How To Become a CPA in Missouri: Step By Step Guide
Missouri, often called the Show-Me State, is known for its breweries, mining industries, and transportation manufactures. Ranked #4 in opportunity, MO is a great state for businesses.
Over the past few decades, Missouri’s economy has changed drastically with healthcare becoming its largest industry. This is great news for future CPAs, as accountants and financial professionals are always needed in healthcare.
But before you can begin your accounting career in Missouri, you’ll need to complete the minimum qualifications. Let’s analyze the MO CPA requirements and explain the process of taking the CPA exam and becoming a licensed CPA in Missouri.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Missouri
Future CPA candidates must complete each of the following requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Missouri:
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Must be a Missouri State resident
- Must have a social security number
- Be within 60 days to completing an education requirement
- Complete 1-year work experience of accounting and auditing skills
- US Citizenship: not required
The Missouri state requirements are pretty strict as compared with other states making MO not a great state for international candidates. You will need to not only be an MO resident, but you will also have to be approved for a social security number.
Missouri CPA Certification Education Requirements
Aspiring CPAs in Missouri need at least 150-semester hours of college or university education with a high concentration on accounting.
While the minimum requirement to sitting the CPA exam is a bachelor’s degree, candidate can still sit the exam if they are 60 days to graduation.
Besides, one must have completed at least 120-credit hours before graduation.
The Missouri accountancy board requires CPA candidate to complete 33-credit hours in accounting.
A minimum of 18 hours of the 33 hours must be completed in an upper-level accounting course focusing on:
- Theories of Cost Accounting
- Government Accounting
General Business Coursework
Aspiring CPA’s also need 27 semester hours of coursework focusing on general business topics such as:
- Business law
- Accounting law
All the academic credentials must be completed in a regionally accredited institution. It’s important that you make sure all of your college credits are approved before you apply to sit for the exam.
If any of your credits do not meet the Missouri CPA requirements, you will not be allowed to take the exam. You will also be required to pay a second application fee when you re-apply in the future.
Missouri CPA Exam Requirements
CPA candidate who meet the education requirement and feel confident about taking the Uniform CPA exam can do so. The CPA exam examines the applicant’s competencies in various fields of accounting.
CPA candidate who wish to do the CPA exam must send their academic credentials to the CPA Examination Services for verification. If all the academic CPA requirements are satisfied, a ‘Notice to Schedule’ is issued, allowing one to apply and schedule a CPA exam.
A CPA exam application is only complete upon paying the required examination fees.
MO CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost of taking the CPA exam in Missouri is $743 plus an initial $132 application fee. Here is a breakdown of the each CPA exam section costs and 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: $132
The examination fees vary depending on the number of sections one is taking.
While scheduling a CPA exam, it is important to schedule an exam that one intends to take within six months.
Missouri CPA License Requirements
Before you are eligible to become a licensed CPA in Missouri, you will need to complete the following requirements:
- 150 semester hours of college education leading to a bachelor’s degree
- Taking and passing the uniform CPA exam
- Taking and Passing the AICPA Ethics exam
- Fulfillment of one-year work experience
CPA candidate who meet the above requirements can apply for the Missouri CPA license by filling out the Application for Initial license to Practice Public accounting. The application form should be followed by all documents showing proof of the above-listed CPA exam requirements.
Likewise, all the documentation should be sent to the Missouri State Board of Accountancy. The board processes all applications taking into considerations all the attached documentation. The approval processes normally take two weeks, after which successful candidate are notified via mail, followed by their license number and paper license.
AICPA Ethics Exam
In Missouri, CPA candidate must also take and pass the Ethics examination for licensure. The open book exam is not as rigorous as the CPA exam. However, one must score a minimum of 90% for a pass.
Work Experience Requirements
The board also requires aspiring CPAs to accrue sufficient work experience as part of the CPA licensure process. The state requires candidate to complete at least 2,000 hours of experience in less than one year after taking the CPA exam.
The work experience should include either of the following competencies or skills.
- Management Advisory
Missouri allows CPA candidates who prefer to go directly into academia to use CPA exam teaching courses as part of their work experience requirement as long as it fulfills the above competency and skill qualifications.
The work experience should also be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA who is required to fill out the Experience section in the application form for a Missouri CPA license.
Missouri CPA License Application & Renewal
The board requires CPAs to renew their license every two years. For renewals, holders must have completed at least 40 hours of continuing professional education each calendar year.
Missouri CPA Salary
The annual average Missouri CPA salary is $69,000. This pay scale varies depending on where one is working or level of professional experience. The St Louis area is known for CPAs earning the upward of $76,000 a year.
With the Department of labor projecting a 10% expected growth for CPAs through 2026, now may be the best time to pursue the highly coveted Missouri CPA License.
Licensed CPAs are always guaranteed job opportunities in the cage state, given the number of corporations, firms, and government departments in need of accounting services.
Likewise, the career path comes down to what one wants to do. Some pursue careers as financial analysts and advisors, as others seek careers in forensic accounting.
Steps to Become a CPA in Missouri
Here is a list of steps aspiring CPA candidates must meet to become a licensed CPA in the state of Missouri:
- Get an education in the state
- Take and pass the Uniform CPA exam
- Accrue the necessary work experience
- Apply for the Missouri CPA license
- Continue with CPE education
Additional Missouri CPA Resources
Here are the most common resources to help take the CPA exam in Missouri and become a certified public accountant.