Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are trained professionals in the accounting business. These individuals provide various services related to accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, financial advice, and much more.
They are significantly different from regular accountants or bookkeepers as they undergo a licensure process.
Not everyone in the US can become a CPA. It is because the process involves several years of education.
After that, aspiring CPAs must go through an exam. Once they do so, they must also get relevant experience.
After going through these requirements, they can obtain their CPA licensure.
How to become a CPA in Tennessee?
The requirements to become a CPA are mostly the same in every state. However, there might be some provisions or changes in them for each state.
The Tennessee State Board of Accountancy sets these requirements for the state of Tennessee. It also overlooks the licensures process. The board has the following requirements for aspiring CPAs in Tennessee.
Aspiring CPAs must first complete some years of educating themselves. During these years, they must get the necessary knowledge that can help them pass the exam.
Similarly, it will help them in their future years when they work on acquiring relevant experience. The educational requirements for CPAs in Tennessee include the following.
- Aspiring CPAs must enroll in a relevant subject in an accredited Tennessee college or university.
- The board accepts courses at two-year or non-accredited four-year colleges as acceptable. However, the accredited degree-granting institution must transfer them.
- Foreigners or those who completed education outside the US can also apply. However, they must get their foreign academic credits evaluated by one of the approved organizations.
- Candidates must choose the right classes. The board requires at least a bachelor’s degree, including 150 semesters (or 225 quarters) hours of a college education. These must include the following.
- At least 30 semesters (or 45 quarters) of hours in accounting. Of these, at least 24 semesters (or 36 quarters) hours must be at the upper-division level.
- At least 24 semesters (or 36 quarters) of hours in general business subjects. Of these, a minimum of 12 semesters (or 16 quarters) hours must be at the upper-division level. Business subjects include the following courses.
- Algebra, calculus, statistics, probability
- Business communications
- Business law
- Technology(computer)/information systems
- The board also accepts correspondence, CLEP credit, pass/fail grades, and online courses. However, candidates must have received credit for them at an accredited college or university and have an official transcript.
Uniform CPA Exam
The next step for candidates is to pass their Uniform CPA exam. They must do so within 200 days of completing the above educational requirements set by the board.
The exam tests their knowledge of accounting and related topics. The process for the exam is as below.
- Candidates must complete the application through CPA Exam Service online. They must submit the following items with the application.
- Their official transcripts are in sealed envelopes. Alternatively, the school can send them through the official electronic transcript program.
- A payment of $170 for the initial application and examination. It must be through check or money order.
- 2×2 photo, taken within the last three months.
- Certificate of Enrollment form if candidates are currently enrolled in college at the time of initial application. This certificate certifies that candidates will complete their courses and graduation requirements within 200 days of the first CPA test section.
- ADA modification form for those with disability.
- Once candidates submit their applications, they must wait for their approval. They will get a notification to schedule after which they can schedule their exam within six months.
- They must take the exam and pass all sections with at least a 75% score.
Once candidates pass their CPA Uniform Exam, they must gain the necessary experience. For that, candidates must meet the following requirements.
- Candidates must complete the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) ethics exam with a 90% score or more.
- They must obtain the required experience, which satisfies the following criteria.
- Candidates must have gained it through employment in government, industry, academia, or public accountancy.
- They must earn a minimum of 2,000 hours between 1-3 years.
- It must consist of providing advice or services in the following areas.
- Management or financial advisory
- Tax or consulting
- A licensed CPA must verify it
- They must complete the experience affidavit included in the application packet.
- Candidates who want to sign financial statements reports for a firm must have two years of additional experience within the last ten years in audits, reviews, and compilations.
Candidates in CPA must follow the steps to get their CPA license.
- They must get their education through an accredited institute. Education must also meet some other criteria.
- They must pass the Uniform CPA Exam.
- They must meet the experience requirements.
- They must apply for a CPA license.
- “Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants” – https://www.tscpa.com
- “Licensing Requirements & Exams” – https://www.tn.gov/commerce/regboards/accountancy/license-applicant-resources/licensing-requirements-exams.html
- “Tennessee | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/tennessee/