Colorado CPA Exam Cost: The 4 Critical Fees

Colorado CPA Exam Cost

Share This...

The Colorado CPA exam cost consists of four main fees: an initial exam application fee of $160, the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, the re-exam application fee which is $85 and then the initial license fee that costs $150.

Colorado CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

Initial Application$160.00
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
4 Examination Sections$85.00
3 Examination Sections$85.00
2 Examination Sections$85.00
1 Examination Section$85.00
Initial CPA License Registration Fee$150.00

Colorado CPA Experience Requirements

To meet the Colorado CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates require 12 months of experience in ONE area (Public Accounting, Industry, Government, or Academia). It must include a minimum of 1,800 “qualifying hours” which must be obtained over a period of not less than one year and not more than three years. “Qualifying work hour(s)” means hours spent primarily applying the standards described in Rule 4.1.B. Holidays, vacations, and family/employee sick leave shall not be included as qualifying work hours. Clerical experience does not count toward qualifying work hours.

Summary of Colorado 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 exam27
Credit hours in business subjects to sit for the CPA exam21
Credit hours in auditing course concentrating on U.S. GAAS3
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Credit hours in accounting subjects for the CPA license33
Credit hours in business subjects for the CPA license27
Work experience required to receive a CPA license1 Year
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseYes

Colorado Education Requirements

You must have completed 120 hours of the total, non-duplicative higher education courses with the following accounting-specific qualifications:

  • At least 27 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting coursework with grades of C or higher.
    • 21 of these hours (excluding introductory accounting courses) in areas such as:
      • Accounting Ethics
      • Accounting Information Systems
      • Accounting Research and Analysis
      • Accounting Theory
      • Auditing and Attestation Services
      • Financial Accounting and Reporting of Business Organizations
      • Financial Accounting and Reporting for Government and Not-for-Profit
      • Financial Statement Analysis
      • Fraud Examination
      • Internal Controls and Risk Assessment
      • Managerial or Cost Accounting
      • Taxation
      • Tax Research and Analysis
  • A 3-semester hour, or more, auditing course concentrating on U.S. GAAS
  • At least 21 semester hours of non-duplicative coursework in business administration in areas such as:
    • The behavior of Organizations, Groups, and Persons
    • Business Communications
    • Business Ethics
    • Business Law
    • Computer Information Systems
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Legal and Social Environment of Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Quantitative Applications in Business
    • Statistics no more than 6 of these semester hours can be in any single subject area.

Foreign Education

If you are with international education and applying, you must show confirmation that the audit course you took outside of the United States had a concentration in U.S. GAAS. You must additionally submit the following in addition to the evaluation of international education:

  1. A letter from the school confirming the audit course has a concentration in US GAAS
  2. The course’s syllabus
  3. The primary textbook used to include the name of the publisher and the authors.
  • Failure to provide this information will result in an incomplete application.

At the time of application, all educational documents must be submitted, including official school transcripts, SSN affidavits, course syllabuses, textbooks used for audit courses, or a letter from the school confirming US GAAS concentration and/or international evaluations with international transcripts. The academic institution or evaluation service must send these documents directly to CPAES.

Transcripts must be mailed directly from the institution to the NASBA CPA Examination Services (CPAES) office in Nashville – not the Colorado State Board of Accountancy in Colorado. Transcripts can also be emailed directly from the university to etranscript@nasba.org.

Specific Accounting Course Requirements

33 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level as follows:

  • All courses must be designated by an accounting program code or the Applicant must otherwise demonstrate that the coursework was in accounting
  • The 33 semester hours must include 27 semester hours of accounting courses, excluding introductory accounting courses, covering the subject areas below
    • Accounting Ethics
    • Accounting Information Systems
    • Accounting Research and Analysis
    • Accounting Theory
    • Auditing and Attestation Services
    • Financial Accounting and Reporting of Business Organizations
    • Financial Accounting and Reporting for Government and Not-for-Profit Entities
    • Financial Statement Analysis
    • Fraud Examination
    • Internal Controls and Risk Assessment
    • Managerial or Cost Accounting
    • Taxation
    • Tax Research and Analysis
    • Other areas as approved by the Colorado State Board

Of the 27 semester hours required above, a total of 6 semester hours must be in auditing, which must include a 3 semester hour, or more, course concentrating on U.S. GAAS.

Introductory accounting courses mean courses such as principles of accounting, accounting, and tax software courses, payroll accounting, and other basic accounting courses as determined by the Colorado State Board. Such courses will not count towards the 27 hour requirement.

The 27 hours required above must also include a 3 semester hour, or more, course concentrating on accounting or business ethics. The course content should include the following: the ethical responsibilities of accountants, both personal and professional; ethical dilemmas facing accountants; ethical theory; the various accounting codes of conduct and ethical guidance for accountants; and the application of ethical theory, codes of conduct, and professional standards.

Specific Business Course Requirements

27 semester hours of non-duplicative coursework in business administration at the undergraduate or graduate level, such as:

  • Behavior of Organizations, Groups, and Persons
  • Business Communications
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Legal and Social Environment of Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Applications in Business
  • Statistics
  • Other areas as approved by the Board

Of the 27 semester hours, no more than 9 semester hours can be in any single subject area. But semester hours in excess of the 9-hour maximum may count toward the total 150 semester hour requirement.

All coursework must address subject areas as provided above, but the coursework need not be taken within the business or accounting department.

How to Meet the 150-Hour Requirement

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs in accounting. To obtain 150 semester hours of education, students do not necessarily have to get a master’s degree. They can meet the requirement at the undergraduate level or get a bachelor’s degree and take some courses at the graduate level. Students can also choose any of the following:

  • Combine an undergraduate accounting degree with a master’s degree at the same school or a different one;
  • Combine an undergraduate degree in some other discipline with a master’s in accounting or an MBA with a concentration in accounting;
  • Enroll in an integrated five-year professional accounting school or program leading to a master’s degree in accounting.

In most cases, the additional academic work needed to acquire the technical competence and develop the skills required by today’s CPA is best obtained at the graduate level. Graduate-level programs are an excellent way to more fully develop skills such as communication, presentation, and interpersonal relations and to integrate them with the technical knowledge being acquired.

For these reasons, leading professional organizations such as the AICPA, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, and the Federation of Schools of Accountancy have consistently supported the 150-hour education requirement for entry into the accounting profession.

Pass the Uniform CPA Examination

The “Uniform CPA Examination”, which is a 4-part exam, is developed by the AICPA – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by NASBA – the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

The Four CPA Exam Sections are:

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 CPA, 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…

AICPA Ethics Exam

The CPA Ethics Exam is one of four standards that the state where you live and practice requires you to complete before awarding you a license and they vary depending on your location. As for Colorado, the AICPA Ethics Exam is required for certification. The AICPA Ethics Exam is taken after completing a course called Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course. You must earn a minimum score of 90% in order to qualify for certification.

Getting your Colorado CPA License

After accomplishing the requirements, the final step is to apply for the CPA License. You will have to use NASBA’s licensing service to apply for the CPA License. Upon application, make sure all documents and payments are prepared to avoid delays in your application.

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…

Other Posts You'll Like...

Want to Pass as Fast as Possible?

(and avoid failing sections?)

Watch one of our free "Study Hacks" trainings for a free walkthrough of the SuperfastCPA study methods that have helped so many candidates pass their sections faster and avoid failing scores...

Scroll to Top
[523.251,1046.50]
[523.251,1046.50]