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These are frequently asked questions about the certification process:  
  What are the relevant statutory and Arizona Administrative Code citations?
How much does it cost to become certified?
When can I apply to be an Arizona CPA?
What are the education requirements for certification by Exam?
What if I was educated outside of the United States?
Are my transcripts still on file if I was approved to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Arizona?
What are the experience requirements for certification by Exam or Grade Transfer?
Does it matter in what state or jurisdiction I gained the experience?
How is experience verified?
How do I obtain the Professional Ethics course?
Can I get a license by reciprocity since I am licensed in another state?
Can I get a license by reciprocity since I am licensed in another country?
What states are considered substantial equivalent?
What are the steps in the application process?
Can I count the Becker Exam Prep Review courses toward my certification hours?
How do I request verification of my grades/license?
 
   
 What are the relevant statutory and Arizona Administrative Code citations?  
  A.R.S. §§ 32-721, 32-725
A.A.C. R4-1-341, A.A.C. R4-1-343, A.A.C. R4-1-344
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 How much does it cost to become certified?  
  The cost is $100. top
   
 When can I apply to be an Arizona CPA?  
  You can apply at any time as long as you have met the education and work experience requirements and have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. Please note that in Arizona, the educational requirements for certification are different and more rigorous than the requirements to take the Uniform CPA Exam. top
   
 What are the education requirements for certification by Exam?  
  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-721(A) and (B), applicants must have 150-hours of education with a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution or a college or university that maintains standards comparable to those of an accredited institution. The 150 hours must include the following:
  1. 36 non duplicative semester hours of accounting, including at least 30 non duplicative hours of upper division coursework which is defined in A.A.C. R4-1-101(B)(10) to mean a course taken beyond the basic level, after any required prerequisite or introductory accounting course and does not include principles of accounting or similar introductory accounting courses.
  2. 30 semester hours of related courses which as defined in A.R.S. § 32-701(25) include the following:
    1. Business administration
    2. Statistics
    3. Computer science, information systems or data processing
    4. Economics
    5. Finance
    6. Management
    7. Business law
    8. College algebra or more advanced mathematics
    9. Advanced written communication
    10. Advanced oral communication
    11. Ethics
    12. Marketing
    13. Other courses closely related to the subject of accounting and satisfactory to the Board
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 What if I was educated outside of the United States?  
  Credit for education outside the United States must be submitted to a professional credit evaluator and must be evaluated course-by-course. The candidate is free to use any foreign transcript evaluation service of his/her choosing as long as the organization is a member of either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). Only course-by-course evaluations by NACES or AICE members will be accepted. top
   
 Are my transcripts still on file if I was approved to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Arizona?  
  If you have applied to take the Uniform CPA Examination in Arizona within the past 5 years, the transcripts provided with your exam application will be on file. However, the transcripts on file may need to be supplemented with additional transcripts as the education requirements for certification are more rigorous than those for exam.

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 What are the experience requirements for certification by Exam or Grade Transfer?  
  A.R.S. § 32-721(B)(1) requires that candidates have had at least two thousand hours of paid or unpaid experience either before or after passing all sections of the examination for certified public accountant, that has exposed the applicant to and provided the applicant with experience in the practice of accounting. The applicant’s experience must be sufficient to demonstrate the applicant’s ability for critical inquiry and analysis of financial accounting information, including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and tax returns and the applicant’s ability to communicate, either orally or in writing, on the results of an inquiry or analysis of that information to an employer, client or a third party.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints - Experience can be any combination of full-time, part-time, volunteer, or internship as long as it meets the aforementioned requisite experience.
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 Does it matter in what state or jurisdiction I gained the experience?  
  As long as the experience is consistent with Arizona's requirements, it does not matter in what jurisdiction (including Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.) you worked. Your experience may also come from work done in a foreign country, and may be used to meet the requirement. top
   
 How is experience verified?  
  A form entitled Certificate of Experience (COE) is completed by each of your supervisors during the years you are using to qualify for experience. The COE(s) you submit need to show a minimum of 2,000 hours of accounting experience, and should be submitted in sealed envelopes. If you want a copy of a COE, please ask your supervisor to make you a copy prior to sealing the envelope.

If your supervisor was/is a CPA in a state other than Arizona, a Supervisor Verification form needs to be sent to that state’s board for license verification and then returned to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy in a sealed envelope.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints – Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-343(A)(1)(d), any person signing a COE who isn't a CPA must have the education and experience similar to that of a CPA. If the signer isn't a CPA, they must attach a resume and a job description to verify they have the education and experience to oversee a potential CPA candidate. The job description should verify the experience on the COE. This scenario is common for individuals who have worked in business or government.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints – If you are certified or licensed in another state, and were self-employed, you may submit signed and dated letters from three clients to show the extent and competence of your work.
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 How do I obtain the Professional Ethics course?  
  A.A.C. R4-1-341(A)(2)(d) requires that candidates for certification provide proof of a passing score (90% or better) on an examination in professional ethics within two years immediately preceding submission of the application for certification. The AICPA offers the ethics exam.
a helpful hint Helpful Hints – When taking the ethics exam, which is managed by the Arizona Society of CPAs, specify you are taking it for the Arizona State Board certification. Upon completion of the exam, if you have a passing score, a notification will be mailed by the AICPA to the Arizona Board office.

Professional Ethics for CPAs Order Form
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 Can I get a license by reciprocity since I am licensed in another state?  
  A.R.S. § 721(A)(C) allows the Arizona Board of Accountancy to issue a certificate of reciprocity to the holder of a certificate or license issued by another jurisdiction unless the applicant has had a certificate issued by the Arizona board that expired, was relinquished or revoked and must apply for certification through the reinstatement process. Please note that you are still required to fill out an application and pay an application fee of $100.

A.R.S. § 721(C) has various subsections that delineate the various avenues by which to become certified by reciprocity in Arizona. Variations exist primarily in the education and experience requirements where experience can offset educational requirements.

In addition to the requirements delineated in the table below, A.R.S. § 32-721(A) requires that an applicant meet citizenship requirements, is at least 18 years of age, is of good moral character, and has not engaged in conduct that would constitute grounds for for revocation or suspension of a certificate or other disciplinary action pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-741. Further, all education must come from an accredited institution or a college or university maintaining standards comparable to those of an accredited institution.

  Subsection C(1) Subsection C(2a) Subsection C(2b) Subsection C(3)
License Verification Licensed by another state whose requirements are substantially equivalent Licensed by another state Licensed by another state Licensed by another state
Must have passed the Uniform CPA Exam Yes Yes Yes Yes
Education Baccalaureate or higher degree consisting of at least 150 semester hours

- 36 non duplicative semester hours of accounting courses, of which 30 semester hours must be upper division

- 30 semester hours of related courses
Baccalaureate or higher degree consisting of at least 150 semester hours

- 24 non duplicative semester hours of accounting courses, 12 of which are upper division

- 18 semester hours of related courses
Baccalaureate or higher degree

- 24 non duplicative semester hours in accounting, 12 of which are upper division

- 18 semester hours in related courses
None
Experience 2,000 hours of paid or unpaid experience that has exposed the applicant to and provided the applicant with experience in the practice of accounting. Three-years employed in the practice of accounting. Five of the last ten preceding years employed in the practice of accounting. Ten of the last fifteen preceding years employed in the practice of accounting.

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 What states are considered substantially equivalent?  
  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-721(C)(1), the Arizona State Board of Accountancy has determined that certain jurisdictions are substantially equivalent to Arizona. If you are applying by reciprocity based on substantial equivalency, you must hold an active certification or license in another state that has been determined substantially equivalent by the Board. The following is a link of states considered by the Board to be substantially equivalent to Arizona.

List of Substantial Equivalent States

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 What are the steps in the application process?  
 
  1. Submit application materials and pay application fee
    The process is initiated by the Board’s receipt of an application and the fee of $100. The application materials vary depending upon whether the applicant is applying for certification by exam, grade transfer, reciprocity by substantial equivalency, or by reciprocity. Please review the specific pages on our website for the qualifications and the related application materials for the various types of certification.

  2. Staff Review
    Within 30 days of receiving an application packet, the Board shall notify the applicant in writing that the application is either complete or incomplete. Pursuant to A.A.C. R4-1-341(C), if the application is incomplete, the letter will specify what information is missing. If the application is complete, it will be forwarded to the next available Certification Committee meeting for their review and recommendation to the Board.

  3. Committee Review
    The Certification Committee meets monthly (except December). When your application is complete, the committee will review your file to ensure that you meet the appropriate requirements. If all requirements are met, the Committee will make a recommendation to the Board to approve your application for certification. Your application will be reviewed at the next available Board meeting.

  4. Board Review
    The Arizona State Board of Accountancy meets monthly (except April). The Board will review the committee’s recommendation and make a final determination on whether to accept, reject or amend the Committee’s recommendation on your application for certification. You will be notified of the Board’s final decision by U.S. mail.
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 Can I count the Becker Exam Prep Review courses toward my certification hours?  
  As quoted by Becker on their website via the link below, the Becker CPA Review is to “help students prepare for the CPA exam while earning credit to meet state exam eligibility requirements”. Exam eligibility requirements vary by state so “it is the student’s responsibility to determine whether the courses apply to the state’s mandated requirements to earn a CPA credential”. Any Becker Uniform CPA Exam Prep Review Courses taken by a certification candidate can be counted towards the candidate’s total number of college credit hours. However, a certification candidate should not rely on these courses for credit towards their accounting hours if any of these courses are duplicative of any other accounting courses already on the candidate’s transcript(s). For example, if the candidate has any audit coursework in their transcript history, the candidate can't count the Becker Exam Prep Audit Review Course toward their total number of accounting hours as it is duplicative.

Becker Review Website Disclaimer

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 How do I request verification of my grades/license?  
  For your convenience, use the form below when requesting verification of your grades and/or license. If you wish the verification be mailed directly to another entity, be sure to indicate this on the form, otherwise the original will be sent to you in its own sealed envelope with a copy of the verification information included for your file.

Grades and/or License Verification Request Form
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