Arkansas CPA Exam Requirements 2024: Important Details

Arkansas CPA Exam Requirements

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Arkansas CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in Arkansas, we’ve summarized the Arkansas CPA exam requirements. Read below to know the exact steps and needs to be a licensed CPA in The Natural State.

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Summary of Arkansas CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam120
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in upper level Accounting to sit for the CPA exam & to receive a CPA license30
Credit hours in Business other than Accounting to sit for the CPA exam & to receive a CPA license30
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Work experience required to receive a CPA license1 Year
Ethics exam required for CPEYes

Education Requirement

To meet the Arkansas CPA education requirements, candidates must have a four-year degree from a college or university that has been accredited by a Board-recognized accrediting institution and 150 semester hours of college-level study. The degree must contain 30 credit hours of the upper-level accounting curriculum and 30 credit hours of business classes (other than public accounting).

General Requirements

Arkansas will still welcome you if you are from another state or country. For CPA candidates, there are no in-state residency or US citizen requirements. You must, however, have a Social Security number and be eligible to work in the country. Arkansas also has no minimum age requirement, so if you are exceptionally gifted, you may be able to practice accounting before you can legally drive.

Credit Requirements for Arkansas CPA License

Arkansas has particular educational requirements and you must complete certain conditions. A required 30 semester hours in upper-level accounting classes and 20 hours in other business-related, non-accountancy studies must be included in your coursework. All courses must be passed with a C or above.

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 an Arkansas CPA. Many of these programs are entirely online. There are also specialized five-year CPA track schools that offer a hybrid bachelor’s and master’s curriculum tailored exclusively to provide you with the 150 semester hours required to meet Arkansas CPA requirements.

Accepted Educational Institutions

If you received your education in a quarter-system institution, double your hours by two-thirds. Whatever system your school works under, it must be fully accredited by one of the following regional agencies:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools–Commission on Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission for Senior Colleges
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Gather your materials and fill out the entire application once you have fulfilled the educational prerequisites to sit for the exam. Official sealed transcripts from any college or university you have attended will be required. Transcripts should be provided directly to the Board Office, where they will be put in your file.

Required Courses

Meet the State Board of Public Accountancy’s CPA degree and particular coursework requirements. Your 150 semester hours must include the following courses from your bachelor’s program, any additional undergraduate credits you acquire, and graduate work:

  • Accounting courses must contain at least 30 semester credit hours of undergraduate accounting courses beyond the fundamentals level, at least 20 semester credit hours of graduate accounting courses, or a combination of the two. Each of these upper-level accounting courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. The following systems must be included in the accounting component:
  • A minimum of 30 semester credit hours of undergraduate business courses (other than accounting), 20 semester credit hours of graduate business courses (other than accounting), or a combination of the two is required for business courses. Each business course must be completed with a grade of C or above.

By completing an accounting internship, you may earn three semester credit hours in the accounting or business component (but not in both).

You may earn three semester credit hours in the accounting or business component (but not in both).

You may earn a maximum of three semester credit hours for military service. These semester credit hours may not be used toward fulfilling the accounting component.

Foreign Education

If you attended a foreign institution or college, you must have your credits evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluators member organization. To begin this procedure, contact a member agency directly.

Arkansas Uniform CPA Examination

Applying for the CPA Exam

To sit for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam, administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, CPA(Certified Public Accountant) applicants in Arkansas must first obtain Board clearance (NASBA).

The application must be submitted electronically through the Board’s website. Candidates may apply to take the exam after completing 120 of the 150 required credit hours of education, provided that the remaining hours are completed within three years of the date the exam is passed.

Complete the Uniform CPA Examination Application from the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Pay the $50 starting cost and the exam fees as specified online. Several supporting application materials must be emailed to ASBPA@arkansas.gov. This includes a color copy of your photo ID, any official documentation authenticating your name, and having your college email official transcripts to the State Board of Public Accountancy if your institution employs a secure service like Scrip-Safe. If not, you must have the transcript shipped directly from your institution to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, 101 East Capitol Suite 450, Little Rock, AR 72201.

Studying for the CPA Exam

The CPA exam consists of the three core sections and candidates would need to select one of the three discipline to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge, allowing candidates to choose a specialization. There is no set order in which the exam portions must be completed. The 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.
  • 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.
  • Disciplines
    • Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR): Focused on financial reporting, data analytics, and performance management. This area is suitable for those who are interested in financial analysis and reporting. An extension of FAR core.
    • Information Systems and Controls (ISC): Concentrates on IT governance, data security, and system controls. Ideal for individuals who wish to specialize in IT audits and information security. An extension of AUD core.
    • Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP): Centers on personal financial planning and tax compliance for individuals, businesses, and other entities. Suitable for those with a strong interest in taxation and financial planning. An extension of REG core.

Choose a CPA Review Course

Although the benefits of passing the CPA exam are enormous, the exam requires a significant investment of your time and money. Most CPAs will tell you that a CPA review course is a key to a good exam, which is why we produced a list of the most recommended CPA review courses:

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

Apply for approval to take the Uniform CPA exam

To sit for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam, administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, CPA applicants in Arkansas must first obtain Board clearance (NASBA).

The application must be submitted electronically through the Board’s website. Candidates may apply to take the exam after completing 120 of the 150 required credit hours of education. The remaining hours are completed within three years of the exam being passed.

Signing Up for the CPA Exam

When your application is approved, the National State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS). This notice will be delivered to you in the method specified in your CPA exam application process (mail, fax, or email). To arrange your exam at an Arkansas testing location, contact the Prometric website. Arkansas has the following areas:

  • Fort Smith
  • Arkadelphia
  • Little Rock

Arkansas CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Arkansas CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: an initial exam application fee of $50, the $238.15 per CPA exam section totaling $952.60 for all four sections, the application‐section fees which will depend on the number of sections taken, an initial licensing fee that costs $50 and then the $110 annual license fee.

Initial Application$50.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$238.15
Regulation (REG)$238.15
Disciplines (ISC, TCP, or BAR)$238.15
Total for all 4 CPA Examination Provider Fee$952.60
4 Examination Sections$120.00
3 Examination Sections$105.00
2 Examination Sections$90.00
1 Examination Section$75.00
Initial CPA License Registration Fee$50.00
Annual License to Practice Fee$110.00

Passing the CPA Exam

Candidates who have obtained a Notice to Schedule are qualified to schedule and take the Uniform CPA Exam.

To qualify for a license, all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam must be taken and passed with a score of 75 or better within 18 months. Candidates who need to retake any unit (s) of the exam must apply to the Board for re-examination.

Arkansas CPA Ethics Exam

While most states require an ethics exam before licensing, Arkansas candidates can become a CPA without it as there are no Arkansas CPA ethics exam requirements. However, candidates are required to take one hour of Arkansas Board Ethics covering the Accountancy Law and Board Rules as part of the annual CPE requirements. This requirement replaces one of the four hours of ethics from previous Board Rule requirements (now requiring one hour of ASBPA Ethics and three additional hours of ethics over every three-year period).

Arkansas Experience Requirements for the CPA License

How to Meet Arkansas Work Experience Requirements

To meet the Arkansas CPA experience requirements, candidates must have at least one year of experience (2,000 clock hours) in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advice, tax, or consulting performed in three calendar years.

a. Find acceptable accounting experience

  • Contact your college or university’s career assistance department for help.
  • Ensure your experience is in academia, government, industry, or public practice.
  • Experience may be full- or part-time, as long as it satisfies the Board’s 2000 hours (one year) requirement and is completed in no more than three years

b. Make sure that the following skills are incorporated into your experience

  • Accounting
  • Attest
  • Management advisory
  • Financial advisory
  • Tax
  • Consulting

Supervisor Requirements

Your work experience must be supervised and validated by a CPA who is currently licensed. Experience gained in government, industry, academia, or public practice meets the criteria.

Have your experience overseen and validated by a certified CPA. Give the Work Experience Summary form to your supervisor to complete and request that your supervisor return the completed form to you so that you can submit it with your licensure application.

Apply for Your Arkansas CPA License

Submit Your Application for Issuance

After passing all four portions of the Uniform CPA Exam, candidates will get a “Final Successful” letter from the Board, and an application for CPA licensing will be emailed to them.

This could take up to two weeks after the results have been posted. The application must be completed and accepted within three years of passing the test, or it will be canceled.

Receiving Your Arkansas CPA License

Applicants will get their license via mail after their application is accepted and authorized by the Board. This procedure is usually completed in less than 30 days.

Arkansas Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing Education Requirements

All certified CPAs in Arkansas must complete continuing professional education (CPE) requirements set by the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy to keep their licenses.

a. Complete 40 hours of CPE in the 12 months preceding your CPA license’s expiration date, or 120 hours of CPE in the 36 months preceding your CPA license’s expiration date.

  • 60% of your CPE hours must be in the following subjects:
    • Accounting
    • Accounting ethics
    • Taxation
    • Attest
    • Management advisory services
    • Computer science (not including videos or tutorials)
  • If your job involves attestation or compilation, at least 20% of your CPE hours must be in accounting theory or practice and attest.
  • 4 CPE hours every 36 months must be in ethics and accounting professional conduct

b. Make sure programs meet the following requirements to qualify for CPE credit:

  • An outline of the CPE program has been prepared before instruction.
  • The program is at least 50 minutes (one CPE hour) in length.
  • A qualified instructor (based on background, education, experience, or training) conducts the program.
  • The instructor maintains attendance records.
  • The program’s sponsor is approved, registered, or exempt from registration.

c. Sign up for programs in one of the following approved, registered formats:

  • Technical sessions at meetings of national/state accounting organizations/chapters
  • Programs sponsored by government agencies
  • NASBA’s National Registry of CPE sponsors
  • Programs sponsored by professional organizations of CPAs and PAs
  • Programs sponsored by CPA and PA firms
  • Programs sponsored by industrial firms
  • University or college credit courses (one semester hour of college credit equals 15 CPE hours)
  • University or college non-credit courses (semester hours equal CPE hours)
  • Individual study, distance learning, self-study, and independent study programs sponsored by one of the registered or exempt sponsors or on NASBA’s Quality Assurance Service
  • The licensee writes articles, books, or CPE programs.
  • CPE programs of other jurisdictions with substantial equivalency to Arkansas

Avoid signing up for CPE programs in these non-approved formats:

  • Education leading to the completion of different requirements for a CPA certificate or license
  • Academic work necessary to take the CPA test
  • CPA review courses

Enroll in programs sponsored by approved, registered CPE sponsors or by the following exempt sponsors:

d. Report your CPE hours correctly

  • Maintain CPE records for at least five years, including:
    • The CPE program’s NASBA registration number or E for exempt
    • The CPE program’s sponsor
    • The CPE program’s location
    • Title of CPE program and content description
    • Dates attended
    • CPE hours claimed

e. Submit your CPE hours with your license renewal application

CPA License Renewal

CPA licenses in Arkansas expire on December 31st of each year. To renew a CPA license, applicants must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in the 12 months preceding the renewal or 120 hours in the 36 months preceding the renewal. New licensees must accrue prorated CPE hours based on the date of their initial licensure and are exempt from the ethical requirement for the first full year of practice.

Every three years, licensees that provide attest services must submit to a peer review. A minimum of the following CPE hours must be included in the CPE hours:

  • 16 hours (40-hour rule) or 48 hours (120-hour control) of group study
  • 20 hours (40-hour rule) or 60 hours (120-hour control) in accounting/attest, accounting ethics, or taxation
  • 8 hours (40-hour rule) or 24 hours (120-hour control)in accounting/attest if the licensee is engaged in these functions
  • Four hours of accounting ethics in any 36-month reporting cycle. One of these hours must be the Arkansas Board of Accountancy Laws and Rules course.

Arkansas CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

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

Do CPA scores expire in Arkansas?

Your NIT, also known as a notice to sit, is only valid for six months. It will then expire, and you will have to re-register. The re-registration application price is $75 for one section and varies depending on how many you sign up for at once, so only sign up for tests that you are ready to take within the next six months.

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

Arkansas’ requirements for taking the CPA Examination are straightforward. You must have a Bachelor’s degree, thirty hours of higher-level accounting, and thirty hours in a business subject other than accounting.

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

Once the Board of Accountancy has approved the examination, you can register or apply for it. The candidate will receive a Notice to Schedule once approved and registered for the examination (NTS). Candidates who wish to take the CPA tests must make an appointment.

Where can I take CPA exam in Arkansas?

Candidates from the United States can take the CPA Exam anywhere in the world. International candidates may be unable to test at all Prometric facilities outside of the United States. You should look into the specific exam venues that are available to you.

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

Complete at least 150 semester hours of college education and received a bachelor’s degree or higher, including the accounting and business components needed by the Arkansas State Board of Accountancy.

Does Arkansas require an ethics exam for the CPA?

After passing all four portions of the CPA exam, it is required to take the Ethics Exam. To prepare, you will complete a 1-hour online self-study course. After that, you must complete all study portions and take a 30-item test. To pass, twenty-two items must be right.

How much is the CPA exam in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the cost of taking all four sections of the CPA exam is $743 plus $125 – $170 in application costs, depending on how many sections you sign up for. The application price for re-examination is $75 – $120, plus exam fees.

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