Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Uniform CPA Exam Applicants
How often will the Uniform CPA Exam be given?
There are four testing windows in each calendar year; however you may only test during the first two months of each testing window (see below). You may select any exam sections during each testing window, which you can take individually and in any order. You are not allowed to retake a failed exam section within the same testing window.
Do I need to take all unpassed sections at the same time?
No, you may take each exam section individually, and in any order, during each testing window. However, you may not retake a failed exam section within the same testing window.
Where can I get additional information about the Uniform CPA Exam?
Additional information related to the Uniform CPA Exam is contained in the Candidate Bulletin - Information for Applicants and the CPA Exam Alert, both accessible online at the Uniform CPA Exam website located at www.aicpa.org/BecomeACPA/CPAExam/Pages/CPAExam.aspx or at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website at www.nasba.org. NASBA highly recommends that candidates take the exam tutorial and sample tests available at www.aicpa.org/BecomeACPA/CPAExam/Pages/CPAExam.aspx as there are features unique to each exam that may not be similar to your regular operating system.
Where can I take the Uniform CPA Exam?
Prometric Testing Centers administer the Uniform CPA Exam at more than 300 testing centers in the United States. Candidates may take the exam at any one of the authorized Prometric Testing Centers that offer the CPA Exam. California candidates are not required to take the CPA Exam at a Prometric site located in California.
Can I take the Uniform CPA Exam in a foreign country?
The CBA does not participate in the NASBA/AICPA iExam process, which allows candidates to test in specified international Prometric testing centers. Information regarding iExam is available on NASBA's website at www.nasba.org.
How much will the Uniform CPA Exam cost?
The CBA will implement a temporary 50% reduction in CPA Exam application fees, for a two-year period effective July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2016. The application fees effective during this time period are listed below.
Fee for Applications Postmarked prior to July 1, 2014:
(Applicants seeking to qualify to sit for the CPA Exam as a California Candidate for the first time.)
(Applicants previously approved to sit for the CPA Exam as a California Candidate.)
Fee for Applications Postmarked July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016:
Please note: the CPA Exam section fees paid directly to NASBA are not included in this temporary fee reduction.
When can I apply for the Uniform CPA Exam?
Applicants meeting all of the educational requirements may apply at any time. The online application is available on the CBA website. Paper applications will be mailed upon request.
Am I required to meet the new licensing educational requirements before I can sit for the Uniform CPA Exam?
The educational requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam have not changed. You are not required to meet the new licensing educational requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
If I pass all or part of the Uniform CPA Exam before January 1, 2014, will I be able to apply under the existing educational requirements?
Legislation was recently passed to ease the transition to the new educational requirements. These changes allow individuals who have passed the Uniform CPA Exam on or before December 31, 2013 to apply for licensure under the existing Pathway 1 or Pathway 2 requirements for a two-year period on or before December 31, 2015.
If I was approved to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam before January 1, 2014, will I be exempt from meeting the new licensure educational requirements?
No. Only those individuals who passed the Uniform CPA Exam on or before December 31, 2013 will be permitted to apply for licensure under the existing Pathway 1 or Pathway 2 requirements for a two-year period on or before December 31, 2015.
I will get my baccalaureate and master's degrees together when I graduate even though I already completed my baccalaureate degree requirements. Can I apply for and take the Uniform CPA Exam prior to conferral of my baccalaureate degree?
Students who are enrolled in a program that results in the conferral of a baccalaureate degree upon completion of either a master's degree or the 150 semester units required for CPA licensure, may be permitted to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam prior to conferral of the required baccalaureate degree if certain conditions are met.
Students must have completed all baccalaureate degree requirements, including 24 semester units each in accounting and business-related subjects. Students must also have their college or university mail official transcripts, or its equivalent, together or separately with a letter signed by the institution's registrar, or its equivalent, directly to the CBA. For detailed information regarding the information that must be included in the letter from the registrar's office, please refer to the Uniform CPA Examination Handbook.
Can I take the Uniform CPA Exam online?
No, the exam is only administered at Prometric Testing Centers.
How many sections are there in the Uniform CPA Exam?
The Uniform CPA Exam is comprised of four (4) sections:
- Auditing (AUD) - 4 hours
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) - 3 hours
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) - 4 hours
- Regulation (REG) - 3 hours
Please note that the scheduling confirmation you receive from Prometric may indicate your testing appointment is 30 minutes longer than the times shown above. Prometric adds one-half hour to each appointment to allow time to complete the check-in procedures. However, the additional 30 minutes is not part of your actual testing time. Therefore, completion of a quick check-in will not give you additional testing minutes. When you sign-on to the computer, the allotted testing time displayed on the computer screen will reflect the same amount of time as indicated above.
How often can each section of the Uniform CPA Exam be taken?
You may take each unpassed section of the Uniform CPA Exam only once per testing window. There are four testing windows in a calendar year.
How do I gain credit for sections passed on the Uniform CPA Exam?
The Uniform CPA Exam utilizes a "rolling" 18-month credit status period. Credit status is established by passing one section of the examination. Once you pass a section of the examination, you are allowed a maximum of 18 months to pass all remaining sections in order to retain credit for the passed section. If you do not pass all four sections within that 18-month period, you will lose credit for the first section of the exam passed. The credit status period then becomes based upon the credit expiration date of the next passed section.
I did not pass an exam section. How do I apply to take the section again?
You will need to complete the repeat application process by accessing your existing online Client Account and clicking on the "Make Payment" tab to create a new Application Remittance Form. Simply print out the Application Remittance Form and sign and mail it to the California Board of Accountancy along with the $50 reapplication fee. Once the CBA has processed your application, you will be notified to make your exam section selections.
What is IQEX?
IQEX is the acronym for the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination. The purpose of the IQEX is to facilitate U.S. licensure for accountants from other countries who are members of professional organizations that have agreed to reciprocity with U.S. jurisdictions. These reciprocity agreements have been developed through the efforts of the United States International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) which was established jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Currently, members of the following six organizations are qualified to take the IQEX:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Chartered Accountants Ireland
- Instituto Mexican de Contadores Publicos
- New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants