11 Jul / Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination
Becoming a Certified Public Accountant
Often I am asked what it took to become a CPA. When I became a CPA in Michigan the process was different than it is now. And the process can be different from state to state. The CPA is a license that this issued by the State. I will try and explain the process necessary in the State of Michigan as of 2014.
The first step to becoming a licensed CPA in the State of Michigan is to receive a degree. There are two ways in which to complete this step. The most common route is to complete 150 semester hours of college and attain a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting. Or you can obtain a Master’s degree with a concentration in accounting.
Sitting for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination
I have meet attorney’s who were also CPA’s and they have all told me that the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is the tougher of the two. I would also like to point out that when I sat the exam, we had to take all four parts in two days. The exam what held in a large room and about 600 people took the exam at the same time.
Today the uniform certified public accountant examination is computer based, and the individual can that the test as various times during the year. It is still a 14 hour test in total. There are still four sections: Audit and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting and Regulation. The testing includes multiple choice questions, essays and real life simulations. You can take one section of the exam at a time, and have a rolling 18 month period in which to pass all four parts.
Now you Need Experience
Once you have the degree and have passed the uniform certified public accountant examination, you still have to gain practical experience. this is accomplished by working under the supervision of CPA. A candidate most log minimally 2,000 of qualify work experience before they can apply for your license.
Qualified experience includes working a audit, review or compilation engagement, preparation of tax returns, documented tax research, representation of a client before the IRS or state agency, financial forecast and projections, management advisory, and supervision of accounting functions.
As you can see becoming a Certified Public Accountant is a very long process that requires industry specific education. CPA’s are often thought of as one’s most trusted adviser, and I think you can begin to see why.
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