As with any other states across the US, Louisiana also has an accounting board that regulates CPA licensure. In this case, the board is the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana.

This board handles the CPA licenses in the state. It also requires any aspiring CPAs to go through three steps before applying for their state CPA license.

How to become a CPA in Louisiana?

The licensure procedure for CPAs in Louisiana is similar to other states. The state board requires aspiring CPAs to start with obtaining formal education first. Once they do so, they must take their Louisiana state Uniform CPA Exam.

Lastly, they must acquire practical experience in Louisiana. Once they go through this procedure, they can apply to get their CPA license in Louisiana.

During each of the above steps, aspiring CPAs must meet some specific requirements. These requirements come from the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana and the areas below.

Educational Requirements

As mentioned, the first step for aspiring CPAs is to obtain a formal education. This education is a mandatory requirement from the state board.

Aspiring CPAs must go through this process to learn the fundamentals of accounting professional. This knowledge can then help them pass their Louisiana Uniform CPA Exam and the experience requirements.

During their formal education period, prospective CPAs must meet the requirements set by the board. These include the following.

  • Aspiring CPAs must enrol in an accredit Louisiana university or college in an accounting program. During this period, they must acquire 150 semester hours of college credit. Similarly, they must get at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Those who have already completed the requirement above must ensure the board will accept their credentials. Similarly, applicants who have obtained education from universities outside the US must have their credentials evaluated.
  • Aspiring CPAs must also enrol in the proper classes during this period. Their education must satisfy the following requirements.
    • It must include 24 semester hours of undergraduate (or 21 semester hours of graduate-level) courses in accounting. These may include the following.
      • Accounting elective
      • Auditing
      • Cost accounting
      • Income tax accounting
      • Intermediate accounting
    • It must include 24 semester hours of courses in business, excluding accounting. These must also consist of three semester hours in commercial law in accounting.
  • The board does not accept business or accounting internships towards the above requirements.
  • However, the board does accept an internship in business and accounting towards the 150 semester hours required for a maximum of 6 semester hours.

Uniform CPA Exam

Once aspiring CPAs go through their formal education phase, they must sit for the Louisiana Uniform CPA Exam. This exam tests their knowledge of the accounting profession in the subject areas they have gone through during their formal education. Applicants must meet the following requirements to sit for their Louisiana Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must apply to take their Uniform CPA Exam through the CPA Examination Services. The application is available both online and offline. They must also submit the following with their application.
    • Their official college transcript, showing that they have completed their educational requirements.
    • Their Affidavit for Course Substitution for candidates that have attended school outside Louisiana. Through this, they can substitute courses for their requirements. They must also include their course descriptions with the affidavit.
    • Their payment for the application and examination fees. It can be through either a check, money order or credit card.
    • An ADA Accommodation Request Form if needed.
  • Aspiring CPAs must then schedule their Louisiana Uniform CPA Exam once they receive a Notice to Schedule. The state has five locations where candidates can sit for the test.

Experience Requirements

The last step for aspiring CPAs is to obtain an education through practical work. However, they must have passed their educational requirements and Uniform CPA Exam first. Similarly, they must meet the requirements set by the State Board of CPAs of Louisiana for the experience.

  • Aspiring CPAs must complete one year (or 2,000 hours) of experience in accounting. This experience must meet the following criteria.
    • It must be in employment in academia, government, non-profit organizations, private industry or public practice.
    • It must take place within four years before the license application.
    • It must take place in Louisiana or any other state.
    • It must involve the use of at least one of the following skills.
      • Accounting
      • Attestation
      • Financial advisory
      • Management advisory
      • Tax
    • It must be under a licensed CPAs supervision.
  • Candidates must ask their supervising CPA to verify their experience through a letter to the board.

Summary

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

  • Aspiring CPAs must go through formal education and meet the State Board of CPAs of Louisiana’s requirements.
  • They must then sit for their Louisiana Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must complete the experience requirements from the State Board of CPAs of Louisiana.
  • They must apply for their Louisiana CPA license.

References

  1. “State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana” – http://cpaboard.state.la.us/board-2/
  2. “Becoming a CPA” – http://cpaboard.state.la.us/becoming-a-cpa/
  3. “Forms & Links” – http://cpaboard.state.la.us/forms-links/
  4. “Louisiana | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/louisiana/