Step By Step to Become a CPA in New York (2022)

In New York, the New York State Board of Public Accountancy handles the licensure procedure for prospective CPAs.

The board sets various requirements for aspiring CPAs to get their New York CPA license. Like all other states, obtaining a CPA license to work in the field is compulsory in the New York area.

How to become a CPA in New York?

The New York State Board of Public Accountancy requires aspiring accountants to obtain formal education first.

This education is necessary for both the next steps. Next, the board requires them to take and pass the Uniform CPA exam.

Lastly, candidates must fulfill the experience requirement set by the board to obtain their CPA license. Each step has its own requirements set by the board that candidates must satisfy. These include the following.

Educational requirements

The first step for aspiring CPAs is acquiring formal accounting education. During this period, they must learn the fundamentals of the profession.

They must also meet some other requirements set by the board. These include the following.

  • Candidates must enroll in an accredited university in an accounting program. They must obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher from a program with a 150 semester hours requirement.
  • For candidates who have already enrolled or completed their university education, the board will consider their education. However, education must be from an accredited university.
  • For students that hold a degree from a foreign country, the board requires them to have their transcript evaluated by an evaluation agency.
  • Candidates must also take the required classes during their educational period. The board requires the 150 semester hours to consist of the following.
    • 33 semester hours in accounting, with at least a course each in one of the following areas.
      • Financial accounting and reported. It must be an upper-division undergraduate or graduate-level course including titles as follows.
        • Accounting for governmental and nonprofit purposes
        • Accounting principles
        • Accounting theory
        • Advanced Accounting
        • Corporate financial reporting
        • Financial Accounting
        • Financial reporting
        • Financial statement analysis
        • Intermediate Accounting
        • Principles of Accounting
      • Cost or managerial accounting with courses in the following.
        • Advanced cost management
        • Cost accounting
        • Cost management
        • Managerial Accounting
      • Auditing and attestation. The courses must be upper-division undergraduate or graduate level. Similarly, they must also satisfy the Ethics and Professional Responsibilities requirement. Courses may include the following.
        • Advanced auditing
        • Auditing
        • Auditing and assurance services
        • Auditing and attestation
        • Principles of auditing
      • Taxation, which may include the following.
        • Advanced Taxation
        • Basic taxation
        • Business Taxation
        • Corporate taxation
        • Individual taxation
        • International Taxation
        • Taxation of business entities
      • Accounting research. Courses in taxation may also meet this requirement. These may include courses as follows.
        • Accounting research
        • Accounting theory
        • Auditing
        • Corporate taxation
        • Individual taxation
        • Tax research
      • Other accounting courses, such as the following.
        • Accounting information systems
        • Fraud examination
        • Internal controls
        • Risk management
    • 36 semester hours in general business electives, which may include titles as follows.
      • Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
        • Business ethics
        • Commercial law
        • Business law
      • Business and Accounting Communications
        • Accounting communications
        • Business communications
        • Business writing
        • International business communications
        • Managerial communications
        • Professional Speaking
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Uniform CPA Exam

Candidates who have completed at least 120 hours of the 150 required semester hours can take the uniform CPA exam. However, they must have taken at least one course in each of the following areas.

  • Audit and attestation
  • Cost/management accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Taxation

The board also accepts at least 15 years of public accounting experience as an alternative to the education requirement. Candidates must go through the following steps to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Candidates must complete Form 4-Applicant Experience Record – and submit it to New York State Education Department.
  • They must also send their official transcript to CPA Examination Services.
  • They must then apply to take the exam through the CPA Examination Services. Some application and examinations fees may also apply, which they must pay through credit card.
  • Once they apply for the test, they must wait for a notice to schedule. After that, candidates must schedule their exam through Prometric in one of the approved testing locations in New York.

Experience Requirements

Once candidates pass their Uniform CPA Exam, they must meet the experience requirements set by the board. Any experience before completing the education condition is not countable. Candidates must meet the following requirements to pass their experience requirements.

  • Candidates must gain one year of full-time experience (or equivalent in part-time work) in the accounting field. It must not include more than 40 hours but also a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • Candidates must ensure the experience meets the board’s requirements. For that, they must exercise skills related to the following.
    • Accounting
    • Auditing and attestation
    • Compilation
    • Financial or tax consulting
    • Management advisory services
  • They must obtain their experience under a licensed CPA’s supervision. The work may include any experience obtained from the following.
    • Government agencies
    • Private industrial firms or organizations
    • Public accounting firms
    • Educational institutions
  • Candidates must also document their experience.
  • They must give a copy of the Certification of Employer form to their employers to verify their work. The employer must then send the form directly to the board.
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Summary

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

  • Candidates must start with formal education. They must also meet all the requirements set by the New York State Board of Public Accountancy.
  • They must then take the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it.
  • Next, they must meet the experience requirements set by the board.
  • Lastly, they must apply for the New York CPA license.

References

  1. “New York State Board of Public Accountancy” – http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/#
  2. “Initial License” – http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/cpalic.htm#
  3. “New York | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/newyork/