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Professional Resources

Becoming a CPA in New York

The information below is meant to serve as an easy reference guide for some of the commonly asked questions regarding becoming a CPA in New York State. It is not meant to replace the guidelines set forth by the New York State Education Department, and is not the final authority in answering questions about the CPA licensure process. Full updated information on CPA licensure can be found on the NYSED site Contact the NYSED with any questions regarding the licensure process.

What education requirements must I meet to apply for a CPA license?

You must complete one of the following:

  • An accounting program registered by the State Education Department (SED) as licensure-qualifying, OR
  • An accounting program accredited by an accrediting body accepted by SED. Currently the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is accepted. Receipt of a Master's degree in accounting from such a program will be deemed as meeting New York's 150 semester hour education requirements, OR
  • A program determined by the Department, after review of your official transcripts, to be equivalent to a registered program, OR
  • 15 years of public accounting experience acceptable to the State Board for Public Accountancy.

(For full education requirements, visit the SED page.)

What is the fee for CPA licensure?

The fee for licensure is $427.

How old do I need to be to apply for CPA licensure in New York State?

Applicants for CPA licensure must be at least 21 years of age.

I am a licensed CPA in another state, do I need to apply for a license in New York State?

  • If you have been licensed by another U.S. state or a foreign licensing jurisdiction that has Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the National Association of State Board for Accountancy (NASBA), you should apply for an initial license with New York State.

 (For more information on this topic, visit the SED page.)

What exam requirements must I meet before applying for my CPA license?

  • New York State recognizes the Uniform CPA Exam, prepared and graded by the AICPA and administered in New York by CPA Examination Services, a division of NASBA.  The exam consists of four parts.
  • The CPA license will not be issued until completion of 150 hours, regardless of passing the exam.

What areas will the exam cover?

Each part of the exam covers one of the following areas:

  • Auditing and attestation
  • Financial accounting and reporting
  • Regulation
  • Business environment and concepts

What is the passing score for the exam?

The passing score for each of the four parts is 75.

How long do I have to complete all four parts?

You must successfully complete and pass all four parts of the CPA exam within a rolling 18 month window.

How often can I take each exam part?

You may sit parts individually once per calendar quarter.

How many college credits must I obtain before sitting for the CPA exam?

Effective August 1, 2009, New York State will allow applicants who are required to meet the 150 hour requirement for licensure to sit for the CPA exam after completing 120 semester hours including one course in each of the following areas:

  • Financial accounting and reporting
  • Cost or management accounting
  • Taxation
  • Auditing

 (For more information about the CPA exam, visit the SED page.)

What work experience work requirements must I meet before applying for my CPA license?

An applicant meeting the 150 semester hour education requirement must have at least one-year of full time, or the part-time equivalent) providing accounting services or advice involving skills in accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting services under the supervision of a licensed CPA in a U.S. jurisdiction or a public accountant in New York State.

(For more information on experience requirements, visit the SED page)