Division of Certified Public Accounting
TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS TO SIT FOR THE EXAM: 120 semester or 160 quarter
TOTAL UPPER DIVISION ACCOUNTING HOURS: 24 semester or 36 quarter to include the following: Taxation, Auditing, Financial, Cost/Managerial and Accounting Info Systems
TOTAL UPPER DIVISION GENERAL BUSINESS HOURS: 24 semester or 36 quarter to include six (6) semester hours or eight (8) quarter hours business law. One course can be at a lower level (freshman or sophomore), the other course must be upper division (junior level or higher). Business Law 1 and Legal Environment of Business are often considered duplicative, regardless of course level.
Other important information: Staff cannot determine if courses taken meet education requirements via telephone conversation, fax or email. CPA Board staff determines eligibility by conducting an official evaluation which includes submitting an application, transcripts, and other required documents and paying the required fee.
New Rule – Rule Chapter 61H1-27.002(3) Florida Administrative Code
Applicants sitting for the exam must have completed 120 semester or 160 quarter hours from an accredited college or university, unless one is using the provisions of the unaccredited institutions rule, as explained below. The accounting education program must include 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of upper division accounting to include coverage of taxation, auditing, cost/managerial, financial, and accounting information systems. The business education program must include 24 semester hours of upper division general business courses with some exceptions. One microeconomics, one macroeconomics, one statistics, one business law, and one introduction to computers course may be lower division. As part of the general business hours, applicants are required to have a total of six semester hours or eight quarter hours of business law courses, which must cover contracts, torts, and the Uniform Commercial Code. Excess upper division accounting courses may be used to meet the general business requirement.
Excess upper division accounting courses may be used to meet the general business requirement. However, elementary accounting classes are never acceptable for credit. Neither are courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting.
Old Rule - Rule Chapter 61H1-27.002(1) Florida Administrative Code
Applicants who were accepted to sit for (not necessarily passed) the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination in 1983 or earlier may use the "old rule" educational requirements. Applicants who use the "old rule" requirements will need to demonstrate one year of public or governmental accounting experience under the supervision of a CPA or 30 semester hours of graduate school, to include 12 semester hours accounting and 15 semester hours of general business before they can become licensed. The "old rule" requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, unless one is using the provisions of the unaccredited institutions rule as explained below. The education program must include 18 semester hours of accounting courses, which are above the elementary level, and 27 semester hours of business courses.
Regardless of the educational rule used, elementary accounting classes are never acceptable for credit. Courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting are not accepted. Accounting courses taken a community college or junior college are not accepted towards the accounting requirements. Courses offered at the freshman and sophomore level are also unacceptable towards meeting the accounting requirement.
Accreditation – Rule Chapter 61H1-27.001 Florida Administrative Code
The Board accepts degrees from schools accredited by the following associations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges who are regulated by the Commission of Independent Education, and Canadian, Mexican, Irish, and Australian academic accounting programs approved by the provincial educational bodies or the equivalent educational accreditation body for that country. If you have graduated from a school or college which is not accredited by the above mentioned means, then you must use the provisions of F.A.C. 61H1-27.001(5).
Applicants Who Have Graduated from Non-Accredited Schools (61H1-27.001)(5)
Applicants who have graduated from a non-accredited school may still qualify to sit for the CPA examination. The candidate must take 15 semester hours of graduate classes from an accredited institution. The 15 semester hours must include at least nine hours of graduate level accounting courses to include three semester hours of graduate tax. These hours must be taken after admission to graduate school. If the courses are taken before admission to a graduate program, the classes will not be accepted, even if the school includes them as part of the graduate program. The applicant must complete the graduate school courses to validate the non-accredited degree. These courses cannot duplicate other courses which the applicant has taken and they cannot be used to satisfy the educational requirements. Applicants must also submit an evaluation of their foreign transcripts, which must be completed by an evaluation service which has been approved by the Board (see Board Approved Evaluation Services).
No credit will be given for courses which duplicate another course for which the applicant has received credit. Review courses are considered as duplicates.
CLEP courses cannot be used toward satisfying the requirements of the Accounting Education Program or the General Business Education Program. CLEP hours may be used toward the 30 semester hours in excess of the degree.