Becoming a CPA in Texas is a relatively straightforward process, involving a combination of education, examination and experience in order to gain the licensure required to hold this coveted title.
Texas CPA Education Requirements
Pick an acceptable institution
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy only recognizes baccalaureate and higher degrees from select institutions of higher education. You need to confirm the college or university you’re attending, or plan to attend, adheres to the Texas educational requirements. You will need an accredited Bachelor's Degree in Accounting to become a CPA, but to get started in your education path, you can start with an associate's.
If you’ve already received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, you can qualify to take the Uniform CPA Examination by taking accounting courses or completing an accounting program at a pre-approved community college.
Education completed outside of the United States will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the degree is equivalent to recognized course requirements. International credential evaluation services are not accepted.
Pick an educational route
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires that CPA applicants complete at least 30 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses at a recognized institution. This can be done in two ways:
Attain a baccalaureate or higher degree that includes a minimum of 30 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours of upper-level related business courses.
Attain a baccalaureate or higher degree and then complete an additional 30 semester hours of accounting courses and 24 semester hours of upper-level related business courses from a four-year institution or pre-approved community college.
Sign up for the right courses
The Board recognizes the following accounting courses:
Financial Accounting and Reporting for Business
- Advanced Accounting
- Accounting Theory
Intermediate Accounting (maximum of 9 semester hours)
Managerial or Cost Accounting
Auditing and Attestation Services
Internal Accounting Control and Risk Assessment
Accounting Research and Analysis
Taxation (maximum of 12 semester hours)
Financial Accounting and Reporting for Government and, or Non-Profit Entities
Accounting Information Systems (maximum of 12 semester hours)
International Accounting and Financial Reporting
Accounting Internship (maximum of three semester hours, taken only after the completion of 12 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses)
The following related business courses are also accepted, providing no more than six semester hours are taken in a single subject area:
- Business Law
- Business Communications
- Statistics and Quantitative Methods
- Information System or Technology
- Other Accounting Relevant Courses
You also need at least two semester hours in upper-level accounting or tax research and analysis, as well as two semester hours in upper-level accounting communications or business communications.
Additionally, you must complete a Board-approved three semester hour course on ethics.
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CPA Uniform Examination Requirements
Verify you’ve met the requirements
You can apply to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination once you meet the following qualifications:
Be of good moral character, as assessed by question responses, the FBI database, and the Texas Department of Public Safety criminal records.
Have a baccalaureate or higher degree from a recognized institution.
Complete 150 semester hours, including:
- 30 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses, including two semester hours of accounting or tax research and analysis.
- 24 semester hours of upper-level related business courses, including two semester hours of accounting or business communications
Submit an Application of Intent
Once you have met all necessary requirements, you can submit an Application of Intent to the following:
Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701-3900
You will need:
- $20 check or money order made payable to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
- Official transcript(s)
- Passport-type photograph taken in the last six months
- Certified or notarized copy of a government-issued identification document
- Certified or notarized copy of your U.S. Social Security Card
- Certified or notarized Authorization and Release form
- Application for Testing Accommodations, if applicable
- Background Statement form, if necessary
Fingerprinting is also required. Your application can’t be approved until the fingerprint process has been completed.
Submit an eligibility application
In order to apply for one or more sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, you must first submit an Eligibility Application online. While there is no deadline for this application, your Application of Intent will expire after two years. In addition to the application, you will also need:
- $10 nonrefundable fee for each section you plan to take
- ID card
It generally takes between 24 and 48 hours to process your application, at which time the Board will notify the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) of your candidacy. Shortly thereafter, you’ll receive an Approval Notice giving you 90 days to complete your approved exam sections.
Pay the NASBA exam fees
After getting your Approval Notice, you will receive an Exam Fee Payment Coupon from NASBA via mail, fax, or email (based upon your preference). This coupon will state the fees that you’re responsible for, which can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
Schedule your exam
Once your payment has been processed, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). Your NTS will indicate which sections of the examination you’re approved to take and will instruct you to schedule your exam date(s) via Prometric.
CPA Work Experience Requirements
Complete experienc requirements
To qualify for a CPA license in Texas, you must work professionally for a year (at least 2000 hours) in one of the following categories:
Attest services (audits, compilations, reviews, and other assurance and engagements)
Professional accounting services in:
- Financial statements reporting
- Financial management or advice
- Tax preparation
- Tax advice
- Forensic accounting
- Internal auditing
Your work experience must be verified by a licensed CPA. Additionally, a statement describing the supervising CPA’s experience and a copy of your job description is required.
CPA License Application Process
Verify you’ve met the requirements
In order to apply for a CPA license in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be of good moral character
- Earn a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited educational institute and complete all course requirements
- Pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination
- Complete professional work requirements
- Pass an exam on the Board’s Rules of Professional Conduct with a score of 85% or higher (this will be sent to you after you’ve submitted your Application for Issuance)
- Pass a Board-approved four-credit ethics course
Submit your application for issuance
Once you’ve passed the Uniform CPA Examination, you can submit an Application for Issuance of the CPA Certificate. You must request a copy of this form directly from the Board. Additionally, you must submit the Oath of Office form and the Work Experience form. A $50 check or money order, made payable to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, is also required.
Once your application is reviewed and approved, you’ll receive a congratulatory letter with your assigned CPA number. Make sure you pay your license fee right away to confirm your new designation.
Texas Continuing Education (CPE) Requirements
In order to maintain your CPA license in Texas, you must meet the state’s CPE requirements. Within each three-year period, you must complete the following:
120 CPE credits
A minimum of 20 hours per year is required
4-credit ethics course every other year
You must document all CPE participation and send it to the Board if requested.
Accountant Career Salaries in Texas by Occupation
Texas accountants find work in a variety of sectors. The oil and gas industry is naturally a huge employer, but you might also work for a tech company or consult small businesses. If you attain a CPA license and work hard for a large Dallas company, you might earn up to $500,681, while controllers in larger San Antonio firms earn $204,820. What really makes Texas a great state for accountants is the anticipated growth rate of 32.02 percent between 2012 and 2022. That dwarfs national predictions that show the profession growing by only 13 percent. Texas offers more and more opportunities all the time.
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