California CPA Requirements

The CPA designation is the gold standard in the accounting industry. Earning your CPA can accelerate your career, lead to promotions, and an increase in salary. The CPA is one of the hardest designations for professionals to earn because of the content on the exam and the number of CPA requirements in California that need to be met to take the exam. For help preparing for the CPA exam, check out our best CPA review courses.

Every state in the United States has their own set of requirements for candidates before they can take the CPA exam. If you are wanting to take the CPA exam in the state of California, consider the following requirements and see if you meet all the standards to take the CPA exam.

California CPA Contact Information

Earning your CPA designations is a very rewarding experience. The process will be very long and stressful, but will be worth it in the long-run. Candidates who will be taking the CPA exam in California should verify they meet all the requirements with the California State Board of Accountancy to check for any fee, rules, or general requirement changes.

California Board of Accountancy

  • 2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300 Sacramento, CA 95833-3291
  • 916-263-3680

Visit California Board of Accountancy

CPA Requirements CA

Degree and Education Requirements in California

Baccalaureate degrees are required for all CPA candidates in the state of California. Candidates must also complete 150 credit hours in addition to earning their baccalaureate degree. Most colleges and universities award baccalaureate degrees after students complete 120 credit hours - this means those who wish to sit for the CPA must complete an extra 30 credit hours to be eligible for the CPA exam.

Along with candidates needing to achieve a total number of credit hours, candidates in California are also required to have 24 credit hours in accounting classes and 24 credit hours in business or other related courses. Candidates that chose to be accounting majors should have no problem meeting these requirements.

Degree and Education Requirements in California

  • Bacclaureate Degree Required
  • 150 Total Credit Hours
  • 24 Credit Hours in Accounting Classes
  • 24 Credit Hours in Business Related Classes

Residency and Age Requirements in California

Candidates who wish to take the CPA in the state of California do not have to be United States citizens. As well as not having to be a U.S. citizen, candidates do not have to be a California resident either. The state of California does not have a minimum age requirement to sit for the CPA, so if you meet all the other requirements, you can take the CPA at whatever age you desire.

Residency and Age Requirements in California

  • U.S. Citizenshp Not Required
  • Residency in the State of California Not Required
  • No Age Requirements

CPA Fees in California

The CPA is a relatively expensive exam to take, so it is important to prepare and be ready the first time. The state of California charges an application fee of $100. Each test section on the CPA costs $208.40 in California.

Candidates who wish to take the whole CPA exam in California will have to pay a total of $933.60. Candidates who need to retake portions of their CPA exam will have their registration fee adjusted accordingly.

CPA FEES in California

  • Application Fee- $100
  • Audit - $208.40
  • Financial - $208.40
  • Regulation - $208.40
  • Business - $208.40
  • Total - $933.60

CPA License Requirements in California

Once a candidate earns their CPA, they must also meet some requirements to maintain their CPA designation. California requires CPA holders to pass the AICPA Ethics Exam, have a social security number, and complete continuing education hours. On top of those requirements, CPA holders also need to have work experience.

CPE in California - Continuing Education

CPE, also known as continuing professional education, is needed for candidates to continue holding their CPA designation. California requires their CPA holders to complete 80 CPE hours. CPE hours are required so that individuals can continue to improve their skills and learn new skills. CPA holders need to renew their CPE hours every 2 years in California.

The accounting world is always changing with new rules and regulations being implemented so CPE hours have become a requirement in most states. Candidates can complete their CPE requirements in various ways and are usually required to complete the hours based on various subjects. For more information, click here.

California CPA Experience Requirements

California requires candidates to have experience before they can issue the license. Usually this experience includes providing any type of service that uses accounting, compilation, advisory, tax, or consulting.

Note – work experience is not required to sit for the CPA exam, only to have the state issue your CPA license.

Other Requirements in California

Another box that must be checked when earning your CPA in the state of California includes passing the AICPA Ethics exam. The AICPA Ethics exam is designed by the AICPA and is used to prepare CPA candidates for ethical problems they may encounter in their professional accounting careers. California also requires candidates to have a social security number.

  • CPE Hours

  • 80 Total CPE Hours Required
  • Renewal Every 2 Years
  • Work Experience

  • Work Experience Required
  • Accounting, Compilation, Advisory, Tax, or Consulting
  • Other Requirements

  • Social Security Number Required
  • Passing of the AICPA Ethics Exam

Additional Links and Resources

For more information on the CPA exam and requirements check out the following links. With the CPA exam being so expensive to take, make sure you pass it the first time – see our reviews for the top CPA review courses.

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