How to Become a Licensed CPA in Arizona

Like many other states, Arizona allows you to sit for the CPA exam while you are a student as long as you are within 18 credit hours of graduation and the 150-semester hour requirement. Unlike many other states, your supervisor during your work experience requirement does not have to be a CPA. Volunteer or interim work can even count toward your work experience as long as certain guidelines are met.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.

Arizona CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Arizona, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Not required to be a US citizen
  • Not required to be an AZ resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • AZ does participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

Arizona does not require you to have 150 credit hours in order for you to sit for the exam, but you do need to meet this requirement to obtain a license. You may sit for the exam if you are 18 semester hours shy of a bachelor’s degree otherwise these are the requirements.

Bachelor’s Degree with 24 credit hours of accounting including:

  • 12 credit hours in Intermediate or Advanced Accounting
  • 18 credit hours in related business courses like Economics, Management, or Finance

Before you are certified, you must complete 36 credit hours in Accounting courses including 30 credit hours of upper level courses. You must also complete 30 credit hours of related business courses.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Arizona is $823.20 including an initial one-time $100 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $190.35
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $190.35
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $171.25
REG – Regulation $171.25


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 $50 for each section, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

CPA License Requirements

Taking the exam is only the first step in becoming a CPA in the state of Arizona. 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.


Pay the $100 certification fee when you send in your initial license application.

Ethics Exam

Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam (found on the AICPA website)

Additional Education

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

Like most states, Arizona requires a brief work experience requirement be met after passing the exam. You must have:

1-year in Public Accounting, Private Industry, or Governmental Accounting supervised by ether a CPA or adequate professional

In order to receive credit for a non-CPA supervisor, he must submit a resume and qualifications to the AZ state board for approval.

More Exam Resources and Information

As you can see, between applying, taking the exam, and sending your paperwork, it can be an involved, 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.

Arizona State Board of Accountancy

Arizona CPA Application Forms

    • 100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 165
    • Phoenix, AZ 85007


  • Phone: 602-364-0804
  • Fax: 602-364-0903


Arizona Society of CPAs

NASBA – Arizona