How to Become a CPA in California: 8 Crucial Steps

How to Become a CPA in California

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

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

To meet the California requirements to sit for the CPA exam, the California CPA education requirements must be attained first. For California applicants, you need a bachelor’s degree, 24 credits in accounting subjects, and 24 credits in business-related subjects.

2. Apply for the CPA Exam

You’ll need to create an account on the California Board of Accountancy (CBA) website at www.cba.ca.gov/cbt_public. Then you’ll complete the CPA exam application, and then print, sign, and mail the form and your transcripts to the CBA.

3. Sign up for the CPA Exam

Once the CBA has approved your application and transcripts, you can select the CPA exam sections you want to sign up for, then you’ll submit your payment coupon from NASBA, you’ll then receive your “Notice to Schedule” or NTS, and then you can schedule your actual exam on the Prometric website at www.prometric.com.

Click here to see a breakdown of the California CPA exam costs.

4. Pass the CPA Exams

After you pass your first CPA exam section, you’ll have 18 months to pass the remaining 3 sections.

5. Complete the 150 Credit Hour Requirement

California also requires 150 total credit hours, including 20 semester units of “accounting study”, and 10 semester units of ethics study.

6. Complete the Experience Requirement

To meet the California CPA experience requirements, you need a minimum of one year of accounting experience working under a licensed CPA. If you want the authority to sign attest reports, you’ll need 500 hours of attest experience.

7. Pass the California Professional Ethics Exam (PETH)

After completing the previous requirements, candidates must also meet the California CPA ethics exam requirements before you apply for your actual CPA license, you’ll need to take the California PETH examination. You can order the PETH examination at www.calcpa.org/ethics-exam.

8. Apply for your California CPA License

Once you’ve met all the requirements, you can apply for your CPA license at https://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/applicants/cpa-application.shtml.

Estimated Cost: 905 USD

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