While there are some variations in the process from state to state, the basic process for sitting for the CPA examination may be described as follows:
1. Apply to take the examination (request, complete, and submit an application).
2. Payment of examination fees.
3. Candidates are required to review the tutorial and sample tests.
4. Receive your Notice to Schedule.
5. Schedule your examination.
6. Take your examination(s).
7. Receive your Score Report(s).
Applying to take the Examination
The right to practice public accounting as a CPA is governed by individual state statutes. While some rules regarding the practice of public accounting vary from state to state, all State Boards of Accountancy use the Uniform CPA Examination and AICPA advisory grading service as one of the requirements to practice public accounting. Every candidate should contact the applicable Sate Board of Accountancy to determine the requirements to sit for the exam (e.g., education requirements and fees. For comparisons of requirements for various state boards and those policies that are uniform across jurisdictions, you should refer to the Web site of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) at www.nasba.org.
A frequent problem candidates encounter is failure to apply by the deadline. Apply to sit for the examination early. Also, you should use extreme care in filling out the application and mailing required materials to your State Board of Accountancy. If possible, have a friend review your completed application before mailing with check and other documentation. The name on your application must appear exactly the same as it appears on the identification you plan to use at the testing center. Candidates miss a particular CPA examination window simply because of minor technical details that were overlooked (checks not signed, items not enclosed, question not answered on application, etc.). Because of the very high volume of applications received in the more populous states, the administrative staff does not have time to call or write to correct minor details and will simply reject your application.
It is possible for candidates to site for the exam at a Prometric site in any state or territory. Candidates desiring to do so should contact the State Board of Accountancy in their home state.
Once you have been cleared to take the CPA exam by the applicable state board, you will receive by mail a Notice to Schedule (NTS) and may then schedule to sit for one or more sections of the exam. You have the following three options for scheduling your examination:
1. Visit www.prometric.com/cpa on the Internet. This is the easiest and quickest way to schedule an examination appointment (or cancel and re-schedule an appointment, if necessary). Simply go to the Web site, select SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT, and follow the directions. It is advised that you print and keep for your records the confirmation number for your appointment.
2. Call 800-580-9648 (Candidate Services Call Center). Before you call, you must have your NTS in front of you, and have in mind several times, dates, and locations that would work for you. You will not receive written confirmation fo your appointment. Be sure to write down the date, time, location, and confirmation number for each of your appointments.
3. Call your local test center. While this method is not recommended, you may call your local test center and schedule appointments. Again, be sure to have your NTS in front of you and write down the date, time, location, and confirmation number for each of your appointments.
You should also be aware that if you have to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you may be subject to a cancellation/rescheduling fee. The AICPA’s Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Bulletin lists the rescheduling and cancellation fees.
To assure that you get your desired location and time period it is imperative that you schedule early. To get your first choice of dates, you are advised to schedule at least 45 days in advance. You will not be scheduled for an exam fewer than five days before testing.
Contributed by Wiley CPA Review