Tennessee CPA Requirements

How To Become a CPA in Tennessee: Step By Step Guide

tennesse-cpa-exam-requirementsLearn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Tennessee

Tennessee, often called the The Volunteer State, is home to country music, rock ‘n roll, and a booming economy. Ranked number 3 is fiscal stability, Tennessee has proven itself to be a good state for businesses to locate.

Tennessee is also a great state for CPAs to start their careers. With an increasing population and booming business climate, TN is in need of accountants who can provide financial services.

The first step to starting your career as an accountant in Tennessee is to complete the state CPA qualifications. Let’s analyze the TN CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Tennessee.


Minimum Tennessee CPA Requirements for Certification

Aspiring CPAs must complete the following basic CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Tennessee:

  • Have a social security number
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or
  • Be within 200 days to completing a degree program
  • Minimum Age: not required
  • US Citizenship: not required
  • Tennessee Residency: not required

Unlike in other states, aspiring CPAs in Tennessee don’t have to be U.S citizens or state residents. Likewise, there is no age requirement to becoming a CPA in the state.


Tennessee CPA Certification Education Requirements

Future CPAs must meet some basic education requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in Tennessee. The education requirement includes a Bachelor’s degree with at least 150 semester hours of coursework.

Accounting Coursework

Of the 150 semester hours, 30 hours must be in upper-level accounting division level including:

  • Auditing
  • Financial reporting
  • Taxation
  • Attest
  • Theories of Accounting

General Business Coursework

Besides, 24 semester hours must be in general business courses including:

  • Business Law
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Business Ethics

Academic credentials should be completed in a credited learning institution. International students should have their academic credentials evaluated by accrediting agencies in the US to meet the Tennessee CPA Requirements set by the State Board of Accountancy.

If your education requirements are not met, you might have to pay an additional registration fee to re-apply for the exam when you complete your education qualifications.


Tennessee CPA Exam Requirements

CPA candidates who complete their education requirements can apply to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. Remember, Tennessee allows you to sit for the CPA exam before you graduate from college.

If you are within 200 days of graduation and are on track to fulfill all of your course requirements, you can apply to take the Uniform CPA exam.

The application process is easy. You can fill out all of the application documents on the NASBA website. As part of your CPA application process, you will need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • Full set of college transcripts
  • Official ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Application fees

Keep in mind that candidates must send all official transcripts from every school attended indicating that all CPA education requirements have been met. Thus, if you’ve transferred schools several times, you will need to send in transcripts from each college you attended.

Once all the transcripts are assessed and accepted, you will receive a Notice to Schedule allowing you to schedule a CPA exam section at a Prometric testing center.

CPA Exam in Tennessee

The CPA exam in Tennessee includes four different sections:

Financial Accounting and Reporting: A section designed to test aspiring CPA’s competencies in financial reporting frameworks. The test also examines candidates’ ability to compare statements from different reporting standards.

Auditing and Attestation: A section that examines candidates’ auditing skills and mastering various international auditing standards.

Regulation: The section exam covers professional band legal responsibilities about public accountants

Business Environment and Concepts: The final section examines the candidate’s knowledge of various general business concepts.

Once your application is complete, you will need to pay the examination fees.

TN CPA Exam Costs & Fees

The total cost of taking the Uniform CPA exam in Tennessee is $743. Candidates must also pay $145 as the initial application fee. The re-examination fee varies depending on the section one is taking; it also includes a registration fee of between $75 and $120.

  • 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: $155

Tennessee CPA License Requirements

Applying for your CPA license in TN is easy. Before you become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in TN, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree program including at least 150-hours of coursework
  • Pass the Uniform CPA exam
  • Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Complete a 1-year work experience program
  • Paid the required licensure fees

The Tennessee Board takes about three days to review CPA license applications. Once an application is approved, the same is communicated to you via email with the license number. The board sends a wallet card and a physical license certificate, and a decorative wall certificate one to two months later.

AICPA Ethics Exam

The Tennessee accountancy board requires aspiring CPAs to take the AICPA Ethics test as part of the licensure process. The open-book test is not as difficult as the CPA exam. However, candidates must score more than 90% for a pass.

Work Experience Requirements

After taking the CPA and the Ethics test, the next step to becoming a CPA in Tennessee is accruing sufficient work experience. The work experience should be no fewer than 2,000 hours within three years after taking the CPA exam.

The work experience must be completed while providing services in either of the following fields.

  • Attestation
  • Accounting
  • Financial Advisory
  • Consultation tax

Similarly, the work experience can be accrued while working in a government department, academia, public or private sector, or non-profit. Besides, it should be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA in the state.


Tennessee CPA License Application & Renewal

CPA license holders must renew their licenses every year in Tennessee. The renewal process is pretty straight forward and can be completed on the State Board website.

You will need to log into your account, fill out the CPA renewal application, and pay the license fees for the current year. You will also need to submit your CPE certificates as proof that you complete the mandatory continuing education requirements.

For renewal, holders must have completed at least 80 hours of continuing education each year. This continuing education must be done through an approved CPE provider.

Tennessee CPA Salary

The average Tennessee CPA salary is $71,460 per year, according to the TN State Board. This statewide average differs from one location to the next with the highest CPA salaries are in the Memphis Metro area, with yearly salaries averaging $74,330.

Tennessee is one of the most diverse economies in the U.S, offers some of the best employment opportunities in various fields. Licensed CPAs can work as forensic accountants tasked with curbing financial fraud or work as Managerial accountants or financial analysts.


Steps to Become a CPA in Tennessee

With employment opportunities for Licensed CPAs always in abundance, carving a career on this front offers the best way of earning some of the state’s highest salary perks. Here are the steps to become a CPA in Tennessee:

  • Getting an education in the state
  • Taking the Uniform CPA exam
  • Taking the AICPA Ethics exam
  • Gaining the necessary accountancy experience
  • Applying for the Tennessee CPA license
  • Staying current with Continuing Professional Education

Additional Tennessee CPA Resources

Here are several great CPA resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Tennessee and become a certified public accountant.

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