All CPA candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination to qualify for a CPA certificate and license (i.e., permit to practice) to practice public accounting. While the exam is the same no matter where it's taken, every state/jurisdiction has its own set of education and experience requirements that individuals must meet.
Education and Experience
Most states/jurisdictions require at least a bachelor's degree to be eligible to become a CPA. Learn more about educational requirements.
As for experience, most states/jurisdictions require at least two years public accounting experience.
Many states/jurisdictions also accept non-public accounting experience (e.g., industry, government), although the number of years deemed acceptable are typically higher than for public accounting. In addition, some states/jurisdictions have a one-tier system, whereby candidates must pass the CPA exam and fulfill the experience requirements to obtain both the certificate and license.
Others have a two-tier system in which you can obtain the certificate upon passing the exam, then must fulfill the experience requirements to obtain the license to practice in public accounting. Because so many factors determine whether a state/jurisdiction is considered one- or two-tier, it is recommended that you contact your state board for interpretation.
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