Guam requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. There is no minimum age requirement, and applicants are not required to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of Guam. However, applicants are required to have a valid Social Security number or a valid government-issued ID. Individuals who meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.
Step 1: CPA exam in Guam
Sitting for the CPA exam in Guam requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, which includes coursework in accounting and general business courses.
Education requirements in Guam
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. An advanced degree qualifies in lieu of a bachelor’s degree if the proper coursework is satisfied. Candidates can apply to sit for the exam when they are within 150 days of completing the educational requirements.
The coursework includes:
- 24 credit hours in upper-division accounting, including:
- 3 credit hours in financial accounting
- 3 credit hours in auditing
- 3 credit hours in taxation
- 3 credit hours in management or cost accounting
- 24 credit hours in business, including:
- 6 credit hours in economics
- 3 credit hours in finance
- 3 credit hours in business law
Application and test fees in Guam
The Guam Board of Accountancy administers the exam. Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to the GBA, showing proof of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school. Applicants are also required to submit a 2-inch by 2-inch photo.
The process to apply for the CPA exam starts with requesting and receiving authorization to take the test, followed by acknowledgement from the territory 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.
Guam law requires that first-time applicants submit a $50 application fee plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay the same fees.
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.
There is also a Guam Computer Testing Center Surcharge of $110 per test section that must be paid by all candidates who are not residents of Guam.
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 Guam
After successfully passing all four sections of the CPA exam and obtaining the required work experience, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Guam. Applicants must submit a licensure application to Guam along with a $225 application fee made payable to the Guam Board of Accountancy. Applicants must also submit three moral character reference forms.
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and achieve 150 hours of education.
One year of experience is required for licensing, which can be obtained by providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. Experience can be gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice and must be verified by a licensed CPA.
Candidates with fewer than 150 hours of education who met the educational requirements prior to sitting for and passing the CPA exam must have two years of work experience to qualify for an active license. Successful candidates who met the educational requirements prior to sitting for and passing the CPA exam but not having met the work experience requirement qualify for an inactive CPA license.
Out-of-territory CPA licenses
Guam allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the territory 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 and they notify the board in advance by submitting a Substantial Equivalency Application.
Guam also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, as long as they meet the requirements of the Guam Board of Accountancy and notify the board in advance by submitting a Substantial Equivalency Application.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Guam CPA test-takers and license applicants are subject to change. Visit the territory’s Board of Public Accountancy website to check for recent revisions to Guam’s CPA requirements.
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