The information below is a brief summary of the basic requirements to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Other requirements, not listed here, must also be met. The requirements to become a CPA change over time. To get the latest and most complete information on how to become a CPA in California, visit the California State Board of Accountancy web site.
Basic requirements to become a CPA:
- Complete a bachelor's degree. The degree may be in any subject
- Complete a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting
- Complete a minimum of 24 semester units in business courses
(Accounting courses beyond the 24 required units apply toward business units)
- Pass the CPA Exam
- Pass an ethics exam
- Complete a work experience requirement.
The work experience requirement may be met in two different pathways:
Pathway 2: One year of general accounting experience supervised by a licensed CPA and 150 units of education.
For more information about the CPA profession and careers opportunities,
visit the web sites below:
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- How to Become a CPA (from AICPA web site)
- Accounting Careers (from AICPA web site)
- California Society of CPAs
- How to to Become a CPA (from California Society of Public Accountants web site)
- Peninsula / Silicon Valley Chapter of the California Society of CPAs