How To Become A CPA: A Step-By-Step Guide

how to become a cpa without a degree in accounting

At the end of the course, you’ll take an evaluation to test your knowledge and make sure you’re ready for customers in the upcoming tax season. Do you lack experience but still want to become a tax or bookkeeping professional? Our innovative learning initiative, the Intuit Academy, will provide you with the necessary skills to start working in the field and boost your income in no time. Each state has different educational requirements, but they are all very similar in requiring at least 150 credit hours (a few states only require 120 credit hours) of relevant coursework.

Well-Thought-Out Study Plan:

Most CPA candidates spend 200 to 400 hours of time studying for the CPA Exam. Candidates may spend 20 to 25 hours per week preparing for the exam over a period of months. Becker’s study planner will help you structure your time studying for maximum efficiency on your journey to becoming a CPA. All jurisdictions require aspiring CPAs to have 120 or 150 credit hours to sit for the exam, depending on the jurisdiction, and 150 credit hours for licensure.

A step-by-step to becoming a CPA

Of course, certain schools emphasize preparation for the CPA exam more than others, as evidenced by their CPA exam pass rates. Now that we have explored alternative paths to CPA certification, let’s move on to the steps you need to take to become a CPA without an accounting degree. CPAs are trusted professionals who provide crucial financial and tax advice to businesses and individuals. They play a vital role in auditing financial statements, ensuring compliance with tax laws, and providing strategic financial planning. Considering the demands on their time, non-traditional candidates should be pragmatic about how much time they can realistically dedicate to studying each day, week, and month. Crafting a study plan that aligns with these constraints ensures a sustainable and effective preparation process.

  1. A CPA license is a professional designation that allows accountants more flexibility and mobility in their career.
  2. Intuit Academy is full of self-paced educational models that will teach you the ins and outs of the industry.
  3. For those aspiring for a more global reach in the accounting field, becoming an International Certified Professional Accountant (ICPA) is an option.
  4. Naturally, if you legally cannot perform a certain task, like filing reports with the SEC, then you can’t advance to a role that would require you to perform that task.

About Intuit

Jobs in auditing, bookkeeping, or even lower-level corporate accounting positions are often available to those without a CPA license. Many professionals who are interested in the accounting field, but have majored in another area, often wonder how to become a CPA without a degree in accounting. The non-traditional CPA Exam candidate is challenging, if not impossible, to define directly. Instead, let’s start by defining a traditional candidate as a recent college graduate with a degree in accounting (or a related field) seeking or starting in their first professional position.

how to become a cpa without a degree in accounting

What credentials do you need along the CPA career path?

how to become a cpa without a degree in accounting

Aspiring accounting professionals seeking to maximize their options generally choose to pursue licensure. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is a valuable resource for accountants planning to pursue licensure. NASBA offers information and links to the 55 jurisdictional accountancy boards that operate in the United States. Consult the board specific to the jurisdiction where you plan to work for details on local licensure requirements. You can work in accounting roles without a license provided you have the necessary knowledge and skills. However, you may face limitations on your employment options and advancement potential.

According to PayScale, financial controllers earned average salaries of $85,740 per year, while CFOs earned $137,290 per year as of October 2021. is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers. Some require you to be at least 21 years old, while others allow you to be as young as 18 and take the exam. Some need you to have a social security number, while others don’t require one for international applicants. California is one of the more expensive states to take the exam, so we use it as a baseline example so you can plan your finances accordingly.

You’ll also pay a renewal fee every two years to keep your license active. After the institutions process these payments, you’ll obtain your license and be able to advance your career as a CPA. Some people take the exam at the end of their college career or after graduating.

Now that we have a better understanding of the CPA exam, let’s explore the educational requirements for CPA certification and the alternative paths available for individuals without an accounting degree. In the following sections, we will explore the requirements for CPA certification, alternative paths to becoming a CPA, and the steps you need to take to become a CPA without an accounting degree. Whether you have a background in finance, business, or any other field, this article will provide insights into the options available to you.

One of the primary challenges faced by non-traditional CPA candidates is the varying strength of their foundation in accounting concepts. These candidates may have pronounced strengths and weaknesses based on their professional specialization, career path, and the duration of time since their college education. Most states require aspiring CPAs to complete a certain number of credits in accounting coursework. You should plan to complete at least 24 credits in accounting, finance, tax law and other related subjects, but some states require 50 credits or more. Check with your state’s board of accountancy to learn more about its specific coursework requirements for CPA licensure. If you’re wondering how to become a CPA online, you should start by checking your state’s CPA licensure requirements.

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. Meeting the educational requirements set by your state board of accountancy is critical for obtaining CPA certification. Some states also offer the option of obtaining a certain number of credit hours in accounting how to sell tradelines and make easy money through community college courses. These courses are generally more affordable and provide flexibility for individuals who prefer a more accessible and cost-effective route to meet the educational requirements. While a traditional accounting degree is the most common pathway to CPA certification, there are alternative paths available for individuals without an accounting degree.


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