Becoming a CPA

Our step-by-step guide to becoming a CPA

The path to becoming a CPA can seem complicated. We’ve created a four-part guide to help make the process as simple as possible so that you know what you need to do and when you need to do it. 
 

Step 1: Verify your state’s CPA licensing requirements

States have different requirements for taking the CPA Exam and becoming a licensed CPA. These variances can include residency or experience requirements, requirements for semester hours in accounting and more. You can find a full list of requirements by state and territory on the AICPA website.

Step 2: Complete your degree and gain experience

If you are not already a practicing accountant, you’ll need to complete educational requirements specified by the state in which you plan to obtain your license. In addition to the required college coursework, some states have additional experience requirements that students must fulfill to be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam. Find out what your state requires here.

Step 3: Pass the CPA Exam

The CPA Exam consists of four sections that will test your knowledge of accounting standards, the legal requirements of the profession and much more. Becker offers a variety of preparation options for students at any point in their career:

Self-Study

Designed for students who need flexibility in their study schedule. This online option allows you to study when and where it’s most convenient for you, and is perfect for accountants looking to study for the CPA Exam while working full-time.

LiveOnline

Allows you to engage with professors in real time from the comfort of your own home via webinar-based learning programs. This track is for students who enjoy a bit more structure, but prefer studying at home.

Live 

Featuring in-person review sessions in your area, this is designed for students who require more structure and thrive in traditional classroom settings.

Ready to schedule your Live or LiveOnline courses? Visit our Getting started page.

Becker also offers a variety of additional study materials — from flashcards to Final Review to supplemental multiple-choice questions — to help get you ready for exam day. 

Step 4: Finalize your certification

Passing the CPA Exam does not give you automatic license to begin practicing as a CPA. Some states may require an ethics exam while others require licensed CPAs to participate in continuing professional education annually to maintain their certification. Becker’s got you covered there too! Explore Becker's CPE courses.