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MISSOURI CPA EXAM & LICENSE REQUIREMENTS 2023
Missouri has a rigorous set of standards for its top accountants Learn what they are.
Accounting is as old as civilization itself. Mathematics grew up in the marketplace where there was the need to describe weights, measures and prices. In contemporary life, we have the same needs, though we also have access to many software packages, and calculators are a way of life. Through it all, the demand for accountants continues to grow. That demand is especially high for those who hold the profession’s highest credential, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license from one of the 50 states. If you are already in the field, or want to become an accountant, keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in Missouri.
Missouri has a rigorous set of standards for its top accountants. It asks that all applicants meet specific academic criteria, pass all four parts of the CPA exam, pass an Ethics exam and then satisfy the experience requirement. Most states have similar general requirements, but there are particular details that make Missouri’s path to the CPA license unique. For starters, you must be a state resident, over 21 and have a Social Security number. You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen to become a CPA in Missouri, however.
To satisfy the residency requirement, you should meet one of these criteria:
- Maintain a permanent residence in Missouri
- Work in the state on a regular basis
- Own a business in the state
To satisfy the education requirement for licensing and for taking the CPA exam, you will need 150 semester hours that include a concentration in accounting. The minimum requirement is for an undergraduate degree, which can often be accomplished with 120 credit hours. It is a good idea that you pursue the remaining 30 hours in a graduate program, where you continue to focus on accounting.
Missouri’s academic standards state that you have 33 credit hours in accounting, with a minimum of 18 hours in upper-level courses. Consider focusing on the following courses:
- Theories of Accounting
- Cost Accounting
- Not-for-profit Accounting
- Government Accounting
- Financial Reporting
You will also need 27 semester hours studying general business topics, such as the following:
- Business Law
- Accounting Law
- Business Communications
- Macro and/or Micro Economics
You must have accumulated all of your credits from regionally accredited colleges or universities. If you are unsure of your college’s accreditation, discuss this with your advisor, who should be able to assure you that your transcripts will satisfy the Missouri Board of Accountancy.
When you are within 60 days of completing the full 150 hours and you feel ready to sit for the CPA exam, you will need to send all of your transcripts to the CPA Examination Services. Note that even if you took a single class at a community college or other university, you will need to send transcripts from that institution. Have the original, sealed transcripts sent to:
CPA Examination Services – MO
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219
When you have satisfied Missouri’s requirements to sit for the CPA exam, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS.) From the date you receive the NTS, you have six months to schedule and sit for at least one portion of the 4-part test. You can schedule the test at any Prometric location. There are locations in the following Missouri cities:
- Jefferson City
- St. Louis
- Lees Summit
- Kansas City
The test itself is very difficult and can be taken over 18 months, though you can opt to take each of the four parts in rapid succession. The exam sections include the following:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting–This section covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
- Auditing and Attestation–This part is a test of your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing as well as U.S. standards.
- Regulation–Your ethical, professional and legal responsibilities are covered in this test.
- Business Environment and Concepts–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. You will need to use your best written skills to complete this section successfully.
After you have passed the rigorous CPA exam, you will have one more exam before you can proceed. The state requires a Board-approved Ethics exam. You can order a self-study ethics course from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that will come on a CD-ROM. The CD includes practice items and will take 11 hours to complete. The test itself is open-book and you will need to pass with a score of 90 or above.
Finally, you will need experience to complete your CPA license application. Your university accounting program can likely help you find a satisfactory position with an accounting firm. The state asks that you complete 2,000 hours of experience in a time frame encompassing no less than one year and no more than three. Make sure that you keep track of your hours and cover some of these areas in your work:
- Management Advisory
- Financial Advisory
- Budgeting or Auditing
Both you and your supervising CPA will need to complete a portion of your application that covers your work experience.
Job prospects for CPAs continue to look good, and Missouri is no exception. To learn more about your path to licensure, please visit the website for the state Board: Missouri Board of Accountancy.