Idaho CPA Exam & License Requirements 2019
Keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in Idaho.
If you have decided that you love accounting and would like to become a CPA, you’ll also want to decide which state you would like to practice in. You might consider lifestyle aspects, such as access to culture or recreational activities. You might also look purely for professional prospects. For a CPA, then, the peak of professionalism might be a big city such as New York or Chicago. If you love the outdoors, particularly mountaineering, Idaho might be a better state for you. With a CPA, you are bound to be in high demand no matter where you go, but make sure you research your state’s licensure requirements. Keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in Idaho.
Residency & Other Requirements
Idaho is fairly unique in that it requires all potential CPAs applying for a license and operating within its borders to be state residents. Even if you are visiting to consult, you are only allowed to operate as a full CPA for 10 days in any calendar year. If you are applying to become a state-licensed CPA, you must affirm that you intend to become a resident as soon as possible. Though it does have rather strict state-residency requirements, Idaho does not require that you be a U.S. citizen.
Like most states, however, Idaho has requirements for education, ethics, experience and the CPA examination. Each state board is unique in what it looks for in a CPA application, so be certain to learn their standards.
For your education, Idaho requires that you have 150 total semester hours for your full license. To sit for the CPA exam, however, 120 hours that culminate in a baccalaureate degree will suffice. Note that you must provide transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university that demonstrate a major concentration in accounting. Your coursework will be scrutinized to ensure that you have the requisite background to continue on to the examination. In particular, Idaho’s coursework requirements include the following:
24 baccalaureate hours in accounting covering the following areas:
- Financial Accounting
- Management Accounting
24 hours in business courses that cover some or all of the following:
- Business Communications
- Business Law
To ensure that you are on a track to full licensure in Idaho, check to verify that your college or university is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) or any regional accrediting agency that has similar standards. If you are studying in Idaho, your advisor should be familiar with the requirements of the board, but double check in case you decide to take any accounting courses through an online or community college.
You will need to provide official transcripts from every institution you attend, so each must be fully accredited or else you may need to repeat coursework in a board-recognized program. Note too, that the board will need original, sealed transcripts. You can have these sent directly to them so that they can be added to your file. Alternately, you may have them sent to your personal address, but do not break the seal on the envelope or they will be invalid.
Once you have met the basic educational standards for your bachelor’s degree, you will be qualified to sit for the CPA examination. This test is designed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is a standard test given in all 50 states. The AICPA test is considered one of the most difficult professional exam in the nation and candidates must often re-take at least one or more parts before passing all four portions. The four sections of the exam are:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)–Items test knowledge of the financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. You will be asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)–Tests your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing, and domestic standards too.
- Regulation (REG)–Your professional and legal duties are covered in this test.
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. Written communication skills are vital to complete much of the test.
AICPA Ethics Exam
After you have passed the uniform exam, there is one more test. Idaho requires that you take the AICPA’s self-study course Ethics exam. The course is administered electronically via a CD-ROM, available on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It is an 11-hour course and the CD includes practice questions for study and review. When you take the official test, you must pass with a grade of 90 percent.
The final hurdle to licensure is your up-to-date experience. Idaho requires that you complete 2,000 hours of verifiable work with a licensed CPA. You have a minimum time frame of 12 months for completion and a maximum time of 36 months to finish the required hours. You have 10 years after submitting your application to satisfy the experience standards.
Idaho is a growing state in which to practice accountancy. For more information, check the Idaho Board’s website at: Idaho State Board of Accountancy.
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