How to Become a Licensed CPA in Colorado

Colorado is a great state to take the exam and get licensed. They have some of the most reasonable education requirements and even allow you to waive work experience requirements based on overall education. Unlike most states, Colorado has opted not to require 150 credit hours for licensure. This means candidates can become licensed sooner and start their careers faster!

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

Colorado CPA Exam Requirements

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

  • No minimum age limit
  • Not required to be a US citizen
  • Not required to be a CO resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • CO does participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

Currently Colorado does not require applicants to have 150 credit hours in order to sit for the exam. Candidates do have to complete their bachelor’s degree before taking the exam. Here’s what you need.

Bachelor’s Degree including the following:

    • 27 credit hours in upper-level Accounting classes including:
      • 6 credit hours of Auditing included:
        • 3 hours of Generally Accepted Auditing Standards training
      • 3 credit hours of Accounting and professional ethics


  • 21 credit hours of general Business classes like Economics, Management, and Marketing

These are the current requirements to sit for the exam and are not set to change. The licensure educational requires are set to change in July 2014 however.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Colorado is $879.08 including an initial one-time $150 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 $50 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.

CPA License Requirements

IMPORTANT NOTE – Colorado changed its educational requirements to become certified. Starting in July 2015, you must complete 150 college credit hours in order to get your license. Keep this in mind if you are trying to get your license before this deadline.

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

After July 1, 2015, 150 credit hours must be completed.

Work Experience Requirements

Unlike most states, Colorado allows candidates to waive the work experience requirements if they meet additional education requirements. To waive the work experience, you’ll need to complete:

Bachelor’s Degree

30 additional credit hours of non-duplicative courses including 45 hours of accounting and 6 hours of auditing.

If you opt out of the additional education, you’ll be required to complete:

1-year of experience in Public Accounting, Private Industry, or Governmental Accounting supervised by a current CPA

More Exam Resources and Information

The entire process of applying, taking the exam, and sending your paperwork can be quite an involved, especially if you attended more than one college. Before you can sit for the exam, you’ll have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. This can be a pain.

A lot of times it’s easier to contact the state board directly to see what they already have on file and what they need to complete your application. 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.

Colorado State Board of Accountancy

Colorado CPA Application Forms

    • 1560 Broadway Suite 1350
    • Denver, CO 80202


  • Phone: 303-894-7800
  • Fax: 303-894-7692


Colorado Society of CPAs

NASBA – Colorado