Tag: how to

The Three Steps to Becoming a Certified Public Accountant

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants pic
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Image: aicpa.org

James Kasim is the former chief financial officer and treasurer of Pacific Office Properties Trust, Inc., where he was responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s accounting. James Kasim, who is sometimes referred to as Jim, is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who has been licensed to practice in California since 1994. There are three key steps you need to take to become a CPA.

Step 1. Complete a degree program that is focused around accounting. Bear in mind that most states require applicants to have completed 150 hours of study, whereas traditional accounting bachelor’s degrees offer 120. To compensate for this, many colleges offer combined bachelor’s and master’s programs. You may also choose to complete a graduate program to make up the time.

Step 2. Begin working in the accounting field, as most boards will require you to have at least two years of experience under your belt before you can apply to take the CPA exam. This work can be for a public or private accounting firm, or within the accounts department of a company.

Step 3. Complete the four exams created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Again, these will vary from state to state, but remember that you have to complete the final three exams within 18 months of passing the first.