It can be overwhelming to sort out all of the steps you’ll need to take before you’re eligible for your CPA license. To become a Certified Public Accountant CPA, you need to obtain a bachelor's degree and complete the experience requirements. After you complete your education, you will need to pass the CPA exam to become a certified public accountant CPA. When you pass the CPA Exam in your state, you will become a certified public accountant. Becoming a CPA is challenging but rewarding. Here’s a guide to what can expect in the process of becoming a licensed CPA in Oklahoma.
Satisfy Education Requirements
The first step to becoming a CPA Certified Public Accountant in Oklahoma is to make sure that all of your education requirements are satisfied. You can start with an Associate's In Accounting degree, but you will need to obtain a bachelor's degree in order to be able to take the CPA exam.
Before you’re able to sit for the CPA Exam, the Oklahoma Accountancy Board requires candidates to have completed at least a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, along with 150 credit hours of college credit from a college accredited by the U.S. State Board of Education.
Your required semester hours must include the following:
76 upper-division hours
30 semester hours of accounting courses beyond the introductory level
- One of these courses must deal with auditing or assurance, and must concentrate on external auditing standards (including Statements on Auditing Standards)
Nine semester hours in business classes, including but not limited to:
- Business communication
- Business law
- Business management
- Computer science
- Financial information systems
- Risk management
You must be able to provide the Board with official university transcripts to become a CPA. Contact the registrar’s office for guidance on how to proceed.
Oklahoma does require CPA candidates to reside in the state in order to be eligible to take the CPA Exam, so be aware and make sure to plan accordingly.
Featured Online Programs
Campus and Online Degree Options in Oklahoma
You can learn accounting basics in an associate degree program. You'll learn accounting fundamentals like spreadsheets, the accounting cycle, and more. This degree will give you access to entry-level positions only, and probably only in smaller companies. You’ll need a higher-level degree to move up. Learn More
With a bachelor's degree you are eligible to become a CPA. You can open the doors to a long, successful accounting career with this program where you will gain knowledge in auditing, financial information systems, and financial reporting. You can access entry-level positions in the Big Four accounting firms and have numerous options for positions in small to medium-sized firms or companies. Learn More
In this degree, you’ll explore managerial finance, data modeling, corporate taxation, and other advanced accounting functions. By earning a master's degree in the accounting field, you’ll gain access to promotions, even to the C-suites, and have enough education to pass the CPA exam or gain other vital credentials and certifications. Learn More
Doctorate or PhD
If you want to teach in the accounting field or be an expert in the industry, earning a doctorate is the way to go. This is the most prestigious degree you can earn and the curriculum here will cover subjects like financial and economic theory but will focus in on research. Learn More
Online Degree Programs
Oklahoma’s online degree programs in accounting offer you the flexibility to work around your schedule and at an affordable price. These degrees allow you to earn your accounting degree on your computer in the comfort of your home and online programs have proven to be just as effective and just as high a quality as in-person programs. Learn More
Sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam
Once you’ve satisfied your education and residency requirements, you should be able to sit for the CPA Exam.
Submit your application to become an exam candidate. You can apply online, or by mailing in the completed Qualification Application Packet, including:
Submit your application to take the CPA Exam. You’ll need to submit an additional $50 application fee at this time.
- Official university transcripts from every college where you received credits
- A 2 x 2 passport style photo of your head and shoulders
- Affidavit Verifying Lawful Presence in the United States (included in the packet, must be signed and notarized)
- $50 application fee payable to Oklahoma Accountancy Board
Your application and all supporting documents can be mailed to: Oklahoma Accountancy Board, 201 Northwest 63rd Street, Suite 210, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
If your application is accepted, you should find out within one to two weeks after submission. If you are approved, you will receive a letter allowing you to submit an application to sit for the CPA exam.
Upon approval or your application, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will send you a payment coupon. You’ll need to submit payment for each section of the Uniform CPA Exam you plan to take. After payment is sent, you’ll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS), either by email, fax, or mail (you can choose upon signup).
Register for your test on the Prometrics website. Oklahoma testing centers are located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Arrive to your chosen testing site 30 minutes early on the day of your scheduled exam. Be sure to bring two forms of identification and your NTS.
After your exam is reviewed, you can access your scores online using the pin and password you’ll have set up already. You’ll also receive notice in the mail.
Getting Work Experience
Candidates who pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam are now eligible to complete the work requirement needed to obtain Oklahoma CPA licensure.
Before work experience can begin, you’ll need to pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s Home Study Course on Professional Ethics Exam. Materials can be found online.
After completing the course, you’ll need to accrue one year (1800 hours) of accounting experience within four years of your anticipated CPA license application. Experience must meet the following:
- Can either be full-time or part-time as long as hour requirements are met
- May be self-employed
- Must include experience in accounting, tax services, and/or attestation
- May be accrued by working in a public or private practice, as well as academia, government, or industry
- Must be verified by a current Oklahoma CPA in good standing, or a PA with licensing in either Oklahoma or another state
Document your experience hours in the Board’s Experience Verification Form. This must contain the name, contact information, and license number of your CPA verifier. Once you’ve signed and dated the form, you can send it to the Board by fax, or by email. Be sure to use a separate form for each source of employment experience.
After the State Board has reviewed and approved your experience, you’ll receive an Application for Certification.
Getting Your License and Permit to Practice
Oklahoma has a two-tier system, which means that you’ll have to obtain both a license and a permit to practice before you’re able to start practicing accounting on your own.
Apply for certification using the application sent to you by the Board. You’ll also need to submit:
- Certificate of Completion of the AICPA Ethics Exam (including your score)
- Official college transcript
- Three letters of reference
- Check or money order payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board
Send the required documentation to: Oklahoma Accountancy Board, 201 Northwest 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
If your application is accepted, you’ll receive your CPA certificate in the mail.
Before you can apply for your Permit to Practice, you’ll need to complete 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) within a calendar year. Once you’ve met that requirement, you can submit your application to the Board, along with:
- Certificates of CPE completion
- Certificate of AICPA Ethics Exam completion
- $100 application fee, payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board
You do not need a Permit to Practice if you work in a government or academia setting; however, you may still obtain your permit if you wish. You must have a Permit to Practice if you’re practicing in a public firm.
Maintaining Your CPA Permit to Practice
After completing your initial permit CPE requirements, you’ll need to keep up your education by completing 120 CPE hours every three years. This will ensure that your knowledge of the industry stays fresh, and keeps your permit valid.
Every three years, your CPE hours must include:
- Four hours in professional ethics
- If you work in industry, academia, or government accounting, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 72 hours in public accounting
- If you review compilation agreements or supervise someone who does, a minimum of four hours every year must be spent on compilation agreements
You can meet this requirement in the following ways:
- College credit courses in a relevant topic of study(one semester hour is equal to 15 CPE hours)
- College non-credit courses in a relevant topic of study (one semester hour is equal to one CPE hour)
- Group meetings and seminars
- Leading instruction in courses
You may also consider joining accounting groups and organizations, like the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) or the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Accountant Career Concentrations & Salaries in Oklahoma
A mortgage accountant assists a lender in reporting and recording their lending activities while following the accepted accounting rules, federal regulations, and general industry practices. They typically work and a lending office and make around $75,000 a year.
Portfolio Accounting Specialist
Portfolio accountants handle the upkeep and upgrade of systems and processes. They gather reports, maintain records, and prepare financial statements. Additionally, they calculate profit and loss, as well as asset values.
An accounts payable analyst handles all the accounts payable and related administrative duties like invoicing, purchase orders, and inputting data in the financial system. They may also prepare expense reports and verify receipts.
A corporate accountant is a business accounting specialist who maintains the financial records of a company and ensures their legal compliance. Much of what they do influences the decisions company executives make in regard to finances.
In Oklahoma, auditors and accountants do relatively well. Northwest Oklahoma’s mean annual wage is $57,140 while in Tulsa, mean annual wage is $75,380. Southwest Oklahoma (nonmetropolitan) mean annual wage is $59,860, and the southeast non-metro area’s mean annual wage is a little higher, at $63,210. Rounding out this area, Lawton’s mean annual wage is $73,200, employing only 250 professionals.
Oklahoma’s urban centers do employ higher numbers of accountants and auditors. There are 5,470 auditors and accountants working in Oklahoma City. In Tulsa, 4,290 provide accounting services. In northeast Oklahoma’s non-metro area, 1,000 auditors and accountants provide their services, while Enid has 130 accounting professionals available.
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Oklahoma Accounting Frequently Asked Questions
What accounting jobs are available in Oklahoma?
There are a variety of career paths available in the accounting field.
Here are some of the options in Oklahoma:
- Systems Accountant
- Director of Financial Accounting
- Federal Systems Accountant
- Corporate Accountant
- Portfolio Accounting Specialist
- AP Analyst
- Mortgage Accountant
- Full Charge Bookkeeper
- Assistant Controller
- Forensic Accountant
- Accounts Receivable and Collections
- Senior Accountant
- Director of Financial Reporting
What is the salary expectation with an accounting degree?
Here are some salary range examples in the state:
- Systems Accountant - $64,000-$103,832 | The annual salary for this position averages $82,900.
- Director of Financial Accounting - $126,000-$193,766 | The average salary is $157,150 for this position.
- Assistant Controller - $112,000-$154,387 | An income of $131,700 is the average for this position.
- Director of Financial Reporting - $136,000-$170,119 | The average annual income for this position is $154,500.
Do colleges in the state offer online degrees?
Yes, there are numerous online programs available in Oklahoma. You can earn your degree in accounting online through colleges and universities like:
- Bacone College
- Cameron University
- Career Point Institute
- East Central University
- Mid-America Christian University
How long does it take to earn an accounting degree?
There are many factors that determine how long it takes for degree completion. The degree you choose, the concentration, and the way you choose to take class - be it in person or online - all play a role and how long it takes for you to earn your degree.
Why pursue an advanced degree in accounting?
You may want to consider getting an advanced degree in accounting if the field that you have chosen for your career path requires additional certifications and skills. There are professions you cannot gain access to without an advanced degree. Speak with your academic advisor to determine the right degree program for you.