If youre studying for the CPA Exam in the state of California, youve probably heard of the upcoming changes to the CPA license requirements in 2014. But are you sure everything youve heard is true? With rumors and false information swirling through online forums, we want to make sure you have the most up to date information regarding what will change come 2014 and what remains the same. 
  
1. Rumor: The additional 30 of the 150 semester units MUST be upper division units. 
FALSE! Both upper and lower division units can make up the additional 30 semester units (Accounting Study & Ethics Study). This means that community college courses will count towards these portions.

2.  Rumor: The changes for the requirements to sit for the exam have changed.

FALSE! They are the same. The requirements to sit for the CPA Exam in California consist of a bachelors degree, 24 semester or 36 quarter units in Accounting, and 24 semester or 36 quarter units in Business. 

3. Rumor: The two pathway options to obtain licensure are still available.

FALSE! After January 1, 2014, there is only one pathway to licensure. This pathway consists of passing all four sections of the CPA Exam, one year of experience under a licensed CPA, passing the ethics exam, and a minimum total of 150 semester/225 quarter units. These units must include 20 semester/30 quarter units in Accounting Study, and 10 semester/15 quarter units in Ethics Study. 

4. Rumor: I know that the Ethics Study portion has been approved, but the Accounting Study requirements are not set in stone yet.

TRUE! According to an employee of the California Board of Accountancy (CBA), the board is presently engaged in the rulemaking process to establish the Accounting Study requirements.  The CBA began the rulemaking process back in September 2011, and the process generally takes up to a year.  They anticipate receiving final approval of the regulations by October 2012. 

5. If I have almost everything completed under the current licensure requirements, but I havent finished or applied for licensure by the time 2014 rolls around, I can still receive my CPA designation.

BIG FALSE! Every candidate who has not finished all requirements under the current Pathway 1 or Pathway 2 options and submitted the application for licensure by December 31st, 2013, will be required to fulfill the 2014 requirements.

Hopefully this helps you gain a better understanding of the upcoming California licensure changes, as well helping you make any appropriate adjustments to your planning and study schedule. 

For further details into the 2014 education requirements, please visit our 2014 California  Licensure Requirements page.

For more information regarding the CPA Licensure requirements for your state, please click here.