Florida CPA requirements

Wondering how to get your CPA in Florida? The first thing you’ll want to do on the road to becoming a CPA in Florida is to check the Florida state CPA requirements, as the Florida board will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for how to get your CPA license in Florida and is current as of January 2021. Always consult with your state or jurisdiction's board of accountancy for the most current information.

How do you become a CPA in Florida?

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam and becoming a licensed CPA. In order to be eligible to become a Florida CPA, the state requires candidates to meet certain education and experience requirements.

Florida CPA education requirements

In order to take the CPA Exam in Florida, you must meet a set of education requirements. First, you need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university with concentrations in accounting and business. You must also have 150 semester hours, or 225 quarter hours, in accounting and business subjects. These semester-hour requirements include the 120 semester or 180 quarter hours required to sit for the CPA Exam.

The Florida education requirements must be met as follows:

  • 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) in upper-level accounting courses including:
    • Auditing
    • Cost accounting
    • 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of financial accounting
    • 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of taxation based on US accounting standards
    • Note: All accounting courses must be at the upper-division level. 
  • 36 semester hours (54 quarter hours) of general business courses to include:
    • 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of business law based on US law
    • Note: one microeconomics, one macroeconomics, one statistics, one business law, and one introduction to computers course may be at the lower-division level.

Florida CPA experience requirements

Florida requires all candidates to complete one year of work experience verified by a licensed CPA.

Experience must start after completion of 120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours from an accredited college or university with a concentration in accounting and business courses.

Work experience shall include any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attestation, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of which must be verified by a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state or territory of the United States. This experience is acceptable if it was gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice and constituted a substantial part of the applicant’s duties.

The experience must either average at least 20 hours a week over no more than 104 weeks, or average no more than40 hours a week over no more than 52 weeks. Reasonable vacation time and sick leave or other required absences may be permitted. A certified public accountant shall certify that the applicant rendered such services as are customarily performed by full-time, regularly employed staff employees for a minimum of 2,000 hours gained over a period of not less than 52 or more than 104 weeks. The sequence of the experience is considered immaterial, that is, whether the experience was secured before or after taking the examination, or partly before the examination and partly after the examination, provided the two periods combined equal at least one year.

Florida CPA CPE requirements

Florida CPA continuing education requirements are intended to assist CPAs in maintaining their professional knowledge and competence. There are four categories into which all acceptable subject matter for CPE credit is classified: accounting and auditing, technical business, behavioral and ethics. Florida CPAs must complete a total of 80 CPE hours and include at least eight hours in accounting and auditing and four hours in Board-approved ethics every two years.

The accounting and auditing category is narrowly limited to include only courses on accounting and financial reporting subjects, professional pronouncements of authoritative accounting principles issued by the standard-setting bodies and any other related subject generally classified within the accounting discipline.

Accounting-related subjects or courses including, but not limited to, financial accounting (including current authoritative literature in generally accepted accounting principles in the United States and the Pronouncements of the Accounting Principles Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board) and accounting for specialized industries.

Auditing-related subjects or courses, include, but are not limited to, general auditing theory and practice (including current authoritative literature in generally accepted auditing standards in the United States and the Statements on Auditing Standards promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, auditing for specialized industries (including governmental auditing requirements) and audit applications to computers and information systems.

The technical business category is broad, and includes courses on taxation, general business, and management advisory services. Technical business subjects consist of:

  • Taxation
  • Management services and management advisory services
  • General business including, but not limited to, economics, business law, production or operational systems, marketing, finance, quantitative applications in business and business policy, and computers and information systems without audit applications.

Some additional examples of technical business courses are:

  • Accounts payable/accounts receivable
  • Budgeting and asset management
  • Business valuation
  • Computer programming or use of software package (For example - Access, Excel, FRx, Oracle, Peachtree, PeopleSoft, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, Quicken, Word, etc.)
  • Financial planning
  • Fraud prevention
  • General ledger
  • Law (business related)
  • Management of an accounting practice
  • Pension plan administration
  • Personal financial planning
  • Planning and control systems
  • Real estate principle
  • Specialized industries (banking, healthcare, insurance, etc.)
  • Tax shelters and investments

The Behavioral category includes courses on oral and written communications, the social environment of business, and the administration of an accounting practice. No more than 20 hours maximum may be reported in behavioral subjects for each reestablishment period. Examples of behavioral subjects are:

  • Effective speaking
  • Employee supervision
  • Human resources
  • Leadership and motivation
  • Management by objectives
  • Speed reading
  • Time management

Sources:

Education, experience

Florida CPA CPE requirements

Additional CPA licensure legislation

 

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