CPA Exam Cost & License Fees

How Much Does the CPA Cost? See CPA Exam and License Fees Breakdown

Today we’ll go through how much it costs to become a CPA in the US. Overview of the CPA licensing process The US CPA licensing process is quite complicated because each state is responsible for granting the license covering its jurisdiction. Each of them has a State Board of Accountancy, and they may have slightly different exam requirements and fees. Most state boards outsource the administration of exam fees to NASBA, which is the national association of the state boards. Mandatory fees To register for the CPA exam, you’ll need to pay the exam fee and registration fee. This is the absolute minimum level of investment you need to make for the CPA designation. First, exam fees The fee to take the Uniform CPA exam is the same for all candidates.

There are 4 parts of the exam. Before the new exam format in 2017, the two longer parts, that is, FAR and AUD, cost 192 dollars each. The shorter parts, that is, REG and BEC, cost 172 dollars each. Since the new format kicks in, all exam sections are 4 hours long, and therefore they all cost the same at $192 each. The total exam fee for the 4 parts is around $770. You can register each part individually or in one go. Second, registration fee The registration fee is determined by the state board, and it varies from 30 dollars to a couple of hundreds of dollars. There may be discounts if you register several parts at the same time. As a general rule, you can expect to spend $1,000 on exam and registration. Optional fees By optional, it means that you can take the exam without getting these products and services. However, most candidates take them to increase their chance of success. First, CPA review course I actually consider this investment a must to pass the exam, but you don’t need to get the most expensive option. There are lots of choices in the market, from free practice questions to fully integrated review courses costing more than $3,000.

I generally recommend something in between for the best value of money. Second, travel and accommodation Depending how close you live from the exam testing centre, the travelling expense can vary from virtually nothing if you live in the same city, to thousands of dollars if you have to travel to another country for this exam. Third, the CPA ethics exam fee Once you pass the exam, you may need to take the CPA Ethics Exam. It is a self-study, open-book test costing around $130, but is not required by all state boards. Ongoing Fees First, licensing fee After fulfilling the working experience requirements, you become a CPA and starts paying annual licensing fees. It varies by state, from around 30 dollars to a hundred dollars. Second, CPE courses You’ll need to fulfil a certain number of CPE hours to keep your license active. It isn’t a large sum, but it has to do every year.

Extra Cost for International Candidates If you obtain education outside of the US, you need to request a foreign credential evaluation report. This report is meant to make your transcript US equivalent, so that the state board can understand the courses you have taken, in order to determine whether you are eligible for the exam. Almost all states outsource this task to third-party evaluation agencies, and the report costs 100 dollars to 300 dollars plus depending on the service and turnaround time. For candidates living and working outside of the US, you need to travel to the US to sit for the exam. This cost must be included in your budget if it involves long-distance travel and hotel accommodation. Here is a summary of CPA exam-related expenses for your reference.