Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Utah
Utah, often called the Beehive State, is known for its high quality of life, low crime levels, and beautiful landscapes. Utah is arguably one of the best places to pursue a career as a certified public accountant (CPA).
The state is home to one of the most diversified economies in the U.S. Agriculture and mining are critical economic drivers, closely followed by finance, manufacturing, and transportation.
The beginning of your accounting career in Utah starts with fulfilling the state’s qualifications. Let’s take a look at the UT CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Utah.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Utah
Aspiring CPAs must meet these basic CPA requirements set forth by the Utah State Board in order to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Utah:
- Must have a social security number
- Complete 150-hours of college education
- Minimum Age: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
- Utah Residency: not required
Unlike in other states, you don’t have to be a U.S citizen or a Utah resident to pursue a career as a certified public accountant in Utah. Likewise, there is also no minimum age limit to take the CPA in Utah.
All of these CPA requirements make Utah a feasible state for international students to take the CPA exam if they are able to get a Social Security number.
Utah CPA Certification Education Requirements
The Utah Board of Accountancy requires aspiring CPAs to complete a minimum education requirement of a bachelor’s degree consisting of at least 150 college credit hours before sitting for the CPA exam. This requirement is slightly stricter than most states because there is no option to take the exam before you complete 150 college credit hours.
Although they are strict on the credit hour limit, Utah does give you four different educational pathways to fulfill their requirements.
Graduate Degree in Accounting including:
A master’s degree in accounting will automatically qualify you to take the CPA exam.
Graduate Degree in Business including:
- 24 credit hours of undergraduate accounting coursework including: financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
- 15 semester hours in graduate accounting coursework: financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
Undergraduate Degree in Accounting or Business:
- 16 credit hours of in upper level courses including at least two hours for each: financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
- 8 credit hours of graduate accounting courses including at least 1 hour for each: financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
- 12 credit hours of in upper level business (non-accounting) courses
- 12 credit hours of graduate level business courses
- 12 credit hours of either upper-division or graduate accounting or business courses
Undergraduate Degree in General Studies:
The general studies bachelor’s degree must include a concentration of accounting, auditing, and business to qualify.
Of the 150 credit hours, 24 hours must cover accounting courses such as
- public accounting
- Management accounting
Likewise, aspiring CPAs must complete at least 24 semester hours in non-accounting business-related courses. The coursework must entail either of the following areas of studies:
- Business law
- Business ethics
- Business statistics and quantitative methods
- Written and oral business communications
- Business administration
If you have a general bachelor’s degree, you should contact NASBA or your state board to make sure you have the proper amount of accounting courses and related business courses to qualify for the CPA exam. If your Utah CPA requirements are not met, you will have to pay an additional CPA exam registration fee.
You may also want to check with the Utah Board to see if they recommend a CPA prep guide for visual learners that qualifies for educational credits. In the past, Utah has allowed candidates to use their review courses as credit towards their educational requirements.
Utah CPA Exam Requirements
After you fulfill the education requirements, you will be eligible to take the CPA exam in Utah, but first you will need to apply to take the exam. To apply for the CPA exam in Utah, you’ll need to send your application to the Utah Board of Accountancy with the following CPA application documents:
- Full, Untampered College Transcripts
- Government issued ID
- Social Security Number
The application process is simple and can be filled out on the CPA Examination Services website. All the required documentation with the completed application must be sent to the board for evaluation. Once the board approves your qualifications, they will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS), which gives you the right to schedule your exam sections with a Prometric testing center.
The four sections of the CPA exam include:
Financial accounting and Reporting: The section examines candidate’s knowledge and competencies in financial reporting frameworks. It also tests the candidate’s ability to compare and understand statements from different reporting standards.
Auditing and Attestation: One of the most rigorous sections that examine knowledge and understanding of various auditing processes and standards.
Regulation: The section tries to evaluate candidates mastering ethical and legal responsibilities in accountancy.
Business Environment and Concepts: The section test mostly covers general business concepts and international standards.
The application is only complete after you send in all your documentation and pay the required CPA exam fees.
UT CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost of the CPA exam in Utah is $743, not including the initial $145 application fee. The re-examination fee varies between $65 and $110, depending on the sections one is taking.
- 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: $145
Candidates are also advised only to apply and schedule the CPA exam sections they intend to take within six months of the issuance of the Notice to Schedule. If you don’t sit for a section that you received a NTS for, your NTS will expire and you will be required to pay another registration fee to get another NTS.
Utah CPA License Requirements
The process to obtain a Utah CPA license can be difficult for many first time candidates, but we will try to simplify it for you. To become a licensed certified public accountant in Utah, the UT State Board requires that you meet the following requirements:
- Have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
- Complete at least 150-credit hours of college education
- Pass the CPA exam
- Pass the AICAP Ethics exam
- Complete 1-year work experience
Candidates who meet the above requirements can apply for the license by filling out the application for licensure and submitting all the documents indicating the above CPA requirements. All the documentation must be mailed to the Utah Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing.
Once everything is approved by the board, candidates will be notified by email. The approval email comes with a license number as well as wallet cards and a certificate of licensure.
AICPA Ethics Exam
For licensure, CPA candidates must take and pass the AICPA Ethics exam in addition to the uniform CPA test. While not as rigorous as the CPA exam, you do have to score at least a 90% to pass the exam. You can purchase the test directly form the AICPA for $149. AICPA members only have to pay $119.
Work Experience Requirements
Utah requires aspiring CPAs to complete at least one year of work experience before they are eligible for CPA licensure. The CPA work experience requirement can be completed while working in a government department, private sector, public sector, or in academia.
As part of the work experience, you must apply auditing and accounting skills and offer financial services. Similarly, the work experience should be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
Utah CPA License Application & Renewal
CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses every two years. As part of the renewal process, holders must have completed at least 80 hours of continuing professional education.
You can renew your CPA license in Utah through the UT State Board of Accountancy website. You will need to submit the following documents for each license renewal:
- CPA License renewal form
- CPE certificates (80 hours)
- CPA license renewal fee
Utah CPA Salary
The average Utah CPA salary is $68,000 per year, according to the Utah Department of Labor and Statistics. The average salary varies depending on where you work and your level of professional experience. Accountants in the Salt Lake City metropolitan earn the highest, with salaries climbing to $80,000 per year on average.
Licensed CPAs can find work opportunities in various accounting departments both at government, public and private levels. In the state, there are about 10,000 accountants spread across multiple fields.
Some have carved careers out of forensic accounting, while others have pursued careers as financial analysts and others as management accountants.
Steps to Become a CPA in Utah
Here are the steps to become a licensed CPA in Utah:
- Getting the necessary education in the state
- Taking and passing the uniform CPA exam
- Taking and passing the AICPA Ethics exam
- Gaining the necessary work experience
- Continuing with education in the state
Additional Utah CPA Resources
Here is a list of resources you may use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Utah and become a certified public accountant.