Road to the CPA
What is a CPA and how do you earn the designation? What is the application and exam process? Get answers to your big questions in this toolkit.
If you're studying accounting, there are are resources to help you on the road to your CPA.
The CPA exam consists of four exams:
- Audit & Attestation (AUD) – Four hours
- Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) – Four hours
- Business Environments & Concepts (BEC) – Four hours
- Regulation (REG) – Four hours
75% or higher is needed to earn a passing grade on any given section of the CPA exam. You have 18 months from the day you pass your first exam section to successfully pass the other three sections; otherwise, you will lose the oldest score.
Arizona requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, college or university. The transcript must include 24 non-duplicative semester hours of accounting – including at least 12 non-duplicative hours of upper-level coursework – and 18 semester hours of related courses.
Related courses include business administration, statistics, computer science, information systems or data processing, economics, finance, management, business law, college algebra or more advanced mathematics, advanced written communication, advanced oral communication, general ethics, marketing and other courses closely related to the subject of accounting and satisfactory to the Board.
You must have a minimum of 150 semester hours from an accredited institution, college or university. Of the 150 semester hours, you must have 36 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting courses – of which 30 semester hours must be upper level – and 30 semester hours of related courses.
Related courses include business administration, statistics, computer science, information systems or data processing, economics, finance, management, business law, college algebra or more advanced mathematics, advanced written communication, advanced oral communication, general ethics, marketing and other courses that are closely related to the subject of accounting that is satisfactory to the Board.
You will need to work 2,000 hours of paid or unpaid experience under the guidance of a CPA – or an individual who has the education and experience equivalent to a CPA (like a CFO or tax accountant) – that exposes you to experience in the practice of accounting.
Yes; individuals applying for CPA licensure must complete the AICPA's Professional Ethics For CPAs Self-Study Course and Examination. A score of 90% or better is required for certification in the state of Arizona. Ethics exam scores cannot be older than two years upon submission to the Board. The ethics exam is taken online. You may purchase the ethics exam from the Arizona Society of CPAs.Order an ethics exam.
Once you have fulfilled the qualification components, you must submit an application packet to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy. Your packet will be reviewed to determine if you meet the requirements for CPA certification. Remember to:
- Evaluate unofficial college transcripts for duplicate courses. Remember: all transcripts must be sealed.
- Do not submit incomplete forms! Doing so will delay the process.
- Board staff cannot review official transcripts or certificates of experience before receipt of the application.
- Board staff can answer general questions about statutes and rules.
No. The licensing authority and requirements for CPAs fall under the jurisdiction of the state regulatory agency, the Arizona State Board of Accountancy. The Arizona Society of CPAs is a voluntary membership organization that advocates for the CPA profession, provides community and maximizes our members' growth.
Get more Information about your license.