How to Become a CPA in Alabama

how to become a cpa in alabama

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If you’re wondering how to become a CPA in Alabama, we’ve organized the Alabama CPA exam requirements below.

1. Meet the Education Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam

In order to sit for the exam, the Alabama education requirements must be attained first. For Alabama applicants, you should complete 120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours of postsecondary education, including a baccalaureate degree at a college or university. This includes an upper division undergraduate and/or graduate level minimum of 24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting. As well as at least 24 semester or equivalent quarter hours in business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level.

2. General Requirements

Prior to applying for the exam, make sure you are also qualify for the general requirements. Qualifications include being 19 years and older, of good moral character, a U.S. citizen and if not, a legally documented person present in the U.S.

3. Apply for the Uniform CPA Exam

To apply for the exam, applicants will have the option to submit their applications online or by paper. Complete the Application for the Uniform CPA Examination (page 5) form, include a 2×2 photo and have it notarized. Along with it a check or money order payable to the board and your official school transcripts. For more information, visit the Alabama Board Exam Application and Instructions.

4. Pay for the Uniform CPA Exam

Once your application is approved, the board sends an Authorization to Test to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). A payment coupon will be sent by NASBA for the fees charged for the exam. The coupon is only valid for 90 days. Upon payment, a Notice to Schedule will be sent to you. Candidates must submit a check or money order payable to the board which totals the application fee and exam fees. Click here to see a breakdown of the Alabama CPA exam costs.

5. Notice to Schedule (NTS)

After receiving the NTS, schedule your exam online through Prometric. You are able to apply for one or more sections of the examination at a time. The NTS is valid for one testing event or six months from its issuance and must be presented for entry at the testing center.

6. Pass the Uniform CPA Exam

There are four sections in the exam: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG). You must pass each section with a score of 75 or higher within 18 months. Test scores will be available through the candidate portal on release dates.

7. Licensing Requirements (Receiving a Certification)

Now that you’ve passed the CPA exam, you may proceed with the CPA licensing process by accomplishing the licensing requirements. To apply for the license, applicants must have completed 150 semester hours with 33 semester hours of accounting in an upper division undergraduate and/or graduate level and 27 semester hours of business‐related courses. Applicants who have completed 120 semester hours prior will have 36 months after passing the last test section to complete the 150‐semester hour requirement. You may apply online or by paper.

8. Licensing Requirements (Receiving a Permit to Practice)

To complete your licensing application and become a CPA, applicants will have to meet the Alabama CPA experience requirements. These are either 1 year of full‐time employment by a public accounting firm as a staff accountant which is supervised by a practicing CPA or PA holding a valid permit to practice or 2 years of full‐time employment that is properly supervised in the accounting field in industry, business, government or college teaching; or even any combination of both.

The candidate must also meet the Alabama CPA ethics exam requirements by taking the AICPA’s ethics exam.

No person may practice in Alabama as a Certified Public Accountant or as a Public Accountant unless such person shall be the holder of an annual permit. Complete the experience form here.

9. CPA License Renewal

Renewal for Alabama CPA licenses are done annually from October 1 to September 30. Licensees must satisfy an annual renewal requirement in the form of a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to be able to renew.

10. Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Each licensee must complete 40 hours of acceptable continuing professional education each fiscal year ending September 30. At least eight of the forty hours reported must be obtained in the subject of accounting and auditing. At least 2 hours must be earned in a qualifying ethics course. A maximum of 12 hours of the forty in behavioral/personal development courses can be accepted by the board. All CPEs must be recorded prior to renewal. For more information, visit CHAPTER 30-X-5 and the updated CPE guidelines.

Estimated Cost: 905 USD

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