Georgia requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree and be at least 18 years of age. The state does not require that individuals be a U.S. citizen or that they be a resident of Georgia. However, applicants must 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 Georgia
Sitting for the CPA exam in Georgia requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, which includes coursework in accounting and related courses.
Education requirements in Georgia
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university recognized by the board and have 120 hours to sit for the exam.
The coursework includes:
- 20 semester hours (or 30 quarter hours) in accounting subjects above the introductory level
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 exam is available the first two months of each calendar quarter.
State law requires that first-time applicants submit a $150 application fee. Those who are retaking the exam are also required to pay a $75 registration fee in addition to exam fees.
In addition to the state’s application fee, there are substantial administrative costs that must be paid in advance to the NASBA.
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.
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 Georgia
After successfully passing all four sections of the exam, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Georgia. Applicants must submit a licensure application for Georgia to the NASBA, which handles the processing, along with a $95 application fee. Applicants are also required to take an oath of office.
Education in Georgia
Licensing requires that candidate’s hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and complete 150 semester hours of education. The 150 hours must include the following:
- 30 semester hours in accounting above the introductory level
- 24 semester hours in business-related subjects
Work experience in Georgia
One year of public accounting experience is required for licensing, which includes a minimum of 2,000 hours. Experience must be completed no more than one year prior to submitting an application and must be under the supervision of a licensed CPA. One year of academic teaching can be substituted, which consists of 24 semester hours taught in a period between 12 and 36 months.
Out-of-state CPA licenses
Georgia 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 NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal. Georgia also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they meet the requirements of Georgia’s State Board of Public Accountancy.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Georgia 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 Georgia’s CPA requirements.
Tags: AccountingLearn More: Click to view related resources.