Becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Florida is simplified with our step-by-step guide to education, sitting for the CPA exam, work experience and continuing education.


Find a Degree:

Education Requirements

1

Enroll in an accredited university

The Florida Board of Accountancy accepts accounting degrees from schools that are accredited by select organizations. Confirm the institute you’re attending, or plan to attend, is accredited by one of the following:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Association of Independent Schools and Colleges regulated by the Commission of Independent Education

Academic accounting programs approved by the provincial educational body in Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and Australia are also acceptable.

If your educational institution is not accredited by one of the above organizations, you may still qualify to take the Uniform CPA Examination. In order to validate a non-accredited degree, you must complete the following:

Enroll in a graduate program at an accredited institution.

Complete 15 semester hours of graduate classes (must include nine hours of graduate-level accounting courses, three hours of graduate-level tax courses, and not duplicate any previously courses taken).

Have undergraduate (foreign) transcripts evaluated by a Board-approved service such as Foreign Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc. or Global Services Associates, Inc.

Submit the completed evaluation of foreign transcripts to the Florida Board of Accountancy.

2

Complete course requirements

CPA applicants must earn a bachelor degree with a concentration in accounting and business. The program must consist of at least 150 semester or 200 quarter hours and should include the following:

A minimum of 36 semester or 34 quarter hours of upper-division accounting courses

  • Taxation Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Financial Accounting
  • Cost and Managerial Accounting
  • Accounting Systems
  • Internship (maximum of three semester hours or four quarter hours)

At least 39 semester or 58 quarter hours of upper-division business education courses

  • Economics
  • Business Law (minimum of six semester or eight quarter hours)
  • Finance
  • Quantitative Application in Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance
  • Business Policies
  • Computers in Business (maximum of nine semester hours or 13 quarter hours)
  • Statistics (maximum of six semester hours or eight quarter hours)

Exam Requirements

1

Complete course requirements

ldaho3

Applicants who intend to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination must complete at least 120 semester or 180 quarter hours. The program must include the following:

  • At least 24 semester or 34 quarter hours of upper-division accounting courses (taxation, auditing, cost/managerial, and financial)
  • At least 24 semester or 34 quarter hours of upper-division business education courses, including three (3) semester or four (4) quarter hours of business law courses
2

Apply to take the exam

You can apply to take the Uniform CPA Examination online or by downloading the application to send in the mail. Application requirements include:

  • $50 check made payable to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
  • Official school transcripts
  • Supporting legal documents (if applicable for background check purposes)
3

Pay your examination fee

You will need to wait for further instruction from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Once your application is approved, the Florida Board of Accountancy will notify the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as to which sections of the Unified CPA Examination you are eligible to take. The NASBA will then send you a payment coupon with instructions on how to pay your exam fees. Generally, you can pay by mailing a check, by credit card online, or by calling (866) MY-NASBA.

4

Schedule your exam date

Once your exam fee payment has been processed, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). This should arrive within three to 10 days, depending on the method of contact you selected. Your NTS will list the sections of the examination you’re approved to take and will instruct you to schedule your exam date via Prometric. Be advised that Prometric does charge exam service fees.

A few exam scheduling tips:

  • Keep track of your NIT, as you’ll need it to enter testing centers.
  • Check the accuracy of your name.
  • Schedule early and have at least two backup dates per section.
  • Remember to bring two forms of identification, once of which must contain a recent photo.
  • If you require testing accommodations, schedule at least 10 days in advance.

While you should never apply for a section of the examination that you’re unprepared for, it’s important to remember that your NIT will expire. The Florida Board of Accountancy sets a time period (usually six months) during which testing must be completed. If you fail to complete your sections, you’ll receive no refund and reapplication will be necessary.

5

Wait for your results

Once you’ve completed the Unified CPA Examination, your responses are sent to AICPA for scoring. They are then forwarded to NASBA and the Florida Board of Accountancy. You’ll receive access to your scores within about 20 days.


Find a Degree:

Work experience requirements

1

Complete work experience requirements

ldaho3

To qualify for a CPA license in Florida, you are required to work professionally in a government, industry, academic, or public practice for at least one year. During this time, you should gain experience in accounting, attest, compilation, management advising, financial advising, tax, or consulting. A verifying CPA must confirm your work experience via a Certificate of Work Experience form.

Applying for your Florida CPA license

1

Verify you’ve met all requirements

ldaho4

In order to apply for a CPA license, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of 150 semester hours or 200 quarter hours
  • Passing score on all four parts of the Unified CPA Examination (at least 75% within an 18 month rolling period)
  • One year of professional work experience, verified by a licensed CPA
2

Submit the initial CPA license application

You can apply for your initial CPA license by downloading the application and sending it to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation via mail. Application requirements include:

  • $50 check made payable to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
  • Official school transcripts
  • Completed Certification of Work Experience Form

Continuing Education Requirements

1

Complete CPE requirements

ldaho5

In order to maintain your CPA license in Florida, you need to meet the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations CPE requirements. Within each two-year renewal period, you must complete the following:

  • 80 CPE credits, including 20 hours in accounting and auditing and four hours of Board-approved ethics courses by June 30th of the renewal year
  • Pay a $105 license renewal fee

CPAs no longer need to submit proof of course completion, but should maintain documentation in case of a CPE audit. Failing to meet these requirements will put your license in delinquency.


Find a Degree: