In the state of Florida, you only need finish your bachelor’s degree with at least 120 credit hours in order to sit for the exam. Although FL does require the full 150 college credits to obtain your CPA license, you don’t need to meet this in order to sit for the exam. The rest of the Florida rules are pretty standard.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
Florida CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Florida, 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 FL resident
- Valid Social Security Number required
- FL does participate in the International Examination Program
Educational Requirements to Sit
Florida’s educational requirements are based around graduating with at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school that meets the course work eligibility. Here’s what you will need.
Bachelor’s Degree (120 credit hours) including the following:
- 24 credit hours in upper-level Accounting classes including financial accounting, auditing, and taxation.
- 24 credit hours in upper-level general business courses including:
- 6 credit hours of business law courses that cover the uniform commercial code
Note that these must be upper level classes. Lower level 100 and 200 level courses will not meet these requirements even if they were taken at the graduate level. Additional requirements to meet the 150 hours can be fulfilled after you have taken and passed the exam.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in Florida is $779.08 including an initial one-time $50 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 $60 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 $60.00
- 2 sections $75.00
- 3 sections $90.00
- 4 sections $105.00
CPA License Requirements
Taking the exam is only the first step in becoming a CPA in the state of Florida. After you sit for the big test, 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
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 applicable license fees with your application.
No Ethics Exam requirement
150 credit hours must be completed including:
- 36 credit hours of upper level Accounting courses
- 39 credit hours of upper level General Business courses
If the 150 limit isn’t met within two years of passing the CPA exam, you will also have to attend 40 hours of CPE classes for each year or 80 hours in total.
Work Experience Requirements
Florida is pretty loose when it comes to their work requirements. Any volunteer work done before or after passing the exam can count toward this limit as long as it is verified or written off by a current CPA. The general requirements are as follows:
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. Since you have to show proof of your education, 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, sometimes your test scores aren’t received by the state even if you requested a copy be sent to them in your exam application process. It’s a good idea to contact them directly to confirm they have everything they need.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- Division of Certified Public Accounting
- 240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
- Gainesville, FL 32607
- Phone: 850-487-1395
- Fax: 352-333-2508
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.