Pennsylvania CPA Requirements

A CPA is a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state board of accountancy.

To earn the prestige associated with the CPA license, you are required to demonstrate knowledge and competence by meeting high educational standards, passing the CPA exam and completing a specific amount of general accounting experience.

The two most important aspects of becoming a CPA are passing the Uniform CPA Exam and meeting licensing requirements in the state where you want to practice.

Pennsylvania CPA licensure Requirements – Overview
Educational Hours Required for Licensure150 Semester Hours
Residency RequiredU.S. citizen or legal resident
Degree RequiredBachelor’s or Master’s
Minimum AgeNot required
Application Fee$65.00
Additional RequirementsPennsylvania Board of Accountancy Site

Educational Hours Required for licensure

The Certified Public Accountant certification is one of the most prestigious professional certifications available. It indicates that the accountant has satisfied a demanding set of educational, professional, and ethical standards. In addition, candidates must pass the rigorous CPA exam in order to earn the distinction of this credential. Before candidates can sit for the exam, they must satisfy their Pennsylvania CPA requirements and qualifications. Each state has its own set of eligibility requirements for the CPA licensure, which should not be confused with CPA exam requirements. Below we will be discussing the requirements for the state of Pennsylvania.

Applicant must have a minimum of 150 semester credit hours to obtain CPA licensure in PA.

(1)  A baccalaureate or higher degree from a college or university accredited by a Nationally recognized accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or approved by the Board and completed a total of 150 semester credits of post-secondary education, including at least 24 semester credits of accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the Board, not necessarily as part of the candidate’s undergraduate or graduate work, and an additional 12 semester credits in accounting, auditing and tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the Board, not necessarily as part of the candidate’s undergraduate or graduate work.

   (2)  A baccalaureate or higher degree from a college or university accredited by a Nationally recognized accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or approved by the Board and completed at least 24 semester credits in accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the Board, not necessarily as part of the candidate’s undergraduate work.

   (3)  A master’s degree or other post-graduate degree from a college or university accredited by a Nationally recognized accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or approved by the Board and completed at least 24 semester credits in accounting and auditing, business law, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the Board, not necessarily as part of the candidate’s undergraduate or graduate work.

Minimum age required

Minimum age not required. Applicant must be a citizen of the United States or legally present in the United States.

Professional Ethics

Candidates who have successfully passed the examination will be required to complete the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s continuing professional educational course “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course On-Demand (For Licensure).”

Fees

$65 for the individual application and $45.00 for firm registration.

Work Experience

A candidate for CPA certification shall have completed at least 1,600 hours of qualifying experience during the 60-month period immediately preceding the date of application that included providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills which were gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.

A firm license process

Each firm and office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accountancy in this State shall register with the Board within 30 days after it is opened, and annually thereafter, on a form prescribed by the Board.

Each office shall be under the direct supervision of a resident manager who must be registered with this Board and the holder of a valid annual permit.

Pennsylvania CPA firm Registration

Additional Information

While we do our best to keep all of this information up to date you are welcome to visit and or contact that Pennsylvania Board of Accountancy with any other questions you might have.

Pennsylvania State Board of Public Accountancy
Address: 2601 North Third St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 1 (717) 783-1404
Fax: (717) 705-5540
Email: st-accountancy@pa.gov
Web: www.pals.pa.gov
CPA Certification form: Pennsylvania CPA Certification Form
Annual Registration form: Pennsylvania Annual Registration Form

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