Accounting - Licensure and Certification
Licensure and certification. Any accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This may include senior level accountants working for or on behalf of public companies that are registered with the SEC. CPAs are licensed by their State Board of Accountancy. Any accountant who passes a national exam and meets the other requirements of the State where they practice can become a CPA. The vast majority of States require CPA candidates to be college graduates, but a few States will substitute a number of years of public accounting experience for a college degree.
As of 2007, 42 States and the District of Columbia required CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework-an additional 30 hours beyond the usual 4-year bachelor's degree. Several other States have adopted similar legislation that will become effective before 2009. Colorado, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Vermont are the only States that do not have any immediate plans to require the 150 semester hours.