Division of Certified Public Accounting
Frequently Asked Questions - Examination
1. Do I need a social security number to apply to sit for the CPA examination?
Social security numbers are mandatory pursuant to Title 42 United States Code, Sections 653.654, and 666(a); and Sections 455.203(9), 409.2577, and 409.2598, Florida Statutes.
2. What are the requirements to sit for the CPA Examination in Florida?
Current Rule Requirements:
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 Requirements:
Applicants who were accepted to sit for (not necessarily passed) the CPA Examination in 1983 or earlier may use the old rule educational requirements. Applicants who sit under this rule must also demonstrate one year of public or governmental accounting experience under the supervision of a CPA or a year of graduate school (12 semester hours accounting and 15 business and a total of 30 hours) before they can become licensed.
The old rule requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to include a total education program with concentration in accounting and business. The education program consists of 18 semester hours of accounting courses which are above the elementary level and 27 semester hours of general business courses. Elementary accounting courses are never acceptable for credit toward the requirements. Courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting are also not accepted for this requirement. Accounting courses taken at a community college or junior college are not acceptable towards the accounting requirements.
3. I sat for the exam prior to the new work experience rule being passed, am I exempt from the work experience requirement?
Yes, if you met the 150 semester hour licensure education requirement on or before December 31, 2008 and passed the CPA examination on or before June 30, 2010 then you are exempt from work experience.
4. Can this requirement be waived or can additional education be submitted in lieu of work experience?
No, work experience is required by statute and neither the Department nor the Board of Accountancy has the authority to waive a statute. No, the statute does not give the board the authority to accept additional education in lieu of work experience.
5. Can the Board grant me a waiver or variance of rule requiring work experience?
No, the Board does not have the authority to waive a statute.
6. Is my school’s accreditation accepted?
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.
7. Can someone evaluate my transcript to determine if all of my courses are acceptable?
NO. The Board of Accountancy will only evaluate transcripts during official application processing. If an applicant has questions concerning courses/classes, they should contact the Accounting Division of their college/university.
8. I attended a university in a foreign country or an unaccredited college. What are my requirements to take the CPA exam?
In addition to meeting general education requirements, 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
9. Which evaluation services are approved by the Florida Board of Accountancy?
Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 6908
Beverly Hills CA 90212
Phone: (310) 275-3530
1776 Clear Lake Avenue
Milpitas, CA 95035-7014
Phone: (408) 719-0015 or Toll Free 866-583-4834
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
Phone: (414) 289-3400
Foreign Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 400
Glen Carbon IL 62034
Phone: (618) 656-5291
Global Services Associates
2554 Lincoln Boulevard #445
Marina del Rey, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 828-5709
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
10. Can I use the same evaluation for my CPA exam application that was used for certification with the Department of Education?
No. The evaluation must be a comprehensive course by course evaluation done specifically for the Board of Accountancy.
11. What is considered “Upper Division” and “Lower Division” courses?
Upper division courses are 3000/4000 level courses or junior/senior year at a four-year college. Lower division courses are any course taken at a junior college or community college and/or courses offered at the freshmen/sophomore level at a four-year college.
12. If I sat for the exam in another state, what are my requirements to sit for the exam?
You must meet all Florida’s educational requirements and sit for the exam if you:
- sat for the exam and failed any portion
- if you scheduled an exam, did not take the exam, and are listed as a “No Show”
- sat for and failed all portions of the exam
If you passed all sections of the exam, you must apply for Credit Transfer by Endorsement.
13. I sat for the exam before, pre-1999, how do I go about taking the exam now?
You must re submit a new application to update our system. Supporting documentation will not be required.
14. What is the fee for the CPA Exam application?
There is a $50.00 non-refundable application fee paid to DBPR. Please visit http://www.nasba.org for exam fees.
15. I plan to take all four parts of the exam but I want to spread the tests over several months. Should I check all the boxes or check only the exam I am prepared to take now?
If you eventually plan to take all four parts of the exam, you can check all four boxes. After you pass one part of the exam you have 18 months to take and pass the other three parts. See the 18 month requirements below (How do I calculate the 18 months rolling window?).
16. How many sections are there to the CPA exam?
The Computer-based Test (CBT) CPA Exam consists of four sections:
Auditing & Attestation, Financial Accounting & Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment & Concepts
17. What is the structure/content of the CPA Computer-based Exam?
Auditing & Attestation -This section covers knowledge of auditing procedures, generally accepted auditing standards and other standards related to attest engagements, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge in those engagements.
Financial Accounting & Reporting -This section covers knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles for business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental entities, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge.
Regulation -This section covers knowledge of federal taxation, ethics, professional and legal responsibilities, and business law, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge.
Business Environment & Concepts -This section covers knowledge of general business environment and business concepts that candidates need to know in order to understand the underlying business reasons for and accounting implications of business transactions, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge.
For more information, you will need to call NASBA at to 1-800-CPA-EXAM.
18. How long is the exam?
The exam is fourteen (14) hours total. Auditing & Attestation (4.5 hours); Financial Accounting & Reporting (4 hours); Regulation (3 hours); Business Environment & Concepts (2 hours).
19. How does the new computer-based exam (CBT) compare to the old paper based exam (PBT)?
|Credit on paper-based exam for:||Will earn CBT credit for:|
Auditing & Attestation
Law & Professional Responsibilities (LPR)
Business Environment & Concepts
Accounting & Reporting (ARE)
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FARE)
Financial Accounting & Reporting
For more information on how these subject compare, you will need to call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM.
20. What is a Notice to Schedule (NTS)?
This is the authorization you will need to schedule an exam. A valid Notice to Schedule (NTS) is needed to make an appointment with Prometric. We do not distribute NTS to exam candidates. This is issued by NASBA . You will need to call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM for more information.
21. My name is misspelled or some of my exam information is incorrect, what do I do?
As an exam candidate, you will need to call NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM to make any changes or correction to your exam information.
23. What are the dates for the CPA exam?
|Testing Available||Testing Not Available|
January - February
April - May
July - August
October - November
Note: if you are an exam candidate that took your most recent exam before 1999, you must reapply to the Florida Board of Accountancy.
25. How long are my passing CPA exam score good for?
Your grades will expire three years after the NASBA release date of the last exam.
26. How long do I have to take the exam after I pass the first section?
In order to retain credit for any section of the exam passed, you must pass the remaining sections within a rolling 18 month window.
27. How do I calculate the rolling 18 month window?
The clock starts the date you are notified that you have passed the first section. If the remaining sections are not passed within the next 18 months, you lose the credit for the first section and the next section passed becomes the target date.
28. The Florida Board of Accountancy approved my application to sit for the CPA examination, but I never contacted NASBA to schedule an exam. What do I do now?
If there has been no activity on your account in the last 10 years you must reapply as a first time candidate through the Board of Accountancy. Otherwise contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM for instructions.
29. How long is the Notice to Schedule valid?
6 months. Contact NASBA regarding Notice to Schedule
30. How long does it take for the Board of Accountancy to receive scores from NASBA?
Candidates receive scores before the Board of Accountancy does. It can take up to three to four weeks for the scores to be uploaded into board licensing system. It can take up to two additional weeks for the board to receive a hard copy of the scores from NASBA to verify the dates and scores upload into the licensing system.
31. Where do I get an Initial Licensure (not an Initial Application to Sit for Exam as a CPA) application?
You must complete the following:
- Meet education requirements
- Evidence one year of work experience under the supervision of a CPA after meeting education requirements to sit for CPA exam
- Pass all four parts of the CPA exam within an 18 month rolling period
- Download Initial Licensure Application and submit $50 application fee
32. I have been approved to sit for the CPA exam but still have some deficiencies and I have some questions regarding the deficiencies for licensure. How do I get my questions addressed?
You may fax your question to the board office at 352-333-2508 or call (850) 487-1395. You may also mail your question to:
Board of Accountancy
Attn: Exam Specialist
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607-6656
33. How do I know if my school is an accredited institution?
61H1-27.001 College or University Requirements.
(1) An accredited college or university within the meaning of Section 473.306, F.S., is a four-year degree granting college or university in the State University System or other four-year degree granting educational institution accredited at the time the applicant’s degree was received by virtue of membership in one of the following regional accrediting agencies so listed:
(a) Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools;
(b) New England Association of Schools and Colleges;
(c) North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools;
(d) Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges;
(e) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;
(f) Western Association of Schools and Colleges;
(g) Association of Independent Colleges and Schools. After August 2, 1992 the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools (AICS) will no longer be deemed an acceptable accrediting agency, unless the college or school accredited by the AICS is regulated by the Commission for Independent Education and exempted from licensure by the CIE under the provisions of Section 246.085, F.S. (Also visit Rule)
34. How long does it take after my application has been approved in the system to schedule my exams?
Two days or contact NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAMS.
35. I have passed all four parts of the CPA examination but I still have some deficiencies. How long do I have to complete my deficiencies and get the one year of work experience to be licensed?
You have 36 months after you were notified that you passed the last section of the CPA examination.
36. I was approved to sit for the CPA examination. I have taken additional courses and completed my work experience, but I still have not completed all of the requirements for licensure. Can I submit my information to the board to hold until I am ready to be licensed?
No. This information needs to be submitted with your original licensure application.
37. I can volunteer in a firm under the supervision of a CPA to gain work experience?
Yes. The CPA must verify your work experience on the Certification of Work Experience form.
38. Is there a testing site outside of the US?
Yes, it is in Guam. To find testing locations, contact 1-800- CPA-EXAM.