Pennsylvania CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in Pennsylvania? Your first step should always be to check the requirements to become a CPA in Pennsylvania. This page serves as a resource for requirements to become a CPA in Pennsylvania and is current as of August 2021. Always consult with Pennsylvania's Board of Accountancy for the most current information.

Pennsylvania CPA Exam requirements

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, Pennsylvania requires candidates to meet certain requirements, including: 

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must present themselves to be of good moral character.
  • An initial candidate for the CPA Exam must have three individuals, including one certified public accountant, sign the exam application as character references. The individuals selected as character references must be residents of this Commonwealth who have known the candidate for at least three years and who are not related to the candidate.
  • Minimum education requirements, as detailed below.

Minimum education requirements

All CPA Exam candidates in Pennsylvania must have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university. In order to meet the Pennsylvania CPA Exam requirements, candidates are required to complete 120 semester hours in various course subjects, including:

  • 24 semester hours, which credits shall be in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, microeconomics, macroeconomics or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as a part of your undergraduate work

Pennsylvania CPA license requirements

In order to earn a certified public accountant license in Pennsylvania, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Minimum experience requirement

At least 1,600 hours of qualifying experience during the 60-month period immediately preceding the date of application that included providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attestation, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills which were gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.

  • The 1,600 hours of qualifying experience shall be acquired over a period of no less than 12 months.
  • 12 semester hours in accounting, auditing and tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as part of your undergraduate or graduate work

Pennsylvania CPA license renewal requirements

Pennsylvania CPAs must renew their license every two years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 31 biannually.

Pennsylvania CPE requirements for CPA

Continuing professional education (CPE) must be completed in the two calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete no less than 80 hours of CPE during the two-year period preceding renewal. A minimum of 20 CPE credit hours must be completed during each year of the two-year period.

Sources:

Education, degree, residency

Experience, references

Renewals, CPE

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