If you plan to seek employment as an accountant in Missouri, you may be eligible to start on the path toward CPA licensure. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to become a certified public accountant in the Show-Me state.
Before you can sit for the CPA exam, you’ll need to make sure you’ve first completed the education requirements set by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy. One of the first steps is to obtain an Accelerated Associate's In Accounting and then move on to a Bachelor's in Accounting.
CPA candidates must have a minimum education of a bachelor’s degree. Students must also complete 150 semester hours from a school accredited by one of the following groups:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools--Higher Learning Commission
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges--Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges--Commission for Senior Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools--Commission on Colleges
Your 150 semester hours must include the following:
33 semester hours logged in accounting, including:
- At least one auditing course
- 18 semester hours logged in upper division accounting courses (not including accounting law or business law classes)
27 semester hours logged in general business classes
Community college, online, correspondence, and CPA review courses are all acceptable in completing these requirements, as long as all submitted credits come from an accredited college or university.
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Taking Your CPA Exam
After you’re finished with your education requirements, you can submit an application to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
Register online or download an application form at the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) website.
Submit the required paperwork. Be sure to include the following:
- An official college transcript (in a sealed envelope from the university)
- A Certificate of Enrollment signed by a university official (only needed f still attending college)
- Payment of the application and exam fees (either online with a credit card or by sending a check, money order, or credit card form)
Wait for your Notice to Schedule (NTS) to arrive by mail, email, or fax. You will be able to choose your preferred delivery method when you register.
Schedule your testing date at the Prometric website. You can take the exam in one of the following Missouri locations:
- Jefferson City
- Kansas City
- Lees Summit
- St Louis
Arrive at your selected testing facility, on time and prepared to take your exam.
Wait to receive your exam scores in the mail. Results are generally sent out within two to three weeks.
Pre-Licensing Experience Required
CPA candidates are required by the state of Missouri to complete at least one year of accounting experience before they are eligible for full licensure.
Before you start working as an accountant, you must take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s Home Study Course on Professional Ethics. Materials to complete the class can be ordered online.
After passing the AICPA Home Study Course, you’ll be able to take on a supervised position as an accountant in Missouri. In order to count toward your CPA requirement, your work experience must meet the following stipulations:
Last for one full year in duration (2000 hours)
Take place under direct supervision by a licensed CPA, either in Missouri or a different location
Take place in a government, industry, academic, or private accounting practice
Include experience in the following concentrations:
- Governmental accounting, budgeting or auditing
- Management Advisory
If your position requires you to sign reports or supervise attest services, you must spend an additional 2000 hours working in attest services prior to obtaining your CPA license. This must take place in a public accounting practice, or by working as a government arbitrator.
When you’ve completed your required time, ask your supervisor (officially known as the Endorser) to fill out the Experience section of the Application for Initial License to Practice Public Accounting. They’ll also need to complete the Endorser-Experience Addendum, which must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public.
Submit all required documents with your application to Missouri State Board of Accountancy, 3605 Missouri Blvd., P.O. Box 613, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0613.
Obtaining Your Missouri CPA License
Once you’ve completed all of the following requirements, you’ll be eligible to obtain your Missouri CPA licensure.
- Bachelor’s degree completed with a minimum of 150 semester hours
- Application and school transcript submitted to the Board
- Pass both the Uniform CPA Exam and the AICPA Home Study Ethics Exam
- At least one year (2000 hours) of experience, depending on position
To finish the process and get your CPA license, you must complete and submit your licensure application to the Board. Your application must include the following:
- The date you passed the AICPA Ethics Exam
- The Experience section of your application completed by your Endorser
- The Endorser-Experience Addendum, completed by the Endorser and notarized
- A $90 application fee
Upon completion, submit your application to Missouri State Board of Accountancy, 3605 Missouri Blvd., P.O. Box 613, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0613.
Keeping Your License Current
Missouri requires all licensed CPAs to satisfy continued professional education (CPE) requirements in order to stay in good standing with the Board.
Certified accountants must complete a total of 120 CPE hours every three years, with the following specifications:
- A minimum of 20 CPE hours must be taken per year
- Two CPE hours every year must be in the field of professional ethics
Approved CPE course subjects include:
- Specialized knowledge/applications
CPAs working as government auditors must complete 80 CPE hours in attest and/or auditing courses, 24 of which must be applicable to government.
Credit hours can be accumulated in the following ways:
- University level courses (both credit and non-credit)
- Online courses
- Teaching and lecturing
- Group studying programs
- Independent study (under guidance from a CPE sponsor)
- Writing articles and/or case studies for accounting publications
Be sure to maintain documentation of all CPE hours for at least five years after completion, including course/content description, name of CPE sponsor, location of credit program, and total hours logged.
You may find it helpful to become a member of local accounting organizations, especially when it comes to staying on top of new rules and regulations. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is a valuable group to join, as well as the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.