How To Become a CPA in Louisiana: Step By Step Guide
Louisiana, nicknames the Pelican State, is a melting pot of French, African, Canadian, and modern American cultures. Best known for its port city of New Orleans, LA is leader in salt, oil, and gas production in the US.
Louisiana is also an especially nice state to start your career as an accountant. With its rich history and culture of jazz and the arts, LA is a great place to live.
In order to start your certified public accountant career in Louisiana, you’ll have to finish the minimum qualifications. Let’s examine the LA CPA requirements, so you can take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Louisiana.
Minimum Louisiana CPA Requirements for Certification
Prospective CPAs have to complete these basic requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Louisiana:
- Must be a US Citizen
- Must be a Louisiana resident
- Have a social security number
- Have a bachelor’s degree
- Have accrued 1-year work experience
- Minimum Age: not required
Louisiana has some of the strictest personal CPA qualifications of any state. This makes LA a very unfriendly state for international candidates. In order to qualify for the exam in Louisiana, they would need to be a US citizen, LA resident, and have a social security number.
This rules out most international candidates as well as out-of-state candidates.
Louisiana CPA Certification Education Requirements
In Louisiana, aspiring CPAs must meet some education requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. Candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours of college coursework before they can take the exam.
Included in their bachelor’s degree program (150 credit hours), candidates must take the following courses.
24-credit hours of accounting coursework at the undergraduate level including:
- Six hours intermediate accounting
- 3-hours cost accounting
- 3-hours Income tax
- Three hours of auditing coursework
21-credit hours of accounting coursework at the graduate level including:
- Intermediate accounting (three hours)
- Cost accounting (three hours)
- Income tax (three hours)
- Auditing (three hours)
- Accounting electives (nine hours)
CPA candidates must also complete at least three credit hours of learning either accounting theory or advanced finance and financial accounting. Likewise, candidates must complete at least nine semester hours of elective accounting courses.
Universities that use study materials for CPA students might also apply as part of your 150 college credit hours if they are approved by the university. You might want to check this with your State Board before you count on it.
General Business Coursework
Candidates must also complete 24 credit hours of general business courses including 3 credit hours of commercial law.
It’s important for student to have the State Board verify their educational credits before they apply to sit for the exam. If your credits do not meet the Louisiana CPA requirements, you will not be allowed to take the exam and will likely have to pay a re-application fee upon completion of your education.
Louisiana CPA Exam Requirements
Louisiana requires CPA candidates to complete the entire 150-credit hour educational requirement before they are eligible to sit for the CPA exam.
Candidates who have met the basic CPA education requirements must send their credentials to the State Board of CPAs for verification. With all the paperwork in order, the board will issue a ‘Notice to Schedule’ the CPA exam.
To apply and schedule a CPA exam, go to the CPA Examinations Services website. The application should be followed by official college transcripts and a bachelor’s degree.
Likewise, the consent to schedule a CPA exam would only be issued upon paying the required CPA exam fees.
LA CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The total cost of taking the CPA exam in Louisiana is $743 plus an initial $130 application fee. Here is a breakdown of the Louisiana CPA exam fees:
- 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: $130
The exam fees vary depending on the section one is taking. Likewise, CPA candidates are advised to apply and schedule a CPA exam they intend to take within six months.
Louisiana CPA License Requirements
The State Board of Louisiana requires aspiring CPAs to meet the following requirements before applying for a CPA license:
- Have a bachelor’s degree
- Accumulate 150 hours of college or university education
- Show proof of 1-year or 2000 hours accounting experience
- Take and pass all the four CPA exam
Those who meet the above requirements can download the application for a Certificate for a Certified Public Accountant. The application letter should be sent with a letter of one-year experience, official school transcripts, and appropriate fees.
The State Board of CPAs of Louisiana meets four times every year to consider CPA license applications. The board contacts successful candidates and send a hand-lettered wall certificate through mail.
There is no AICPA ethic exam CPA requirement in the state of Louisiana, so you won’t have to take an additional test after you pass the CPA exam.
Work Experience Requirements
In addition to taking the CPA exam, aspiring CPAs must accrue at least one year of work experience in accountancy. The work experience can be derived from employment in a government department, private or public sector academia, or non-profit.
Similarly, Louisiana requires aspiring CPAs to accrue work experience in attestation, accounting management advisory, financial advisory, and tax. Besides, the work experience must be carried out under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
Louisiana CPA License Application & Renewal
The state board requires CPAs t to renew their licenses every year. For renewals, holders must have completed at least 20 hours of continuing education to ensure they are conversant with emerging accounting trends.
Also, holders must complete 80-hours of CPE with no more than 20 hours of personal development courses.
Louisiana CPA Salary
The average Louisiana CPA salary is $77,553, according to the State Department of Labor and Statistics. However, pay varies depending on the level of education completed, years of professional experience, and the specific job title.
The state plays host to some of the best employment opportunities for licensed CPAs. For instance, some pursue careers as financial advisors, tasked with manage finances for individuals, corporations, and businesses.
A CPA license holder can also pursue a career as an auditor tasked with ensuring individuals, corporations, and businesses manage their finances adequately. A career in forensic accounting should allow one to analyze financial records in a bid to curb financial fraud.
Steps to Become a CPA in Louisiana
Below is are the steps to become a licensed certified public accountant in Louisiana:
- Getting the necessary education in the state
- Taking and passing the CPA exam
- Gaining necessary work experience
- Applying for the Louisiana CPA license
- Continuing education in the state
Additional Louisiana CPA Resources
Here are a few helpful resources to show how to take the CPA exam in Louisiana and become a certified public accountant.