Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Georgia
Georgia is the number one producer of peanut, pecans, and Vidalia onions in the United States and the largest state east of the Mississippi River with a total gross state product of more than $500 billion. Despite being one of the smallest economies in the U.S, the state offers an ideal working environment and pay for Certified Public Accountants.
Attaining the much-coveted CPA certification is highly rewarding, as Georgia ranks higher as one of the best states to do business in the U.S. The state ranks higher on the labor climate for workers and is home to some of the biggest and best businesses.
Georgia has several requirements that CPA candidates must fulfill before they can become licensed. Let’s explore the GA CPA requirements along with the steps to take the CPA exam in Georgia and become a licensed CPA in Georgia.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Georgia
CPA candidates who want to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Georgia must meet these minimum requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a social security number
- Partake international programs and exam
- Have a bachelor’s degree
- Accrue 1-year continues work experience majoring in accountancy
One thing to note is that prospective CPAs don’t need to be U.S citizens or Georgia state residents.
Georgia CPA Certification Education Requirements
As is the case in other states, Georgia requires prospective CPAs to meet basic education requirements to sit for the uniform CPA exam. Likewise, the education requirement aligns with that of other states.
For starters, one needs at least 120-semester hours for undergraduate coursework majoring in accountancy. For full licensure, applicants must obtain additional 30-semester hours. The education must also include 30-semester hours in accounting and at least 24 hours in business-related courses.
The bachelor’s degree that one obtains must be from an accredited institution to qualify for the CPA exam. Applicants from foreign schools must ensure their academic credentials are evaluated and accredited by an accrediting agency in the U.S.
Make sure that your educational credits are approved by the state board and meet the Georgia CPA requirements before you register to take the exam. Otherwise, you might have to pay exam fees twice.
Georgia CPA Exam Requirements
Taking the uniform CPA exam is arguably the most challenging step to becoming a licensed public accountant in Georgia. Being one of the most difficult professional exams out there, it only has a pass rate of about 50%.
You can only register to take the CPA exam in Georgia after you’ve met the minimum education requirements of a bachelor’s degree including 120 college credit-hours of course work.
After you’ve completed your education, you can apply for your CPA exam through the CPA Examination Services website. You will need to submit the following:
- Submits official college transcripts
- Pays the application fees
After your application is approved by the State Board of Accountancy, you will be approved to schedule your first CPA exam section on the NASBA website. After you schedule your first exam, you will receive an NTS that allows you to schedule your exam with a Prometric testing center.
GA CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost of taking the entire four CPA exam sections is $743, including an initial application fee of $135. The fees would vary depending on the section one is taking at any given time
- 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: $135
Once an application is approved, you will have at least six months to schedule the first test. Likewise, one must schedule and pay for a CPA exam they wish to take within six months as the notice expires six months after issuance.
Georgia CPA License Requirements
Passing the exam is the start of your CPA journey in the state of Georgia. After you pass the CPA exam you will need to meet the following CPA license requirements in order to be granted a CPA license.
You are eligible to apply for a CPA license in Georgia only if they have:
- Accrued 150 semester hours of college
- Have a bachelor’s degree
- Passed the Uniform CPA exam
- Fulfilled the Boards experience requirement (2000 hours)
Applicants who hold CPA licenses in other states can qualify for a Georgia CPA if:
- The CPA license is from a state that recognized Georgia CPA certificates.
- The CPA license is not from Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
- One meets Georgia’s education examination and experience requirements.
- One becomes a Georgia resident and establishes an office or business in the state.
Keep in mind, you must pay the $170 fee for an initial certificate when you apply for your license.
Work Experience Requirements
Passing the CPA exam is only the start attaining your CPA license. Likewise, candidates must accrue sufficient work experience to succeed on a CPA license application. Georgia requires candidates to work for one-year approximately 2,000 hours to earn the much-needed experience.
Applicants can work in a public accounting firm, government agency, a non-profit private institution, or academic institution to accrue accountancy experience. Similarly, the work experience should be supervised by a licensed CPA holder.
Georgia CPA License Application & Renewal
Once you have become a CPA in the state of Georgia, you will need to keep your license current. This includes renewing your license, paying the annual fees, and completing the bi-annual CPE requirements.
The CPA renewal process is simple in Georgia. You can easily renew your license through the state board website by filling out the form, submitting your CPE and payment.
Georgia does not have a CPE requirement for the first year of your CPA license. They give you a break, so don’t worry about completing all of your CPE hours the first year.
After your first year, however, you will need to complete 80 hours of CPE every two years with a minimum of 20 hours completed each year. The CPE hours should consist of at least 20% of audit and A&A education. There is no requirement for licensed CPAs to complete CPA classroom lessons or online courses. CPAs can take any approved CPE credits online or live, in-person lessons to qualify.
Georgia CPA Salary
The early-career salary for licensed CPAs averages $41,000 in Georgia. Experienced accountants can earn as much as $61,000 a year depending on years’ experience, location, and the client one is working for.
Certified Public Accountants can work in various fields across the state. The number of jobs stands at about 36,000. Licensed CPAs can work as tax accountants tasked with handling tax matters for individual clients, small companies, and large corporations.
Likewise, one can look for a job as an accountant tasked with developing financial statements, computing, and overseeing costs, as well as recording business transactions.
Additional Georgia CPA Resources
Here are a few great resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Georgia and become a licensed certified public accountant.