Your Guide To Understanding CPA Exam Requirements California

CPA Exam Requirements California

CPA Exam Requirements California

In our quest for excellence, we strive to provide you with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on California CPA requirements. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California is a prestigious achievement, and the path to obtaining this esteemed credential can be complex. We're here to guide you through every step, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the prerequisites and procedures involved.

California CPA License Requirements

To obtain your California CPA license, there are certain eligibility criteria that you must meet:

Educational Requirements

To embark on this journey, you should have a bachelor's degree or higher from a recognized educational institution. Your coursework should include at least 24 semester units in accounting subjects and 24 semester units in business-related subjects.

CPA Exam

The Uniform CPA Exam is a standardized test that assesses your knowledge and skills in accounting, auditing, business concepts, and regulations. Passing this exam is a significant milestone on your path to becoming a CPA.

Work Experience

Gaining practical experience is a crucial component of your journey. You need to complete at least one year of qualifying work experience in accounting.

The CPA Application Process

The process of obtaining a California CPA license can be summarized in the following steps:

Education Evaluation

Before you apply for the CPA Exam, you must have your educational qualifications evaluated. The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) is responsible for determining if your academic background meets the required standards.

Applying for the CPA Exam

Once your education is validated, you can apply for the CPA Exam through the CBA. This application includes various fees and documentation requirements.

Preparing for the Exam

Preparation is key to passing the CPA Exam. Many aspiring CPAs choose to enroll in a CPA review course, which provides a structured study program and valuable resources.

Taking the CPA Exam

The CPA Exam consists of four sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). Each section is a formidable challenge, and candidates must pass all four within 18 months.

Work Experience

While working to meet the work experience requirement, it's important to keep detailed records of your tasks and responsibilities. These records will be submitted to the CBA.

Applying for the CPA License

Once you've passed the CPA Exam and met the work experience requirement, you can apply for your California CPA license. The CBA will review your application and may require additional documentation.

Licensing Fees and Continuing Education

It's essential to understand the financial and ongoing educational aspects of maintaining your CPA license in California:

Licensing Fees

Obtaining and renewing your CPA license involves fees. These fees are subject to change, so it's crucial to stay updated on the latest licensing costs.

Continuing Education

To maintain your license, you must complete continuing education requirements. This ensures that CPAs stay current with the evolving landscape of accounting and business.


Becoming a CPA in California is an achievement that opens doors to diverse career opportunities in the world of finance and accounting. We've provided a comprehensive overview of the California CPA requirements to help you navigate the process. Remember that our detailed guidance and mermaid diagram illustrate the roadmap to your success in the California CPA journey. Good luck on your path to becoming a certified CPA!

California Board of Accountancy
Address: 2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300 Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-3680 Fax: (916) 263-3674
Application Form: California CPA Application Form