Arizona CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Arizona CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Arizona CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates require 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.

This article will help you to become a CPA in Arizona and is a requirement for you to take the Arizona CPA exam.

Summary of Arizona CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam120
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam24
Credit hours in business subjects to sit for the CPA exam18
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Work experience required to receive a CPA license2000 hours
Credit hours in accounting subjects for the CPA license36
Credit hours in business subjects for the CPA license30
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseYes

Arizona Education Requirements

To meet the Arizona CPA education requirements, 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.

Required Courses

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:

  • Marketing
  • Ethics
  • Advanced oral communication
  • Advanced written communication
  • Advanced mathematics or college level algebra
  • Business law
  • Management
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Business Administration
  • Statistics

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)

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:

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.

Passing the CPA Exam Examination

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.

The Four CPA Exam Sections

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems) and its underlying business processes, risks, and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPAexcel, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

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.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Arizona CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Arizona CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: an initial application fee of $100, a re-exam application fee of $50, the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, an initial licensing fee that costs $100 and then finally the biennial license registration fee of $300.

If a registrant’s biennial registration and fee are not received on time, the certificate is automatically suspended, and to re-activate the registrant would need to submit the completed renewal form, pay the $50 late fee, and the past due registration fee.

Initial Application$100.00
Re-examination Application Fee$50.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$905.00
Initial CPA License Registration Fee$100.00
Biennial License Registration Fee$300.00
Late Renewal Fee$50.00

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 as part of the Arizona CPA ethics exam requirements. 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:

1. Checklist

  • 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.

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.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

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