How to Become a CPA in Georgia? (2023 Requirement Updated)

Certified Public Accountants are one of the most decorated professionals in the accounting profession. These individuals go through years of formal education and training to get their licenses.

To do so, they must meet their respective state’s accountancy board’s requirements. Once they get their CPA license, they can work without restrictions.

Aspiring CPAs in Georgia must conform to the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s policies to get their license. The overall process is similar to all other states.

However, the specific requirements within each step of this process may differ. For aspiring CPAs, it is crucial to meet all of those requirements to get their CPA license.

How to Become a CPA in Georgia?

The CPA license process in Georgia is similar to other states. Aspiring CPAs start with obtaining formal education.

Once they do so, they sit for their Uniform CPA Exam. This exam consists of several sections, each of which they must pass.

Next, they go through a period of professional experience. Along with these steps, they fulfill the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s requirements. Once they do so, they can apply for their CPA license.

Educational Requirements

Obtaining formal education is of the utmost importance for aspiring CPAs. This education allows them to get a degree and helps them with their CPA license.

Through the knowledge that they acquire, aspiring CPAs can work in the accounting profession. However, they must ensure their education meets the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s requirements.

The Georgia State Board of Accountancy requires aspiring CPAs to attend a four-year school. During this period, they must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree and complete 150 semester hours of college credit.

This education must come from enrollment in an accredited college or university. However, there are two exceptions.

Firstly, candidates who have completed their formal education or are in the process of doing so can also apply. However, they must first get the approval of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy.

Secondly, students who have acquired education from outside the US may also apply. However, they must get their credentials evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Services.

Aspiring CPAs must also take the right classes, meeting the following requirements.

  • It must include 30 semester hours of above elementary-level accounting courses and 24 semester hours of general business courses.
  • It may include CPA review courses, Online or correspondence offered at accredited colleges or universities if they have received credit.
  • It may include an accounting internship and up to two courses on their transcript.
  • It may include upper-level undergraduate accounting courses that aspiring CPAs have taken at a two-year or junior college. However, they must have received credit for them at a four-year college or university.
  • It must not include CLEP or commercial CPA review courses.

Uniform CPA Exam

Aspiring CPAs who have completed at least 120 semester hours of college credit can then apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

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However, they must have completed at least 20 semester hours in upper-level courses in accounting. They must also go through the following process to take the exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register with the CPA Examination Services online or through a downloaded application form. They must also include the following with their application.
    • An official college transcript.
    • Any foreign evaluation forms or ADA Accommodation form if required.
    • Application fees through a check, money order, or credit card.
  • Aspiring CPAs must schedule their exam once they receive their Notice to Schedule. They can do so through Prometric’s website and choose one of the eight approved locations in the state.

Experience Requirements

The last step for aspiring CPAs is to complete one year (or 2,000 hours) of accounting experience. This experience must meet the requirements of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy below.

  • It must be in one or a combination of the following areas.
    • Business
    • College Teaching
    • Government
    • Industry
    • Public accounting
  • It must occur within one year of the CPA licensure process.
  • It must not include clerical functions such as account analysis of information, mathematical calculations, or recording transactions in the general ledger.
  • A licensed CPA must verify it.
  • It must not include self-employment or experience gained during the educational period.

Aspiring CPAs must also meet the board’s requirements for the respective area where they get a job.

Once they complete their experience period, they must complete the Certificate of Experience. They must also ask their supervising CPA to verify it.

Top 10 Accounting Schools in Georgia For CPA

  1. University of Georgia – The University of Georgia offers professional and graduate degree programs in accounting at its Terry College of Business. This top-ranking school is one of the oldest universities in the state and consistently produces highly qualified accounting professionals.
  2. Georgia State University – GSU’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies offers a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate accounting program, including an MS in accounting with certification preparation available through the CPA exam.
  3. Emory University – Emory’s Goizueta Business School has been ranked among the top 25 business schools by US News & World Report. It provides accredited programs for undergraduate and graduate students interested in becoming CPAs.
  4. Mercer University – Founded in 1833, Mercer’s Stetson School of Business offers a bachelor’s degree program with a concentration on becoming a CPA and an MBA that emphasizes communication skills necessary for successful accounting practice management.
  5. Kennesaw State University – Through its Coles College of Business, KSU provides an AACSB-accredited undergraduate and graduate program with the option to specialize in financial analysis, taxation, assurance services, or managerial accounting for those striving to become CPAs.
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology– Located in Atlanta, GA, Georgia Tech’s Scheller College Of Business prepares students for careers as CPAs through their undergraduate and graduate degree programs that offer specializations like assuring services or finance with a concentration in auditing or managerial, financial reporting, respectively.
  7. Augusta University– Augusta University’s Hull College of Business prepares students to become efficient accountants through its accounting bachelor’s program, which consists of courses specifically designed to tackle all aspects relevant to Certified Public Accountant examinations preparation, such as tax laws or auditing techniques.
  8. Berry College – Berry’s Campbell School Of Business works hand-in-hand with faculty that not only hold prestigious degrees but also have certified public accountant licenses providing sound expertise if they decide to pursue this career path through their specialized Bachelor Of Science In Accountancy degree program approved by representatives from the American Institute Of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
  9. Clayton State University– CSU offers several options when it comes to pursuing a career as an accountant, from their Masters Of Accounting Program to specialized training such as Money Laundering/Fraud Risk, which address topics highly relevant for succeeding within the industry while preparing students for certification exams accordingly, particularly with their strong focus on attaining licensure mastery compliance regulations when it comes to fulfilling CPA requirements correctly. 
  10. Troy University – Troy’s Sorrell College Of Business offers highly acclaimed educative experiences geared toward achieving excellent test results when it comes time for taking the CPA exam since they provide fully dedicated support from experienced faculty members adept at providing elaborate true/false questions mock exams plus various other resources necessary for aspiring certified public accounts during their journey toward obtaining licensure from educational sessions covering numerous technicalities applicable towards this field academically moreover due to its AACSB accreditation this educational institution delivers trustworthy instruction correlated directly towards meeting proper guidelines pertaining professional competence proficiency demanded by respective boards governing these standards across state boundaries seamlessly each year consecutively.
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Top 10 Accounting Firms in Georgia For CPA

  1. Ernst & Young – A global leader in accounting, advisory, tax, and transaction services, Ernst & Young is one of Georgia’s most respected accounting firms. With offices in Atlanta, their team of expert accountants provides personalized service to clients across various industries.
  2. Deloitte – Deloitte provides its clients professional services, including auditing and assurance, consulting, risk management, and technology consulting. They have offices throughout the state of Georgia, located in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Augusta.
  3. KPMG – KPMG is one of the largest accounting firms in the world, with operations in over 150 countries. Their Georgia-based office provides auditing and financial services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, public companies, and not-for-profits.
  4. Grant Thornton – Grant Thornton’s team of experienced consultants provides comprehensive audit, accounting, and tax services for businesses throughout the state. They have offices located in Atlanta as well as Macon and Columbus.
  5. BKD CPAs & Advisors – BKD’s local office offers a wide range of services, including assurance, corporate finance, and wealth management for individuals looking to build their portfolios or grow their business success through intelligent investments.
  6. RSM US LLP– RSM US LLP has been providing top-quality audit, tax, and consulting services for over 90 years across the U.S., with local offices located in Atlanta and Marietta for those seeking assistance within Georgia’s borders specifically towards Certified Public Accountant guidelines along with forming proper implementation strategies when it comes time to accurately—navigating complex regulations such as IRS reporting requirements or fiduciary matters while maintaining positive integrity during every phase.
  7. Pugh CPAs– This full-service CPA firm has been providing prompt customer service while obtaining successful results since 1997 within various fields ranging from corporate income taxes to estate planning, thus meeting high standards expected among their line of work inherently applicable towards applicable CPA practices nationwide.
  8. LBMC– LBMC specializes in delivering specialized assistance concentrated around tax risks, thus aiding those requiring assistance, especially when considering numerous laws governing financial processes, which could mean future trouble if left unchecked, thus ensuring compliance regulations are adequately met.
  9. Ellin & Tucker– Another leading firm offering a wide array of accounting services from trust accounting reviews to valuation analyses geared toward helping individuals navigate complicated processes created by incomprehensible complications stemming from governmental policy overviews. They provide expertise on both sides when handling transactions involving capital assets.
  10. Rubin Brown LLP– Last but not least, we have Rubin Brown’s team, whose primary purpose focuses on closely managing investment decisions, whether it be compilation/review reports conducted via extensive research conducted by experienced professionals adept at handling all types of intricate proceedings related directly toward this particular field reassuring customers that intricacies within the governmental protocol is being taken care off professionally resulting successful outcomes subsequently furthermore effectively mitigating potential harm caused due ignorance concerning underlying taxation regulations whenever necessary.
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Essential Reasons Why CPAs Should Work in Accounting Firms

  1. CPAs have specialized taxation, accounting, auditing, and finance knowledge that most professionals do not possess. This expertise makes them highly sought after by accounting firms.
  2. With the ever-changing regulations in the field of accounting, having a CPA on board is essential to stay up-to-date and compliant.
  3. CPAs are held to high standards of ethics and professionalism, which provides a great deal of assurance for clients that their finances will be handled with utmost care and accuracy.
  4. CPAs can provide sound advice as business advisors and help companies make better business decisions over time.
  5. Working at an accounting firm gives CPAs a chance to gain valuable experience that can help them in their career development and professional advancement.

Summary

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

  • Prospective CPAs must start the process by obtaining formal education. This education must meet the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s requirements.
  • They must apply for the Uniform CPA Exam through the CPA Examination Services and pass each section.
  • Lastly, they must complete a professional experience that satisfies the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s requirements.
  • After all of these, they can apply for their Georgia CPA license.

References

  1. “Georgia State Board of Accountancy” – https://gsba.georgia.gov
  2. “Forms” – https://gsba.georgia.gov/forms
  3. “Georgia | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/licensure/nasbalicensing/georgia-2/