How To Become CPA Without Accounting Degree

how to become a cpa without an accounting degree

When I started my career, I had relocated to Atlanta where I really didn’t know anybody. In other words, my life was pretty quiet and it was easy to meet my work commitments and have a great deal of discretionary time left over. As you approach the exam, be aware of the additional preparation time you may have to invest in order to address your specific weaknesses and build that into your preparation strategy. The path to CPA for non-accounting majors might seem more challenging, but  take stock of your situation and create a plan tailored to your life. Most states require that CPA candidates have a bachelor’s degree in accounting in order to sit for the exam, but not all of them. While preparing for the CPA Exam may not be quick or easy, the guidance of Vishal ensures that candidates have the necessary tools, resources, and support to overcome challenges.

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  1. However, if you don’t have an accounting degree, you may still be able to meet the education requirements for CPA certification through alternative means.
  2. Once you have assessed your eligibility to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) without an accounting degree, the next step is to complete the necessary coursework.
  3. In addition to the educational requirements, many states also require candidates to complete a certain number of credit hours in ethics-related courses.
  4. The journey to becoming a CPA without an accounting degree requires a strategic approach, dedication, and a well-crafted study plan.
  5. The CPA certification process is a lot of work but remember that you don’t have to go through it alone.
  6. Regardless of which category you belong to, Intuit will provide additional resources to support your professional development.

These fees may vary by state, so they may be more or less depending on your location. Though the path to becoming a CPA is pretty consistent across most states, the time it takes to obtain your license may differ slightly depending on your location and current education. Becoming a CPA can be an arduous task, as it requires demonstrating you can take on the responsibility for the financial health of an entire organization. However, the process for becoming a CPA is relatively straightforward in most states. Due to its requirements, the prestige that comes with a CPA license will garner a wealth of trust and admiration from colleagues and potential clients.

how to become a cpa without an accounting degree

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It examines how well a future CPA would handle professional ethics questions they may encounter during their time working in the accounting profession. The exam is a reminder to CPAs about the conduct expected and required of them when working with and in professional organizations. It may require studying in shorter stretches several times a day rather than a single longer session as you build back your academic stamina. For those aspiring for a more global reach in the accounting field, becoming an International Certified Professional Accountant (ICPA) is an option.

how to become a cpa without an accounting degree

Steps to Become a CPA

Additionally, practice exams and sample questions can be invaluable resources for familiarizing yourself with the exam format and assessing your preparedness. The path to CPA for non-accounting majors will require you to create a custom study strategy. You may need additional preparation time on topics you haven’t been exposed to or haven’t seen in some time.

Meet Experience Requirements

There are several requirements to become a CPA which include educational requirements, passing the CPA Exam, gaining experience under a licensed CPA, and in some states, passing the ethics exam. While it might seem like a  lot of requirements to become a CPA, the time and effort are worth it. CPAs make 10-15% more than non-CPAs and over three million dollars in lifetime earnings over non-CPAs.

This typically involves working in roles such as accounting, auditing, taxation, financial analysis, or other related fields. Another option is to take individual accounting courses at a college or university. This can be done on a part-time basis or through online programs, making it accessible for individuals with work or other commitments.

This may involve studying in shorter, focused sessions multiple times a day rather than relying on a single, extended session. However, check with the board of accounting in your state to get definite requirements before starting your journey. While it may be tempting posting to the general ledger to move to another state to get things done faster if you see fewer requirements, you may want to get licensed in the state you plan to work in. Your employer (or client) may require you to obtain the license in the same place where you conduct business.

During college, we’re conditioned to handle the prolonged duration and high intensity required to be successful. The CPA Exam is difficult for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the breadth of tested material. Whether due to professional specialization and/or the length of time away from college, non-traditional candidates are likely to have pronounced strengths and weaknesses. When exploring  how to become a CPA without a degree in accounting, know that you will need to adjust your study strategy to your situation. If you are seriously considering getting your CPA license, you will need to prepare for the exam.

This ensures you possess not only the skills required for the CPA exam but also the practical acumen needed in the accounting field. It’s not easy to get your CPA license without an accounting degree, but it is completely doable. Eventually, all states will require a bachelor’s degree in accounting to sit for the exam. Yes, people with Economics and Finance degrees can become CPAs if they meet the minimum educational and work experience requirements that we talked about above, but it’s not easy. Massachusetts requires 21 credit hours of accounting classes and has extra rules about which courses must be included in these 21 credit hours. This will obviously be easier for people with degrees in somewhat related fields like finance or economics, as some of your classes may have overlapped with accounting.

This experience may need to be gained in positions that involve accounting knowledge and skills. If you currently lack the necessary work experience, you may need to seek out internships or entry-level roles in accounting or finance departments to fulfill this requirement. It may involve additional coursework, self-study, or professional development opportunities to bridge any gaps in your educational background. If you have professional experience in accounting or a related field, you may be eligible for the CPA certification through the experience pathway. This pathway allows candidates to substitute a portion of the educational requirements with relevant work experience.

Most states require CPAs to complete a certain number of CPE hours annually or within a specific renewal period. Stay updated on the CPE requirements of your state and participate in relevant professional development activities to maintain your expertise and fulfill the licensing obligations. While completing the required coursework, take advantage of resources such as textbooks, online materials, and interactive learning platforms.

Matos stays up to date on changes in the accounting industry through educational courses. According to the AICPA, the majority of U.S. jurisdictions offer licensure paths to candidates with two years of relevant professional experience. Most states accept general accounting experience acquired in roles open to all accounting professionals. It’s important to maintain your CPA license by adhering to your state’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.


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