Vermont 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 or a resident of Vermont. Applicants are also not required to 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 Vermont
Sitting for the CPA exam in Vermont requires that candidates possess a bachelor’s degree, which includes coursework in accounting and general business courses.
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and 120 hours of education. Applicants can sit for the exam when they are within 60 days of completing the educational requirements.
The coursework includes:
- 30 semester hours in accounting and business, including:
- 6 semester (9 quarter) hours of financial and/or managerial accounting (excluding introductory accounting)
- 3 semester (4.5 quarter) hours of auditing
- 3 semester (4.5 quarter) hours of U.S. taxation
- 3 semester (4.5 quarter) hours of U.S. business law
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.
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 given the first two months of each calendar quarter.
State law requires that first-time applicants submit an application fee of $220 plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay a registration fee plus exam fees. Registration fees are $110 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 license in Vermont
After successfully passing all four sections of the CPA exam, the ethics exam and obtaining the required work experience, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Vermont. Applicants must submit a licensure application to Vermont along with a $75 application fee.
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. The ethics exam must be taken within two years of applying for licensure.
Vermont’s educational requirements for licensure changed on July 1, 2014. Prior to that date, only a bachelor’s degree was required. After July 1, 2014, a bachelor’s degree and 150 hours of education are required, including:
- 42 semester hours of accounting, auditing and related subjects
Vermont’s experience requirements for licensure changed on July 1, 2014. Effective July 1, 2014, one year of public accounting experience is required for licensing and must include 500 hours of attest, of which 200 hours must be related to the audit function. Public and nonpublic accounting experience qualifies, must be supervised by a current CPA and consist of non-routine accounting functions that require independent thought and judgment on important accounting matters.
Out-of-state CPA licenses
Vermont 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. Vermont also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they register and pay a fee of $50. Foreign CPA registrations are temporary and expire after three months.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Vermont 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 Vermont’s CPA requirements.
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