The process to become a CPA in Missouri is a long-term endeavor that takes significant commitment. It requires a college education with specific requirements, passing the Missouri CPA Exam, acquiring experience as a CPA, and finally applying for a CPA license.
In order to take the CPA Exam, the Missouri Board of Accountancy first requires a bachelor’s degree that includes at least 150 semester hours. Of these hours, 33 must be in accounting, including at least one course in auditing and 18 semester hours of upper division accounting. Additionally, the Board requires 27 semester hours in general business, which can include fields such as marketing, management, economics, and finance. A candidate may take the exam once he or she is within 60 days of completing these education requirements.
Prospective CPAs must also be residents of Missouri, regularly employed in Missouri, or have a business located in Missouri. While United States citizenship is not a requirement, possession of a social security number is necessary. Exam takers must also be at least 21 years old.
Having met these requirements, candidates are ready to apply to take the CPA exam. The application includes documentation of the above qualifications as well as both application and examination fees. The application fee is $132 and fees for each section range from $170 to just over $190. Applicants re-taking the exam pay a registration fee which depends on the number of sections to be re-taken. The exam has four sections: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation. These sections may be taken in any order, but must all be passed in the 18 month period beginning on the date of the first section passed.
After passing the exam, prospective CPAs must gain experience. The Missouri Board requires one year of accounting experience in industry, government, academia or public practice before a CPA is eligible for licensure. In order to sign reports or supervise attest services, another year of experience in attest work is required. Prospective CPAs must also take and pass an ethics exam from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
After completing the required educational experience, CPA exam, ethics exam, and professional experience, aspiring CPAs can finally apply to become licensed CPAs in Missouri. Becoming a CPA in Missouri is a long-term commitment that provides a rewarding career path for those willing to put in the work.