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Arizona CPA exam requirements
Are you interested in learning how to become a CPA in Arizona? In this article, we summarize everything for the Arizona CPA exam Requirements to make your life easier. Everything that you need is in this article, so keep reading below.
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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 Arizona 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||18|
|Total credit hours to receive a CPA license||150|
|Work experience required to receive a CPA license||2,000 Hours|
|Credit hours in accounting subjects for the CPA license||36|
|Credit hours in business subjects for the CPA license||30|
|Ethics exam required to get a CPA license||Yes|
In Arizona, you don’t even have to be a citizen to become a CPA, and you don’t even have to live in the state, which is useful for students who may have permanent status in other states. The minimum age for applications is 18, which should not be a problem for the vast majority of students and graduates.
Education Requirement for the CPA Exam in Arizona
Credit Requirements for Arizona CPA License
Arizona’s educational requirements for CPA candidates enable individuals who have not yet completed their bachelor’s degree but want to leave college prepared to land the essential jobs in the business sector. Within 18 semester hours of graduation, you can apply for your CPA exam with the Arizona Board of Accountancy.
Inquire with Arizona institutions that offer accounting majors for further information. All CPA applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 150 semester hours of college credit, according to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy (ASBA).
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 route to obtain the 30 more credits needed to become an Arizona CPA. 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 achieve Arizona CPA requirements.
Accepted Educational Institutions
The Arizona Board of Regents recognizes degrees and credits earned at any college or university with essential institution-level accreditation from one of the six U.S. accrediting bodies. The Department of Education has acknowledged regional accreditation:
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwestern Commission on Colleges and Universities
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Higher Learning Commission
- Southern Association of Schools and Colleges
It is important to note that you must include transcripts from all schools you attended and deliver them in sealed envelopes. The originals must be submitted.
According to Arizona Board standards, you will be able to take the CPA exam after completing your bachelor’s degree if it includes at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses, 12 semester hours of upper-level courses, and 18 semester hours of business courses, which can include:
- Advanced oral communication
- Advanced written communication
- Advanced mathematics or college level algebra
- Business law
- Computer science
- Business Administration
To meet the 150 semester hour requirement for CPA licensure through the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, you must earn 30 credits beyond the 120 included in your bachelor’s degree through a post-certificate bachelor’s or master’s in accounting. You take the exam and apply for your license.. To be eligible for licensing; you must finish the following courses and graduate work between undergraduate and graduate studies:
- Accounting courses totaling 36 non-duplicative semester hours, with 30 hours in upper-level education.
- 30 semester hours of business courses
Transfer Credits/Foreign Education
Suppose you are an Arizona candidate, but you studied outside the U.S. In that case, you need to have your foreign academic credits evaluated by the Association of International Credential Evaluators or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. It must be a course-by-course review submitted directly to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy (ASBA)
Arizona Uniform CPA Examination
Applying for the CPA Exam
When you have completed the educational prerequisites for the CPA exam, you are ready to begin the application and scheduling procedure:
1. Download the Uniform CPA Exam Initial Application form.
2. Send the completed and signed application, $100 initial application fee, and sealed transcripts to: The Arizona State Board of Accountancy 100 North 15th Ave., Ste. 165 Phoenix, Arizona 85007
- Make certified or personal checks payable to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy.
- The transcript request form can be accessed here.
Note:To be considered for an ADA modification, you must submit a written request and an official certification from your doctor confirming your condition and the need for accommodation. It would help if you did so at the time of the original submission and every time the request changes after that.
You must complete the re-exam application listed here and pay the $50 fee as a re-exam candidate. Also, if you haven’t already, complete the CBT supplemental form (the last page on the initial application form). Please send the application and cost to the ASBA address shown above.
3. Wait for the evaluation process to complete. The ASBA review committee meets every month except December, evaluates your application and transcripts, and recommends whether you should be authorized to take the CPA exam. When the Board approves your application, they will notify the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy by electronic Authorization to Test (ATT) (NASBA).
4. Wait for a NASBA payment coupon/invoice for each part you selected on your original application. Pay the NASBA fee with the coupon and a credit card, and schedule the examination within 90 days of the ATT date.
5. To be considered for an ADA modification, you must submit a written request and an official certification from your doctor confirming your condition and the need for accommodation. You must do so at the time of the original submission and every time the request changes after that.
After obtaining your NTS, schedule the exam and pay the Prometric costs at www.prometric.com/CPA/default.htm. Exams are administered throughout the first two months of each quarter. Arizona Prometric test centers include:
6. We’ll have to wait for the exam results. The scores are sent to ASBA by NASBA. ASBA will review the scores and email them according to your preference.
Click here for more information on what to expect from the Uniform CPA Exam.
Studying for the CPA Exam
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) designed the CPA test. This professional organization can help you get a job, grow your professional knowledge, and even attend conferences to further your professional life. When preparing to take the CPA exam, keep in mind that there are four components to the exam:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Auditing and Attestation
- Business Environment and Concepts
Because each section of the exam is handled separately, you must pay for them as you take them. None of the tests should cost more than $200; however, as of January 2016, the total cost for all four sections was $734.10. You will have six months from when your payment is accepted to take and pass at least one section area. After passing the first section, you will have 18 months to finish the other areas. If you do not complete the remainder of the test within the time permitted, your previous passing grade will be revoked.
Choose a CPA Review Course
You’ll also need to purchase a CPA review course suited to your study style and budget. Most of the time, the subjects on the exam were dispersed throughout numerous accounting classes, so you are unlikely to recall everything from your undergraduate degree. We created this resource for those CPA candidates who need to discover the best CPA review course as soon as possible:
- Becker CPA Review
- Surgent CPA Review
- Gleim CPA Review
- UWorld Roger CPA Review
- Wiley CPAexcel
Taking the Uniform CPA Examination
Candidates who have completed 150 semester hours of college-level education may apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The exam is divided into four portions that can be taken throughout 18 months. Before applying for a CPA license, candidates must pass the exam with a score of 75 or above in all four areas. Candidates can apply for the exam on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website.
Arizona CPA Exam Fees
Exam fees in Arizona are very typical. If you need to re-take a part, you will be charged a variable re-application fee based on the total number of parts you need to re-take.
Special Fees: Re-exam registration fee (varying amounts based on number of parts)
Passing the CPA Exam
Each of the critical categories must be passed with at least 75. The test is highly challenging, and many people fail any given section on their first attempt. Pass rates range from roughly 44% for the Auditing and Attestation section to over 60% for the Business Environment and Concepts section. As a result, you must prepare thoroughly before sitting for your first attempt at the test.
Arizona Experience Requirements for the CPA License
How to Meet Arizona Work Experience Requirements
Experience must be obtained by working in the office of a CPA or public accountant in government or industry.
- The experience must come from working in the office of a CPA or public accountant in government or industry.
- It should be at least 2000 hours of paid or volunteer experience gained before or after passing the Uniform CPA Exam.
- The experience must involve:
- Recording and summarizing financial transactions
- Analyzing and verifying financial information
- Examining, reviewing, and reporting on financial statements
- Reporting financial results to an employer, clients, or other parties and providing attestation, tax, and management advisory services to an employer, clients, or other parties
Suppose your supervisor is not an Arizona-licensed CPA. In that case, a Request for Supervisor Licensure Verification Form must be sent to the state board that gave their license and then returned to ASBA.
Suppose your supervisor is not a licensed/certified CPA. In that case, they must include a resume and work description to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and expertise to supervise a possible CPA candidate. One method of demonstrating proficiency for validating CPAs who are not qualified in Arizona is to offer signed and dated letters from three clients.
Apply for Your Arizona CPA License
Submit Your Application for Issuance
The Board reviews all CPA applications in the state. Applicants must present verification of education, experience, citizenship, passing scores on the AICPA Ethics and Uniform CPA Exams, and an application fee.
Complete the AICPA ethics course and Exam
Applicants must pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Ethics Exam with 90 percent or better. The course and exam are self-paced, with passing grades valid for two years. Those who intend to take the exam and apply for licensure in Arizona may do so by contacting the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA).
Receiving Your Arizona CPA Certificate
You are now eligible can now apply for your Arizona State CPA certificate and practicing license (Arizona is not a two-tier state, so certification automatically grants a practice license). This is a rundown of everything you’ve done thus far:
- A bachelor’s or higher-level degree with 150 semester/225 quarter hours of education, 36 semester/54 quarter hours of accounting courses, including 30 semester/45 quarter hours at the upper-division or graduate level, and 30 semester/45 quarter hours of accounting-related courses.
- Passed the Uniform CPA Exam with a score of 75 in all categories over a rolling 18-month period.Obtained the required 2000 hours of experience as a supervisory CPA, as validated by a registered CPA or someone with equal qualifications and experience.
- ASBA received your Certificate of Experience form and certification from your supervising CPA.
- ASCPA-managed AICPA ethics course completed
2. Download the Arizona CPA Certificate Application. Submit the application and the non-refundable $100 fee to ASBA. A form certifying your legitimate status in the United States must also be completed and sent with the application. This form can be found here.
3. The Arizona State Board of Accountancy will contact you after receiving your request. They will alert you if any documents are missing from your application. ASBA will issue your CPA license if your application is complete.
Arizona Continuing Education Requirements
Arizona CPAs must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each renewal cycle once licensed. CPE must contain at least 16 hours of in-person or online training and 40 hours in accounting, auditing, taxes, business law, or consulting services, with at least 16 hours in accounting, auditing, or taxation. CPE must also contain four hours of Arizona-specific ethics education, including one hour in accounting-related ethics and one hour in Board legislation and rules. Renewal periods are biennial and are governed by the CPA’s birth date. More information is available on the Board’s website.
A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is a popular career path for students studying accounting and related corporate finance subjects. In many cases, the license can be a critical bridge to professional accounting practice for many accountants. Licensed CPAs, like other accounting professionals, can work for third-party accounting companies or start their businesses, providing accounting services ranging from tax preparation to bookkeeping. What distinguishes CPAs is a credential that demonstrates they have the knowledge, education, and experience to succeed in these areas, including complete audits.
Arizona CPA Exam F.A.Q.s
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Arizona’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.
What Are the Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam in Arizona?
To sit for the CPA exam in Arizona, you must be at least 18 years old, be of good moral character, and meet the education requirements which require a bachelor’s degree, at least 24 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting courses of which 12 semester hours are upper level and 18 semester hours in business-related courses.
How Long Does it Take to Become a CPA in Arizona?
You will need to attain the full 150 semester hours required nationwide. This is roughly five years of education, then one year to take and pass the CPA exam, and then one year to meet the experience requirement. That makes a total of 6-7 years to get your CPA license. Once you have met all the requirements and have submitted your application to receive your CPA license from the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, if approved you will receive your license in the mail within 3-4 weeks.
How Much Does It Cost to Take the CPA Exam in Arizona?
The total cost of the CPA exam for an aspiring CPA in Arizona is $1,052.60, this is considering that you pass all exams on the first try. The breakdown of the cost is $100 for the application fee and $952.60 exam fee for all four sections of the exam ($238.15 per section).
How Many CPAs are in Arizona?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as per the May 2021 data, there are currently around 23,150 accountants in Arizona with an annual salary of $78,550.
Do CPA Scores Expire in Arizona?
Regardless of the state, once a CPA candidate passes their first CPA exam section, they then have 18 months to pass the remaining three CPA exam sections to complete the Uniform CPA Examination. Once a CPA candidate has passed the Uniform CPA Examination, their scores never expire in Arizona.
How Many Accounting Credits Do you Need to Sit for the CPA License in Arizona?
You must complete at least 24 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting courses of which 12 semester hours are upper level and 18 semester hours in business-related courses.
Does Arizona Require an Ethics Exam for the CPA?
Yes, the Arizona State Board requires all candidates applying for the CPA license must complete at least 8 hours in length the AICPA ethics examination or its equivalent. With a minimum score of 90% to pass the test.
You can get the AICPA Ethics Exam through the Arizona Society of CPAs.
How Do I Schedule My CPA Exam in Arizona?
Upon payment for the examination fees through NASBA, you will receive a receipt of your NTS. Make sure that everything is correct as it will be used at the testing centers. If the names do not match, immediately contact the Board to request a correction. You will not be allowed to test if the name on the identification documents does not exactly match the name on the NTS.
With the NTS, then you can schedule your actual exam on the Prometric website at www.prometric.com.
You will have six months to apply and sit for your first portion of the CPA exam.
If you do not receive your NTS, call a NASBA Candidate Service Associate at 1-866-MY-NASBA or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not be able to schedule an Exam appointment or take the Exam without a valid NTS.
When Can I Sit for the CPA Exam in Arizona?
You can apply anytime to sit for the CPA exam in Arizona as long as you meet the education requirements of at least 24 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting courses of which 12 semester hours are upper level and 18 semester hours in business-related courses which need to be verified by the Arizona State Board of Accountancy through the Transcript Request Form that your college/university will send.