CPA License in Louisiana
Unlike many states, Louisiana has adopted a residency requirement; so you will need to be or become a LA resident before you can site for the exam. In fact, you must maintain a residency at least 120 days before your exam application. There is no residency rule like this for your license, however. Louisiana also has incorporated the 150-credit rule and requires all applicants to complete these courses before they take the exam.
Letís take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
Louisiana CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Louisiana, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.
- No minimum age
- Must be a US citizen
- Must be a LA resident
- Valid Social Security Number required
- LA does participate in the International Examination Program
Educational Requirements to Sit
Louisiana is one of the strict states that requires 150 semester hours be completed before you can take the test. Oddly enough, only an Associateís Degree is required in order to sit. You do however have to finish a Bachelorís Degree to obtain a license. Here what you need to sit.
Associates Degree or higher including:
- 24 Undergraduate credit hours in Accounting courses
- 21 Graduate credit hours in Accounting courses
- 24 credit hours in General Business courses including Management, Marketing, and Finance. This must also include 3 hours of Commercial Law or Business Law.
Even though an Associateís Degree is only required, people rarely do this because the full 150 hours usually add up to at least a Bachelorís degree. I would just aim for a BA in accounting, business, or finance.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in Louisiana is $859.08 including an initial one-time $130 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.
|AUD Ė Audit||$192.03|
|FAR Ė Financial Accounting and Reporting||$192.03|
|BEC Ė Business Environment and Concepts||$172.51|
|REG Ė Regulation||$172.51|
The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. Thatís why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.
IMPORTANT Ė Donít get crazy and register for all the sections immediately. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you donít take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bummer is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $64 for one section and vary depending on how many your sign up for at once, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.
Here are the registration fees you will have to pay. As you can see, registering more exams at once will save you some money.
- 1 section $65.00
- 2 sections $80.00
- 3 sections $95.00
- 4 sections $110.00
CPA License Requirements
You might be a little overwhelmed by the CPA exam process. Itís okay! You can make it. Registering for the test is only the first step in becoming a CPA in LA. After you pass the exam, there are a few administrative things you must do before you can truly call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.
Pass the Exam
Youíll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.
Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.
Pay the license/certification fees with your application.
No Ethics exam is required.
Since you must have 150 credit hours to take the exam initially, you donít have to take any additional classes as long as you have finished at least a bachelorís degree.
Work Experience Requirements
Louisianaís work experience rules are pretty standard. You must have:
1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting experience in Public Accounting, Governmental Accounting, Private Industry under the supervision of a current CPA
All 2,000 hours must be completed within 4 years of passing the exam. Full time or part time positions can be used to reach the minimum limit.
More Exam Resources and Information
The application process, taking the exam, and organizing your paperwork to be sent in can be quite an involved, especially if you attended more than one college. Yes, the Louisiana state board will need proof of your education, so youíll have to send in transcripts from every college youíve attended. This can be a pain. I know.
I think itís always a good idea to contact the state board directly to see what they already have on file and more importantly what they need to complete your application.
For example, sometimes the state doesnít receive your test scores from Prometrics. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. Itís important to contact them directly and confirm they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- 601 Poydras Street Suite 70130
- New Orleans, LA 70139
- Phone: 504-566-1244
- Fax: 504-566-1252
Time to Get Busy!
OK. So you have all the information to get signed up for the exam. Now you need to find a study guide that will work for you. Depending on how you learn, your overall time frame goals, and budget, picking the right CPA review course can be tricky. Donít waste any time though. Jump into it right away.
Generally, state boards take anywhere from one to three months to review and approve your application. You can spend this time to choose your first CPA exam section and study to pass the CPA exam your first try.