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CONNECTICUT CPA EXAM & LICENSE REQUIREMENTS 2020
Keep reading to discover how to become a CPA in Connecticut.
A Connecticut CPA license is one that carries many responsibilities. Your work will determine the future of corporations, governmental agencies and individuals who seek to maintain and build their wealth. You might find that your career takes you into IT departments, or perhaps you will pursue a private tax accounting practice. Another option is to aim for the corporate boardroom and a position as Chief Financial Officer. There are numerous options and you can fulfill any or all of them in Connecticut. Keep reading to discover how to become a CPA in Connecticut.
Connecticut’s requirements for new CPAs include excelling in your academic work, passing the standardized CPA exam and ethics test, and experience standards. Connecticut’s State Board of Accountancy maintains these regulations and processes all applications for both new and renewing licenses.
The state does not have any age requirements for CPAs, nor does it require U.S. Citizenship or state residency. Connecticut does require a Social Security number, however. If you are a foreign national with a taxpayer identification number, contact the Board to confirm your eligibility.
The educational requirements to become a CPA include a total 150 semester hours of undergraduate work. You must have a bachelor’s degree to start the process, which is around 120 hours. While completing your undergraduate degree, make sure that you take enough of the required coursework to qualify under Connecticut’s exacting standards.
First off, your school must be regionally accredited. Among your total 150 semester hours, you must have a total of 36 semester hours in accounting, including introductory coursework. You must also have 30 hours in business administration or economics. These courses can include some or all of the following:
- Organizational behaviors
- Management Principles
- Business Law
- Managerial Finance
- Managing Financial Portfolios
- Micro Economics
- Macro Economics
- Economic Theories and Principles
You must also have 60 hours of work in general education courses. Most undergraduate programs will require you to take a certain number of courses in English, foreign language and other areas in order to complete your education. Whatever credit hours remain may be completed as you wish, provided that you are still able to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Keep in mind that your hours can come from any one of a variety of sources. So long as the institution is accredited by a regional agency, courses from an online or community college are accepted by the Board. Even CPA review coursework is permissible, so long as it has been accepted by an accredited institution. Though you may wish to seek outside instruction through a commercial CPA review course, that work cannot be accepted as part of your CPA license application.
When you are ready to take the standardized CPA exam, you will need to apply to take the test through CPA Examination Services. That application will need to include transcripts from all institutions of higher learning you have attended. Have your original sealed transcripts sent directly to the testing agency so that they can be filed appropriately. At this time, you might request any disability accommodations, if necessary. If you are applying by mail, include a check or money order for the full amount. If you would rather pay by credit card, include the credit card form or apply using the secure online payment and application system. If you need assistance, call CPAES at 800-CPA-EXAM.
The exam is comprised of four tests that are generally taken at separate times. Candidates must pass each with a score of 75. Re-tests are common, as the exam is quite difficult. The four sections are:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Auditing and Attestation
- Business Environment and Concepts
Once you have passed the four parts, you are then ready to take the Ethics Exam. This is a standardized test provided through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA.) The Institute will provide a CD-ROM that includes an 11-hour self-study course and 40 multiple-choice questions for practice and review. Though the test is considered easier than the CPA exam, you will need to pass with a score of 90.
Connecticut is a two-tiered state, which means that you can opt to receive only a CPA certificate rather than a full license. While the requirements are the same for both, the certificate is for someone who has limited need of the credentials. For instance, a certificate holder cannot sign off on financial matters as a CPA, nor can you work in an accounting firm as a CPA. However, a certificate holder can use the designation CPA on letterhead, resumes, business cards and other non-binding forms of communication or identification.
For more information on Connecticut’s rules and regulations regarding the CPA licensure process, consult the Board’s website.