Pennsylvania CPA Education Requirements [2022]

Pennsylvania CPA Education Requirements

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Pennsylvania CPA Education Requirements

To meet the Pennsylvania CPA education requirements and become a CPA, applicants will need to hold a bachelor’s degree that has 150 semester hours and includes 24 semester hours in accounting & auditing, finance, business law, macroeconomics, microeconomics and tax.

Summary of Pennsylvania CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam120
Character References to sit for the CPA Exam3 Individuals including 1 CPA
Bachelor’s Degree to sit for the CPA ExamYes
Total Credits Hours of Accounting and Auditing, Business Law, Finance or Tax Subjects to sit for the CPA Exam24
Total Credit Hours to receive CPA License150
Work Experience required to receive a CPA License1,600 Hours

Education Requirements

The academic criteria will qualify most of your time and effort in the licensing application. Before beginning a course of study, make sure you know Pennsylvania’s unique standards to be on track for licensing. You will require 150 semester hours to get complete licensing, including a bachelor’s degree, as in many other states. Your credits must also come from a national association organization recognized by the United States Education Department If you hold a degree from a foreign university, you must have your work reviewed by one of the following organizations:

Your coursework must also meet specific Pennsylvania CPA Exam Requirements. You cannot, for example, count any course credit analysis whose title includes the terms “money” or “banking.” Still, you may consist of any online, CLEP, or community college courses that transfer to a 4-year university accredited. You must also complete 24 hours of accounting coursework, which must contain the following topics:

  • Three hours of General Accounting
  • Three hours of Business Law, Auditing, or Finance
  • Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Tax subjects
  • Audit
  • Finance

Despite the fact that the Pennsylvania CPA exam requirement is only 120 hours, you should consider pursuing a master’s degree after completing your bachelor’s degree. Continue your accounting studies with a Master in Accountancy (MAcc) or a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree that includes enough accounting courses to satisfy the Pennsylvania board.

Additional Educational Programs

There are several options for sitting the CPA Exam and certification requirements. We cover three possibilities:

  1. Undergraduate Accounting Degree as First Degree Completed
    • Obtaining an undergraduate accounting degree is the clearest Pennsylvania CPA exam requirements preparation strategy. A student might fulfill the bulk of the needed credits at an accredited educational institution with an accounting degree. The extra credits could come from a graduate degree (e.g., MBA or master of science in accounting).
  2. Undergraduate Accounting Degree as Second Degree Completed
    • A student who returns to school with a degree in an area other than accounting may be able to pursue an accounting degree. This approach will most likely need at least four semesters. Additional management, marketing, economics, and non-business courses might add 30 credits.
  3. Undergraduate Degree in another Area, with Additional Coursework in Accounting
    • A student returning to school with a prior degree other than business might complete the 36 credit hours in accounting, finance, and business law. Because of the scheduling of accounting courses, this option is unlikely to be completed in fewer than four semesters. A student interested in this option can apply to an accredited educational institution as a non-degree or degree student.

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…

Pennsylvania CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Pennsylvania CPA exam cost consists of six main fees: an initial exam application fee of $105, a registration fee that depends on the number of exams to take, and the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections. As for licensing, the initial CPA registration will cost $60 and the biennial CPA license renewal fee is $100.

Application Fee$105.00
Re-examination Application$105.00
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
Initial CPA License Fee$65.00
Biennial Renewal of License Fee$100.00

Ethics

There is no ethics exam required to be eligible for the CPA license in Pennsylvania. However, part of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirement is to attend 4 hours of professional ethics.

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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