This is the CPA exam registration process. Ever wondered what it took to become eligible for the CPA Exam? This article will comprehensively explore every tenet of the CPA exam application process.
The CPA exam can be quite challenging to understand its many lengthy processes which as state specific. There are a lot of complicated steps that must be carefully addressed else; your application may get rejected. This can be quite a problem as you will pay a whole lot regarding extra costs or be setback towards achieving your goals by a couple of months.
What is the CPA Exam?
The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination also is known as the CPA Exam is administered to all individuals who have desires for U.S. Certified Public Accountants. The CPA Exam is utilized by various regulatory bodies within all fifty states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
It is maintained and scored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), but the test is given through the Prometric test centres in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
This article will help demystify the CPA exam registration process in simple steps; you can approach your exam in smiles and ease.
Related: ICAN Registration process
It is important, you understand before reading this article that every state as a specific array of steps specific to it and therefore this article embodies a generalized format. This means that what you will find here is common to all states, but you should check out the CPA requirements state by state for finality.
CPA Exam Registration Process – What you must know
1. Confirm Eligibility
The first step before you begin your CPA application is to ensure that you are eligible for it. This is an important step and you must take it very seriously.
Each state has placed varying degrees of educational requirements, but for most states, one requirement stands out. You must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or Business with specific coursework and credit hour requirements to begin. Therefore, you should check with your state board to ensure that you meet the required list of state requirements.
2. Send All Official Transcripts to Your State Board
The next step involves sending all your official transcripts including Junior colleges, universities as well as community colleges to your state board. Ensure you post all of them even certain institutions where you attended for only a semester. It is an excellent strategy to send all of these. The state board will receive them and keep them on file in anticipation for your CPA application.
3. Submit CPA Exam Application and Fees
And now, you are ready to fill for the actual CPA exam registration or application. This actually constitutes a very small form which asks a lot of personal and educational questions. Fill this correctly; take your time to do so. Having done that, you will have to send it with the CPA application fee. This amount hovers around $150 but is slightly different for a lot of states. Therefore check out your CPA state requirements for the right fee. Once done, you can now wait for the ATT.
4. Review and ATT access
After the State Board has reviewed your application and approved it, They will issue you an authorization to test, otherwise called the ATT. This document gives you access to sign up for the CPA examination section within your state. It is necessary that you sign up for this within the next 90 days of receiving it or else your application fee becomes null and void (and of course lost).
When the CPA exam registration is still ongoing, it is essential you pick to sign up only a certain amount of sections as you can take within the next six months. But before you do that, select the section you wish to begin with and then log into your NASBA account. Here you will have to pay your exam section fees. This off course is different for each state but range from $180 to about $250 per section.
Do not in any way sign up for too many sections if your time limit (granted by the NTS) for exams within the application fee you paid is six months. If it exceeds six months, then you may lose your payments and you will have to start anew.
Note: you can only register and make your applications for the CPA exam, one state at a time.
So you can, for example, pick four sections now just to be safe. Once you have paid the fees for each section, you will be required to wait for about 3 to 6 weeks to get the NT
5. Acquire Your Notice to Schedule (NTS)
After the CPA exam registration is successful, your NTS will be mailed to you within the next 3 to 6 weeks from your application. This is an important document that must handle with care. It is a legal document that permits you to sit for a particular section and for the CPA exam you stated.
This document is necessary to log into the Prometric website to schedule your CPA exam date. As said earlier, the NTS is only valid for Six months or less (or more). However, you should know that the NTS time limit is different for many states.
- Texans you must take note that, you have only 90 days from application date, so taking four sections at a time might not exactly be right for you.
- States like California, HI, Los Angeles, and UT give about nine months
- ND, SD, and VA give up to 12 months. Therefore pay only for sections you can comfortably sit for, else your entire plan is fruitless!
6. Schedule Your CPA Exam With Prometric Website
Now, you have the NTS for each exam section; it is time to schedule your tests. To do this, you will have to log on to the Prometric Testing centre website to schedule your CPA Exam date.
To do this, you will require the section ID contained on your NTS as well as the location of the testing centre you wish to take to the exam at. When in doubt about locations, use the Prometric Testing website to check and schedule your exams.
However, you should know that testing centres are not the same in size and therefore the smaller ones may fill up faster. Therefore, we advise that when you want specific dates, you should schedule early. But remember, ensure that the early date is something you can meet comfortably, you would not want to pay high rescheduling fees when you can’t make the date you signed for.
To ensure that you adequately prepare for your CPA exams, it is advisable that you schedule each exam, one month apart.
Note: When applying for the CPA exam registration, you can schedule the exam through the Prometric website even when the exam section you wish for is not available in your state.
7. Get to the venue and Sit for the CPA exam
It is frowned upon that you get lost within the testing centre on the day of your exam because you do not know the way to room where you will be taking the test in the Prometric Building. Therefore we advise that you take a hike the previous day and understand the layout of the building.
On the exam day, get to the venue at least an hour before your scheduled exam time. Kindly remember to bring your NTS and two valid forms of IDs when coming.
Remember, your names on both IDs must match in the same format and identically as the ones you filled on the NTS. All three documents must be accurate else; you will be turned away from the exam venue.
Related: ACCA Registration And Requirements
You must follow the steps presented in this article to the later. Do not overlook or underestimate any section. If you must succeed, it is advisable that you follow through this CPA exam registration process judiciously.
If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask questions through the comment box below.