Texas CPA License Requirements and Exams

Texas requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. The state does not have a minimum age requirement, require that individuals be a U.S. citizen or a resident of Texas. However, applicants must have a valid Social Security number. Individuals that meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.

Step 1: CPA exam in Texas

Sitting for the CPA exam in Texas requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree and have 150 hours of education, which includes coursework in accounting and related courses. Applicants are also required to submit a passport photo taken within the past six months and a certified or notarized copy of a Social Security card, passport or government-issued ID.

Education requirements in Texas

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university recognized by the board and have 150 hours.

The coursework includes:

  • 30 upper-division semester hours in accounting above the principles level
  • 24 upper-division hours of related business courses, including the following:
    • 2 semester hours of accounting or tax research and analysis
    • 2 semester hours of accounting or business communications
    • 3 hours of a state-approved ethics course

Application and test fees in Texas

The Texas State Board of Accountancy administers the exam. Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to TSBA, showing proof of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and the required 150 education hours.

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 90 days, after which candidates must submit a new application. The exam is available the first two months of each calendar quarter.

State law requires that first-time applicants submit a $50 application fee. Those who are retaking the exam are also required to pay the $50 fee.

The Uniform CPA Examination comprises four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation
  • 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.

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 license in Texas

After successfully passing all four sections of the exam, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Texas. Applicants must submit a licensure application in Texas along with a $200 application fee and a $10 annual fee for the benefit of the Scholarship Trust Fund for Fifth-year Accounting Students. Applicants are also required to take an oath of office.

Ethics exam

In addition to passing the CPA exam, applicants must take and pass the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct exam with a grade of 85 percent or higher.

Work experience in Texas

One year of work experience is required, which is defined as diversified non-routine accounting gained through client practice of public accountancy, industry, government, law firm, education or internship. Self-employment is not acceptable unless approved by the board.

Out-of-state CPA licenses

Texas allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state as long as the issuing state has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s Qualification Appraisal. Applicants must also pass the ethics exam. Texas also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they meet the requirements of Texas’ State Board of Public Accountancy and pay a processing fee of $250.

Disclaimer: Requirements for Texas 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 Texas’ CPA requirements.

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