a. Request information from the colleges and universities in Alabama that offer the accounting, business and law courses necessary to sit for the CPA exam.
b. Confirm that the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy will accept your credits. If you are already enrolled in an accounting program or have already earned your degree, confirm that your program has been accredited by one of the following agencies:
If you earned your degree in another country, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services will assess your credits.
c. Enroll in the required classes. In Alabama, you must have 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours from a post secondary institution and hold a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting or the substantial equivalent as determined by the board. The 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours must include:
Now that you’ve fulfilled Alabama’s educational requirements, you are eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA exam.
a. First, have your transcripts reviewed by the Board. The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy must review your official transcripts and determine your eligibility to schedule the exam. Have your school send your official transcripts directly to the Board.
b. Then, send in the required documentation. If you are taking the CPA exam for the first time, re-taking the exam in Alabama, or have taken the CPA exam in another state, you must complete the CPA Exam Application Package and sign it in the presence of a notary. Send it along with: A 2” x 2” passport photo and official transcripts (sent sealed by you or by your degree conferring school directly). Required fees are:
All fees must be paid by personal check, cashier’s check or money order, payable to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.
For regular mailing using USPS submit the application to:
Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy
P.O. Box 300375
Montgomery, AL 36130-0375
334-242-5700 / 800-435-9743
For overnight mailing submit application to:
Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy
770 Washington Avenue, RSA Plaza Suite 226
Montgomery, AL 36104-3807
c. Wait to receive your Notification to Schedule (NTS). The Board will determine your eligibility. Once your eligibility has been determined, the Board will submit an Authorization to Test (ATT) to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). They, in turn, will issue a Notice to Schedule (NTS) to you, which is good for six months. After receiving your NTS you are now ready to schedule the exams.
d. Schedule the exam. Once you receive your NTS, you may register to take the exam through Prometric. You must schedule the exams through their Prometric website. For additional information you may call 1-800-580-9648.
Alabama has five test centers:
There are four parts to the exam. You may schedule all four parts at the same time or schedule them separately. However, your registration fees are non-refundable and will expire six months from the date of issuance, so if you cannot take the exam within six months you should wait to schedule it. An applicant must take all four part of the Uniform CPA Examination with a rolling 18 month period.
e. Take the exam and wait for the results. The passing score for each component is 75.The Board will mail your test results to you once they have been verified and processed. Scores are also available online from NASBA here.
For detailed information on what to expect from the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.
As Alabama is considered a two tier state, once you complete the educational requirements and pass all four parts of the exam you are issued a CPA certificate. Although this allows you to use the CPA credential, it does not allow you to practice as a CPA or represent your professional services as such. You must document appropriate work experience before being issued a CPA license/permit to practice in Alabama.
a. Gain the necessary work experience and CPE. To become a licensed CPA, you must have one year of full time experience in public accounting or two years of full time work experience in the accounting industry, business, government, or college teaching (must be courses in accounting) or any combination of the above. For work experience in these respective areas to qualify for licensure it must have met the following criteria:
b. Complete CPE requirements. While gaining the required work experience, 40 hours of CPE must be completed in accordance with standard Board protocol for yearly CPE requirements. Submit the CPE Reporting Form, found within the CPA Registration Package, to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy no later than September 30th.
c. Document your work experience. Have your supervising CPA verify your work experience by sending a letter of experience to the Alabama State Board of Accountancy. PO Box 300375, Montgomery, AL 36130. The letter should include the following criteria:
Now that you’ve passed the exam and have the practical work experience you’re ready to be fully licensed as a CPA in Alabama. Follow the checklist below to determine if you meet the requirements.
Out of state candidates should follow these steps:
Interstate Reciprocal License
a. If you did not sit for the CPA exam prior to 1995, you must have your official transcripts sent to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. You will be required to comply with the 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours of post secondary education unless you have four years of public accounting experience since becoming certified. If you passed the Business Law portion of the CPA Exam prior to 1994, you must take the self study course in “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course” unless you have four years of public accounting experience within the last 10 years.b. Send the Interstate Exchange Form to your Board of Accountancy to determine if your license is current, active and in good standing.
c. If your experience is not from public accounting, you will need to submit a letter from your employers verifying your experience. Two years in a qualifying position in business, government or college teaching is required.
d. Complete the Application for Certificate of Reciprocity and sign before a notary and mail it along with a $100 to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.
International Reciprocal License
The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy recognizes Chartered Accountants from Canada who are credentialed through the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). Canadian CAs will be granted licensure after passing the International Qualification Examination (IQEX).
To be licensed in Alabama, CPAs and chartered accountants from all other countries must pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam upon showing that the foreign license:
Once you become a CPA you must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every year in order to maintain your Alabama CPA license.
a. Complete the required CPE in the allotted time frame (October 1st - September 30th). Prior to September 30th of each year, you must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education. One CPE credit will be granted for every 50 minutes of CPE and up to 20 hours can be completed with self-study, although the remaining hours must be completed onsite. Yearly CPE must include:
b. Enroll in qualifying CPE programs. Three categories of programs will qualify for CPE Credit:
c. Registration for CPE credits shall include a signed statement to the Board stating that all CPE requirements have been met and should include the following information:
d. Maintain records of your CPE via the CPE Reporting Form, found within the 2013/2014 CPA Registration Package. You should also maintain evidence of completion in the form of a certificate, attendance record, examination results, transcripts or other verifiable documentation.
Now that you're a CPA in Alabama
Congratulations! You are now licensed as a CPA in Alabama!
As a CPA, you’ll benefit from joining organizations like the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Alabama Society of CPAs. These organizations provide opportunities for professional development, networking and CPE.
Consider specialty areas that suit your personality and interests. Many CPAs work as fund accountants for municipal, state, and federal agencies; or even as forensic accountants whose job it is to track evidence of fraudulent financial activity.