2014 CA CPA Licensure

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The Scoop on 2014 Changes?

Until January 1st, 2014 California was one of two states in the Nation that did not have a mandatory 150 semester unit requirement for Licensure allowing for 2 Pathways (local vs. national). Now that CA has adopted the 150 rule, there is only one Pathway to become a CPA allowing for greater competition in the global market and the ability to apply for reciprocity in other states.

Note: The 150 Rule only applies to CPA Licensure. Requirements to take the CPA Exam have remained the same.

2014 Licensure Details – As Determined by the California Board of Accountancy

CA Requirements after 1/01/2014

Requirements to take the CPA Exam:

Requirements to Obtain Licensure: Only available pathway to licensure after 01/01/2014:

  • Pass the CPA Exam
  • 1 year of experience under a licensed CPA
  • Pass the ethics exam
  • Minimum total of 150 semester/225 quarter to include:

Accounting Subjects

24 Semester / 36 Quarter Units

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • External or Internal Reporting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Taxation

Business Subjects

24 Semester / 36 Quarter Units
  • Business Administration
  • Business Communication
  • Business Law
  • Business Management
  • Business Related Law Courses (offered by an accredited law school)
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Finance (e.g. Financial Management)
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

Accounting Study Subjects

20 Semester / 30 Quarter Units

  1. Minimum of 6 Semester/9 Quarter units in Accounting Subjects (see above)
  2. Maximum of 14 Semester/21 Quarter units Business Related Subjects (see above)
  3. Maximum of 9 Semester/13.5 Quarter units in other academic work relevant to accounting and business:
    • Maximum of 3 Semester/4.5 Quarter units in skills-based courses, which includes the following disciplines: English, Communications, Journalism, and the Physical, Life, Natural and Social Sciences
    • Maximum of 3 Semester/4.5 Quarter units in courses in foreign language (includes sign language), or courses with the terms culture, cultural or ethnic in the title
    • Maximum of 3 Semester/4.5 Quarter units in industry-based courses. Includes courses with the words "industry" or "administration" in the course title. Also includes courses in the disciplines Engineering, Architecture and Real Estate
  4. Maximum of 4 Semester/6 Quarter units of internships or independent studies in Accounting or Business related subjects

Ethics Study Subjects

10 Semester / 15 Quarter Units
  1. Maximum of 10 Semester/15 Quarter units from courses containing any of the following terms in the course title: Business Law, Corporate Governance, Ethics, Morals, Fraud, Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Management of Organizations, Business Government & Society, Leadership, Legal Environment of Business, Professional Responsibilities, Corporate Social Responsibility
    • (A minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter units in courses devoted to accounting ethics or accountants' professional responsibilities will be required of all applicants beginning January 1, 2017.)
  2. Maximum of 3 Semester/4.5 Quarter units taken in the following disciplines: Philosophy, Religion or Theology
    • The course title must contain one of the following words or terms, or the sole name in the course title is the name of the discipline: Introductory, General, Introduction, Fundamentals of, Principles of, Foundation of, Survey of
  3. Maximum of 1 Semester/1.5 Quarter units in a course devoted solely to Financial Statement Auditing

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Helpful Links

The CPA Exam:

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