Connecticut requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. The state does not require that individuals be a U.S. citizen or a resident of Connecticut. However, applicants must have a valid Social Security number. There is no minimum age requirement to sit for the exam. Individuals who meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.
Step 1: CPA exam in Connecticut
Sitting for the CPA exam in Connecticut requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree, which includes coursework in accounting, business law, economics and finance courses.
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. An advanced degree qualifies in lieu of a bachelor’s degree if the proper coursework is satisfied.
The coursework includes:
- 24 semester hours in accounting
- 1 business law course
- 1 economics course
- 1 finance course
Application and test fees
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) administers the exam. Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to NASBA, showing proof of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school.
The process to apply for the CPA exam starts with requesting and receiving authorization to take the test, followed by acknowledgement from the state and official notice to schedule (NTS) the exam. Once this process is completed, applicants can select a date to take the CPA exam. The NTS expires in six months, after which candidates must submit a new application. The examination is available in the first two months of each calendar quarter.
State law requires that first-time applicants submit a $135 application fee plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay a registration fee and exam fees. Registration fees are $105 for four sections, $90 for three sections, $75 for two sections and $60 for one section.
The Uniform CPA Examination comprises four sections:
- Auditing and Attestation
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Business Environment and Concepts
Each section of the exam has a specified administration fee. Applicants may take one or more of the four required sections at a time. In addition to the administration fee for each section, CPA exam applicants are charged a separate fee for each testing session they take.
In addition to the state’s application fee, there are substantial administrative costs that must be paid in advance to the NASBA.
Taking, passing and retaking the CPA exam
The passing score for each of the four exam sections is 75. Applicants may take the sections individually and in any order, but are required to pass all four within a rolling 18-month period, which begins on the date the first examination section passed was taken.
Credit for any section passed shall be valid for 18 months from the actual date the examination section was taken. Examination credits expire by section, and applicants will lose credit for each section passed outside of the 18-month period.
Step 2: CPA certificate and license in Connecticut
Connecticut is a two-tier state that provides a certificate first and then CPA licensing after work experience is completed. After successfully passing the CPA exam, the ethics exam and completing 150 hours of education, applicants may apply for a certified public accountancy certificate in Connecticut. Applicants must submit a certificate application to Connecticut along with a $150 certificate fee. Applicants may instead choose to apply for a certificate and license at the same time after they have completed all work experience. The application options are as follows:
- CPA Certificate: Applicable to those who do not intend to work for a public accountancy firm or use the CPA credentials.
- CPA Certificate and CPA License: Applicants can apply for both the certificate and license simultaneously, which allows them to use the term CPA and work in a public accountancy firm.
Education requirements for Connecticut CPA certificate and license
In addition to the education requirements for sitting for the CPA exam, applicants must complete the following coursework for a total of 150 hours:
- 36 hours in accounting
- 30 hours in economics and business administration
- 60 hours in general education
- 24 hours in any credited subject
Work experience in Connecticut
Connecticut requires two years of work experience gained through employment in public practice, government, industry or internship to become licensed. All work must be obtained under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
In addition to passing the CPA exam, applicants must take and pass the AICPA Ethics Examination. Official verification, mailed directly from the AICPA, showing that the applicant passed the exam with a score of 90 or higher is required.
Out-of-state CPA licenses
Connecticut allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state. An individual from a non-substantial equivalency state who holds a valid license as a CPA and has obtained NASBA’s National Qualification Appraisal Service verification that his or her qualifications are substantially equivalent may practice in Connecticut.
Connecticut does not recognize individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure. Foreign CPAs must obtain a Connecticut license if they wish to practice in the state.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Connecticut CPA test-takers and license applicants are subject to change. Visit the state’s Board of Public Accountancy website to check for recent revisions to Connecticut’s CPA requirements.
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