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15 Steps How To Become An Accountant In California

( How to Become Accountant in California - The state of California requires that certified public accountants meet the requirements to work in the state. The requirements ensure that the accountant has the knowledge and skills to provide clients with services and advice on matters such as tax and financial reporting. The chartered accountant can work for an organization in an accounting department, for an accounting firm or as a sole trader.

How To Become An Accountant In California

  • Fulfillment of educational requirements

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

1. Prepare in high school. You must complete high school or earn your GED to enroll in college. Focus on your math, accounting and business courses at your school. If you have room for electives, try taking higher-level courses in those areas.

If possible, get involved with DECA at your school. DECA focuses on preparing students for careers in marketing and finance. If your school does not have DECA, get involved in other available business clubs.

You can also attend your local community college and take an accounting or business course in the summer.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

2. Talk to a college advisor. If possible, meet with an academic advisor as early as possible. The advisor can help you choose your courses and ensure you meet all requirements. This saves you a lot of time.

Also, ask your advisor if they know of any CPA exam prep programs you can attend.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

3. Pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting. You must have a bachelor's degree and 150 credits to take the CPA exam. Seventy-eight of these units must be based in specific specialties. Here's the breakdown:

24 semester units in accounting courses (Accounting, Financial Reporting, Auditing and Taxation)

24 semester units of business administration (marketing, business administration, statistics, finance)

10 semester units of ethics (auditing, business law, organizational behavior). As of 2017, 3 of these units must be in accounting ethics or professional duties of accountants.

20 semester units in the Accounting course, covering the following subject areas: at least 6 units in accounting subjects; a maximum of 14 units of economics subjects; maximum 9 units of foreign language/cultural studies, ethics studies or courses related to the accounting industry; maximum 4 internship units, self-study. The combination of the 20 accounting lessons is up to you, as long as you don't violate the minimum and maximum values.

Your degree may be in another subject as long as you meet these requirements.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

4. Get a Master of Accounting degree. If you have a bachelor's degree in another subject and do not meet the educational requirements, you can earn a Master of Accounting and meet the requirements. Your master's degree will be credited to the 24 semester units of accounting, 24 units of business administration and 10 units of ethics studies. Since your master's degree is in accounting, it covers the 20 units of the accounting degree.

A Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting does not meet the educational requirements for the CPA exam.

  • Taking the CPA exam

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

5. Apply for the Uniform CPA exam. Visit the California Board of Accountancy (CBA) website to complete the online application. You can request a paper copy of the application, but it will take much longer to process your application.

As part of the application process, you create an online profile. Make a note of your password so that you can log in if necessary.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

6. Pay your registration fee. As soon as you have created your online application, you will receive an email with "Application transfer form". Print this form, sign it and send it along with your fee. Pay your fees directly to the CBA. The fee is $100 for your initial application and $50 for repeat and transfer applicants. You can pay with a check or money order.

Submit this form to the California Board of Accountancy Examination Unit, 2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95815-3832.

You are a repeat applicant if you were ready to take the exam but never took the exam.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

7. Have your official certificates sent to you. Your school must send an official copy of your transcripts directly to the CBA. It is best to have your certificates sent to you before you apply. Your certificates must show all your academic achievements and the degree you have obtained.

The State of California will evaluate your qualifications and notify you to schedule your exam.

If you are applying for the pre-degree award exam, you must provide a letter from your school confirming that you are in good standing, that you have met all the requirements, and the date that your degree will be awarded.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

8. Pay section fees. The exam is divided into four different sections. Once your application is approved, you must also pay the fees for the CPA exam to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). You can find out how to select the parts of the exam from the CBA. You must make your selection within one year of your application being approved. If you do not complete your sections within a year, you will need to reapply. Here are the NASBA fees:

Exam and Certification: $193.45, 4 hours to complete

Financial Accounting and Reporting: $193.45, 4 hours to complete

Regulation: $173.60, 3 hours to complete

Business Environment and Concepts: $173.60, 3 hours to complete

Total fees for all four sections: $734.10

The CBA automatically shares your information with the NASBA. NASBA will then contact you with instructions on how to pay your section dues.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

9. Plan your exam. Visit the Prometric website to schedule your test and find the testing center near you. There are four testing windows per year (January-February, April-May, July-August, October-November). You can complete all four sections during each test window or individually. If you fail a section, you cannot retake the test in the same window. For example, if you fail the Regulation section in January, the earliest you can retake the exam is in the April-May window.

If you need to retake a section, you must register for the exam again and pay the $50 registration fee. CBA will then prompt you to make your exam selections.

The sections of the exam are lengthy so you cannot complete them all in one day.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

10. Do exam preparation. Visit the Uniform CPA Exam website or the NASBA website for more information on the exam and the official Uniform CPA exam manual. You can see example questions and details about the content of each section. You can also take sample tests and go through an exam tutorial.

The exam tutorial is crucial. The word processing and spreadsheet systems used for the exam are slightly different than those you would use yourself.

Talk to people who have already passed the exam, get a CPA exam prep book, or take a CPA prep class. Ask a faculty member at your school for recommendations.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

11. Complete the Uniform CPA exam. It typically takes 12-18 months to complete all four parts of the exam. You must reach 75 (scale from 0 to 99) in each section to pass. The exam is not graded on a curve and the scoring is automated. You must pass each section to get your license.

NASBA begins releasing results in the first month after the testing window and then releases results every 2 weeks for the remainder of the window. For example, if you took your test during the January-February window, January results will be posted starting in February and then results will be posted every 2 weeks during the rest of the window.

The CBA publishes the results as soon as they receive them. You may not receive the results for each section in the same order that you received them.

You must verify your online CBA account to see your results. Your results will never be emailed or mailed to you.

  • Applying for the CPA license

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

12. You are looking for a job in accounting. It is best to start looking for a job while you are still at school. Entry positions are cost calculator, junior internal auditor, human resources clerk, accounting assistant or accountant. There are several resources for finding a job:

Your school's career center and business school. Talk to your professors and PhD students about job opportunities.

Internship programs in accounting or business firms. After your sophomore year, you should be able to do an internship.

A professional organization like the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA). Join and take advantage of their job opportunities and network resources.

Make sure to indicate on your resume that you are a "CPA Exam Candidate" or "CPA Exam Candidate" are. .

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

13. Pass the Professional Ethics Examination for CPAs (PETH). You must pass this test before you can apply for your license. The test consists of 50 questions and you have 3 chances to pass. You will receive your test results immediately. A score of 90% or more is considered passed.

You can take the test all year round.

You must complete your licensing within 2 years of passing the PETH exam.

If you are not a CalCPA member, you will need to pay $150 for the online exam or $165 for the text format.

If you are a member of CalCPA, you will need to pay $125 for the online exam or $130 for the text format.

Visit the CalCPA website to register for the exam. You will receive study materials when you order the exam. Allow at least 16 hours for studying and completing the exam.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

14. Get a year of accounting experience. You have to work as an accountant for a year. It is best to be supervised by a licensed CPA. The CPA and higher authority in your workplace must submit an experience form as part of your application.

If you work part-time, 170 hours equals one month of full-time work experience.

If you are planning notarization documents, you must have at least 500 hours of experience in notarization duties while being supervised by a chartered accountant. The 500 hours count toward your one-year experience.

How to Become Accountant in California: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

15. Apply for a CPA license. Once you have met the educational, exam and experience requirements, you can apply for your license. You pay $250 to apply and pay a separate fee for your fingerprint. The fingerprint fee is determined by the live scan service. Your application package consists of:

Application for a Chartered Accountant License

A recent 2" x 2" photograph

Disclosure Form for Criminal Convictions

California Residents: Live Scan Service

Public Accounting: General or certified experience certificate

Private accounting: General or certified proof of experience

If you passed the exam in another state, you must complete the exam release authorization and/or license information

If you are an out-of-state resident, you will need to fill out 2 fingerprint cards

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