Becoming a CPA is a process that extends beyond education into examination and licensure, and then maintaining that licensure throughout the years. Our comprehensive guide will give you the specifics of how to earn your CPA in the state of Nevada.
Education Requirements for Licensure
To qualify to sit for the Nevada CPA exam you must first meet all the education requirements. Before obtaining your Accounting Bachelor's degree, you can start with an Associate of Applied Business in Accounting(AAB). All CPAs must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher, although it does not have to be a degree in accounting. You will also need 150 total credit hours in specific subjects as detailed below. Online, correspondence, community colleges, and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) courses all meet the requirements as long as they are from an accredited institution and will transfer to a four-year program so your first step should be to verify accreditation of your school. Nevada recognizes accreditation from the following agencies:
- Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Your 150 hours of education must include both accounting and business coursework above the introductory level as follows:
30 credit hours of accounting courses at the undergraduate or graduate level including:
- Financial Accounting (nine credit hours)
- Cost Accounting (three credit hours
- Auditing (three credit hours)
- Federal Income Tax (three credit hours)
- Accounting Electives (12 credit hours)
24 semester hours of business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level including:
- Behavior of Organizations
- Business Finance
- Business Law
- Data Processing
- Ethics in Business
- Legal & Social Environment
- Oral Communication
- Quantitative Applications in Business
In addition you'll need to take three semester hours of Business Law.
Because the educational requirements are strict and specific it's a good idea to work towards your Master's degree as you earn your CPA. That way by the time you pass the exams and other licensure requirements you will be highly qualified and stand above those in the field who only hold a bachelor's degree.
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How to Sit for the CPA Exam in Nevada
You'll begin the exam process by creating an online account with The Nevada State Board of Accountancy and filling out the initial CPA exam application. When you submit your application you'll need the following information:
- Your official school transcripts (sent directly from your school to the Board of Accountancy)
- A recent two-inch by two-inch passport-sized photo
- Your preferred method of contact (email, postal mail, or fax)
- Completed 150 hour coursework checklist
- $100 application fee paid by credit card, check, or money order (Checks or money orders are payable to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy)
- Request for special accommodations if you are disabled
Note that schools can typically take two to six months to post their official transcripts and another 10 days to process transcript requests. This will determine how long it takes for your application to process. Once you have been approved to take the exam you will receive notification from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) along with a payment coupon for the actual exam fees. The CPA exam consists of four parts and can be taken together or separately; you must pass each section with a score of 75 or better. If you do not pass a section you may retake it at a later date however all four tests must be taken successfully within an 18 month time frame. The exam sections and their fees are as follows:
|Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||$208.40|
|Business Environments and Concepts (BEC)||$208.40|
Once your exam fee or fees are processed within four business days you'll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA and can schedule the exams you applied to take. You will need your NTS to enter the exam site so keep it in a safe place; you must schedule within six months of receipt. Nevada CPA exams are given by Prometric and you will schedule through their website. Prometric has testing facilities in both Las Vegas and Reno so you may choose the location that is most convenient.
You should plan to arrive an hour early for the exam. Each exam section is four hours long, and you will only be allowed to bring your NTS and personal identification into the exam room. All other personal items will be stored in a secure locker during the test.
As soon as the scores are tabulated you'll be notified of the results; you need to score at least 75 percent to pass each section of the exam.
In addition to the CPA exam you'll need to take an ethics exam given by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA). This exam is based on a self-study course that is approximately 11 hours in length; the exam is open-book and you must pass with a minimum score of 90 percent.
Experience Needed to Become a Licensed CPA
Nevada requires specific experience before you are eligible for CPA licensure. The experience can be in either public accounting or Internal Audit or Governmental Accounting but not a combination of the two. Here is the required experience for each:
Public accounting experience
Two years consisting of the use of the following skills, with 1000 hours of attestation experience:
- Accounting or Auditing
- Advising or consulting with clients on matters relating to management
- Preparation of tax returns or the furnishing of advice on matters relating to taxes
This experience must be performed with professional standards and verified by a CPA.
Internal audit or governmental accounting experience
Two years consisting of the use of the following skills, with 1000 hours of attestation experience:
Four years in governmental accounting or internal auditing work, verified by a CPA.
Licensure Requirements for Nevada CPAs
Once you've completed the required experience you'll be eligible to apply for certification. In Nevada this is done through the Nevada Board of Accountancy and you'll need to submit the following:
- Completed application (notarized)
- Application fee of $250.00
- Completed and notarized Experience Forms
- Certificate of Completion of the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam
- Three moral character reference forms
- Two completed fingerprint cards (available through most law enforcement agencies)
Once your application is processed and approved by the Nevada Board of Accountancy you will receive you certificate and be a licensed CPA in the state of Nevada.
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements
In Nevada you must renew your CPA permit every year. Your permit expires on December 31 and must be renewed by January 31 of the following year. You may pay online or by mail; in 2018 the fees are as follows:
|Payment online by credit card:||$120.00|
|Payment via mail by check or money:||$140|
|Late fee (after January 31):||$100.00|
Nevada requires 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) over a rolling two year period. This means if you provide proof of 30 hours of CPE in one year you'll need to provide proof of 50 hours of CPE the next with a minimum of 20 CPE hours in a given year. A minimum four hours of the CPE must be in Ethics; depending on when you passed the Ethics exam your ethics CPE will be due the following year. In addition if you participated in any audit, review, attestation, or full disclosure compilation in the past 12 months you will be required to complete eight hours of CPE that focuses on auditing and accounting.
Here are some sample subjects for approved CPE:
- Administrative practice
- Business law
- Communication arts
- Computer science
- Functional fields of business
- Mathematics/statistics/probability/quantitative applications in business
- Specialized areas of industry
CPE may be compiled in a wide range of approved formats such as the following:
- Breakfast/lunch/dinner meetings designed as education programs
- College credit courses (one semester hour of credit = 15 CPE hours)
- Committee meetings designed as education programs
- Firm/staff meetings designed as education programs
- Independent study/self-study
- Instructing, discussion leading, speaking
- Professional development programs
- Public accounting firm formal education programs
- Technical sessions of meeting of accounting organizations
- Non-Credit Courses - Each classroom hour equals one hour toward the requirement.
- Speaker, Instructor, or Discussion Leader: actual preparation time is allowable up to double the presentation time. For example, a total of three hours is allowable for the presentation of a qualifying hour of in-class credit.
You can find eligible CPE at accredited colleges, accountancy organizations, NASBA’s National Registry of CPE sponsors, the Nevada Society of CPAs, and similar organizations in the field of accountancy.
The Nevada Board of Accountancy audits approximately 20 percent of CPE claims each year via a random selection process so you should always retain proof of the CPE credits you've compiled. Your CPE documentation should include the following:
- Dates attended
- Certificate of completion
- Credit hours claimed
- Title or description of content
- Because CPE in Nevada is compiled during a two year period you should also track the number of hours attained in the first year along with the number required in the second year to reach the total 80 hour requirement.
Accountant Career Salaries in Nevada by Occupation
Nevada is known for its flashy tourism industry, with Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Reno being the top destination locations. The Reno and Las Vegas areas are the most accessible regions in the state for accounting and auditing jobs, which make up for 5-6 out of every 1000 jobs in the two regions. Carson City, the state’s capital, has the best annual income in Nevada, where accountants in the city and its surrounding areas earn an average of $78,750 per year. The future is bright for accountants in Nevada; jobs in the industry are projected to skyrocket to over 31 percent by 2024.
|City||Annual Median Wage|
|South NV Area||$66,160|
|Annual Mean Wage||10th Percentile||25th percentile||50th percentile||75th percentile||90th percentile|