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

Florida allows aspiring CPAs to get their licensure through the Florida Board of Accountancy. The board operates under the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

Every aspiring CPA must meet the board’s requirements for each step of their CPA licensure journey. Once they do so, they can apply for a license to work in the state.

How to Become a CPA in Florida?

Aspiring CPAs in Florida must follow the same steps to get their CPA license. This process starts with acquiring formal education.

Next, it involves registering for the Uniform CPA Exam in the state and passing it. Lastly, it includes getting professional experience in the field.

Aspiring CPAs must meet the Florida Board of Accountancy’s requirements at each step.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring CPAs must start their professional CPA licensure journey by obtaining formal education.

This education must be from an accredited college or university with an accounting program. Through the knowledge acquired in this period, aspiring CPAs can understand the fundamentals of the accounting profession.

Aspiring CPAs must ensure their education meets the Florida Board of Accountancy requirements. These requirements from the board include the following.

  • Aspiring CPAs must complete an accredited college or university’s accounting program. Similarly, they must complete a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours (or 200 quarter hours) of a college education.
  • An unaccredited college education may also be acceptable. However, aspiring CPAs must admit to a graduate program and complete at least 15 semester hours from an accredited institution. These 15 hours must include 3 hours of graduate-level tax courses and 6 of other graduate-level accounting courses.
  • Aspiring CPAs must choose the right classes. These must include the following.
    • 36 semester hours (or 54 quarter hours) in upper-division accounting courses with at most 3. semester hours (or 4 quarter hours) of an internship. Similarly, it must be in one of the following areas.
      • Auditing
      • Accounting info systems
      • Cost/Managerial Accounting
      • Financial Accounting
      • Taxation
    • 39 semester hours (or 58 quarter hours) of courses in general business. Of these, 6 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) must be in business law and cover topics such as contracts, torts, and Uniform Commercial Code. Similarly, it must meet the following requirements
      • It must not include more than 9 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) of computer courses.
      • It must not include 6 semester hours (or 13 quarter hours) in upper-division statistics courses.
      • It may include either general business courses or accounting courses.
      • It must not include CLEP courses but may consist of AP courses if aspiring CPAs have received credit for them.

Uniform CPA Exam

Next, aspiring CPAs must register for the Uniform CPA Exam. Those who have completed 120 semester hours (or 160 quarter hours) of the total requirement can take the Uniform CPA Exam. However, they must meet the following criteria.

  • They must have completed 24 semester hours (or 36 quarter hours) in upper-division level accounting education, including the following.
    • Accounting information systems
    • Auditing
    • Cost and managerial accounting
    • Financial Accounting
    • Taxation
  • They must have completed 24 semester hours (or 36 quarter hours) in general business education. Of these, 21 must be at an upper-division level. Similarly, it must include at least 6 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) of business law courses.
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Once they meet these requirements, aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to register for the Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register with the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) either online or offline. They must also pay a fee for each section of the exam, along with an application fee. It is payable to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation through a check or credit card.
  • Aspiring CPAs must get the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s approval. Once they do so, they must contact the CPAES office.
  • After receiving their Notice to Schedule, they must schedule their exam in the state.
  • They must pass each section of the Uniform CPA Exam with at least a 75% score.

Experience Requirements

Aspiring CPAs must meet the Florida Board of Accountancy’s experience requirements. The board requires them to have at least one year of work experience that meets the following criteria.

  • It must involve the use of the following skills or services.
    • Accounting
    • Attest
    • Compilation
    • Consulting
    • Financial advisory
    • Management advisory
    • Tax
  • It may include at least 20 hours a week over, at most 104 weeks. Similarly, it may consist of 40 hours of work a week over, at most 42 weeks.
  • A licensed CPA must verify it, or a chartered accountant must be recognized by the International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB).
  • It must be in one of the following areas.
    • Academia
    • Government
    • Industry
    • Public Practice
  • Aspiring CPAs must document their work experience using the Verification of Work Experience form. It must include verification from their supervising CPA.

Top 10 Accounting Schools In Florida For CPA

Are you looking to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here we’ll explore the top 10 accounting schools in Florida that offer CPA programs.

  1. University of Central Florida: Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida is one of the largest universities by enrollment. It offers an excellent CPA program through its College of Business Administration. The university requires 120 credit hours for graduation and provides courses such as principles of financial accounting, managerial accounting, federal taxation, and auditing standards and theory.
  2. Florida Atlantic University: At FAU in Boca Raton, students have access to a 123-credit-hour Bachelor’s degree program in Accounting, including classes like cost management systems, international business finance, and risk management.
  3. Stetson University: Founded in 1883 and located in DeLand, Stetson offers a bachelor’s degree program with 128 credit hours — including courses such as operations research for managers, public sector financial management, and money & banking — plus faculty experienced with CPA licensing requirements in both theory and practice.
  4. Barry University: This private school based out of Miami Shores offers a Bachelor’s degree program that requires 124 credit hours; noteworthy classes include income tax planning/research methods, government/not-for-profit accounting, and audit & assurance services.
  5. Florida State University: FSU gives students looking to earn their CPA licenses access to advanced knowledge from faculty who maintain professional certifications outside the classroom; graduate students also benefit from annual meetings between industry recruiters on campus for various seminars focused on accounting topics.
  6. Jacksonville University: This north Floridian institution boasts small class sizes so that professors can provide plenty of individual attention; courses here cover advanced auditing techniques, forensic accounting, and investment analysis & portfolio management.
  7. Nova Southeastern University: Located near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, this large private university provides students pursuing their undergraduate degrees with access to 127 credit hours worth of courses — including international finances & investments, corporate tax strategies & analysis, or retirement plans & employee benefits — plus special events designed to demonstrate how alums are using what they’ve learned in real-world scenarios today.
  8. 8 Rollins College: Set among lakeside oaks on Lake Virginia in Winter Park, Rollins is one of only two institutions offering an accelerated four-year Bachelor’s degree program for aspiring CPAs; during these four years, students take part in more than 80 credit hours worth of coursework that covers topics like fraud examination reporting measures & control systems.
  9. University Of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee: In Bradenton, this college provides upper-level courses such as auditing theories & practices and advanced international business law lectures during its 85+ credit hour bachelor’s degree program geared towards CPAs.
  10. Webber International University: A private liberal arts college based out of Babson Park, Webber offers students passing through its doors a 122-credit hour online undergraduate program specializing in both single-entity and consolidated financial statement preparation, cost management methodologies, enhanced fraud awareness measures, personal taxation concepts, global regulatory compliance info r motion, along with much more.
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Top 10 Accounting Firms in Georgia For CPA

  1. Dixon Hughes Goodman – Based in Atlanta, Dixon Hughes Goodman is a leading provider of assurance, accounting, tax, and consulting services. Their team of knowledgeable professionals offers a breadth of experience to help clients reach their financial goals.
  2. Cherry Bekaert – With over 70 years of history, Cherry Bekaert serves public and private companies throughout the Southeast with tax and audit services. They combine technical know-how with specialized industry knowledge to meet their clients’ needs.
  3. HLB Gross Collins P.C. – Based in Metro Atlanta and Savannah, HLB Gross Collins has offered their clients top-quality accounting services for over 55 years. They are dedicated to providing trustworthy advice that helps businesses grow and succeed financially.
  4. Karpiak Consulting LLP – Located in Marietta, Karpiak Consulting provides comprehensive accounting services, including audit and assurance, business valuations, and tax planning advice for small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits throughout Georgia.
  5. Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Incorporated – Founded in 1993, this firm offers superior customer service while they provide services such as retirement plan reviews, consulting on taxes or investing strategies, audits/reviews/compilations, etc., employee benefit plans audits, litigation support/forensic work, etc., all tailored to meet the customer’s unique need serial needs support/forensic work, etc.
  6. Carr Riggs & Ingram LLC – This full-service public accounting firm has multiple offices across five states in the south, including Atlanta, where they provide tax planning, auditing & assurance services, and estate planning tools for individuals and families from diverse industries or backgrounds across Georgia.
  7. James Moore & Co., PLC – Operating under three distinct areas – outsourcing solutions, traditional CPA service offerings (audit/assurance, taxes, management advisory), and specialty services like wealth management or corporate finance – this company is one of the largest non-national firms serving Southeastern US area since 1974.
  8. Intacct Partners Inc.– Located in Alpharetta, they focus mainly on software solutions based on technology from Intacct, which allows them to help customers increase efficiency by migrating data processing workload into cloud computing environment as well as offering strategic assistance via collaboration among different departments within organizations using this system.
  9. Thompson Gray LLP– This full-service regional certified public accountancy firm in Augusta provides a wide range of personal wealth management, employee benefit plan design installation, new business formation consultation, etc., along with traditional core competencies like audit/compilation/reviews, etc.
  10. Hawkins Spizman Kilgo LLC– Mainly focusing on providing financial management solutions used by big companies, this Atlanta-based group of advisers offers two main pillars of expertise: comprehensive personal financial strategies for entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals plus complete compliance support for corporate entities when it comes to staying current with all federal regulations related to taxes or other financial matters.
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Summary

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

  • Aspiring CPAs must acquire formal education according to the Florida Board of Accountancy’s requirements.
  • They must sit for their Florida Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must work in a professional environment and meet the board’s requirements.
  • Lastly, they must apply for their Florida CPA license.

References

  1. “Department of Business & Professional Regulation” – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/
  2. “Certified Public Accounting” – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/certified-public-accounting/.
  3. “Florida | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/florida/