Kansas requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. The state has no minimum age requirement and does not require that individuals be a U.S. citizen. However, applicants must be a resident of Kansas and hold 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 Kansas
Sitting for the CPA exam in Kansas requires that candidates posses a bachelor’s degree, which includes coursework in accounting, communications and general business courses.
Education requirements in Kansas
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have 150 hours of education. Applicants can apply to sit for the exam eight weeks before completing the educational requirements. However, the Notice to Scheduled (NTS) will not be issued until all transcripts are finalized.
The coursework includes:
- 42 semester hours (63 quarter hours) in business and general education courses, including:
- macro and microeconomics plus one upper-division economics course
- 2 courses in the legal aspects of business or business law
- college algebra or higher-level math
- statistics and probability theory
- computer systems and applications
- management and administration
- production, operations research or applications of quantitative techniques to business problems
- 11 semester hours (16½ quarter hours) in written and oral communications
- 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) in accounting theory and practice, including courses in:
- financial accounting
- managerial accounting beyond an introductory course
- auditing, including coverage of U.S. auditing standards
- U.S. income tax
- accounting systems beyond an introductory computer 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 from an accredited school. Applicants are also required to submit a 2-inch by 2-inch photo taken within three months of submitting the application and a copy of a valid Kansas driver’s license.
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 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 given the first two months of each calendar quarter.
State law requires that first-time applicants submit an application fee of $145 plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay a registration fee per section plus exam fees. Registration fees are $100 for four sections, $95 for three sections, $80 for two sections and $65 for one section.
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 certificate and license in Kansas
Kansas is a two-tier state that provides a certificate first and then CPA licensing after work experience is completed. After successfully passing all four sections of the exam and the ethics exam, applicants may apply for a public accounting certificate in Kansas by submitting an application and a $25 fee. Individuals with a certificate cannot claim to perform certified or public accountancy.
Once individuals complete the experience requirement, they can apply for licensure, which gives them full practicing rights. Applicants should submit a licensure application to Kansas along with an application and licensing fee. The fee varies between $75 and $150, depending on whether applicants apply in an odd or even-numbered year and when their certificate was originally issued.
Individuals who have completed the experience requirement but not yet obtained a certificate can opt to submit a dual certificate and licensing application for a cost of $150.
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.
Work experience in Kansas
Work experience is not required for a CPA certificate but is required for full licensing. Experience must include one year of accounting experience in government, industry, academia or public practice verified by a CPA holding an active license to practice.
Out-of-state CPA licenses
Kansas allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state as long as they have four years of experience and the issuing state has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal. Applicants must also pass the ethics exam. Kansas also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they meet the requirements of the Kansas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Kansas 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 Kansas’ CPA requirements.
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