How To Become a CPA in Kentucky: Step By Step Guide
Kentucky, sometime called the Bluegrass State, is the world’s horse capital, with thoroughbred horse racing generating more than $8.5 billion annually. KY is also home to all American whiskey and an expansive coal mining industry.
Kentucky is an amazing state to begin your career as an accountant. With top food manufactures like Kroger and Tyson foods headquartered in KY, there are plenty of accounting opportunities.
Before you can jump start your CPA career in Kentucky, you’ll need to finish the minimum qualifications. Let’s review the KY CPA requirements and see how you can take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Kentucky.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Kentucky
Prospective future CPAs will need to meet the following standard requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Kentucky:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a social security number
- Have a bachelor’s degree (120 credits)
- Accrue 1-year experience majoring in accounting
- Kentucky residency: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
Unlike in other states, you don’t need to be an American citizen or Kentucky state residency in order to qualify for the CPA exam. All candidates do, however, have to complete a specific CPA education requirement before they are eligible to sit.
Kentucky CPA Certification Education Requirements
The Kentucky Board of Accountancy requires aspiring certified public accountants to complete at least 120 semester hours of college education before sitting for the CPA exam.
Although you only need 120 credits to take the exam, you will need to complete an additional 30 credits (totaling 150 college credits) in order to qualify for a CPA license in Kentucky.
The 150 semester college credit hours of coursework must major in accounting and include the following:
- 27 hours of accounting courses
- 12 hours of business-related subjects
- 39 hours overview business courses
If you completed your education in an international college or university, the board requires the academic credentials to be evaluated and accredited before submission. It’s important to get your degree program approved before you apply to take the exam.
You don’t want to find out that your accounting degree doesn’t meet the Kentucky CPA requirements and be required to take additional classes.
Once you fulfill the education CPA exam requirements, you must send your official transcripts to the accountancy board for verification. Approval of the education credentials paves the way for candidates to apply and schedule the CPA exam.
Kentucky CPA Exam Requirements
Kentucky requires CPA candidates to complete a bachelor’s degree program with at least 120 hours of college coursework before they can apply for the exam. Once you’ve completed your degree program and credit hour requirements, you can apply.
Confident individuals can apply for the Uniform CPA exam through the KSBA website, where one receives an application packet for filling out forms and sending the official college transcripts. Those who meet the CPA exam requirements are usually given the go-ahead to apply and schedule the CPA exam they wish to take.
However, to schedule, an exam one must pay the required examination and application fee.
KY CPA Exam Costs & Fees
In Kentucky, the cost of taking the entire CPA exam is $788.50 plus an initial application fee of $30. The cost of each section exam varies as follows:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $207.15
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $185.10
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $207.15
- Regulation (REG): $185.10
- Application Fee: $30 + $120 (All 4 parts)
One quick tip to reduce needless CPA exam fees is to keep in mind when you NTS expires. You only have 6 months to take each section before your NTS is invalid. Don’t register to take more than you will be able to squeeze in during that time. Otherwise, you may have to pay additional fees.
Kentucky CPA License Requirements
In order to practice public accounting in Kentucky, you will need to get your CPA license. After you passed the CPA exam, you can apply for a CPA license through the Kentucky State Board of accountancy.
Before applying, prospective CPAs have to complete the following CPA requirements before they are eligible to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Kentucky:
- Complete 150 semester hours
- Have earned a bachelor’s degree
- Pass the Uniform CPA exam
- Fulfilled one-year work experience
The board reviews each application taking into consideration all the listed requirements. Those who meet all the requirements receive license documents signaling they can practice as licensed, certified public accountants.
Candidates can only use the professional title of CPA after their license has been approved by the board and they have been issued a CPA license number.
Kentucky does not have an ethics exam requirement. There is no need to take the AICPA ethics exam to become licensed in KY.
Work Experience Requirements
In addition to taking the Uniform CPA exam, aspiring CPAs in Kentucky must accrue sufficient work experience before applying for licensure. The 1-year work experience can be gained in public or private accounting or auditing, government or academia.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree, the work experience must occur within five years of passing the CPA exam. Likewise, the work experience should be accrued under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
Kentucky CPA License Application & Renewal
In Kentucky, CPAs must renew their license online on the first day of August, in the second year after issuance. The board typically sends annual renewal notices.
Licensed CPAs also must complete 80 hours of continued education completed during the two years and submit their CPE certificates along with their CPA license renewal forms each year.
Kentucky CPA Salary
The average Kentucky CPA salary is $73,280, which is slightly less than the national average.
CPAs working in urban and metropolitan areas are likely to earn more in salaries. For instance, in the Louisville area, the average CPA salary is about $73,000 a year. Accountants in the greater Cincinnati area pocket as much as 75,000 a year.
Licensed CPAs can work in various sectors around the state. For instance, one can pursue a career as a forensic accountant or financial analyst, or advisors. Likewise, licensed holders can also pursue careers in managerial accounting.
Steps to Become a CPA in Kentucky
Aspiring CPA candidates in Kentucky must take the following steps:
- Get an education in the state.
- Take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam
- Gain the necessary accounting experience
- Get the CPA License
- Continue accounting education
Additional Kentucky CPA Resources
Below is a list of helpful resources for taking the CPA exam in Kentucky and becoming a certified public accountant.