Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) must meet the three Es in order to qualify for a CPA certificate and license (i.e., permit to practice) to practice public accounting. The three Es are Education, Examination, and Experience.
Each CPA candidate must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. While the exam is the same no matter where it's taken, every state/jurisdiction has its own set of education and experience requirements that individuals must meet. The uniform CPA Exam tests a candidate’s skills in financial, cost, auditing, business law, taxation, and governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Wilson College provides the course material necessary for the candidate to acquire these skills in order to pass the examination as well as to meet the Education requirements of the individual states/jurisdictions.
Once certified, a CPA is generally required to have 80 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every two years. This ensures that CPA’s stay abreast of recent developments in the accounting world.
Most states and jurisdictions require a candidate to have 150 credit hours at the college level and to have 36 credit hours in of accounting, and related courses to become a CPA. In Pennsylvania, a candidate must have 150 credit hours with 36 credit hours in accounting and related courses to become a CPA, but only needs 120 credit hours with 24 credit hours in accounting and related courses to sit for or take the CPA exam.
For the most up to date information on the CPA exam, visit the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Links are provided to the various state/jurisdiction Associations of Certified Public Accountants, as well as to the state/jurisdictional Boards of Accountancy.