Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Alabama
Alabama is one of the few states that maintain the two-tier system for certification of Certified Public Accountants. This implies that anyone who excels in all the four CPA sections is immediately issued with certificates. Passing all the sections of the CPA exam does not automatically guarantee one a CPA license. Instead, one must attain or document the required work experience.
In this case, prospective CPA licensee must prove at least one to two-year work experience as a public accountant in business firms, government institutions, or even the private sector. Upon attaining the required work experience, educational requirements, and personal qualifications, a candidate would be entitled to a full license.
Getting a CPA license in Alabama requires prospective candidates to fulfill certain requirements. You can pass all four sections of the CPA exam, but still not qualify for a CPA license. You must take the exam, pass all four sections with at least a score of 75, meet the minimum personal qualifications, and prove some form of work experience as a public accountant.
Let’s look at the AL CPA requirements to take the CPA exam in Alabama and become a licensed CPA in Alabama.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Alabama
Like any other profession, the state of Alabama has set certain educational and personal qualifications that a candidate must meet to be on the pathway to attaining a CPA license.
To be cleared to sit for the CPA exam in Alabama, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 19 years
- Be a U.S citizen
- Have a Social Security Number
- Prove 120 Hours of B.A.
- Prove 1-year experience
It is important to note that Alabama is not a participant in the International Examination Programs.
Alabama CPA Certification Education Requirements
One must complete a minimum of 150 College credit hours before taking the Alabama CPA exam and attaining a bachelor’s degree certificate.
Below is the breakdown of 150 college credit hours or Bachelor’s degree program:
General Business Education Qualifications
At least 27 credit hours on business courses should be completed. The main field of business courses considered include:
- General Business
- Business Ethics
- Business Communication
- Business Ethics
Accounting Education Qualifications
This does not include introductory courses in the accounting field.
At least 33 minimum credit hours should be completed with minimum qualifications in the following areas.
- 6 hours – Elective
- 6 Hours – Taxation
- 6 hours – Auditing
- 3 hours – Management Accounting
- 9 hours – Financial Accounting
- 3 hours – Business Law focusing on the Uniform Commercial Code
- 3 hours – Governmental and non – profit accounting
In Alabama, students and candidates from other institutions and states can sit for the CPA exam as long as they meet the required educational and personal CPA requirements and qualifications.
For the non-traditional students to sit for the exam, one must have attained a graduate degree from a body accredited by the American Assembly of College Schools of Business or a relevant accrediting body recognized by the Board.
Alabama State further allows the non-traditional students who never majored in accounting to sit for the exam. The institution awarding your degree must have been accredited by the AACSB or other relevant bodies recognized by the Board when granted the degree.
Make sure your degree is from an accredited institute or university before apply for the CPA exam in Alabama. You don’t want your application to be rejects because your educational Alabama CPA requirements are not met yet.
Alabama CPA Exam Requirements
Approved CPA candidates who have completed the educational requirements are eligible to take the four sections of the CPA exam. Passing the CPA exam is arguably the most difficult part of becoming a CPA. Most CPA candidates use courses for the CPA exam to study for each of the exam sections.
In order to apply for the exam, you will need to submit your college transcripts, application forms, and fees to NASBA and your State Board of Accountancy. Once approved, you’ll receive a NTS that allows you to schedule your first exam.
The cost to take the exam is $800 plus a $100 application fee. The re-examination fee is $50 plus the exam fees of the respective section.
AL CPA Exam Costs & Fees
Depending on the section one is taking, candidates must apply and pay for the exam they intend to take in six months. The fees are split as follows:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $215
- Regulation (REG): $185
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $215
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $185
- Administration fee: $10
Exam payment and applications shall be made only for exam sections that one intends to take within six months. This is because the exam schedule for Alabama lasts for six months.
Alabama CPA License Requirements
Simply passing the CPA exam in AL isn’t enough to get your license. You will need to fulfill several more requirements into order for the state of Alabama and the Accountancy Board to approve your license application.
Here is a list of the requirements you will need to fulfill in order to get your CPA license in Alabama:
- Submit all the paperwork to the state board. These include the correctly filled application form, transcripts, and evidence of work experience.
- You must undertake and pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
- Must score at least 75 in all the four sections of the CPA exam
- The annual subscription fee of $75 must be paid for you to practice.
- All educational requirements, including the 150 credit hour
Work Experience Requirements
Work experience is an important aspect of getting an Alabama CPA license. Upon passing the exam as well as presenting all the prerequisites for the CPA license, the proof of work experience must also be presented.
To be a licensed CPA holder in Alabama, at least a one-year full-time employment in a public accounting institution is essential as work experience.
One must have at least two years of government accounting, private or teaching sector practicing public accounting.
The Board could also consider two years of full-time employment working in a private accountancy firm. This can form a good basis for work experience.
Alabama CPA License Application & Renewal
The Alabama CPA license renewal process is quite easy. Annual licenses expire each year on December 31 and can be renewed any time after October 1 of that year.
Renewing your license is simple. You just need to log into your Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy’s (ASBPA) account and navigate to the Registration page. Then simply fill out the registration renewal and pay the annual fee.
Before you fill out the renewal, you will need a few pieces of information and documentation like your CPE credit hours and sources along with any changes to your license status for the upcoming year.
Additional Alabama CPA Resources
Here are several resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Alabama and become a certified public accountant.