You need to pass an examination in accounting and other related subjects that is satisfactory to the AICPA Board of Directors. The Board has designated this as the Uniform CPA Examination. There are certain requirements regarding education to note:
- Candidates who first become eligible to take this exam beginning January 1, 2013 must have obtained 150 semester hours of education at an accredited college or university, including a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, to qualify for AICPA regular membership.
- Beginning January 1, 2013, a person who passed the exam before that date and possesses a valid CPA certificate but who did not obtain 150 semester hours of education (including a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent) shall be eligible for membership if the state that first granted the person’s certificate has enacted the 150 semester hours of education requirement.
Continuing Professional Education
From January 1, 2001, forward and for each three-year reporting period thereafter, you agree to complete 120 hours, or its equivalent, of continuing professional education.
- Compliance can be achieved either by a formal program of education or by any other means, however measured, that would be reasonably expected to maintain professional competencies in the member's area of practice or employment.
- Members shall report compliance with such requirement to the AICPA each year and shall keep appropriate records and submit copies of such on request of the Institute.
- Retired, unemployed and members who have temporarily left the workplace are exempt from CPE.
- Members who place their licenses/certificate on inactive status with their state board of accountancy AND do not hold themselves out as CPAs are exempt from the AICPA's CPE requirement as long as their state board does not require CPE while on inactive status.
If you are in public practice, and you or your firm perform accounting services that fall within the scope of AICPA's practice-monitoring standards (most accounting and auditing services), your firm (or you, individually, if your firm is not eligible to enroll) must be enrolled in the AICPA Peer Review Program. Caution – if you are not employed by or are not associated with a firm that performs these services and you perform a single engagement or service, you must enroll in the AICPA Peer Review Program.