Texas CPA Education Requirements [2022]

Texas CPA Education Requirements

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Texas CPA Education Requirements

To meet the Texas CPA education requirements and become a CPA, applicants are required to complete a bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours that should include 30 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses, 24 semester hours of upper-level related business courses and a 3-semester-hour board-approved ethics course.

This article will help you to become a CPA in Texas and is a requirement for you to take the Texas CPA exam.

Summary of Texas CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam150
Background CheckYes
Master’s Degree or Higher DegreeYes
Credit Hours in Upper-Level Accounting courses to sit for the CPA Exam130
1Hours required in accounting or tax research and analysis to sit for the CPA Exam2
Credit Hours in Upper-Level Business courses to sit for the CPA Exam224
2Hours required in accounting or business communications to sit for the CPA Exam2
Complete a 3-semester-hour Board-approved ethics course to sit for the CPA ExamYes
Pass the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct examYes
Total Credit Hours to receive CPA License150
Board-approved four-credit ethics course for the CPA licenseYes
Oath of OfficeYes
Work Experience required to receive a CPA License1 – 2 years

Texas CPA Education Requirements

Credit Requirements for Texas CPA License

Before you are even eligible to sit for the uniform CPA examination, you will need to complete the Texas CPA educational requirements as the first step. Like most states, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires CPA candidates to take a minimum amount of credit hours at an accredited university.

One of the main Texas CPA exam requirements is that you must have 150 semester hours of college credits, including 30 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses, 24 semester hours of upper-level business courses, and 3 semester hours of ethics courses according to the Texas State Board of Accountancy.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum degree required; however, many bachelor’s programs are only set up for 120 credit hours. So you can have a baccalaureate or graduate degree, as long as you have the required accounting credits and business credits. This is why it is important to analyze different college programs, selecting one that is designed for future CPAs.

Many CPA candidates that attend educational institutions that don’t have a CPA program choose to get a master’s degree to fulfill the credit requirements. CPA candidates frequently choose a master of accounting or master of tax graduate degree program.

Accepted Educational Institutions

The Texas Board of Public Accountancy recognizes six organizations as accredited, including:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Southwestern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

Most large schools are accredited colleges, such as Texas A&M. However, community colleges, two-year colleges, and technical/vocational schools do not meet the criteria. All community colleges except Austin Community College, Houston Community College, Lone Star College, and Dallas College – Mountain View Campus do not qualify. To determine if your school is an accredited university, reach out to one of the staff members there.

Required Courses

Certain courses need to be taken to fulfill the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam. The Board rules on which accounting and business courses will count towards the required curriculum. Due to the specifications, a higher degree may need to be pursued. Completion of the following education requirements is among the list of recognized accounting classes including:

  • Intermediate and Advanced Accounting
  • Accounting Theory
  • Cost Accounting
  • Financial Statement Reporting and Analysis
  • Tax Research and Preparation
  • Financial Planning

Intro level courses, such as semesters of elementary accounting, are specifically excluded from the required course load. The Texas State Board of Accountancy has also released detailed information on the business courses that are approved. These include:

  • Business Environment (Law, Economics)
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Business Communication
  • Some Business Case Studies

If your business school doesn’t offer the required courses, you may need to look elsewhere for semester hours of college credit that count towards the accounting requirements or pursue a master’s degree.

Transfer Credits/Foreign Education

Texas CPA exam requirements do allow CPA candidates to transfer credits from out-of-state schools if the applicant met the education requirements in effect in that jurisdiction. Most undergraduate degree programs are similar across the United States, so minimal issues should arise.

In addition, foreign credits can be accepted, but the process does take longer, and more fees are applied when the University of Texas at Austin gets involved to evaluate the adequacy of the accounting courses. Moreover, candidates are able to transfer credits internationally from places like the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Texas Background Requirements for CPA Candidates

Another one of the Texas CPA exam requirements is a background check. The application of intent not only evaluates your education requirements but also looks at your background. There is a portion on the Application of Intent that requires you to disclose any federal or state charges brought against you.

The Texas Board of State Accountancy will utilize the Federal Bureau of Investigation database in conjunction with your fingerprints to analyze your criminal past. Any criminal charges will be investigated and may preclude you from applying and taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam. Among the list of those required to submit fingerprints include:

  • Those submitting an Application of Intent
  • Those submitting an Application of Intent to transfer CPA exam credits
  • Those submitting an Application for Issuance of the CPA certificate
  • Those submitting a reciprocal application

The State of Texas is one of the few states that require CPA candidates to go through a thorough background check, including fingerprinting. If you do have reportable offenses, you will be subject to further investigation over the phone or in person and will need to complete additional steps.

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…

Texas CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Texas CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: an application of intent fee of $20, an eligibility application fee of $15 per section, the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, a $50 fee on the issuance of CPA certificate and lastly the annual renewal fee of $75.

Texas is a NASBA state, meaning CPA candidates apply for the CPA exams and receive their CPA exam scores from NASBA, so the CPA exam fees for Texas are as follows:

Application of Intent$20.00
Online Submission of the Eligibility Application (per section)$15.00
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
Issuance of CPA Certificate Fee$50.00
Annual Renewal Fee$75.00

Texas CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

Texas CPA license requirements include taking an exam similar to the AICPA ethics exam. This Texas CPA Ethics Exam Requirement is an open book exam that requires a score of 85% or better to pass. Once you submit your Application for Issuance and attached a money order for the fee, this exam will be emailed to you. Concepts of professionalism and ethics are tested on this exam.

The exam is completed online with no set time limit. However, the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct is one of the final steps of the Texas CPA requirements so it’s best not to push it off. If you do not pass the exam on the first try, you must wait 2 days to retake it.

Texas CPA Experience Requirements

To meet the Texas CPA experience requirements, you’ll need to obtain a full-time experience which consists of 1 year of work experience acceptable to the board, including experience providing a service or advice involving accounting, attest services, management or financial advisory or consulting services, tax services, or other services the board considers appropriate for an accountant if the person has already completed at least 150 semester hours of college credits or holds a graduate degree.

Others may opt for a part-time experience which consists of a period of no more than 2 years of work experience under the supervision of a certified public accountant where 20 hours of work per week is performed on a continuous basis. Documentation of experience is required.

Oath of Office

The oath of office is part of the state requirements for becoming a CPA and includes a statement that you will uphold the laws and regulations in Texas and the United States. This form is required to be notarized by a public official.

Receiving Your Texas CPA Certificate

After a member of the Texas Department of Public Safety reviews and verifies all necessary steps are complete, you will be registered as a CPA and assigned a CPA identification number. A congratulatory letter will also be sent in the mail. In addition, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy will send you a wall certificate. These certificates are only produced twice a year because of the cost, resulting in a delay of up to 8 months depending on when you become licensed.

This certificate will be presented to you at the Swearing-In Ceremony or mailed to you if you do not attend. The Swearing-In Ceremony gives new CPAs a chance to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication. This ceremony is held twice a year and recognizes newly licensed CPAs and those who have been in the industry for decades.  

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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