Four CPA Requirements You Can Fulfill While Still In School

13 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Are you working at getting an accounting degree with the hopes of eventually becoming a Certified Public Accountant? Though the requirements for becoming a CPA may vary by state, there are a few requirements that you can meet even while you attend college. This will let you enter into the job market much faster following your degree.

1. Ethics Seminars

Ethical seminars and continued education classes are a requirement for those who want to become a CPA. These ethical seminars are generally provided by your local CPA association. The classes themselves will indicate which requirements they meet towards your license. You don't need to be a member of the CPA association already to take these classes, though they can be quite expensive. 

2. Internships

When looking for internships, you need to be sure that it's at a certified public accounting firm. There are many accounting and bookkeeping firms that won't put you in direct contact with a CPA. To get your CPA license, you usually need a certain amount of hours under supervision of a certified public accountant. The amount of hours that you need will usually vary depending on your state. Internships are also superb for developing your networking and potentially creating a mentoring relationship with someone already in the field. 

3. Exams

Your CPA exams can be started while you're still in college. In fact, because of the intensity of the CPA exam, many students choose to take the exams as they study the relevant information -- for instance, they may take the business and regulations section of the exam while they are studying regulations in school. There's also another advantage: many CPA prep courses come at a discount to current students.

4. Course Credit

It's always a good idea to check your educational requirements before you start the process of applying to become a CPA. There are certain amounts of higher level course credits that you will need from college that may not be in your degree requirements. If you don't take them while you're still in school, you may find yourself having to return for a semester to complete them. 

It should be noted that one thing is not a requirement for becoming a CPA: having an accounting degree. Though you do need a four year degree in some states, it doesn't always have to be in accounting. Some individuals choose business administration or other related fields instead.

For more information, talk to a professional accounting firm like Jeff Baker & Associates, PS.