5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Oklahoma
- Get your Education in Oklahoma
- Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Oklahoma
- Gain the Necessary Experience in Oklahoma
- Get your Oklahoma CPA License
- Continuing Education in Oklahoma
1. Get Your Education
a. Find out which colleges and universities in Oklahoma offer accounting programs. Under rules of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board, all certified public accountants practicing in the state need 150 semester hours of college credit and at least a bachelor’s degree. Under Oklahoma’s residency requirement, you must be a resident of Oklahoma prior to applying to take the Uniform CPA Exam.
b. Determine if the Oklahoma Accountancy Board recognizes the college or university in which you are interested. The school you choose must be accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Use this database to determine your school’s status.
- If you graduated from a foreign school, your credentials must be evaluated by a member organization of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. Request the evaluation directly from the agency. When completed, it will be submitted to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board for consideration.
c. Enroll in classes that will count for credit. Your 150 semester hours of college credit must include at least a bachelor’s degree and the following courses:
- 76 semester hours of upper level accounting courses
- 30 semester hours of accounting courses above the introductory or principles course level
- One course must be in assurance or auditing, with a concentration on external auditing standards including Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS)
- 9 semester hours in upper level business courses such as:
- Business management
- Business law
- Risk management
- Business communication
- Financial information systems
- Computer science
- CPA review courses may count for credit if they are included on your transcript and credit was given for them by your college
- Transcripts from every college you attended must be provided to the Board
2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam
After satisfying Oklahoma’s educational requirements, you are eligible to apply for Uniform CPA Exam candidacy.
- A 2” x 2” passport-sized photo of yourself
- A notarized Affidavit Verifying Lawful Presence in the United States (included within qualification application packet)
- Official transcripts from every college attended
- A $50 fee payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board
- Mail all of the above to: Oklahoma Accountancy Board, 201 Northwest 63rd Street, Suite 210, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
b. The Oklahoma Accountancy Board will review your Qualification Application and process it within 5 to 7 days, at which time you will receive an Approval Letter signifying that you are an Exam Candidate.
c. Apply online to take the Uniform CPA Examination. You must pay a $50 application fee to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board at this time.
d. Once your application is approved, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will send you a payment coupon, at which time you must pay exam fees to NASBA. You must include payment to NASBA for each section of the exam you plan to take. The Oklahoma Accountancy Board will also send you an approval packet.
e. After NASBA receives your payment coupon, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) the Uniform CPA Exam, by U.S. mail or email (depending upon the method you chose at the time of application).
f. Go to the Prometric website to schedule your examination at an Oklahoma testing site. Oklahoma Prometric centers include Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
g. Arrive at your Prometric site at least 30 minutes before test time on exam day. Make sure to have your NTS and two forms of identification.
h. When the Oklahoma Accountancy Board receives your scores, you may access them online using your pin and password. Once your scores have been verified, you will receive official notification from the Board by mail.
If you need to arrange testing accommodations due to a disability, use the ADA Request for Special Accommodations.
For detailed information on the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.
3. Gain The Necessary Experience
Once you have passed all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam, you are ready to tackle the Oklahoma Accountancy Board’s experience requirement.
a. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s Home Study Course on Professional Ethics must first be passed with a score of 90% or better. Materials for this course may be ordered here.
b. All certified public accountants must have at least one year (1800 hours) of verifiable public accounting work experience within four years of applying to be a CPA. Contact your school’s career center for help finding applicable experience.
- Experience may be full-time or part-time
- Self-employment qualifies as experience
- Experience may be obtained through work in academia, public practice, government or industry
- Experience must include one or a combination of these skills to qualify:
- Tax services
- Experience must be verified by a CPA with a current, valid license in Oklahoma or another state, or by a PA licensed in Oklahoma or another state.
c. Your experience must be documented on the Experience Verification Form. You must indicate your CPA verifier’s name, license number and contact information on the form, as the Board will contact him or her directly. Sign and date the form, and either fax it to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board at (405) 521-3118, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Use a separate Experience Verification Form for each employer/employment experience you are using to fulfill the experience requirement.
d. Once the Oklahoma Accountancy Board has received, reviewed and approved your Experience Verification Form, they will send you an Application for Certification.
4. Get Your Oklahoma CPA License and Permit to Practice
Oklahoma is a two-tier state, which means that you must have a CPA certificate and permit to practice in order to legally practice public accounting. Check to make sure you have completed the following steps up to this point:
- Complete 150 semester hours of college education and earn at least a bachelor’s degree
- Pass the Uniform CPA Exam.
- Pass the AICPA Ethics Examination
- Complete the Board’s requirement of one year (1800 hours) of accounting experience
- Send your Experience Verification Form to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board
- Receive an Application for Certification from the Oklahoma Accountancy Board once your Experience Verification Form has been approved.
b. Apply for your Oklahoma CPA Certificate, using the Application for Certification mailed to you by the Board. Along with the application, you must submit:
- Copy of Certificate of Completion of the AICPA Ethics Examination with your score
- Official college transcript
- Three letters of reference
- Check or money order for application fees payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board
- Mail all of the documents to: Oklahoma Accountancy Board, 201 Northwest 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
c. You will receive your CPA certificate by mail once your application has been approved.
d. You must wait to file an application for an Interim Permit to Practice until you earn 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) within the calendar year before submitting your application. Along with the completed application, submit:
- Certificates of completion for CPE (copies)
- Certificate of completion for AICPA ethics course (copy)
- $100 fee payable to Oklahoma Accountancy Board
Mail all of the above to the OAB address listed in step b.
- You may hold a Permit to Practice even if you do not practice public accounting in your position as a CPA
- If you work in a public accounting firm, even if you don’t sign documents, you must still hold a Permit to Practice
- If you work for the government or in academia, you do not have to hold a Permit to Practice
Interstate Reciprocal License
The Oklahoma Accountancy Board recognizes CPAs who hold licenses or certificates in other states, with some caveats. In order to be eligible to apply for a Reciprocal CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice in Oklahoma, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- Option 1: You hold a valid CPA certificate/license in another state and meet the educational requirements in one of the following ways:
- A: If you were certified before July 1, 2003, you are a graduate of a four-year college or university with 30 semester hours in accounting courses, one course in auditing, and 18 semester hours in business courses
- B: If you were certified after July 1, 2003 but before November 1, 2004, you are a graduate of a four-year college or university with 150 semester hours total, including 76 semester hours of upper level college courses, 36 semester hours of upper level accounting courses, and have documented one year (1800 hours) of applicable experience within the past four years
- C: If you were certified after November 1, 2004, you are a graduate of a four-year college or university with 150 semester hours total, including 76 semester hours of upper level college courses and 30 semester hours of upper level accounting courses
- Option 2: You were certified before July 1, 1996, and
- A: meet the educational requirement specified in Option 1 (A) above, or
- B: meet the experience requirement of three years of public accounting experience and graduated from high school
- Option 3: You became a Uniform CPA Exam candidate before July 1, 2003 and are a graduate of a four-year college or university with 30 semester hours in accounting courses, one course in auditing, and 18 semester hours of business courses
- Option 4: You have completed four years of experience as a CPA or PA within the 10 years preceding your reciprocal application in Oklahoma
- Option 5: Your qualifications have been reviewed by NASBA and deemed to be substantially equivalent with those of Oklahoma under the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act
If you meet one of the above conditions for qualification:
- Download the Application for Reciprocal CPA Certificate
- Complete the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Information and Licensure Information form (found within application packet)
- Complete the Interim Permit Application/CPE Reporting Form (found within application packet)
- Provide certification of your completion and passing of the AICPA Ethics Examination
- Check the appropriate boxes indicating under which Option above you qualify for Reciprocal Licensure in Oklahoma
- Check the box if you are applying for a Permit to Practice Public Accounting and have completed 40 CPE hours in the year prior to application
- Include official college transcripts (if applying on basis of education)
- Include letters of verification from employers (if applying on basis of experience)
- Include a report from the NASBA National Qualification Service (if applying under Option 5)
- Submit three letters of reference
- Attach a 2” x 2” passport-sized photo of yourself
- Include check or money order payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board for all fees required
- Mail the above documents to: Oklahoma Accountancy Board, 201 Northwest 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
International Reciprocal License
If you hold a CPA Certificate or License in a foreign jurisdiction, the Board may use the requirements set forth above for candidates for an interstate Reciprocal License. In addition, the Board may take under advisement information from the International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) to evaluate a foreign reciprocal certificate. Under current IQAB rules, individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates from the following jurisdictions meet qualifications of substantial equivalency to Oklahoma:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
- CPA Australia
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
- Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
Contact the Oklahoma Accountancy Board at (405) 521-2397 for application information and to see if you need to take the International Qualification Examination.
5. Stay Current Through Continuing Professional Education in Oklahoma
If you want to maintain a Permit to Practice accountancy in Oklahoma, you must fulfill the state’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.
a. To receive your initial Permit to Practice, you must fulfill 40 CPE hours in the calendar year before application.
- If you work for the government or in academia, you do not have to hold a Permit to Practice
- You must also provide proof of passing the AICPA Ethics Exam.
b. In order to maintain a Permit to Practice, you must fulfill 120 CPE hours every three year period
- 4 CPE hours every three years must be in professional ethics
- If you are employed in industry, government or academia, at least 72 CPE hours every three years must be in public accounting subjects, with at least 8 CPE hours in taxation, assurance or accounting each year
- If you supervise or review compilation agreements, you must complete 4 CPE hours in compilation agreements each year
c. Enroll in approved instructional methods, including:
- Group programs, including industry conferences and seminars, business meetings with educational portions
- College credit courses (1 semester hour = 15 CPE hours)
- College noncredit courses (1 semester hour = 1 CPE hour)
- Instructing a course, including discussion leading or speaking
Enroll in approved subjects, like:
- Accounting subjects
- Personal development subjects, if they relate to a CPA’s professional competence
- Computer/technology courses if you can prove that they relate to a CPA’s professional competence
Find CPE programs through:
- American Institute of CPAs
- NASBA’s National Registry of CPE Sponsors
- Oklahoma Society of CPAs
- Oklahoma colleges and universities
d. Maintain records of your CPE hours for at least five years, including:
- Course sponsor’s name and information
- Course title
- Field of study of course
- Date of course
- Instruction method
- CPE hours claimed
- Signed verification by the CPE sponsor
- College transcript (if your CPE is a college course)
- If you teach a college course, you must have a letter from the department head
e. Report your CPE online or through the CPE reporting form, which will become available on the Oklahoma Accountancy Board website as the reporting deadline approaches
Now that you’re a CPA in Oklahoma
Congratulations! You are now a certified CPA in Oklahoma with a permit to practice public accountancy! Now is a great time to think about becoming a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). This national organization of certified professional accountants provides all kinds of valuable services to its members, including continuing education opportunities, professional developing, networking possibilities, advice and guidance. Also, think about joining your local Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Perhaps you should consider specializing! Within Oklahoma, there are many career possibilities in accounting specializations such as accounting education, assurance services, financial services, litigation consulting, management consulting and international accounting services.