Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant in Arkansas
Arkansas is best known as the land of diamonds and is home to beautiful lakes, rivers, and springs. The state is also home to some of the biggest companies, organizations, and businesses, presenting perfect employment opportunities for Certified Public Accountants.
Landing the credentials as a certified public accountant is crucial for anyone looking to be a tax accountant, a computer system auditor, or a chief financial officer in any major corporation in the state. Likewise, CPA status is the pinnacle of accountancy.
Let’s review each AR CPA requirement as well as the steps to take the CPA exam in Arkansas and the process to become a licensed CPA in Arkansas.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Arkansas
Arkansas has some of the most comprehensive requirements to attain your CPA certification. Here are the minimum requirements to become a CPA in Arkansas:
- Be state resident
- Have a social security number
- Prove 120-hours of a bachelor’s degree
- Prove 1-year experience through employment
- No minimum age limit
- Not required to be a U.S citizen
Arkansas CPA Certification Education Requirements
The CPA exam is a 4-part test that must be passed with a minimum score of 75. The four sections that candidates must study for and sit for the exam are:
- Financial Accounting
- Auditing and Attestation
- Business Environment and Concepts
Prospective CPA candidates must meet some education requirements to sit for the CPA exam. As is the case with other states, Arkansas requires proof of 150 credit hours of education for licensure. Likewise, prospects must hold a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency.
The Bachelor’s degree must include 30 credit hours of coursework in accounting and 30 credit hours of business coursework. The state does not require individuals with a bachelor’s degree to obtain a second undergraduate degree in accounting as long as education requirements are met.
Required Credit Hours & Classes
The courses that must be included with the accounting component include:
- Accounting information systems
- Auditing and attestation
- Federal taxation
- Not-for-profit accounting
- Governmental accounting
- Management accounting
- Financial accounting
One thing to note is that all college courses and credits must be earned from an approved institute or university in order to qualify. If you don’t know if your college credits are approved, contact the AR state board of accountancy and ask them to review your educational qualifications to see if they meet the Arkansas CPA requirements.
Arkansas CPA Exam Requirements
You are eligible to sit for a CPA exam in Arkansas once you earn 150 semester hours of credit and completed the accounting and business component coursework. Likewise, one should have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Prospective candidates who are still enrolled in courses necessary for graduation may not take an exam in the state.
The first step in preparing for the CPA exam is completing the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy Uniform CPA Examination online application form. Besides, one should mail the following documents:
- A colored photo for identification
- Official documents verifying the name change
- Have the college email official transcripts to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy
Once all the necessary documents are mailed an application approved, one should go to Prometric’s website and schedule an examination at one of the following testing sites.
- Fort Smith
- Little Rock
In addition to the CPA exam, prospective candidates must also sit for an Ethics Exam. The exam is taken once one passes all four sections. The basic requirement for passing the exam is taking a 1-hour online self-study course to prepare. Similarly, candidates need to complete all sections of the course and take the 30-item test. A pass is guaranteed on getting correct answers for twenty-two items.
Prospective candidates must apply and pay fees for each of the CPA sections. Once fees are paid, one is given six months to prepare and take the tests applied for. Any candidate who does not pass one of the tests must wait for six months to retake the exam.
AR CPA Exam Costs & Fees
To sit for a CPA exam in Arkansas, candidates must pay $743 plus $125-$170 in application fees. The application fees depend on the number of sections one is signing up for. Candidates who are re-taking the CPA exam must pay a $75-$120 in application fee plus the exam fees.
The CPA exam fees for each section are split as follows:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $195.35
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $176.25
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $195.35
- Regulation (REG): $176.25
- Application Fee: See Below
The application fee for each CPA exam is as follows:
- First-time application fee: $50
- Applying for 1 section: $75
- Applying for 2 sections: $90
- Applying for 3 sections: $105
- Applying for 4 sections: $120
Arkansas CPA License Requirements
The State of Arkansas imposes work requirements for people seeking to be certified public accountants. The work requirements are aligned with standards established at the federal level by the AICPA.
Upon passing all the CPA exam sections and satisfying the Board’s education requirements, and completed one year of experience, one can apply for a CPA license. The checklist for applying for the CPA license includes:
- Proof of 150 semester hours of college education
- Proof of at least a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Have the college send the official copy for college transcripts to Board
- Pass the Uniform CPA exam
- Prove one year of experience as a public accountant
After a CPA license application is received and approved by the Board, applicants will receive their license by mail. The process usually takes less than one month.
Work Experience Requirements
To be certified as a public accountant, prospective candidates must obtain at least 2,000 hours of work experience in a field related to accounting.
The necessary accounting experience can be accumulated over-time. However, it does not need to be earned in a period of consecutive employment. Likewise, candidates don’t have to graduate before earning work experience.
Arkansas CPA License Application & Renewal
Arkansas CPA licenses are valid for one year and expire on December 31 of each calendar year. Any holder planning to renew their license must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education during the 12-months preceding the renewal.
Arkansas CPA Salary
The salary for certified public accountants in Arkansas is slightly lower than what other licensed CPAs earn in other states. While most accountants are located in the Little Rock area, most earn an average of $66,450 a year.
There are roughly 7,440 accountants and auditors in Arkansas. The number of positions is projected to grow by 12.6% through 2028.
Additional Arkansas CPA Resources
Here is a list of resources that will help you take the CPA exam in Arkansas and become a certified public accountant.