5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Kansas

Kansas has a formidable aeronautical manufacturing industry, centered on Spirit AeroSystems’ big Wichita operation, which cranks out fuselages and parts for both Boeing and Airbus airplanes daily.

Even as high-tech companies thrive here, Big Ag is still very big business. The state ranks 7th in the U.S. for total agricultural production, with the wide plains here churning out as much as 15 percent of total national production for some commodities according to the Department of Agriculture.

Wichita is the capital of the accounting industry in Kansas, with international players including Deloitte and local powerhouse Allen, Gibbs & Houlik well-established here, right next to smaller local shops like All American Accounting West.

Learning how to become a CPA in Kansas means getting the sort of education and expertise that all these businesses demand of their accounting professionals.

  1. Get Your Education in Kansas
  2. Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Kansas
  3. Gain the Necessary Experience in Kansas
  4. Get Your Kansas CPA License
  5. Continuing Education in Kansas

1. Get Your Education – Meeting CPA Degree Requirements in Kansas

a. Request information from schools offering accounting programs in Kansas. The Kansas Board of Accountancy (KSBOA) requires all applicants to complete 150 semester hours of college credit and hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or business.

With the standard bachelor’s degree in accounting consisting of just 120 semester hours, going on to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s in accounting represents the most tried and tested way to get those 30 additional credits required to become a CPA in Kansas. Many of these programs are available entirely online. You can also find specialized five-year CPA track programs that combine a bachelor’s and master’s curriculum to give you the 150 semester hours you need to meet CPA requirements in Kansas.

b. The Kansas Board of Accountancy (KSBOA) accepts all accounting degrees and credits earned at institutions accredited by regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and listed in this database.

Correspondence and on-line courses are acceptable if you received credit for them at an institution approved by KSBOA and they appear on your official transcripts.

All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by any foreign credentialing evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. The evaluation service must provide a course by course evaluative comparison to KSBOA requirements. The evaluation should also consider whether you took English as a foreign language.

c. Verify that you meet the Kansas residency requirement for CPA exam, that is, you are either a resident of Kansas, have a place of business here or are permanently employed by a public accounting firm in Kansas.

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d. Meet specific CPA degree and coursework requirements set by KSBOA. The 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) should be within an accounting concentration and include the following courses:

    • At least 30 semester/45 quarter credits in accounting theory and practice courses, such as:
      1. Financial accounting (intermediate or advanced course or course in financial accounting theory)
      2. Managerial accounting (intermediate or advanced level beyond introductory level)
      3. auditing course
      4. income tax course, and
      5. Accounting systems (post-basic computer course)
    • At least 42 semester or 63 quarter credits in business and general education subjects, including courses in:
      1. Macro- and micro-economics and one upper division economics course
      2. Minimum two business law or similar courses
      3. College algebra or higher level math
      4. Statistics and probability theory
      5. Computer systems and applications
      6. Finance
      7. Administration and management
      8. Marketing
      9. Production, operations research, or applications of quantitative techniques to business problems
    • At least 11 semester or 17 quarter credit hours in written and oral communications

Accounting internship hours and CPA review course credits cannot be applied toward the 30 accounting related semester hour requirement. However, they can be used toward the balance of the 150 total semester hour requirement.

Up to 6 semester hours of advanced placement credits, military education credits or credits by examination (not by auditing a course) can be counted towards their respective subject areas.

2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam

After fulfilling the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam, take the following steps:

a. Complete the online application at National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s CPA Exam Services. Sign and send the Kansas Board of Accountancy Cheating Policy form along with a 2” x 2” recent photograph of yourself. You must also have all institutions you attended send official transcripts directly to CPA Exam Services at the address below. The first time registration fee is $145 and the exam section fee is $207.15 or $185.10 depending on the components you select. You can pay by credit card for online application or use certified check, credit card or money order for paper application. Make check or money order payable to CPA Examination Services and write your name and exam section in the memo field of the check. The paper application and accompanying enclosures should be sent to:

CPA Examination Services – Kansas Coordinator
PO Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219-8469

Include the following items in your application packet as applicable:

  • If you require special accommodations during the exam, include the ADA modification form.
  • If you have education credits from a foreign institution, include the foreign credentials evaluation (see education section above)
  • If you are a re-examination candidate, complete the online application or use paper application. The re-exam registration fee varies from $65 to $110 depending on the number of exam components are you taking.

b. Wait for the approval of your application. The application process takes about four to six weeks. You will be notified of deficiencies in your application, if any.

c. Receive the Notice to Schedule (NTS). You will receive the NTS by your selected method of notification. If you chose email, the NTS would be sent from [email protected]. Add this email address to your safe senders list to ensure delivery. If you don’t receive NTS within 4 weeks of submitting the first time application, contact CPA Examination Services at [email protected].

d. Schedule the exam and pay exam fees through the contracted exam service company Prometric. You can take the exam in any U.S. jurisdiction as a Kansas candidate but there is an extra charge if you take the exam in Guam. Prometric test centers in Kansas include:

  • Wichita
  • Hays
  • Topeka

e. Prepare for taking your selected exam sections and report to the exam site on time. You can take anywhere from 1 to 4 sections in one test sitting. You have to pass all 4 sections in an 18 month period in order to be eligible for the CPA certificate.

f. Wait for the results. NASBA will send your score directly to you. You can also access your score online with your section ID number and your date of birth. When you have passed all exam sections, the scores are sent to the Kansas State Board of Accountancy (KSBOA) who will also notify you directly.

For more thorough information on the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.

3. Apply for Your Kansas CPA Certificate and Acquire The Necessary Experience

Kansas is a two-tier state. Passing the CPA exam allows you to obtain the certificate that permits you to use the CPA credential but does not grant practice privileges. Only after satisfying experience requirements can you apply for a permit to practice, which allows you to offer accounting services in Kansas.

a. Take and pass the AICPA professional ethics course. Have the result of the course sent directly to KSBOA.

b. Apply for the first time Kansas certificate here and pay the $25 fee. You also need to sign and send the oath taken by all certificate holders. Note that Kansas does not allow you to hold out as a CPA with a certificate, you need a current permit to practice for that.

If you are applying for Kansas CPA certificate by reciprocity, then in addition to the ethics course and oath mentioned above, you need to submit the reciprocity application and authorization for interstate information exchange along with the $250 fee.

c. After obtaining your CPA certificate, meet the experience requirement for the permit to practice as follows:

  • The experience comprises of at least 2,000 hours of performance of services rendered in a period of 1 to 3 years.
  • The experience can be obtained through work in industry, public practice, government or academia.
  • The work does not have to be directly supervised by a licensed CPA but it needs to be verified by a CPA with an active license to practice.
  • The attest and non-attest experience is treated separately. If you are, or are going to provide attest services like audits, review of financial statements or examination of prospective financial information, you need to have at least 375 hours of experience performing attest services. This experience is included in the 2,000-hour total experience requirement, not in addition.
  • Complete the Certificate of Experience and give it to your verifying CPA. The instructions for you and you verifying CPA are included in the form. You’d include this form with your permit application.

4. Get Your Kansas CPA Permit

Now you’re ready to apply for your Kansas CPA permit to practice.

a. Check that so far, you have:

  • Completed education requirements of 150 undergraduate semester (225 quarter) hours with 30 semester or 45 quarter credits in accounting, 11 semester/17 quarter credits in communication and 42 semester/63 quarter credits in business. Have your school send official transcripts to:
    • CPA Examination Services – Kansas Coordinator
      PO Box 198469
      Nashville, TN 37219-8469
  • Passed all sections of the Uniform CPA Examination
  • Attained a passing score on the AICPA professional ethics course and had the results sent to KSBOA
  • Completed at least 2,000 hours of qualified experience in accounting including 375 hours in attestation, if applicable
  • Completed the Certificate of Experience and had the verifying CPA complete his portion

b. Download the Kansas CPA permit application and send it to KSBOA with your certificate of experience form. The fee to be submitted depends on your certificate number and the year of application. If your certificate number is odd and you’re applying for the permit in an odd year, the fee is $150. Similarly for even-numbered-certificate holders, the fee in even years is $150. Otherwise, the fee is $75.

Special Cases for Obtaining Your Kansas State CPA Permit

  • If you hold a license from another state where CPA requirements are substantially equivalent to Kansas, and you don’t have a principal place of business in Kansas, you may still be granted the privileges of permit holders. The list of substantially equivalent (SE) states is found here.
  • If you want to practice public accounting in Kansas and hold a CPA license from an SE state/jurisdiction, you must pay the $250.00 application fee and request your licensing board provide to information on the Authorization for Exchange of Licensure information. You need to have both the Kansas certificate and permit in order to practice. Evidence of successful completion of the AICPA ethics exam or the other state’s ethics exam recognized by KSBOA is also required.
  • If your license is not from a SE state/jurisdiction and you want to apply for a Kansas certificate and permit, you need to provide evidence that you meet the education, experience and exam requirements as mentioned above.
  • If you have an equivalent accounting designation from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireleand or New Zealand, you can take the IQEX examination offered by CPAES and apply for Kansas certificate and permit. If your designation is from another country, you have to fulfill the education, exam and experience requirements for Kansas CPA certificate and practice permit.

5. Keeping Your Permit Current Through Continuing Professional Education

Your Kansas CPA permit renews every two years. For odd-numbered-certificate holders, the permits expire on July 1st of odd numbered years and vice versa. All permit holders have to comply with the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements in order to renew the permits. You would use CPE reporting form to report your CPE credits. The CPE requirements for Kansas CPA permit renewal are as follows:

  • Kansas requires 80 hours of CPE every two years including 2 hours of ethics directly related to CPA practice. The restrictions on the Ethics course are mentioned here.
  • Once you have obtained your first practice permit, you will be assigned the number of pro-rated CPE hours to complete before the next renewal.
  • There is no limit on the amount of self-study hours. However, the self study programs are only eligible if:
    • The program sponsor has been approved by either NASBA’s Registry or is sponsored through the AICPA or a State Society of CPAs
    • The participant has a written contract with the program sponsor that includes a recommendation of the number of credit hours to be awarded upon successful program completion
    • The sponsor reviews and signs a report indicating that all of the requirements of the program, as outlined in the contract have been met
    • The program is completed in less than 15 weeks
  • A maximum of 20 hours of acceptable CPE earned over what is required for permit renewal may be carried over and used toward the next renewal period.

Now that you’re a CPA in Kansas

Take a moment to congratulate yourself! You are now a Kansas CPA!

After celebrating you might want to consider joining the professional organizations that not only promote the accounting profession on a legislative and public level but also provide networking, professional development and CPE opportunities. AICPA is the national level organization that represents CPA interests. Visit their website here.

At the state level, the Kansas Society of CPAs & Educational Foundation advocates for CPA interests in Kansas and provides education, information and networking opportunities. Because the state Department of Revenue is a stickler when it comes to tax collection, you might want to brush up on your sales tax reporting skills, too.

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