New Jersey CPA Exam Requirements 2022: The Critical Steps

new jersey cpa exam requirements

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If you’re wondering how to become a CPA in New Jersey, we’ve summarized the New Jersey CPA exam requirements below so you’ll know the exact steps to become a licensed CPA in the Garden State.

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Summary of New Jersey CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to Sit for CPA Exams120
Bachelor’s Required to Sit for CPA Exams?Yes
Accounting Major Required?No
Accounting Credits Required to Sit for CPA Exams24
Business Credits Required to Sit for CPA Exams24
Credit Hours to Get CPA License150
Technical Subject Credits Required for License*60
Master’s Degree Required to Get CPA License?No
Work Experience Required to Get CPA License1 Year
Ethics Exam Required to Get CPA License?Yes
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years for License Renewal120

*The technical subjects include:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Business law
  • Information technology
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management advisory services
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • SEC practice
  • Taxation
  • Professional ethics
  • Specialized areas such as governmental, nonprofits, real estate, or farming

New Jersey Uniform CPA Examination

Here we’ll cover all the necessary information that you’ll need for the New Jersey CPA Exam Requirements.

The CPA exam is a 16-hour computer-based test divided into four sections with a minimum score of 75. Candidates must pass all four sections within 18 months after passing your first section.

  • Auditing and Attestation.
    • This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparation agreements. This portion covers financial reporting frameworks from industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
  • Business Environment and Concepts.
    • This exam section covers general business concepts, such as economics, business communications, and related business courses. This portion covers general business concepts, including international business. You’ll need to use excellent writing skills to complete this part of the exam.
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting.
    • This exam section covers financial accounting topics for all business entities, including the government and nonprofits. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
  • Regulation.
    • This exam section covers federal taxation, tax services, professional ethics, and business law for individuals and business entities. This ethics portion of the exam explores your professional and legal responsibilities.

New Jersey does not require residency. CPA candidates outside the U.S. can apply for the CPA exam.

To take the Uniform CPA Examination, you must be 18 years of age, have good moral character, and meet the education requirements.

Once you pass the CPA Exam, there is no timetable for obtaining the additional educational credits and experience requirements.

Education Requirements

To meet the New Jersey CPA education requirements, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours of credit that includes 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in business courses other than accounting.

For an applicant to be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed a baccalaureate(bachelor’s) degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Completed at least 120 semester hours of general college-level credit
  • Completed at least 24 semester hours in accounting courses
  • Completed at least 24 semester hours in general business courses

Candidates eligible for the exam prior to July 1, 2017, will be permitted to continue testing but are required to meet the new education requirements to qualify for a license.

Once you successfully pass all four sections of the CPA Examination and you did NOT meet the 150 semester hour requirements for CPA licensure at the time you were originally found eligible to take the CPA Exam, you must submit an additional Academic Credential Evaluation (ACE) Application through NASBA Licensing Services before you will be permitted to apply for the CPA license.

If you met the 150 hours requirement, you might directly apply through the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy upon successful completion of the CPA Examination.

Process for Submitting Education Transcripts

  • Submit an official transcript from each school that you attended. Transfer credits are not acceptable. You must submit a transcript from each institution.
  • The degree you earned must be posted on your official transcript.
  • The official transcripts should be submitted directly from the institution.
  • Electronically transfer of transcripts is acceptable provided that they are official.

Transcripts must be sent directly from your school to CPA Examination Services. Transfer credits are not acceptable. Your application is incomplete until all transcripts have been received.

Notarization and Photo Form with 2×2 photograph taken within the last three months, showing your head and shoulders only. You submit it to CPAES.

International Evaluation, if applicable.

If you have completed your educational requirements outside the U.S., you must have your credentials evaluated by NASBA evaluation services: https://nasba.org/products/nasbainternationalevaluationservices/. Obtain the form to request this service and submit a translated copy of each international transcript.

CPA Review Courses

Studying for the CPA Exam is considered expensive and time-consuming. It is crucial to look for the one that will suit your needs. Your main goal is to pass the exam on your first try. Here are some courses that you can take to help you pass the CPA license exam:

  • Wiley
  • Becker
  • Gleim Exam Prep
  • Surgent CPA Review
  • Uworld Roger CPA review CPA Review Courses

New Jersey CPA Exam Process

Step One: Apply for the Exam

  1. You must apply in your selected jurisdiction each time you want to take one or more parts of the exam.
  2. Apply and submit all the necessary documents and material, including fees.
  3. Processing will take up to six weeks.

Step Two: Schedule the Exam

  1. Locate your desired test center and check seat availability.
  2. Schedule your test at least five days in advance. 
  3. Study and prepare for test day.

CPA Exam Application issues

To avoid any delay, make sure that your application is complete. According to CPAES, the first-time applications are within 10 to 15 business days after receiving all application materials and re-examination registrations within 48 to 72 hours. Below is the most common reason why your CPA license exam will be delayed:

  • Failure to submit transcripts from all schools attended.
  • Lacking specific required coursework.
  • Course descriptions must be obtained to ensure that particular courses cover the appropriate subject matter.
  • Incomplete credit hours in one or more academic areas.
  • Failed to meet jurisdiction requirements.
  • Failure to submit appropriate fees.
  • Failure to sign the application.
  • Failure to submit a photo as required by the jurisdiction.

Exam Fees

The New Jersey CPA exam cost consists of seven main fees: the initial examination application of $160, the CPA exam registration which cost $80, a $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, then the license application fee that cost $75, there is the initial license fee which depends on what year of the triennial period, the triennial registration fee of $135, and finally the renewal fee of $50.

If you’re a first-time applicant, you are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee upon submission of the first-time application. Candidates for re-examination are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee at the time of registration.

Application Fee$160
Registration Fee$80
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)226.15

New Jersey Exam Expiration

In New Jersey, the CPA Exam scores don’t have an expiration once the final section is passed. You just need to obtain the necessary 150 credits and one year of work experience to apply for licensure

Once you pass all four sections of the CPA exam, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will turn over your candidate file to the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy. The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy will then issue a congratulatory letter with instructions outlining the next step for licensure.

New Jersey CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the New Jersey CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates must finish a unique New Jersey ethics exam as it is required to complete a four-credit course on New Jersey Law and Ethics provided by a sponsor approved by the State Board. This course can now be taken six months before obtaining a CPA license or six months after.

Just remember that you must send in the course confirmation to the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy within one month of taking the course. The NJCPA is an approved sponsor. For a listing of upcoming NJCPA Law & Ethic courses, click here.

New Jersey CPA Experience Requirements

To meet the New Jersey CPA experience requirements, candidates require to work full-time for one year based on a minimum of 1,750 hours per year. Part-time experience shall be considered equivalent if acquired within two consecutive years and in no less than the same amount of hours required for full-time experience. The experience shall be considered intensive and diversified if the experience is acquired in the areas of auditing or accounting.

You can work for a certified public accountant, public accountancy, a government agency, or private industry.

Upon the completion of your program, your supervisor must attest to your experience with a formal, notarized letter written on official letterhead.

Getting Your CPA License

Different jurisdictions have different rules and requirements. In New Jersey, they offer the NASBA Advisory Evaluation as an optional service. The Advisory Evaluation will determine if there’s an academic deficiency in your education.

To know more about submitting an Advisory Evaluation in this jurisdiction, please visit CPA Central https://cpacentral.nasba.org/.

The first step is to have your additional transcripts evaluated. Go to nasba.org/licensure/nasbalicensing/newjersey and fill out the application. This process typically takes five business days or less and has a fee of $65. Have your school send in the official transcripts. They cannot come from you. Once the evaluation is complete, the paperwork will be sent to the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy. The board will review your file and if everything is in place, they will send you a congratulatory letter along with the following forms:

  • Statement of Experience Form
  • Basic Information Form
  • Application for Licensure
  • Request for Criminal History Record Information Form

Fill out these forms, have your employer sign the statement of experience form, and send them all back. This is your last step, but it can take several months.

CPA License Educational Requirements

To be eligible to apply for licensure, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
  • At least 150 semester hours of general college-level credit.
  • At least 24 semester hours in general business courses.
  • At least 24 semester hours in accounting courses.

If you completed a bachelor’s degree or higher prior to July 1, 2000, you might still qualify to take the CPA exam based on the following:

  • Completed 60 semester hours in liberal arts subjects (English, History, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, General Psychology, Philosophy, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Economics, Sociology, Religion, Government, Political Science, Geography, Fine Arts, and Music)
  • Completed a minimum of 60 semester hours in professional courses, including:
    • 24 semester hours in accounting, including municipal and government accounting courses
    • Six semester hours in business law
    • Six semester hours in financial accounting
    • Six semester hours in economics
    • At least 18 semester hours in general business courses

Fees

Initial Application$65
Transfer of Grades (Transcripts)$75
Reciprocal License$75

CPA License Renewal

CPAs licensed in the state of New Jersey are required to renew their license every three years per the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy.

Must complete 120 hours of CPE every three years including 60 credits in technical subject areas, 24 of which must be in Accounting & Auditing, and 4 in NJ Law & Ethics

NJCPA helps CPAs in New Jersey manage their license renewal each triennial period. Expansive CPE programming, a platform that tracks credits earned and extensive resources makes it easier for you to maintain an active CPA license in New Jersey.

Reciprocal License

If you already hold a license issued by a board in another jurisdiction, you will need to submit the application for endorsement, which consists of:

  • Application for Licensure by Endorsement
  • Statement of Experience  
  • Criminal History Information

International Candidates

Chartered accountant status is not equivalent to a CPA license in the United States. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations. You can learn more about international requirements here. If you would like to obtain a CPA license in New Jersey, please contact the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy at 973-504-6380 for more information.

If you have completed all or part of your education outside the U.S., you may be required to send a copy of your university transcripts through NASBA’s International Evaluation Services.

You may contact NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) at 1-855-468-5382 or nies@nasba.org to see if any of your academic credits earned internationally will count toward your education requirement to sit for the CPA exam. You may need to take additional courses in order to fulfill the education requirement to sit for the exam.

Once your transcripts have been evaluated and NIES, you must fulfill all of the regular requirements to sit for the CPA exam, including:

  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university with at least 120 credits (a bachelor’s degree internationally may not be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the U.S.)
  • 24 of these credits must be in business courses and 24 of these credits must be in accounting courses

New Jersey CPA Exam F.A.Qs

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding New Jersey’s CPA Exam and CPA License requirements.

Do CPA Scores Expire in New Jersey?

Regardless of the state, once a CPA candidate passes their first CPA exam section, they then have 18 months to pass the remaining three CPA exam sections to complete the Uniform CPA Examination. Once a CPA candidate has passed the Uniform CPA Examination, their scores never expire in New Jersey.

How Long Does It Take To Get a CPA License in New Jersey?

While you can sit for the CPA exam once you have 120 semester hours, you will still need to attain the full 150 hours requirement. This is roughly five years of education, then one year to take and pass the exam, and then one year to meet the experience requirement. That makes a total of 6 – 7 years to get your CPA license.

What Are Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam in New Jersey?

To sit for the CPA exam in New Jersey, you must be at least 18 years, old, be of good moral character, and meet the education requirements which require at least 120 semester hours of college, as well as paying the applicable exam fees.

How Do I Register to Take the Exam in New Jersey?

To apply for the CPA Examination online, you need to create an account in CPA Central. You may register online via credit card, then schedule your exam in Prometric.

How Many Accounting Credits Do You Need to Sit For The CPA License in New Jersey?

As part of the 150-semester-hour requirement, you will need to earn 24 semester hours in accounting subjects, and 24 semester hours in business courses. Accounting classes that meet the requirement would be classes in financial accounting, financial reporting, cost or management accounting, auditing and attestation, taxation, and accounting research.

Does New Jersey Require an Ethics Exam for the CPA?

New Jersey requires that you take the New Jersey law, code, and ethics exam. This exam is unique to New Jersey and is different from the AICPA Ethics exam.

How Much is the CPA Exam in New Jersey?

For first-time applicants, you will need to pay both an application fee and an examination fee. The application fee cost $160 and the examination fee is $226.15 per section.
For re-examination candidates, you are required to pay both a registration fee and an examination fee. The registration fee is $80 and the examination fee is $226.15 per section.

Can a New Jersey CPA practice in New York?

The state of New York offers licensure by endorsement to CPA license holders from substantial equivalent states. However, you must have four years of combined experience in accounting, financial advisory, financial management, or tax services.

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