July 21, 2018

CPA licensure

Protip for Future CPAs: Forging Signatures on Your Work Experience Form is Dumb

So, we're combing through the latest California Board of Accountancy Update, checking out the usual CPAs behaving badly toward the end. It's nothing spectacular, just the usual sloppy audits, kid-touching, and killing people with vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Seriously, that's all in there. Look for yourself starting on page 11. Then we […]

California Might Ditch the Attest Requirement for CPA Licensure

Before you get excited, note this is a big fat might. Here's the news release from the Board of Accountancy: The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) will be launching a study to determine whether it should continue its present attest experience requirement for prospective Certified Public Accountants. At issue is whether the current requirement is […]

The California Board of Accountancy Wants You to Facebook Them Your CPA Exam Worries

You're a busy CPA exam candidate with no time to read the Candidate Handbook or use Google to get the answers you seek. What do you do? Get on Facebook and holla at your friendly local Board of Accountancy, natch.     Post by California Board of Accountancy.   This is actually a pretty cool […]

Would New York Ever Require a Master’s Degree to Become a CPA?

What's this, now? Two CPA exam questions in one week? Must be our lucky day! If you have a question, or just need to vent, or want to compliment me on my hair, get in touch and we'll do our best not to screw your life up. Hey Adrienne, Is it true the NY is […]

Some CPA Candidates Aren’t Won Over By New Hampshire’s New 150 Hour Rule

This is the first we're looking at the matter but apparently some New Hampshire candidates are not very excited about their state going 150: New Hampshire upgraded their education requirements (to be effective July 1, 2014) by a shitload and are applying it to all candidates retroactively, regardless of when they sat for the exam. […]

According to the Internet, the California Ethics Exam Is Harder Than the Actual CPA Exam

You'd think an ethics exam wouldn't even be required for the future CPAs of America, who are surely totally and completely ethical at all times. But if that were the case, the Prometric Gestapo wouldn't be so eager to stop and frisk CPA exam candidates before they sit down at their antiquated machine to take […]

California Board of Accountancy Would Like to Debunk a Big Rumor

California CPA exam candidates, have you see a link floating around about Senate Bill 823 which will give California CPA exam candidates additional time to meet the 150 hour requirement for licensure? We know you have because a few of you have sent it to us. Of course, I didn't cover it because when I […]

A Warning to CPA Exam Candidates Trying to Sit In States Other Than Their Own

This is simply my perception and sadly I don't have actual numbers to back it up so you'll have to forgive me but it seems like in recent years, CPA exam candidates have been having a difficult time transferring scores between states. Back in my CPA review days, I would tell candidates that it's easier […]

Where Can International CPA Candidates Get Certified Without Being Technically Licensed?

Getting back to the awesomeness that is the CPA exam for international candidates (piggybacking on the AICPA’s announcement earlier this week that they are moving forward with international testing in 2011), today’s reader question comes from a NY-based CPA exam candidate who originally hails from India.

I have passed all sections of the CPA exam in Delaware. I do not have experience to qualify for license yet. DE has stopped issuing certificate “alone” for CPA, they now issue combined cert + license. Is there a state who issues the certificate alone?


A few years ago, most international candidates went with either Colorado or Delaware simply because those state boards allowed for the easiest CPA exam experience without, well, the actual experience. International candidates could apply, show up to take the exams, pass and never actually become CPAs in the traditional sense but go home with those fantastic little letters on their résumés.

Unfortunately for international candidates, the state boards got together and decided that there might be some confusion between these certificate-holding CPAs and CPAs who fulfilled educational and experience requirements for licensure. As we all know, you could stay in school for 10 years reading about the stuff but there is just no substitute for good old work experience in the profession.

The old timers will recognize the term “two-tier state” as it was initially thought that passing the exam (the part where the certificate comes in) was the first step – or tier – and satisfying experience or additional education requirements the second.

So now that you have the backstory, where can you go? Right now Illinois is your only option and you will only have that available to you until 2012. They initially decided to eliminate the certificate in 2010 but the governor gave this CPA certificate plan a stay of execution until 2012, so get on it now if that’s your plan.

The other remaining one-tier states – Alabama, Kansas, Montana and Nebraska – all have a residency requirement or other restriction. That may mean they are out of the question for you. Montana requires a Social Security number for a certificate, something many international applicants obviously don’t have. Without knowing our reader’s specific details, this may or may not be an option. Anyone with experience with this little nuance in the the CPA certifying world is invited to share their experience.

Good luck and just be glad you aren’t getting licensed in New York!

NASBA Gives Its Accounting License Library a Makeover

For those of you that aren’t already aware, we implore you to check out NASBA’s incredibly useful Accounting Licensing Library – a comprehensive, continually-updated database that can help future CPAs find a state in which to be licensed and offers accounting firms access to important state data to assist in their efforts across state lines. In other words, the tool’s main goal is to facilitate mobility by bringing all 55 jurisdictions together in one easy-to-use area while offering a one-stop shop for those considering CPA licensure.

We recently got a chance to chat with NASBA General Counsel and Director of Business Development Maria Caldwell about the new ALL.


The new ALL tool features a new section for accounting students, an enhanced state requirement comparison research tool and expanded product information. The refreshed ALL website offers the same features and benefits as the previous site in a more user-friendly format. Users can find detailed licensing information and even use their research tool to determine if their educational requirements meet any state’s licensure requirements without having to click through each state board’s website individually. This is huge for candidates and for NASBA, as it allows them to spend more time dealing with candidate issues and less time pointing candidates in the right direction.

The birth of the ALL actually began within NASBA four years ago as they wanted a single resource for internal use that would take each state board’s requirements and aggregate them into one place. “There really wasn’t one source to go to and look up all these different rules, so that was the impetus for putting the tool together,” Caldwell told us. “We wanted to offer it to firms at first but once it was out there we realized there were several different audiences using it. Students use it as a licensing tool and international candidates use it as well.”

With over 700 candidates accessing the tool per year (before the makeover) and a significant leap in CPA exam applications since the first whispers of an economic downturn in 2008, interest in the tool and CPA licensure does not appear to be waning any time soon.

Beyond the licensure aspect of the tool, the ALL gives both individuals and firms a way to improve their own economic outlooks by reaching across state lines to find clients. “In this kind of environment, the firms are looking to neighboring states if their state is suffering from a lack of business,” Caldwell said. The tool allows for mobility without firms wasting countless hours combing through state requirements and allows CPAs in a specialty practice to meet the needs of clients who may be in areas that lack qualified accountants who offer their specialized services.

As the CPA exam prepares to go international, NASBA is counting on increased interest in not only the ALL but the all-important CPA designation. Let’s face it, not every industry can say it has weathered the economic downturn as well as CPAs have and passing the exam is still considered a prestigious accomplishment across the globe.

Great job, NASBA, we definitely approve!