Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Alaska
Alaska, often called The Last Frontier, is best known for being the largest U.S. state by land mass. Even though it is the third least populous state, it has a thriving oil, natural gas, and mining economy.
This booming economy continues to have a large demand for Certified Public Accountants, especially those with experience in the natural resource industries. Thus, it’s a great state to start your CPA career.
Alaska has some unique requirements that prospective CPA candidates must fulfill in order to become licensed. Let’s look each AK CPA requirement, the steps to take the CPA exam in Alaska, and how to become a licensed CPA in Alaska.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Alaska
Anyone intending to take the CPA exam in Alaska and become a certified public accountant must meet these minimum requirements:
- Be at least 19 years of age
- Have a Social Security Number
- Have a Bachelor’s degree in or be within 18-semester hours of completing
- Prove 2-years in public accounting or 3-years in private or government accounting
- Alaska residency not required
- US citizenship not required
Alaska CPA Certification Education Requirements
Education accounts for the biggest part of becoming a certified public accountant in Alaska. A strong academic background in accountancy must stand any chance of obtaining the much sought after certification. While the state does not have any residency requirements, prospective CPA candidates can pursue accounting degrees in other states, as is the case with other jurisdictions.
Prospective CPA’s must also complete an undergraduate degree in a university with a major concentration in accounting. Likewise, one must be able to prove at least 150-graduate credit hours. Similarly, prospective candidates who decide to pursue an accounting degree and CPA licensure as students in MBA programs must prove an overview of accounting coursework.
Required Credit Hours & Classes
The coursework must include at least 24-hours in subjects such as:
- Intermediate Accounting
- Accounting Principles
- Tax Accounting
- Government or Non-profit Accounting
- Theories in Accounting
- Fraud Detection
- Financial Accounting
While the state acknowledges a bachelors’ degree from any state institution, the CPA board will want to see an accounting degree from an accredited college or university. Make sure your college and CPA degree program is approved by the Alaska state board of accountancy before try to sign up for the exam.
You don’t want to pay a bunch of exam fees just to find out that your educational Alaska CPA requirements are not met yet.
Accounting Education Qualifications
All first time CPA applicants in Alaska must meet one of the following requirements to sit for a CPA exam.
CPA with an Accounting Degree
Must show degree with accounting concentration including:
- a completed bachelor’s degree
- 24 semester hours in Accounting
- 3 semester hours in Business Law
- 3 semester hours in Economics
- 3 semester hours in college-level math, statistics, and/or computer science
Degree with Accounting concentration including:
- Bachelor’s degree
- 15 semester hours in Accounting
Degree in Progress with accounting concentration:
- An applicant is within 18 semester hours of completing a bachelor’s degree
- 15 semester hours in Accounting
CPA without an Accounting Degree
Degree with no accounting concentration including:
- Bachelor’s degree
- At least 15 credit hours in Accounting
- One year of public accounting experience
Alaska CPA Exam Requirements
With all the necessary coursework in place, the next step to becoming a certified public accountant in the state is sitting for a CPA exam. Prospective candidates can sit for the exam even before graduating with Bachelors as long as one is within 18 hours of graduation.
The state also allows non-accounting major candidates to sit for the CPA exam as long as they can prove one-year of experience in a public accounting firm.
AK CPA Exam Costs & Fees
To sit for the CPA exam, prospective candidates must pay $743 plus an additional $150 application fee. A $65 to $110 charge is billed on all students sitting for re-examination, depending on how many sections they are re-sitting.
Alaska CPA exam fees are split as follows
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $193.35
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $176.25
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $195.35
- Regulation (REG) $176.25
- Application Fee: $150
Alaska CPA License Requirements
You don’t get your CPA license on just by passing the CPA exam in AK. There are several requirements that prospective candidates must meet. Similarly, the CPA board must sit and review the application to issue a license.
Some of the requirements candidates must fulfill for the board to issue a CPA license in Alaska Include:
- Proof of 150 credit hours of Bachelors
- Passing of all the 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of not less than 75
- A pass for the CPA ethic exam as administered by the AICPA
- Official transcripts sent directly from college or university
- Receipt of $390 certification fee + 300 license application fee
- Mail all materials it Alaska State Board of Public
In addition to passing the exam, prospective CPA license holders must complete tenure as an employee in public accountancy, private business, or government agency. Candidates must also fulfill this with a full accounting of experience.
Work Experience Requirements
In particular, prospective candidates must have practiced providing a service in one or more of the following services.
- Financial Advice
- Managerial Advice
- Consulting Services
- Tax Accountancy
Alaska CPA License Application & Renewal
In Alaska, CPA licenses expire on December 31 of every odd-year. Likewise, all CPA license holders must renew their license to continue practicing. For renewal, all holders must complete at least 80 hours of continuing education with at least four hours of C.E. in ethics.
Licensed CPA professionals are qualified for many different accounting jobs in the state, local companies, and government agencies with as little as zero to three years’ experience. For licensed CPA professionals with longer accounting careers, career options typically start at the management level.
Alaska CPA Salary
The average salary range of CPA holders varies with years of experience. Those are just getting started in the field of accounting can earn between $56,000 and $68,000. As hires gain more experience and are promoted to senior accounting roles, salaries can range between $80,000 and $100,000.
Additional Alaska CPA Resources
Here are several resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Alaska and become a certified public accountant.