Utah CPA Exam & License Requirements 2017

Read on to learn how to become a CPA in Utah.

UtahThe demand for the best accountants is as old as civilization itself. Without accountants, ancient merchants would have no way to determine how their inventories were paying off, or even how to attach a competitive price to their goods. Today, with our modern computers and ubiquitous knowledge of math, we need the best accountants to run our personal and public business. The top license for accountants is that of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To attain this license, you will need to apply to your state, which has specific guidelines for you to follow. Keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in Utah.

General Requirements

The process for becoming a CPA in nearly every state falls into four categories: Education, Examination, Ethics and Experience. Utah is no different. The state has no citizen or in-state residency requirement, nor does it have an age restriction. You will need a Social Security number, however, and your application must reflect the specific needs of the Utah Board of Accountancy. In particular, you will want to be mindful of the academic specifications.

Academic Standards

Utah requires that all applicants have a minimum of 150 semester hours, including a bachelor’s degree that meet certain guidelines. The first main criteria is accreditation. Your school must be acknowledged by the board. Without the board’s approval of your program, your hard work in college will need to be repeated at a properly accredited college or university. Make sure that your school is accredited by one of the following:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

If you have credits from a non-U.S. institution, they must be evaluated by either a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or NASBA International Evaluation Services.

To qualify your coursework, you can follow one of four rubrics:

Option 1

Earn a graduate degree in accounting from an AACSB or ACBSP accredited institution.

Option 2

Earn an MBA from an AACSB or ACBSP accredited institution with the following on your transcript:

  • 15 semester hours of graduate coursework in accounting, including topics such as:
  • Auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Taxation
  • Cost Accounting

Option 3

Bachelor’s degree (plus 30 hours) in accounting with the following course breakdown reflected on your official transcripts.

30 semester hours beyond the requirements of your baccalaureate degree, from an AACSB or ACBSP accredited school. Your work should include some variation of the following:

16 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses with at least one two hour course in each of these areas:

  • Auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Taxation
  • Management accounting

Eight semester hours in graduate accounting courses including one course in each of these areas:

  • Auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Taxation
  • Management accounting

12 semester hours of upper-level, business courses.
12 semester hours graduate business or business courses.
10 semester hours of graduate or undergraduate business or accounting courses.

Option 4

Bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field, including the following coursework:

30 semester hours in business with a minimum of 2 semester hours in each of these subjects:

  • Information Systems
  • Business Law
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Ethics
  • Written and oral communication
  • Statistics and quantitative methods
  • Business administration (including organizational behavior, marketing, policy, management or production)

24 semester hours in upper level undergraduate accounting courses with at least 2 hours in each of the following:

  • Finance
  • Auditing
  • Cost Accounting
  • Taxes
  • Systems

30 semester hours of business courses beyond the baccalaureate requirements that include:

  • Eight semester hours of graduate accounting courses.
  • 12 hours of graduate accounting or master’s level business courses.
  • 10 semester hours of added business courses at the upper-level undergraduate or the graduate level.

Any CLEPs, community college, online or other non-traditional coursework may be accepted, if the credits transfer to your accredited college or university.

CPA Examination

Once you have passed the academic standards, you can apply to sit for the CPA exam. Send all of your materials, including an official transcript from every institution you have attended to:

CPA Examination Services-UT
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219

Once you are approved, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). With that, you should schedule one or more parts of the CPA examination with the Prometric location of your choosing. There are three in Utah:

  • Taylorsville
  • Lindon
  • Salt Lake City

The test is very difficult and any one part is may need to be retaken multiple times. The four parts of the exam are:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting–This covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
  • Auditing and Attestation–This test covers your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing as well as U.S. standards.
  • Regulation–Your professional and legal responsibilities are covered in this test.
  • Business Environment and Concepts–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. Written skills are important to complete much of this test.

After you pass the four parts of the exam, you will need to order an Ethics exam from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. They will send a CD-ROM that includes all of the materials you need for an 11-hour self-study course. The test is open-book and shouldn’t be too difficult, though you will need to pass with a score of 90.

Utah also asks that you pass the Utah Laws and Rules Exam. You can apply to PSI Examination Services to sit for this test, which covers:

  • Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Act
  • General Rules of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
  • Certified Public Accountant Licensing Act
  • Certified Public Accountant Licensing Act Rules

Experience

Finally, the experience part of your journey to becoming a CPA will complete the process. Utah asks that you work 2,000 hours that are documented by a licensed CPA. During this period, you should apply your auditing and accounting skills in addition to any other applicable competencies. Once complete, you and your supervisor will submit a Certification for Accounting Experience for Licensure form to the Utah Board.

To stay up-to-date with your licensure, including continuing education units, visit the board’s website: Utah Board of Accountancy.

FIND A SCHOOL TODAY

Tell us a little about yourself and we’ll connect you with schools that offer accounting degree programs.