How Do I Become a CPA in Texas

There are 4 steps to become at Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Texas. First, all candidates must have completed 150 semester hours or quarter-hour equivalents from a university that meets the accreditation requirements of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA.) TCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is one of the six accreditations recognized by the TSBPA. Of the 150 completed hours, candidates must have 30 hours of upper-level accounting, 24 hours of upper- level business credits (maximum of 6 credit hours per subject area), 3 hours of ethics, 2 hours of communications and 2 hours of research. Note that all of these classes are subject to approval by the TSBPA.

The 150-hour requirement exceeds most graduation requirements for an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. Many individuals choose to enroll in a Masters of Accounting program to fulfill these requirements and achieve a graduate degree. The curriculum from the BBA in Accounting plus Masters of Accounting program at TCU are designed to meet all of the educational requirements of the TSBPA.

In order to sit for the CPA exam, candidates must file an application of intent with the TSBPA. Once candidates submit their intent, their application will be evaluated to ensure all the required coursework is complete and aligns with the Public Accountancy Act and the Board's Rules. The letter of intent is valid for 2 years – candidates must sit for at least one of the four sections of the exam within that time frame or they must refile. (Note that candidates may submit an application of intent prior to meeting the full 150 hour requirement in order to determine which academic deficiencies they need to fulfill.)

After meeting the requirements to sit for the exam, there are four sections that must be passed: Audit and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). These sections can be taken in any order, but must be registered for in advance through a process outlined by the TSBPA, NASBA, and Prometric testing centers. Each testing window is equal to three months, candidates may take all sections in each testing window, but candidates may not retake the same section in a testing window if they are unsuccessful in passing.

Once candidates successfully pass all four sections of the CPA exam, they must complete a 4 hour ethics course that is independent from the requirement to sit for the exam. Then candidates must have one year, equivalent to 2000 hours, of work experience in the field of accounting. This experience must be in non-routine accounting-related duties such as preparing tax returns, providing tax advice, issuing financial statement reports, providing financial advice or performing forensic accounting services. Furthermore, this work experience must be under the supervi-sion of a licensed CPA.

After completing the education, exam, work experience, and ethics requirements, candidates may submit their final application to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to be certified to practice in the state of Texas and become a CPA


Emily Davis