How to Become a CPA

So, you’ve decided to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Is it because of the increased salary? The extra job security?


No matter the case, the process of becoming a CPA is a tough and rigorous road. The requirements also slightly differ from state to state. However, the main path to becoming a CPA is the same.


To be a CPA, you need to follow 5 steps:


EDUCATION.  Most states require that you have your Bachelor’s degree or at least 150 credit hours, to become a CPA. While accounting is the most popular major for those trying to become CPAs, it doesn’t need to be your major. You may, however, be required to take a few additional courses if your major was different from accounting.


EXPERIENCE.  To become a CPA, accounting experience is required. The experience can come before or after you take your exams, but on average, you need at least 2 years of experience to be certified.


EXAM.  The CPA exam consist of 4 sections:

  • Regulation
  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Business Environment and Concepts
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting

There are many materials available for purchase to help study for the exam. A majority of people fail on their first attempt taking the exam so don’t give up if you fail initially. The passing score is 75 on a scale of 0-99. Some states also require a separate Ethics Exam, Virginia being one.


CPE.  The CPE, or Continuing Professional Education, is the last requirement for your CPA. The completion of classes is required to become a CPA and each state has different credit requirements. After the CPA license is received, the completion of classes or the moderation of classes for credit throughout your career is required.


The road to becoming a CPA requires rigorous study and hard work. If you are looking for an opportunity to gain experience in the accounting field, visit


For more tips on career development, visit

Posted by s.park