How Long Does It Take To Become a CPA?

CPAYou should be familiar with how long it takes to become CPA, if you are planning on becoming a CPA in the future and you are enrolling in an accounting degree program. The Certified Public Accountant designation is a very prestigious one in the accounting discipline. If you would like to offer assurance services, business management consulting services, international accounting services, financial planning, or tax services, becoming a CPA can help you advance your career and propel it forward quickly.

Before you are able to qualify to take the standardized CPA exam, you must have a certain level of educational experience and professional accounting experience. The requirements to become a CPA are the same across the country. Read on, and find out more about the type of degree that you will need and how long you can expect to spend in school.

What Degree is Needed to Take the CPA Exam?

CPA’s are distinguished accounting professionals who have mastered the concepts and the principles of accounting and are able to apply these principles in a professional setting. In order to master accounting curriculum you must complete courses and graduate from acceptable programs. While there are not degree programs that specifically cater to CPA’s, any accredited accounting degree is acceptable as long as you take the appropriate number of credits and the right accounting courses.

What Are the Unit Requirements to Become a CPA?

To sit for the Uniform CPA Examination you will need to complete a minimum of 150 college credits with 30 of these hours in accounting coursework and 25 hours in business, according to the Houston Chronicle. Since the typical bachelor’s degree program majoring in accounting only consists of 120 credit hours, you will need to enroll in advanced studies before you can test. You may not need to possess a master’s, but beginning an Master’s in Accounting program will be necessary to meet the new more strict testing requirements.

How Long Will it Take to Meet Educational and Work Experience Requirements?

If you are enrolled in college full-time, it will take no less than four years to earn your bachelor’s degree. Once you earn this degree, you can expect to spend at least one more year completing the credit requirements in an MBA or Master’s in Accounting program. If you complete the graduate program before pursuing your designation, you will study for an additional two years.

You must also meet work experience requirements before you will be eligible to be certified. The professional requirements vary from state to state, but a majority of states will ask that you show proof that you have been working in the field of accounting for a minimum of two years. Some states will require your experience to specifically be in public accounting, but corporate accounting may also be acceptable.

Related Resource: MBA in Accounting

If you add up all of the time it takes to complete credits and to get experience, you can see that it takes about eight years to become a CPA from day one. If you would like to work towards earning your prestigious credential so that you can earn a larger salary or you can become more marketable, now is the time to start. Find the right degree program, be sure you are taking enough accounting courses, and reduce how long it takes to get a CPA degree by being prepared.