 20 CPE hours must be completed each year.
- 4 CPE hours every two years must be in ethics and Alaska statutes and regulations
b. Sign up for approved program formats, such as:
- College courses
- One semester hour of a credit course equals 15 CPE hours.
- Noncredit college courses
- One semester hour of a noncredit course equals one CPE hour.
- AICPA professional development programs
- Professional development programs of national or state professional accounting organizations or societies
- Programs of organizations on the NASBA National Registry of CPE Sponsors
- Technical sessions of meetings of AICPA, national or state professional organizations, or organizations listed on the NASBA National Registry of CPE Sponsors
- Formal, organized educational programs focusing on enhancing an accountant’s skills
- Another professional, industrial or accounting programs
- Individual study
- Being a discussion leader or instructor (may not account for more than 30 CPE hours every two years)
- Publishing books or articles
c. Maintain records of your CPE hours for at least four years, including:
- Record of completion
- Sponsor of course
- Course location
- Title/description of content
- Dates of course
- Number of CPE hours claimed
- Transcript (if a university or college course was taken)
- Evidence of publication (for books, articles, e.tc)
d. Report your CPE every two years at the time of license renewal on the Application for Biennial Renewal of Certified Public Accountant License
Alaska CPA Exam F.A.Q.s
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Alaska’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.
Do CPA scores expire in Alaska?
Credit for any passed portion will be valid for 18 months from when the examination sections were taken. Exam credit expires in areas. You will lose credit for any units completed after the 18-month time has expired, and you will have to retake those sections.
What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Alaska?
A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university; and completion of one year of public accounting experience under the direct supervision of a CPA (CPA).
How do I register to take the CPA exam in Alaska?
Register with CPA Examination Services (CPAES) and include all required documentation with your completed CPA Exam application, such as a request for your official undergraduate transcript from your college, which must be sent directly to the Board. This transcript should demonstrate that you have completed or are working on your bachelor’s degree. Visit the Prometric website to arrange your exam at a convenient testing location.
How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Alaska?
With a regular 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 approach to obtain the 30 more credits needed to become a licensed CPA in Alaska.
Does Alaska require an ethics exam for the CPA?
Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course For Licensure is required in Alaska.
How much is the CPA exam in Alaska?
In Alaska, the cost of taking all four sections of the CPA test is $743 plus the first $150 application fee, for a total of $893. In addition to their exam expenses, all re-examination applicants must pay a registration fee ranging from $65 to $110, depending on how many parts they are registered for.
How long does it take to get the CPA license in Alaska?
When it comes to the length of time it will take to become your CPA, you should plan to devote approximately 6 to 7 years to the process. Because each state has various criteria, you may find that where you live has more or less requirements.