Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Texas
Texas, often called the Lone Star State, is home to the second-biggest economy in the US with a gross state product of more than $1.7 trillion. Texas is also home to six of the top 50 companies in the US with major industries in petroleum and natural gas.
Texas is a great state for CPAs to work because of the high demand in financial services due to the booming technology, farming, and mining industries.
Your accounting career in Texas starts by fulfilling the minimum CPA qualifications established by the Texas Board. Let’s review the TX CPA requirements and what you must do to take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Texas.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Texas
Aspiring CPAs must meet these basic minimum CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Texas:
- Have a Valid Social Security Number
- Complete 150-hours of college education
- Minimum Age: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
- Texas Residency: not required
Unlike many other states, Texas does not require candidates to be a US citizen or be a Texas resident. Since Texas is a border state and doesn’t have these citizen/resident requirements, it is a preferred state for international candidates to take the CPA exam and prepare with any CPA study prep course.
Texas CPA Certification Education Requirements
As is the case in other states, Texas requires prospective CPAs to meet some basic education requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. Individuals hoping to become CPAs must complete a bachelor’s degree with at least 150-semester hours before they are eligible to take the CPA exam.
These credit credit hours must include both accounting and general business courses.
Candidates must complete at least 30 credit hours of upper-level accounting courses including:
- Managerial/ cost accounting
- Financial accounting
- Financial accounting
- Financial statement analysis
General Business Coursework
Candidates must also have completed 21-semester hours in upper-level business courses including:
- Information Systems
Candidates are also required to take at least 3 credit hours of ethics courses.
It’s important to note that these CPA education requirements must be completed BEFORE you can sit for the exam. Most states allow you to take the CPA after you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree with 120 credit hours, but Texas requires you to complete the full 150 credit hours before you can sit for the exam.
It’s also important that you get your credit hours and coursework approved by the Texas State Board before you apply to take the exam. This way you will know that your education meets the minimum Texas CPA requirements before you have to pay any application fees.
Texas CPA Exam Requirements
After you’ve met the Texas education requirements, you can apply to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. The CPA exam application process is pretty simple.
To apply for the CPA exam in Texas, you will need to send your CPA application to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy along with the following documents:
- All college transcripts
- Government Issued ID
- Social Security Number
- Application fees
The Texas Board is tasked with evaluating all academic credentials to ensure they meet the state CPA requirements. Once the board approves your application, you will be issued a NTS or notice to schedule.
This document gives you permission to schedule a CPA exam section of your choice with a Prometric testing center.
CPA Exam in Texas
The four sections of the CPA exam in Texas include:
Financial Accounting and Reporting: The section covers various financial reporting frameworks. Aspiring CPAs are also examined on their ability to compare statements from different reporting standards.
Auditing and Attestation: The section examines the candidate’s expertise in various auditing processes and the mastering of international auditing standards.
Regulation: The test examines the candidate’s competencies in ethics and legal responsibilities about accountancy.
Business Environment and Concepts: The section examines aspiring CPAs’ knowledge of various general business concepts.
As with any CPA exam application, you will need to pay the required CPA examination fees.
TX CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost of taking the CPA exam in Texas is $743, not including the additional $50 in application fee.
- 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: $50
There is another re-examination fee that ranges between $60 and $105 depending on the chosen sections.
Candidates are advised only to apply and schedule the CPA exam sections they wish to take within three months. The notice to schedule a CPA exam expires after three months in Texas. If you don’t sit for your exam in that period of time, your NTS will expire and you will have to pay an additional registration fee.
Texas CPA License Requirements
Applying for your CPA license is the final step in your CPA journey in the state of Texas. To become a licensed certified public accountant in Texas, the TX Board of Accountancy requires that you meet the following qualifications:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree with at 150 credit hours
- Pass the Uniform CPA Exam
- Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
- Complete 1-year of work experience
- Pay a certificate fee of $50
Candidates who meet the above CPA license requirements can complete the Application for CPA certificate sent by the TSBPA. Candidates must fill out the form within the packet and return it to the TSBPA. Applications are reviewed and, if complete, approved by a member of the qualifications team.
Approved candidates receive a letter with a license notice. Once a notice is sent, candidates must pay the final registration fee before using the CPA title.
AICPA Ethics Test
In addition to the Uniform CPA exam, the Texas Accountancy board requires aspiring CPAs to complete the four-hour ethics course approved by the board. The test is not as difficult as the CPA exam, but candidates must score at least 90% in order to pass.
Work Experience Requirements
The final step to becoming a licensed Certified public accountant in Texas is completing the required work experience. In Texas, candidates must complete at least one year or 2000 hours of paid or volunteer accounting work. The work experience must be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
As part of the work experience, candidates must specialize in providing service and advice in the following areas:
- Financial advisory
Aspiring CPAs must also ensure that their supervising CPA completes the Work Experience Form, verifying the work experience. This form must be submitted with your CPA license application.
Texas CPA License Application & Renewal
Licensed certified public accountants must renew their CPA license each year in the state of Texas. CPAs must also complete 120 hours of continuing education during any three years. A minimum of 20 hours of CPE education must occur during each calendar year.
The CPA renewal process is simple and can be completed through the TX State Board website. You will need to submit the following documents to renew your CPA license:
- CPA renewal application
- CPE certificates (120 hours)
- CPA license renewal fees
The board processes renewal applications quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait any time for your updated license.
Texas CPA Salary
The average Texas CPA salary is $79,000 per year, according to the Texas Department of Labor. However, CPAs working in metropolitan areas earn as much as $86,000, varying depending on the level of professional experience, education, and the employer.
Texas is home to the second-highest employment rate in the U.S as it also plays host to the second-largest economy, just behind California. Over 100,000 accountants and auditors are currently working in the state in various fields.
Steps to Become a CPA in Texas
Here are the steps to become a licensed CPA in Texas:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree with 150-hours of college education
- Pass the Uniform CPA exam
- Pass the AICPA Ethics exam
- Complete 1-year of work experience
- Complete CPE
Additional Texas CPA Resources
Here’s a list of several resources to learn how to take the CPA exam in Texas and become a certified public accountant.