Utah CPA License Requirements and Exams

Utah requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. There is no minimum age requirement, and applicants are not required to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of Utah. However, applicants are required to have a valid Social Security number. Individuals who meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.

Step 1: CPA exam in Utah

Sitting for the CPA exam in Utah requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, which includes coursework in accounting and general business courses.

Education requirements

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and have obtained 135 hours of credit. An advanced degree qualifies in lieu of a bachelor’s degree if the proper coursework is satisfied.

The coursework includes:

  • A graduate degree in accounting
  • A graduate degree in taxation or a Master of Business Administration degree, which includes:
    • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in upper-division accounting courses, or 15 semester hours (23 quarter hours) in graduate-level accounting courses, including:
      • financial accounting
      • auditing
      • taxation
      • management accounting
    • or an equivalent combination of graduate and upper-division accounting courses
  • A bachelor’s degree in business or accounting and 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) beyond the requirements for a bachelor’s degree, including:
    • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in upper-division or graduate-level accounting courses that have at least one course covering each of the following::
      • financial accounting
      • auditing
      • taxation
      • management accounting
    • 12 semester hours (18 quarter hours) in upper-division non-accounting business courses
    • 12 semester hours (18 quarter hours) in graduate-level business or accounting courses
    • 10 semester hours (15 quarter hours) of either graduate or upper-division accounting or business courses
  • A bachelor’s or graduate degree, including:
    • 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) in business or related courses providing a minimum of 2 semester hours (3 quarter hours) in each of the following:
      • business law
      • computers
      • economics
      • ethics
      • finance
      • statistics and quantitative methods
      • written and oral communications
      • business administration such as marketing, production, management, policy or organizational behavior
    • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in upper-division accounting courses with a minimum of two semester hours (3 quarter hours) in each of the following:
      • auditing
      • finance
      • managerial or cost
      • systems
      • taxes
    • and 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) beyond the requirements for a bachelor’s degree of additional business-related coursework, including 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) in graduate accounting courses
    • 12 semester hours (18 quarter hours) in graduate accounting or graduate business courses and 10 semester hours (15 quarter hours) of additional business-related hours shall be taken in upper-division undergraduate or graduate level courses.

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 and 135 hours of coursework.

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 nine 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 $145 application fee plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay a registration fee and exam fees. Registration fees are $110 for four sections, $95 for three sections, $80 for two sections and $65 for one section.

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.

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 license in Utah

After successfully passing all four sections of the CPA exam, the ethics exam, the Utah CPA Law and Rules Exam and obtaining the required work experience, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Utah. Applicants must submit a licensure application to Utah along with an $85 application fee.

Education

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and achieve 150 hours of education.

Work experience in Utah

One year of experience is required for licensing, which must include applying accounting and auditing skills and principles that are taught as part of professional education.

Utah CPA law and rules exam

In addition to passing the CPA exam, applicants must take the Utah CPA Law and Rules Examination and pass with a score of 75. The testing provider will electronically send the results of the examination directly to the Utah Accounting Board. Applicants must pay a $72 examination fee.

Ethics exam

In addition to passing the CPA exam, applicants must take 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

Utah allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state as long as long as the issuing state has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal. Utah also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, as long as they meet the requirements of Utah Board of Accountancy.

Disclaimer: Requirements for Utah 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 Utah’s CPA requirements.

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