Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Vermont
Vermont, also known as the Green Mountain State, is one of the smallest and least populated states. Best known for its forested landscape, covered bridges, and ski slopes, Vermont is home to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S.
The Vermont economy relies heavily on the services sector with a strong demand for Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in the financial, agricultural, and tourism industries.
The initial step to starting your career as an accountant in Vermont is fulfilling the minimum qualifications. Let’s take a look at the VT CPA requirements that you must complete to take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Vermont.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Vermont
Aspiring CPAs must meet the following CPA requirements in order to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Vermont:
- Have a social security number
- Have a bachelor’s degree or be within 60 days of graduation
- Minimum Age: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
- Vermont Residency: not required
Unlike in other states, there is no age requirement to become a CPA in Vermont. Similarly, there is no U.S citizenship or Vermont state residency requirement.
These loose CPA requirements make Vermont and attractive state for international candidates who are able to obtain a valid Social Security number.
Vermont CPA Certification Education Requirements
Completing the CPA education requirement is the most time consuming part of becoming a CPA in Vermont. The Vermont State Board of Accountancy requires aspiring CPAs to complete a bachelor’s degree totaling 120 college credit hours to qualify to take the exam. Keep in mind, you will need at least 150 credit hours to get your CPA license.
The 150 credit hours must include 42 hours in upper-level accounting courses broken down into the following course subjects:
- 6-semester hours in financial accounting
- 3-semester hours in auditing
- 3-semester hours in taxation
- 3-semester hours in business law
- 3-semester hours in Ethics
The academic credentials must be obtained from an accredited learning institution. International candidates must have their education credentials certified by any of the accrediting agencies in the U.S.
It’s wise for any international candidate to get their college credits approved by the state board prior to applying for the exam. This way they will know if their education meets the Vermont CPA requirements before they have to pay any fees.
Vermont CPA Exam Requirements
Vermont allows candidates to take the CPA exam before they graduate from college as long as they meed certain criteria. Aspiring CPAs who are within 60 days of completing a 120-semester hour bachelor degree can apply to sit the CPA exam. Vermont allows candidates to begin a portion of the CPA exam before completing the 150 semester-hour requirements.
Candidates who meet the education requirements can apply for the CPA exam through the CPA examination services (NASBA) website. You must submit the following documents with your CPA exam application:
- All college transcripts
- Government issued ID
- Social Security Number
It’s not a requirement to use a CPA exam prep course, but most candidates do because it’s the only way to thoroughly study for the exam.
NASBA is the board tasked with verifying education requirements and issuing the Notice to Schedule for candidates who meet the requirements. Once NASBA approves your application, you will be able to schedule an exam section through the Prometic website.
The CPA exam includes four sections:
Financial Accounting and Reporting: The test covers financial reporting frameworks, and candidates are normally asked to compare statements from different reporting standards.
Auditing and Attestation: The test tries to examine candidates mastering of auditing processes and standards.
Regulation: The test covers professional and legal responsibilities on how public accountants ought to operate.
Business Environment and Concepts: The test portion tries to evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of business concepts and international business.
It’s important to remember that your NTS is only valid for 6 months, so only schedule the exams that you are ready to take in 6 months or you will have to pay extra fees.
VT CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost of taking the CPA exam in Vermont is $743 not including the initial $220 application fee. The re-examination fee varies depending on the number of 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: $220
If you do not pass a CPA exam section, you will need to pay a re-examination fee along with the re-application fee. Needless to say, this can add up quickly if you have to retake multiple sections.
Vermont CPA License Requirements
The CPA licensing process in Vermont can be challenging for first-time CPAs. Here is a list of the requirements to become a licensed certified public accountant in Vermont:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree program totaling 150 college credit hours
- Pass the CPA exam
- Pass the Ethics test
- Complete one year of supervised work experience
Candidates who meet the above requirements can apply for the Vermont CPA License. If all the CPA qualifications are met, the board will issue you a CPA license. This means you will be able to practice as a CPA in the state.
Vermont AICPA Ethics Test Requirement
Vermont CPA candidates must pass the Ethics exam in order to become licensed. The open-book test is not difficult, but you must score more than 90% to a pass. You also can only fail the test 3 times before you will need to take it in a testing center.
Work Experience Requirements
To become a licensed CPA in Vermont, you must also fulfill practical work experience. The Vermont Board of Accountancy requires aspiring CPAs to complete one year of work experience supervised by an active CPA. The work experience CPA requirement can be completed in a government department, private or public sector, nonprofit, or academia.
Some of the competencies that must be covered as part of the work experience include:
- Evaluation of internal procedures and controls
- Reviewing and preparation of tax provisions
- Verification of transactions and balances
- Planning and revising of audit programs
- Preparation and analysis of financial reports and statements
Vermont CPA License Application & Renewal
Licensed CPAs are required to renew their licenses every two years. At the time of renewal, candidates must have completed 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE).
The CPA license renewal process is pretty straight forward. You can fill out the renewal forms and pay the licensing fees on the Vermont State Board website. You can also submit your CPE certificates as proof of your CPE credits for the year through the website portal.
Vermont CPA Salary
The average Vermont CPA salary is $62,000 per year according to the Vermont Department of Labor. This average varies based on experiences and job position, as the entry-level salaries for licensed CPAs are only about $48,000 in Vermont. Salary can increase depending on the level of professional experience and education.
Licensed CPAs can work in various fields and sectors in the vast Vermont economy. Environmental accounting is an emerging area whereby CPAs help companies take advantage of federal tax incentives for green technologies.
Similarly, some pursue careers as financial analysts and advisors. One can also become a forensic accountant tasked with curbing financial fraud in the state or pursue a career as a management accountant tasked with seeking out inefficiencies in business operations.
Steps to Become a CPA in Vermont
Here are the steps to become a licensed CPA in Vermont:
- Get an education in the state
- Take and pass the CPA exam
- Take and pass the Ethics test
- Gain the necessary work experience
- Apply for the Vermont CPA license
- Continue education in the state
Additional Vermont CPA Resources
Here are the most common resources that show how to take the CPA exam in Vermont and become a certified public accountant.