How to Become a Licensed CPA in New York

new-york-cpa-requirementsNew York requires the standard 150 college credits in order to get licensed, but candidates only to complete 120 semester hours in order to take the exam. Since these new rules were established in 2009, the state of New York decided to allow non-traditional accountants a way to sit for the exam.

If you have more than 15 years of experience, you can sit for the exam without meeting the education requirements. Pretty sweet, huh?

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

New York CPA Exam Requirements

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

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Not Required to be a US citizen
  • Not Required to be a NY resident
  • Valid Social Security Number Required
  • NY does participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

New York requires you to complete a bachelor’s degree with at least 120 credit hours before you can take the CPA exam. These 120 hours must be broken up into certain categories. Let’s take a look at what classes you will need to take in order to sit for the exam:

Bachelor’s Degree or higher (at least 120 semester hours) including coursework in the following areas:

  • 30 credit hours of upper level Accounting including auditing, financial and managerial accounting, and taxation
    • Auditing
    • Financial accounting
    • Managerial accounting
    • Taxation
  • No requirement for general business classes

New York allows accredited universities to offer courses for the CPA exam for college credit to CPA candidates, so students can take a college course to prepare for the CPA exam and earn credit towards their degree and their overall 150-credit qualification.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are a non-traditional accountant who wants to sit for the exam but never went to college, you still can. It might be a long shot, but you can take the CPA exam without a degree once you have at least 15 years of accounting experience.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in New York is $855.08 including an initial one-time $126 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 CPA exam cost depends on how many exams you plan to take a once. Keep in mind, the CPA exam requirements don’t make you sit for more than one exam in any single testing window.

IMPORTANT – Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. Your notice to schedule (NTS) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bad part is you will have to pay again in order to register. Also important to note, all registrations fees in New York are completely non-refundable.

Re-registration application fees are $56 and varied depending on how many you register for, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

Registration Fees

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 $56.00
  • 2 sections $71.00
  • 3 sections $86.00
  • 4 sections $101.00

CPA License Requirements

The CPA exam process can be overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t been through it before. It’s okay! You will make it. Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in NY. It’s kind of like a right of passage. We have all done it and know what you are going through.

After you pass the exam, you will have to do a few simple things before you can legally 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 $375 license/certification fees with your application.

Ethics Exam

No Ethics exam is required.

Additional Education

NY provides a few different ways to get your 30 hours of additional education in order to get licensed. You can:

Complete a bachelor’s degree with 30 extra credits and must include:

33 credit hours of General Accounting studies


35 credit hours of General Business courses


Complete a graduate degree in Accounting


Complete a 150 semester hour Accounting program designed to meet the state requirements and approved by the NYSED. It might be a good idea to check with your university and the state board to make sure your program meets the minimum CPA requirements.

Work Experience Requirements

New York’s one-year work requirement is the same as most of other states. Here’s what you need to do:

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting and auditing skills in Public Accounting or Private Industry supervised and verified by a CPA in good standing.

You can also complete your work experience by working in a Governmental office performing accounting services or teaching at the college level.

More New York CPA Exam Resources

The entire process from gathering your paperwork, applying to sit, studying, and sitting for the exam is pretty involved. I know. Just remember that we all have been through the same thing. I know exactly how you feel.

It can be even worse if you transferred to multiple colleges during your academic career. Most applicants don’t think about. Yes, the New York state board needs proof of all of your education. You will have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. Sometimes this can be difficult and time-consuming depending on your colleges.

Contacting the state board during the application process is always a good idea. You can find out what they have on file and what they need to approve your application. Nothing is worse than finding out they need something after the fact.

Many times, states don’t receive test scores from Prometrics. Things can get lost or forgotten about. It happens. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice! Directly contacting the board is the fastest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

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