[2022] New York CPA Exam Requirements: 10 Critical Steps

new york cpa exam requirements

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If you’re looking for the New York CPA exam requirements, we’ve organized the 10 key steps so can become a CPA in the Empire State.

New York State Education Department’s Office of the Professions (OP) and the New York State Board for Public Accountancy establish the requirements to sit for the CPA exam, and ultimately become a CPA in New York. New York is a NASBA state which means you’ll register for your CPA exams and check your CPA exam scores through NASBA’s CPA candidate portal.

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…

General Requirements to Take the CPA Exam

  • Good moral character
  • At least 21 years old
  • Meet the minimum education requirements listed below

New York CPA Education Requirements

Each state has different requirements to sit for the CPA exam and to get your CPA license. In New York it is possible to sit for the CPA exam before having the full 150 semester hours required for licensure. To sit for the CPA exam in New York, you will need 120 semester hours, and at least one class each in:

  • Upper-division financial accounting
  • Upper-division audit & attestation
  • Cost or management accounting
  • Taxation

Education Requirements to Sit for the Uniform CPA Examination

Education Requirements for New York CPA License

To actually receive your CPA license after passing your CPA exams, you will need to meet one of the following four requirements below:

  1. Completed a 150-semester-hour program from an educational institution approved by the NYSED.
  2. A master’s degree in accounting from an educational institution approved by the AACSB.
  3. Completed a bachelor’s degree or higher in college education with a minimum of 150 semester hours in college education, including the following required courses listed below.
    • The CPA education requirements are 33 semester hours, with at least one course in the first four core areas.
      • Financial Accounting and Reporting
      • Cost or Managerial Accounting
      • Taxation
      • Auditing and Attestation Services
      • Fraud Examination
      • Internal Controls and Risk Assessment
      • Accounting Information Systems
    • 36 semester hours of general business electives in any combination of the categories below:
      • Business Statistics
      • Business Law
      • Computer Science
      • Economics
      • Finance
      • Management
      • Marketing
      • Operations Management
      • Organizational Behavior
      • Business Strategy
      • Quantitative Methods
      • Information Technology and Systems
    • The study of business or accounting communications, ethics and professional responsibility, and accounting research must also be included in the curriculum, either as stand-alone courses or as part of other courses.
  4. The 15-year experience option. If you have 15 years of experience working in accounting, the New York State Board of Accountancy may accept that experience in lieu of the education requirements.

Accepted Educational Institutions

An individual must have a bachelor’s degree or higher to meet the license criteria for the New York CPA exam requirements, and any coursework taken from non-matriculated schools must be accredited by one of the following accredited institutions.

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJS)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Transfer Credits/Foreign Education

Applicants who received any of their post-secondary (college) education outside of the United States and did not complete one of the above-mentioned New York State Licensure Qualifying Programs or AACSB programs will have their education thoroughly reviewed to determine if it meets the education requirements for licensure.

There is a fee for submitting the Application for licensure to the NYS Education Department, and the applicant must have their school send a Certification of Professional Education for review.

  • Do note that the International Evaluation Services (NIES) of NASBA or any other evaluation services of foreign education are not authorized to approve an applicant’s education for licensure.

New York Uniform CPA Examination

Now that we know what academic requirements are required to take the CPA exam, the applicant must pass one of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements to take the CPA exam.

  1. If you have applied for licensure or completed education after August 1, 2009, you must fulfill one of the following criteria:
    • Completed 150 semester hours in an educational institution approved by the NYSED
    • A Master’s degree in an accounting program from an educational institution approved by the AACSB
    • Completed a bachelor’s degree or higher in college education with a minimum of 150 semester hours in college education, including the following:
      • 33 semester hours in accounting:
        • Financial accounting, at the upper-division level and beyond the introductory level
        • Cost accounting
        • Taxation
        • Audit and attestation, at the upper-division
        • Accounting research
      • 36 semester hours in general business
  2. If you did not apply for licensure prior to August 1, 2009, or completed your education after August 1, 2009. You have the option to sit in the exam before completing your 150 semester hours as long as you have completed 120 semester hours of college education with a course covering each of the following:
    • Financial accounting, at the upper-division level and beyond the introductory level,
    • Cost or management accounting
    • Taxation
    • Audit and attestation, at the upper-division
  3. If you have applied for licensure or completed education before August 1, 2009, you must fulfill one of the following criteria:
    • Completed an NYSED-approved 120-hour registered program
    • A bachelor’s degree with a specialization in accounting from an accredited institution by the AACSB
    • A bachelor’s degree or higher with a minimum of 120 semester hours in the following:
      • 24 semesters in accounting which include:
        • Financial accounting, at the upper-division and beyond introductory level,
        • Cost accounting
        • Taxation
        • Audit and attestation, at the upper-division level
      • 21 semester hours in business and accounting,
        • 6 semester hours (or 4 semester hours at the graduate level) in business law
        • 6 semester hours in finance
        • 3 semester hours in statistics
        • 6 semester hours in economics
  4. Working experience of 15 years in public accounting that is acceptable to the New York State Board of Public Accountancy.

Taking the Uniform CPA Exam

Once you’ve met the requirements to sit for the CPA exams, you need to prepare to take the exams.

The CPA examination is considered one of the most challenging professional exams. It is developed and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in cooperation with the National Association of State Boards of Public Accountancy (NASBA).

There is no doubt that the CPA exams are some of the toughest tests in the world. They consist of a huge volume of challenging content, and they require you to perform complex calculations and solve tricky problems under pressure. Some people speculate that this difficulty is necessary in order to ensure that only candidates with a high level of skill and knowledge pass the exams.

Others suggest that it’s mainly a way for accounting firms to weed out less qualified applicants so as to hire those who are most likely to succeed in the field. Whatever your opinion on this issue, one thing is clear: passing the CPA exams requires relentless hard work and a strategic approach.

The Four CPA Exam Sections

The Uniform CPA Exam is divided into four portions, each of which must be taken separately. The four sections of the exam cover different areas of the accounting profession, and there is no specified order in which the exam sections need to be taken. The four sections of the CPA exam include:

  • Auditing and Attestation.
    • This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparation agreements.
  • Business Environment and Concepts.
    • This exam section covers general business concepts, such as economics, business communications, and related business courses. 
  • 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.

The applicant must score 75 for all four examination parts within an 18-month window to pass the CPA exam. You can see the current CPA score release dates here…

Choosing a CPA Review Course

There are many CPA review course providers, and all of them claim to have different advantages and benefits. The truth is, any main review course will contain the information that you need to pass. The most common-sense approach to choosing the best CPA review course for you is to read through some of the features of the different review courses and pricing, then narrow them down to your top three options.

Then, sign up for a free trial of each of the different courses, and then spend at least 1-2 hours actually working through a sample lesson in each course. Watch a video lecture, read through some of the text, and go through some sample problems and practice simulations. Then, you simply choose the review course that you like using the best; whether it’s the way the lectures are presented or the clarity and depth of the explanations provided on practice questions and simulations.

Here’s a list of some of the main CPA review course providers for you to consider:

Several Things More Important Than Your Review Course

Obviously, even the most expensive CPA review course can’t go in and pass the exams for you. No matter what CPA review course you’re using, passing your CPA exams is going to come down to putting in a lot of time and effort over the course of months, as well as the effectiveness of your study strategies.

Your discipline, your daily study routine, and how effective your study methods are is much more important than what review course you’re using.

For example, if you can’t get yourself to sit down to study every day for months on end, it doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive review course or not. Many new CPA candidates are excited to start the CPA study process and jump into their new review course, but that quickly wears off as they realize how much time and effort it takes to get through even one lesson. The FAR CPA exam alone covers over 200 topics, and many of those topics are dense, technical, and challenging to master.

Momentum actually becomes more important than motivation. Feeling a sense of progress as you go through the lessons makes you feel more motivated, and on the other hand, if every study session feels like you’re just spinning your wheels, the study process becomes very unmotivating.

At the same time, it’s very possible to be dedicated and regimented and still fail the CPA exams. The time you spend studying needs to be effective, and it’s not as simple as just: watch the video lecture, read the chapter, do the practice questions.

If you’d like a free masterclass in strategic CPA study, then make sure to attend one of our free study training workshops here…

Also, you can listen to dozens of interviews we’ve done with successful CPA candidates here about what worked for them.

The other thing you can do to improve your chances of passing your CPA exams is by using all the gaps in your day to fit in extra study time. The SuperfastCPA study tools on our companion app make it easy to listen to audio notes when you’re driving or while exercising or preparing meals, as well as take quizzes or read review notes whenever you’d normally scroll through social media.

New York CPA Exam Fees

Applicants taking the test for the first time must pay both the application fee and the examination fee on their first-time application.

Re-examination applicants are required to pay the registration and examination fees at the same time during registration.

Application Fee$170
Examination Fee (per exam)$226.15
Registration Fee (per exam for retakes)$85
Total Exam Fees (if you pass all 4 on the first try)$1,075

Take note that the fees are not refundable. If there are extreme circumstances, you can file an NTS extension or request a partial refund of the examination fees for specific circumstances, and the applicant must fill out an Exception to Policy Form, which can be found over at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website for the New York Uniform CPA Examination.

New York Experience Requirements

The last requirement to become a licensed New York CPA is to meet the work experience requirements. Work experience must be under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA in a U.S. jurisdiction or a public accountant in New York State providing accounting services or advice involving skills in accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting services.

There are two ways for your experience to be acceptable for the CPA License.

  • Must have at least a year of acceptable full-time work experience (for the 150-hour education pathway),
  • Or at least two years of acceptable full-time work experience (for the 120-hour education pathway).

The work experience can be earned through a public accounting firm, private industry, or an educational institution.

New York Ethics Exam Requirement

New York does not require you to complete the AICPA ethics exam, unlike most states. You will need to complete four hours of ethics CPE every three years as part of your license renewal, which is explained below.

Getting your CPA License

Once you have completed all the requirements and passed the CPA exam, you can now apply for a license. Four different forms will need to be submitted to review your license application.

  • Form 1: Application for Licensure
    • This form is to be used for first-time applicants and has a fee of $427 for licensure and first registration fee.
    • Please take note that this form is not to be used for existing license holders as your license is valid for life unless it is revoked, annulled, or suspended by the Board of Regents.
  • Form 2: Certification of Professional Education
    • This form represents the official transcripts of the applicant and should be sent to the NYSED or the CPA Examination Services for evaluation by the educational institution you attended.
  • Form 3: Certification of Out-Of-State Licensure and Examination grades
    • This form is only to be submitted if you took the CPA Exam or are licensed in a different state or jurisdiction.
  • Form 4B: Verification of Experience by Supervisor
    • This form is to be completed only by the supervisor and will not be accepted if submitted by the applicant.

The New York State Board would then have to review your application and all required supporting material. Once you meet the license requirements you will be issued a license number and you are entitled to practice in New York State as of the effective date of licensure.

Within two working days of the licensure date, you will get written confirmation of licensure, including your license parchment and registration certificate.

Renewal of CPA License

Your CPA license is automatically registered the first time when your license is issued. To practice as a CPA in New York, you must re-register every three years.

All CPAs will be notified at least four months before their registration expires and it is sent to the address that they have on file or the one that you have registered.

Online renewal or reregistration is done online through the NYSED website. Keep in mind that you’ll need the PIN to renew your registration online, which will be included in the renewal notice sent to your address.

New York CPE Requirements

As part of renewing your license every three years, you will need to complete 4 CPE hours of professional ethics, you will also need to complete either 24 CPE hours if concentrated in a recognized subject area, or 40 CPE hours if in a combination of recognized subject areas.

Summary

Obtaining your CPA license in New York will take a lot of time and effort. However, having your CPA license means you’ll get paid more every day for the rest of your accounting career compared to not having it. It will also open more doors, give you more options, and in general give you a higher career ceiling than without it.

New York CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding New York’s CPA exam and CPA license requirements.

Do CPA Scores Expire in New York?

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 York.

How Long Does It Take to Get the CPA License in New York?

While you can sit for the CPA exam once you have 120 semester hours, you will still need to attain the full 150 semester hours required nationwide. This is roughly five years of education, then one year to take and pass the CPA exam, and then one year to meet the experience requirement. That makes a total of 6-7 years to get your CPA license. Once you have met all the requirements and have submitted your application to receive your CPA license from the New York State Board of Public Accountancy, if approved you will receive your license in the mail within 3-4 weeks.

What Are the Requirements for the CPA Exam in New York?

To sit for the CPA exam in New York, you must be at least 21 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 Many Accounting Credits Do You Need for the CPA License in New York?

As part of the 150 semester hour requirement, 33 of those semester hours must be in accounting classes, and 36 semester hours must be in general business classes. 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 York Require an Ethics Exam for the CPA?

New York does not require you to take the AICPA ethics exam to get your initial CPA license. However, to keep your license active, you will need to complete 4 credit hours of professional ethics every three years according to New York’s CPA continuing professional education requirements.

Who Issues a New York CPA License?

Once a CPA candidate has met all the New York requirements to receive their CPA license, the CPA license is officially issued by the New York State Education Department. Their website is http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/cpalic.htm

How much is the CPA exam in New York?

The total cost of the CPA exam for an aspiring CPA in New York is $1159.60, this is considering that you pass all exams on the first try. The breakdown of the cost is $170 for the application, $85 for registration, and $904.6 for all four sections of the exam ($226.15 per section).

Can I Take the CPA Exam Without an Accounting Degree in New York?

Yes, as long as you meet the minimum requirements of 120 semester hours and courses covering upper-division and beyond the introductory level in financial accounting, cost or management accounting, taxation, and upper-division audit and attestation.

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…

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