Unlike most states, Alaska actually lets you sit for the exam before you graduate with your accounting degree. In fact, you don’t even have to major in accounting to sit for the exam as long as you meet their public accounting work experience requirements. Alaska is a great state to sit for the exam because they have minimal rules, red tape, and requirements for initial applicants.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
Alaska CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Alaska, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.
- At least 19 years old
- Not required to be a US citizen
- Not required to be an AK resident
- Valid Social Security Number required
- AK does participate in the International Examination Program
- Have good, moral character
Educational Requirements to Sit
There are four different educational requirements that can be met to take the exam in Alaska. You can meet any ONE of these in order to qualify to sit:
1. Bachelor’s degree with Accounting concentration including:
- 24 credit hours in Accounting
- 3 credit hours in Business Law
- 3 credit hours in Economics
- 3 credit hours in college level math or computer science
2. Bachelor’s degree with Accounting concentration including a minimum:
- 15 credit hours in Accounting
3. Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in progress
If you are currently a college student, you can still take the exam. You must have completed:
- 15 credit hours of Accounting
- All but 18 credit hours required for you degree
4. Bachelor’s degree not in Accounting
If you don’t have an accounting degree, you can still take the exam. You just need to have completed one year of work experience working in public accounting while supervised by a CPA.
Keep in mind that Alaska does not accept graduate degrees in place of bachelor degrees. Before you can sit, you have to show proof of a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in Alaska is $894.08 including an initial one-time $165 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.
|AUD – Audit||$192.03|
|FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting||$192.03|
|BEC – Business Environment and Concepts||$172.51|
|REG – Regulation||$172.51|
The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.
IMPORTANT – Don’t go all out and register for all the sections at once. Your NIT or notice to sit is only valid for six months. After that, it will expire and you will have to re-register. Re-registration application fees are $65 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 is the breakdown for 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 $88.00
- 3 sections $104.50
- 4 sections $121.00
CPA License Requirements
Taking the exam is only the first step in becoming a CPA in the state of Alaska. After you sit for the big test, there are a few things administrative things you must do before you can truly call yourself a Certified Public Accountant.
Pass the Exam
You’ll 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.
The annual CPA permit is $50 and should be sent in with your initial license application and $220 one time certification fee.
Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam (found on the AICPA website)
If you didn’t complete your 150 credit hours of college courses, you will need to do so before you will be issued a license.
Work Experience Requirements
After completing the exam you must have 500 hours of attest experience by one of the following:
2-years of general accounting and auditing skills in Public Accounting supervised and verified by a CPA in good standing.
3-years in Private Industry or Governmental Accounting
More Exam Resources and Information
As you can see, this is kind of an involved process of sending all of your information to the state board, especially if you attended more than one college. Yes, you will have to send in transcripts from every college you attended during the application process.
It’s sometimes easiest to contact the state board directly to see what they need and what they already have on file. For example, they should already have your test scores if you requested a copy be sent to them in your exam application process.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- 550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 1500
- Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
- Phone: 907-269-8160
- Fax: 907-269-8156
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. Don’t 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.