Florida allows aspiring CPAs to get their licensure through the Florida Board of Accountancy. The board operates under the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

Every aspiring CPA must meet the board’s requirements for each step of their CPA licensure journey. Once they do so, they can apply for a license to work in the state.

How to become a CPA in Florida?

Aspiring CPAs in Florida have to follow the same steps for getting their CPA license. This process starts with acquiring formal education. Next, it involves registering for the Uniform CPA Exam in the state and passing it.

Lastly, it includes getting professional experience in the field. Aspiring CPAs must meet the Florida Board of Accountancy’s requirements in each step.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring CPAs must start their professional CPA licensure journey by obtaining formal education. This education must be an accredited college or university that offers an accounting program.

Through the knowledge acquired in this period, aspiring CPAs can understand the fundamentals of the accounting profession.

Aspiring CPAs must ensure their education meets the requirements set by the Florida Board of Accountancy. These requirements from the board include the following.

  • Aspiring CPAs must complete an accredited college or university’s accounting program. Similarly, they must complete a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours (or 200 quarter hours) of a college education.
  • An unaccredited college education may also be acceptable. However, aspiring CPAs must admit to a graduate program and complete at least 15 semester hours from an accredited institution. These 15 hours must include 3 hours of graduate-level tax courses and 6 of other graduate-level accounting courses.
  • Aspiring CPAs must choose the right classes. These must include the following.
    • 36 semester hours (or 54 quarter hours) in upper-division accounting courses with at most 3 semester hours (or 4 quarter hours) of an internship. Similarly, it must be in one of the following areas.
      • Auditing
      • Accounting info systems
      • Cost/Managerial accounting
      • Financial accounting
      • Taxation
    • 39 semester hours (or 58 quarter hours) of courses in general business. Of these, 6 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) must be in business law and cover topics such as contracts, torts, and Uniform Commercial Code. Similarly, it must meet the following requirements
      • It must not include more than 9 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) of computer courses.
      • It must not include 6 semester hours (or 13 quarter hours) in upper-division statistics courses.
      • It may include either general business courses or accounting courses.
      • It must not include CLEP courses but may consist of AP courses if aspiring CPAs have received credit for them.
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Uniform CPA Exam

Next, aspiring CPAs must register for the Uniform CPA Exam. Those who have completed 120 semester hours (or 160 quarter hours) of the total requirement can take the Uniform CPA Exam. However, they must meet the following criteria.

  • They must have completed 24 semester hours (or 36 quarter hours) in upper-division level accounting education, including the following.
    • Accounting information systems
    • Auditing
    • Cost and managerial accounting
    • Financial accounting
    • Taxation
  • They must have completed 24 semester hours (or 36 quarter hours) in general business education. Of these, 21 must be at an upper-division level. Similarly, it must include at least 6 semester hours (or 8 quarter hours) of business law courses.

Once they meet these requirements, aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to register for the Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register with the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) either online or offline. They must also pay a fee for each section of the exam along with an application fee. It is payable to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation through check or credit card.
  • Aspiring CPAs must get the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s approval. Once they do so, they must contact the CPAES office.
  • They must then schedule their exam in the state after receiving their Notice to Schedule.
  • They must pass each section of the Uniform CPA Exam with at least a 75% score.

Experience Requirements

Lastly, aspiring CPAs must meet the Florida Board of Accountancy’s experience requirements. The board requires them to have at least one year of work experience that meets the following criteria.

  • It must involve the use of the following skills or services.
    • Accounting
    • Attest
    • Compilation
    • Consulting
    • Financial advisory
    • Management advisory
    • Tax
  • It may include at least 20 hours of work a week over at most 104 weeks. Similarly, it may consist of 40 hours of work a week over at most 42 weeks.
  • It must be verified by a licensed CPA or chartered accountant, recognized by the International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB).
  • It must be in one of the following areas.
    • Academia
    • Government
    • Industry
    • Public Practice
  • Aspiring CPAs must document their work experience using the Verification of Work Experience form. It must include verification from their supervising CPA.
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Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Florida.

  • Aspiring CPAs must acquire formal education according to the Florida Board of Accountancy’s requirements.
  • They must sit for their Florida Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must then work in a professional environment and meet the board’s requirements.
  • Lastly, they must apply for their Florida CPA license.

References

  1. “Department of Business & Professional Regulation” – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/
  2. “Certified Public Accounting” – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/certified-public-accounting/
  3. “Florida | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/florida/