How to Become a CPA in Connecticut? (Update Requirement 2023)

Prospective CPAs in Connecticut must earn their CPA license before practicing in the field. This process requires them to go through three steps to do so.

These include education, exam, and experience. Similarly, aspiring CPAs must also register with the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy. This board handles the licensure process for CPA licenses in Connecticut.

How to become a CPA in Connecticut?

Prospective CPAs in Connecticut must start their licensure journey by obtaining formal education.

Once they do so, they must prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it. Next, they must go through a period of practical experience in Connecticut.

These steps are similar to other states. However, the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy has specific requirements that aspiring CPAs must satisfy.

Educational Requirements

Obtaining formal education is the backbone of working as a CPA. This education prepares aspiring CPAs to pass their Uniform CPA Exam. Similarly, it allows them to learn the basics of the accounting profession.

This knowledge can then help them with their professional experience. Aspiring CPAs must satisfy the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy’s requirements during the educational period.

  • Aspiring CPAs must enroll in an accounting program at a Connecticut university or college. Candidates who have already done so or graduated can also apply. However, their application is subject to approval from the board.
  • Similarly, aspiring CPAs that have completed their education at a university outside the US can apply. However, their credentials must be equivalent to the board’s requirements. They must get their credentials evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services member agency.
  • Aspiring CPAs must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours. During this period, they must enroll in the right courses, including the following.
    • 36 semester hours of courses in accounting.
    • 30 semester hours of courses in business administration or economics. These may include the following.
      1. Business Finance
      2. Business law
      3. Business Statistics
      4. Commercial law
      5. Financial management
      6. Managerial finance
      7. Marketing strategies
      8. Organizational behavior
      9. Principles of management
      10. Principles of Marketing
    • 60 semester hours of courses in general education.
    • The rest of the hours may include any for-credit courses according to the applicant’s choosing.
  • The board accepts accredited online programs as well. Community college courses are also acceptable, given that they come from an accredited institution. Correspondence and CLEP courses are also applicable if they are from an accredited college.
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Uniform CPA Exam

Next, aspiring CPAs must apply for the Uniform CPA Exam. This exam consists of several sections, each of which they must sit for and pass with satisfactory scores.

Aspiring CPAs who have completed at least 46 semester hours of accounting and business courses can apply for the exam.

However, they must have completed at least one course in business law, finance, and economics.

Aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to apply for their Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must apply through the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) either online or through a downloaded application. They must also include the following with their application CPAES.
    • Their official college transcript, which they must request their college to send directly to the CPAES.
    • Any requests for disability accommodations if applicable.
    • A signed application form.
    • The applicable examination and application are payable through a money order or credit card.
  • Aspiring CPAs must schedule their exam after receiving their Notification to Schedule.

Experience Requirements

The last step for aspiring CPAs is to meet the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy’s experience requirements.

Only those who have passed their Uniform CPA Exam can complete this process. Similarly, the experience must meet the following criteria.

  • Aspiring CPAs must pass the AICPA Professional Ethics for CPAs self-study course.
  • They must satisfy the board’s accounting experience requirements. The experience must meet the following conditions.
    • It may be volunteer, internship, or paid, given that it is supervised by a CPA who has held a license or certificate for at least three years.
    • It must allow aspiring CPAs must accomplish two years (or 104 weeks) of full-time work experience in accounting. During this period, they must work in a position that allows them to use the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS).
    • It must be in one of the following.
      • Government practice
      • Industry
      • Public practice
    • It must involve one or a combination of competencies related to their work area.
  • Aspiring CPAs must ask their supervising CPA to complete the CPA Certificate Experience Verification form and send it to the board.
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Top 10 Accounting Firms in Connecticut For CPA

According to recent rankings by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, here are the top 10 accounting firms in Connecticut for CPAs:

  1. Berdon LLP – is based in Fairfield, CT, and specializes in audit services, tax planning, litigation support, and more.
  2. Blum Shapiro CPAs P.C., located in West Hartford, has provided financial and tax advice to businesses, families, and individuals since 1925.
  3. Cohn Reznick – with offices across Connecticut, they are a top-ranked provider of assurance services, including auditing and forensic accounting.
  4. Gelber & Associates – backed by decades of experience, Gelber & Associates focuses on public accounting in Norwalk and surrounding areas.
  5. Kostin Rufo Rosenblatt & Co., LLP – an independent accounting firm that specializes in offering tax advice to high-net-worth individuals as well as compliance services for businesses
  6. Marcum LLP – a nationally ranked firm with locations throughout the state offering traditional accounting and consulting services.
  7. McGladrey LLP – from office locations in Stamford, Manchester, and Farmington Valley, this is a leader in financial statement audit services and research & development tax credits.
  8. O’Connor Davies LLP – one of the largest CPA firms serving clients across Connecticut with all their financial needs, from auditing and fraud investigations to succession planning.
  9. Riccardi & Company LLC – this firm provides full-service consultation tailored to each client’s needs and consulting services utilizing their expertise in taxation.
  10. Rubin Neveu PC – provides a range of services, including assurance, international tax planning, and consulting for businesses large or small throughout Connecticut.

Top 10 Accounting Schools In Connecticut For CPA

Here are the top 10 accounting schools in Connecticut for CPAs, according to recent rankings by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants:

  1. The University of Hartford – offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Master of Science in Accounting, and an MBA in Accounting and Finance.
  2. Quinnipiac University – housing a School of Business with degree programs, including the Five-Year Masters in Professional Accounting program.
  3. Fairfield University – with an AACSB-accredited program, students can choose from an undergraduate major or minor and multiple graduate options.
  4. Yale University – is distinguished for its Master in Management Studies & Ph.D. programs and numerous accounting certificate programs.
  5. Sacred Heart University – hosting a Department of Accounting & Taxation that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  6. Central Connecticut State University– provides multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees, such as CPA certificates and a Master of Public Administration.
  7. Wesleyan University– is known for its innovative approach to accounting education through undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
  8. Southern Connecticut State University– offers several certificate programs along with its Masters in Public Administration with Concentration in Accounting.
  9. Post University– specialized institution boasting an ACCREDITED bachelor’s degree program and various minors and graduate options.
  10. Trinity College– is acclaimed for its Master’s Degree Program specializing in Financial Reporting & Analysis.
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Why Should CPAs Work In Audit Firms in Connecticut?

Working in an audit firm in Connecticut as a CPA can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Accounting firms offer CPAs the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients on challenging projects, giving them a chance to hone their skills.

Additionally, CPAs who audit firms employ can take part in professional development opportunities such as conferences, seminars, and workshops. Additionally, there is potential for professional growth and advancement within these firms.

Audit firms often offer competitive salaries and benefits packages.

Lastly, working in audit firms allows CPAs to build relationships with other professionals within various industries, expanding their contacts network and opening up additional opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Connecticut.

  • Aspiring CPAs must complete a formal education that meets the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy’s requirements.
  • They must register for their Connecticut Uniform CPA Exam and pass it.
  • They must meet the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy’s experience requirements.
  • They must apply for their Connecticut CPA license.

References

  1. “Department of Consumer Protection” – https://portal.ct.gov/DCP
  2. “State Board of Accountancy” – https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/Occupational-and-Professional-Division/Occupational-Boards/State-Board-of-Accountancy
  3. “CPA Educational Requirements” – https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/License-Division/CPA-Educational-Requirements
  4. “Applications and Instructions” – https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/All-License-Applications/License-Permit–Registration-Forms
  5. “Connecticut | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/connecticut/