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Certified public accountant (CPA) credentials can deliver an extra $1 million to your income over a 40-year accounting career — which is 10%-15% more than non-certified accountants receive.
This high-demand profession can open up roles in the business, technology, government, entertainment, and nonprofit sectors. You may even pursue advanced positions as an executive, such as chief financial officer.
Connecticut offers a strong setting for a new CPA to start a flourishing career. The state, a world leader in investment and asset management, also provides easy access to New York City. Discover more about Connecticut's CPA requirements with this helpful guide.
Education Requirements for Becoming a CPA in Connecticut
CPA requirements in Connecticut include earning 150 semester hours and completing 140 weeks of real-world experience. However, to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination, you only need 120 of those hours — the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. Your education must include a mix of general education, accounting, business law, and economics courses.
While a graduate degree is not required to become a CPA, you can meet your 150-credit requirement by earning both a bachelor's degree and a master's in accounting or business administration. Taking an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's program can shorten the time required to earn credits while meeting CPA certification requirements.
Concentrations, Credits, and Course Acceptance
You do not have to major in accounting or finance to become a CPA in Connecticut. It may help to choose accounting or a related major since the state requires 26 credits in accounting and 22 credits in finance, economics, or business law. You'll need to earn an extra 30 credits before or after passing the exam to earn certification.
Upon receiving CPA certification, you must have completed 36 semester hours in accounting, 30 hours in economics and business administration, and 24 hours in any credit subject. You also need at least 60 semester hours in general education, which can include excess accounting courses.
Connecticut does not require CPAs to hold master's degrees. You can complete all credits at the undergraduate level and may count CLEP credits and any courses completed through regionally accredited universities.
The state board does not accept commercial CPA review courses but does recognize credit-based CPA review courses at regionally accredited universities.
Connecticut Experience Requirements
To earn CPA certification in Connecticut, you must complete two years (104 weeks) of real-world experience in government, industry, or public accounting. Your work must occur under the supervision of a CPA who possesses three years of good standing with the state board. You can take the CPA exam first and complete the work experience afterward.
Internships, co-ops, and full-time or part-time work can help fulfill this requirement. To qualify, the experience must include at least four of the eight areas below:
Tax return research
Tax return preparation
Preparation of financial statements
Analysis of financial statements
Assessment and testing of the adequacy of the employer's internal controls
Professional services performed in the course of practicing public accountancy
Each week of experience must include 20-35 hours of work. To document your hours, complete the experience verification form (SBA 12) and have it signed by your supervisor. This documentation will remain on file for one year, and experience cannot be over 10 years old.
CPA Exam Requirements
The Uniform CPA Examination includes four sections: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. Although the exam applies to CPAs nationally, each state sets specific eligibility and application requirements. Explore Connecticut's CPA requirements below.
Eligibility to Take the Exam
Applicants must complete certain educational requirements to apply for the Uniform CPA Examination in Connecticut.
These include at least 120 semester hours at a regionally accredited college or university, which must include 24 semester hours or more in accounting and at least 22 semester hours in finance, economics, or business law. Quarter credit hours are equivalent to 2/3 of a semester hour.
If you are taking the CPA exams in Connecticut, you do not have to meet age, citizenship, or state residency requirements. However, you must pass all four sections with a score of 75 or better within 18 months of taking the first exam.
The AICPA's ethics exam is also required before receiving initial licensure. You must hold a Social Security number or a taxpayer identification number in your home country, as well.
Applying for and Scheduling the Exam
Submit your application online through CPA Central to begin the registration process. You'll need to create a user account to log in for registration and scores.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), which oversees the Uniform CPA Examination, allows applicants to register for one or more sections of the exam but recommends only registering if they can take the exam within six months.
Candidates must request official transcripts from each college or university they have attended. All transcripts must transmit directly from the school to the testing service, and registrars can submit the transcripts directly to [email protected].
The initial application includes a $175 fee, but re-exam registration fees are only $85. You must have completed your 120 required credits to sit for the exam. It may take 6-8 weeks for NASBA to receive and process your materials.
Once approved, NASBA provides a Notice to Schedule (NTS), which you use to schedule your exam with a local Prometric test center. Prometric requires at least five days' notice to schedule the exam. You may take one or more parts of the exam in a single sitting. Each section can take up to four hours to complete and costs $238.15.
After Passing the Exam
After passing the CPA exam, you are well on your way to becoming a CPA in Connecticut, but you still need to complete 104 weeks (two years) of work under a CPA. The work does not need to be paid, but you must complete 20-35 hours per week. You also need to pass an ethics exam.
Connecticut is a two-tier state, meaning that CPA certification and licensure are separated. To be licensed, you must pay a higher fee and complete 40 additional continuing professional education hours per year.
After completing all the requirements, you may submit your application for initial certification and either registration or licensure. Registration allows limited use of CPA certification, while licensure provides unlimited use. Certification costs $150, registration is $190, and licensure carries a $300 fee. When you apply for a position as a CPA, the state board of accountancy will verify your licensure or registration.
Each candidate submits their verification documents and an application for certification to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
In Connecticut, CPA licensure expires each year on Dec. 31. The Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection emails renewal reminders during the renewal period or Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Ideally, these reminders come out 30-45 days before the deadline. You can find permit, license, and registration forms on the state's consumer protection website. License renewals cost $565 as of March 2023.
License renewal requires 40 hours of continuing education requirements (CPEs) from the date of your license's issue or last renewal. The state qualifies CPE hours according to 50-minute blocks of educational experiences.
CPAs must upload or send copies of their certifications of completion to demonstrate their compliance. You may carry 20 hours of CPEs for one year. The Board of Accountancy may issue waivers for members of the military, people with health conditions, or another good cause. CPAs who do not complete their education requirements by June 30 must pay a $315 fine if they are completed by Sept. 30 or a $625 fine if not completed until Dec. 31.
You may transfer your CPA license into or out of Connecticut if you meet both states' requirements for transfer.
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Questions About Connecticut CPA Requirements
How do I get my CPA license in CT?
You must earn at least 120 undergraduate credits, including 36 accounting credits and 30 business credits, to take the exam. You also need an additional 30 credits in specific courses and 104 weeks of real-world experience earned under a qualifying CPA, along with passing scores on the ethics and CPA exams.
Do you need 150 credits to sit for CPA exam in Connecticut?
No — you need 120 credits, including 24 credits in accounting and 22 credits in complementary fields, to sit for the CPA exam in CT. Once you pass the exam, you need an additional 30 credits in specific subjects to meet the requirements to become a CPA.
How long does it take to become a CPA in CT?
Generally, it takes four years to earn the 120 semester hours required to sit for the exam. A prospective CPA also needs two years of qualifying work experience. As such, it takes at least six years to become a CPA in Connecticut.
Is getting a CPA license in Connecticut hard?
The road to becoming a CPA is long and requires a significant amount of work. You must complete 150 credits, pass two major exams, and complete two years of qualifying experience under a CPA.
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