US CPA Exam-CPA Exam Review in JapanThis past Friday, July 16th, I had the pleasure of meeting with the AICPA, NASBA and Prometric in Tokyo to discuss offering the US CPA Exam in Japan. The three organizations, NASBA, AICPA, and Prometric, will be finalizing contracts in the coming weeks that will detail the organization's plans to offer the US CPA Exam in four Prometric testing centers throughout Japan. These testing centers will be located in Tokyo (two locations), Osaka, and Yokohama and will be open only to legal residents of Japan and US Citizens working abroad; tourist visas from other international countries will not be allowed to sit for the US CPA Exam in Japan.

Friday's meeting covered proposed details on new international testing of the US CPA Exam. The exam will be tested in Japan only during the second window of each quarter, with the earliest possible start month of May 2011. The exam will be administered at Prometric testing centers and will be available during morning and afternoon sessions.

Maintaining the Integrity of the US CPA License Abroad

NASBA and AICPA spent a lot of Friday's meeting discussing the importance of maintaining the integrity of the US CPA license abroad. The organizations will be ensuring this by committing candidates who take the exam internationally to preconditions, as well as maintaining two databases of international candidates.

The AICPA will also be educating international consumers about the quality of a CPA credential and the benefits of employing US CPA's. In addition, the organization will be promoting the high value of a US CPA license and the distinction between obtaining a license versus simply passing the exam.

Consenting to Preconditions

When CPA Exam candidates take the US CPA Exam outside of the 55 US jurisdictions, they will commit to preconditions at the time they choose their testing center. These preconditions require that the candidate taking the exam get licensed within three years. All international candidates must get certified in one of the 11 states that currently do not require residency (California, Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, Vermont, etc.)

International Candidates Database

NASBA will be enforcing these preconditions by creating and maintaining two databases of international candidates. The first database will be a list of all candidates taking the exam internationally, who, at the time of scheduling their US CPA Exam abroad, consented to get licensed within three years. This list will also include all international candidates who have, up until now, passed the CPA Exam but have not been properly licensed. The second NASBA database will include all international candidates who have passed the CPA Exam and are licensed CPA's.

The goal of the databases is twofold; the primary goal is to enforce the level of prestige and distinction that goes along with being a US CPA. This means that even if an international candidate passes the CPA Exam, they cannot put "CPA" after their name until they are licensed by a US state or territory. The second goal of the database is to allow employers to understand when international candidates have passed the exam and when they have become licensed so they can ensure their new hires are properly certified US CPA's.

For International Candidates How to Get Started

  1. Decide where you want to be licensed. Find all the state specific requirements online.
  2. Read the uniform CPA candidate bulletin
  3. Begin application
  4. Begin your CPA Exam Review!

Japanese candidates interested in preparing for the US CPA Exam in Japanese and for credit should consider the US CPA program at O-HARA School in Tokyo and Osaka. O-HARA uses Roger CPA Review to prepare Japanese students to pass the CPA Exam. Please contact our office for more details!