Becoming a CPA is not easy, academically. Neither is it easy to fulfil all of the regulatory requirements in New York state. The steps featured below are a definitive guide of the all the necessary steps that must be taken in order to be licensed by the state and officially certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These rules can change from time to time so if you are ever in question please refer back to the official informational resources for the state of New York here. While a search will yield many results, we have found many to be outdated and incorrect. Using the official NY state site will ensure you always have the correct information.
Registration and Application Fees
The first application for licensure and fee needs to be submitted to the Professional Licensing Services, New York State Division. As of this writing the fee for this application is $377. Next, the future CPA needs to submit their educational documents along with a $125 fee to the CPA Examination Services office. They will review, and hopefully approve your application.
Computer Based Testing (CBT)
In 2005 the Computer Based Testing (CBT) replaced the written exams. The material in the CBT is nearly the same as the old test. The sections and the time to complete are Financial Accounting and Reporting (4 hours), Auditing and Attestation (4.5 hours), Regulation (3 hours), Business Environment and Concepts (2.5 hours). The CBT is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and additional information pertaining to New York state can be found on their site.
Before going over the checklist for educational requirements for New York state, they also require that you be “of good moral character” and be at least 21 years old in addition to experience, education, and exam (passing) requirements. The education requirements have multiple variations, all of which are outlined, on the NYSED.gov site’s CPA portal. The most basic of the requirements is a Bachelor’s degree along with a certain number of work-related experience hours logged; 33 hours in accounting along with 36 hours in general business electives. There are additional curriculum requirements as well. Most likely your curriculum already meets those but it does not hurt to go back and check.
While the two basic options for new applicants are pretty standard and straightforward, there are other alternative ways of sitting for the exam outside of the standard requirements. For example, if someone has had 15 years of accounting experience, and the board deems it applicable to the requirements for NY state, then one may be able to sit for exams without meeting the first two options outlined on the site.
So as long as you are of a good moral character, meet education, experience, and examination requirements, as well as pay your fees, then you should be well on your way to becoming a Certified Public Accountant in New Yor