How to Become a CPA Without a Degree in Accounting It Can Be Done!

how to become a cpa without accounting degree

After taking the CPA Exam, some candidates in certain jurisdictions will have to take the ethics exam. The ethics exam is an exam that covers the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct and Accounting Rules. It examines how well a future CPA would handle professional ethics questions they may encounter during their time working in the accounting profession. The exam is a reminder to CPAs about the conduct expected and required of them when working with and in professional organizations.

Career paths as a tax and bookkeeper expert at Intuit

The board of accounting in your state will grant this professional designation to you after you complete a thorough exam. She earned a bachelor of science in finance and accounting from New York University. Matos began her career at Ernst & Young, where she audited a diverse set of companies, primarily in consumer products and media and entertainment.

How to become a CPA without a degree in accounting

These requirements typically outline the educational, experience, and additional criteria necessary to become a CPA. Determine whether you meet the basic eligibility criteria, or if there are any specific conditions you need to fulfill due to your non-accounting degree. Some states also offer the option of obtaining a certain number of credit hours in accounting through community college courses. These courses are generally more affordable and provide flexibility for individuals who prefer a more accessible and cost-effective route to meet the educational requirements. First, you will need at least a four-year bachelor’s degree and additional credits.

how to become a cpa without accounting degree

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CPA candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree and additional educational qualifications. But most states require aspiring CPAs to earn 150 credits — or about 30 credits beyond a typical bachelor’s program. Whether you aim to work in a public accounting firm, the finance department of a corporation, or as a management accountant in a manufacturing company, the CPA license is a strong credential. The salary and benefits are often substantially higher for CPAs than for those without the certification. But for those without an accounting degree, these credit hours can be earned through a variety of paths, including graduate level business degrees or additional undergraduate courses.

Don’t let your lack of experience, knowledge, or license keep you from pursuing your goal. Get started on your journey as a tax or bookkeeping specialist today at Intuit Academy. Not only is this a requirement to become a CPA, but it’s also a great place to gain valuable knowledge and experience. You’ll see the day-to-day life of the CPA and the essential tools and protocols they use to get their job done.

Some CPA candidates who need extra accounting credits decide to get a master’s degree in accounting (MAcc). Whatever you choose, you’ll need to take some accounting and business courses to make up for the educational requirements and find out how many accounting credits your state requires. It is important to note that even if a state has easier educational requirements, it doesn’t mean that all its requirements are easy to obtain. Some states with lower educational requirements have higher experience requirements, so it all balances out. If you have a degree in a non-accounting field, you may need to enroll in additional accounting courses at a college or university to meet the educational requirements. These courses can usually be taken on a part-time basis or through online programs, making it more accessible for individuals with work or other commitments.

There are several requirements to become a CPA which include educational requirements, passing the CPA Exam, gaining experience under a licensed CPA, and in some states, passing the ethics exam. While it might seem like a  lot of requirements to become a CPA, the time and effort are worth it. CPAs make 10-15% more than non-CPAs and over three million dollars in lifetime earnings over non-CPAs. While a traditional accounting degree is the most common pathway to CPA certification, there are alternative paths available for individuals without an accounting degree. These alternative paths allow individuals with diverse educational backgrounds to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in accounting and gain eligibility for the CPA certification.

This guide explores the distinctive challenges faced by non-traditional CPA Exam candidates and provides tailored strategies to overcome these hurdles effectively. Let’s delve into key considerations and actionable advice for those aspiring to become CPAs without an accounting degree. Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher. Some states are very lenient when it comes to work experience while others are really strict.

  1. If you have professional experience in accounting or a related field, you may be eligible for the CPA certification through the experience pathway.
  2. The AUD section focuses on auditing knowledge and procedures, while the BEC section covers business concepts and the economic environment.
  3. In the following sections, we will explore the requirements for CPA certification, alternative paths to becoming a CPA, and the steps you need to take to become a CPA without an accounting degree.
  4. These programs are shorter in duration and focus specifically on accounting coursework.
  5. Remember, once you have received your CPA license, it is essential to uphold the highest professional standards and ethics in your accounting practice.

Engage in interactive discussions and seek clarification from professors or instructors to deepen your understanding of the subject matter. Consider joining accounting clubs or organizations to network with professionals in the field and gain valuable insights. Their guidance will help you make informed decisions and ensure you meet the necessary requirements to become a CPA without an accounting degree.

The salary of a senior finance manager may vary depending on their education and experience, and location. But regardless of their experience, salary is higher than $104,000 for an entry-level finance manager. In conclusion, while technical skills and knowledge of accounting principles are essential, the significance of soft skills cannot be underestimated in the accounting profession. A well-rounded accounting professional possesses not only the ability to crunch numbers but also the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate, think critically, and make ethical decisions.

Firstly, let’s clarify that a bachelor’s degree is generally a prerequisite. This degree doesn’t have to be in accounting, but you will need additional college credits beyond your undergraduate coursework to meet education requirements mandated by state boards. To attract qualified applicants, create a clear and accurate job description for your senior finance manager position. This document should include the essential functions of the position, its scope, and qualification requirements.

Remember, once you have received your CPA license, it is essential to uphold the highest professional standards and ethics in your accounting practice. Being a CPA comes with great responsibility, and maintaining your professional integrity is crucial for trust and confidence in the profession. In the next step, we will explore the process of registering and taking the CPA exam.

Most states require 150 hours of relevant coursework, while a few will let you slide with only 120 credit hours. Explore career paths as a tax and bookkeeping expert, and find available jobs for CPA at Intuit. CPA education requirements include a four-year bachelor’s degree and 150 total credits. However, your degree must include operating activities definition and meaning a minimum number of credits in accounting and business subjects. For example, those specializing in tax may excel in the Regulation section but face challenges in Financial or Audit. On the other hand, individuals with a background in corporate accounting may be well-versed in Financial but less familiar with other sections.

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