Becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut requires you to adhere to some stringent educational requirements, CPA candidates must also take and have passed the test, and spend time on a number of continuing education credit hours to maintain licensure. Follow our guide on becoming a CPA and we'll break down CPA requirements step by step.
How to Meet Education Requirements
Find an accredited university
The Connecticut State Board of Accountancy only accepts accounting degree credits from institutions that are accredited by a Council for Higher Education Accreditation Regional Accrediting Organization. It’s important that you confirm that the university you’re attending, or planning to attend, is accredited. In Connecticut, the regional accrediting body is the New England Commission of Higher Education. If you cannot find the accrediting information for a school you are considering, call or email their student aid office or another administration office and simply ask; they should be able to tell you all accreditation the school holds before you sign up for classes.
If you’ve received your accounting education outside of the U.S., you must provide your credit information to be evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services member organization who will review what you have learned and determine if you are eligible.
Other important policy information to note when selecting an institution includes:
- Online degrees are acceptable, as long as the university is accredited.
- Pass/fail grades meet the education requirement as long as the grade is passing.
- Credits earned from a Connecticut Community College satisfy the requirement.
- Credits earned through the College Level Examination Program satisfy the requirement.
- If you have questions regarding the CPA education requirements, you can email DCP.email@example.com.
Complete Your Course Requirements
You may want to start by obtaining an associate degree in accounting but, in Connecticut, CPA applicants must earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. A minimum of 150 semester hours is also required and should include of the following areas of study:
- At least 36 semester hours in accounting courses. These courses must be designated as accounting specific in your institution’s course offerings. Acceptable listings are typically notated as ACC or ACCT courses.
- At least 30 semester hours of economics or business courses other than accounting. Course descriptions will be required in order to determine relevance to economics or business. It’s important to note that advertising, retail, and insurance courses generally do not satisfy this requirement.
- At least 60 semester hours of general education courses. These credits can include any additional accounting, technology, business, or economics courses beyond the above-mentioned requirements.
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Degree Options for Accountants in Connecticut
You can complete an accounting associate degree in one or two years depending on the college or university of choice. However, you’re probably going to want to earn a bachelor’s if you really want to get into the accounting field.
Anyone who wishes to seek out higher salaries or to pursue a CPA will require at least a bachelor’s degree. This will gain you access to the CPA test and give you a chance to earn some extra certifications.
Individuals with a master’s degree in accounting will be eligible for high-level promotions and better pay more quickly in their careers. These degrees can take as little as one year or as long as several years for those who work while they complete degrees. You’ll also be able to focus on a concentration if you earn a master’s, such as forensic accounting.
Doctorate or PhD
Accounting professionals with an interest in public policy research, teaching at the college level or accounting analysis will require a doctorate or PhD in accounting.
Online Degree Programs
Online accounting degrees are available at every level including associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, certificates, and master’s degrees. Many students choose to work while they complete such degrees.
How to Meet Exam Requirements
Complete Your Course Requirements
Connecticut applicants who intend to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination must have a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution. The program must include the following:
A minimum of a full 46 semester hours of accounting and related subject courses. These can include, but are not limited to:
- 24 semester hours in accounting. These courses must be designated as accounting specific and are typically notated by ACC or ACCT.
- At least one business law course.
- At least one economics course.
- At least one finance course.
If you’re unsure whether you’ve taken or are taking the right courses, make sure you speak with an academic advisor. They will be able to help you determine your current or future eligibility.
Apply to Take the Exam
You can apply to take the exam Connecticut offers, the CPA Examination, through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Application materials must include:
- A check or other way to pay the CPA examination fees for each section you intend to take. You can apply for as many examination sections as you want.
- Registration fee: note that fees can be paid by check or through the website before you complete your application.
- Official transcript from each of the schools listed on your application. Please note that these transcripts must be sent directly from your institution to CPAES.
- International education evaluation if you received your education while your residency was outside of the United States. Evaluations must be sent directly from your selected service to CPAES.
- A Testing Accommodations Request Form, if applicable.
Schedule Your Uniform CPA Examination Date
Applications generally take four to six weeks to process. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Your NTS will instruct you to schedule your examination through Prometric, a technology-enabled testing and assessment provider. Testing center locations include Hamden, Glastonbury, and Norwalk and you can choose whichever site is closest to you. Keep in mind that Prometric charges an exam service fee for providing the test space and total security.
Remember that your NTS does expire. Your NTS is valid for a single testing for each section you’ve been approved to take, but it must be used within a six month period. Failing to complete your exam sections by the deadline does not entitle you to a refund and you will have to reapply for the examination.
- Check that your name is spelled accurately as soon as your NIT arrives.
- Schedule your CPA Exam as soon as possible and always have backup dates in mind.
- Schedule your exam at least 10 days in advance if you require and have been approved for testing accommodations.
Take Your Examination
Each of the four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination requires four hours to complete. Take the necessary steps to ensure you’re ready for testing by your exam date by making use of free resources and CPA review. Don’t forget to take your NIT with you on the day of your examination, as it’s required to enter testing centers. You’ll also need two forms of identification, one of which must contain a recent photo.
Wait for Your Results
Once you’ve completed the CPA Exam, your responses are sent to AICPA for individual scoring. You should receive them in the mail once your exam has been assessed.
How to Meet Experience Requirements
Pass the AICPA professional ethics for CPAs course
Connecticut CPA candidates must also successfully complete the AICPA Professional Ethics for CPAs self-study course. The course can be taken in paper format or online and you’ll need a score of 90% or higher on the ethics exam to pass.
Complete Work Experience Requirements
To qualify for a CPA license in Connecticut, you are required to have a minimum of two years professional experience working at a job for a public practice or firm, government practice, or industry. Competencies gained will vary depending on the type of work experience you choose.
Your work experience must be confirmed by a supervising CPA who has held his or her certification for at least three years using the CPA Certificate Experience Verification SBA-12 form.
How to Apply for Your Connecticut CPA License
Verify you meet the requirements
In order to apply for a CPA license, you must meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor degree
- Successful completion of 150 semester hours
- Score of at least 75% within an 18 month rolling period on all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination: AUD, BEC, FAR, REG
- Passing score of 90% or higher on the AICPA Professional Ethics for CPAs course
- College transcripts
- Two years of professional work experience, verified by a licensed CPA
Submit the initial CPA certification application
You can apply for your initial CPA license by downloading the application and sending it to the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Board of Accountancy via mail. A check for the application fee, made payable to the “Treasurer, State of CT” totaling $150 to $300, depending on the type of credentials you’re applying for, is also required.
- Initial CPA Certification
- Reciprocal CPA Certification
- Initial CPA Certification & Registration
- Reciprocal CPA Certification & Registration
- Initial CPA Certification & License
- Reciprocal CPA Certification & License
How to Meet Continuing Education Requirements (CPE)
Complete CPE requirements
In order to maintain your CPA license in Connecticut, you need to meet CPE requirements. If, however, you hold a certificate or a registered certificate but not a license, CPEs aren’t required. Each year, you must complete the following:
- 40 CPE credits, including 16 hours in attest or compilation services.
- Report your CPE hours to the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy when you renew your license.
- Keep all CPE records for at least three years.
Accountant Career Salaries in Connecticut by Occupation
Popular Concentrations and Careers
An auditor is essential in a variety of business matters to ensure organizations are following financial practices according to the law and the most current regulations. It is possible to be an internal or external auditor and these individuals help to control risk and improve daily processes.
Personal Financial Planner
Personal financial planners are becoming more and more in demand. Professionals in this field assist with retirement planning, tax planning, and portfolio management. This position also requires superior communication skills along with the ability to effectively network and pitch one’s business in any type of environment. Many financial planners are CPAs and hold various certifications.
Controllers are high-level accounting managers, on track to become chief financial officers in larger organizations. In smaller organizations, a controller is the highest accounting or financial position available. These individuals are responsible for high-level organizational accounting including budget preparation, schedules, data analysis, and more. You can find controller positions in corporations, government agencies, and non-profits. Licensing may be necessary in some states or for some organizations.
International accounting is an essential component to global organizations. Professionals in this sector must be informed of various accounting practices and laws in multiple countries. It is also helpful if an individual is familiar with local cultures and business practices. A solid understanding of exchange rates and money market fluctuations is also necessary.
In 2014 there were an estimated 18,360 accountants in Connecticut. By 2014 that is projected to grow to 20,180, a positive change of 10 percent. This is identical to the national growth rate projected for all accountants, but compensation tends to be significantly higher in Connecticut. The state's average salary is more than $10,000 larger than the national average, and even in the 10th percentile it is higher than equivalent accountants in other states. Accountants represent 12 out of every 1,000 workers in Delaware, which is also much higher than in other states. For that reason alone, conditions in the state are likely to be favorable for accountants for a long time to come.
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Connecticut Accounting Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of accounting positions in Connecticut?
Connecticut is home to all business types, including large corporations, small businesses, and some of the largest accounting services companies including Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Hartford Investment Management, McIntyre Group, Greenwich Hospital, and Louis Dreyfus. You could also choose to work for government agencies and non-profit groups.
What is the mid-career earning potential for accountants in Connecticut?
The average mid-career salary as an accounting manager in Hartford, Connecticut is $79,766, according to PayScale. It’s important to note that one’s salary is dependent upon an array of variables including the employer size, business location, degree or degrees, years of experience, and much more.
Does Connecticut require accounting licensure or certification?
In Connecticut, more accountants are certified CPAs than most other states due to the fact that the Big Four accounting firms are located in the state. It’s only necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting for most entry-level positions. However, to secure job promotions and better pay, it is a good idea to complete various licensure and certifications throughout one’s career.
Which colleges and universities in Connecticut offer accounting degrees online?
Similar to the national trend, more colleges and universities are offering online accounting degrees as a way to make education more accessible and convenient for all. At this time, most of the big universities in Connecticut offer online accounting degrees such as the University of Connecticut, the University of Hartford, and the University of New Haven. However, almost all colleges and universities offer at least some online courses.