If you did not get your degree in the US, how do you find out if your coursework fits the educational requirements? For international CPA candidates, getting a foreign credential evaluation is necessary.
This article is an overview of what evaluators do, and how to pick the right evaluator for your application:
Selecting Foreign Credential Evaluation
Before you contact an evaluation agency for your credential evaluation, you must select the state in which you wish to register for your CPA exam. There are two reasons why you must be doing that:
- Each state has its own predetermined list of approved evaluation agencies. You wouldn’t want to pay for a report that is not recognized by your respective board.
- Each state board has slightly differing qualifying rules. Selecting the right agency is important because it needs to know which rules to apply to when reviewing your transcripts.
Once you have made a decision on which state you want to opt for, and after you have obtained the list of approved agencies, you can pick one based on:
1. Evaluation fee:
The evaluation fee ranges from $100 to $300. Most state boards also require a ‘course-by-course’ evaluation, which is different from the “general evaluation” that some agencies offer.
Make sure you read the fee schedule carefully when making a comparison of the fees. If you do not have enough time, you may also avail rush services, but that may cost you an additional $100.
2. Turnaround time:
The time required to produce a report varies considerably. Most agencies have a turnaround time of 2 weeks but can also vary from 5 business days to 8+ weeks.
Opt for an agency that has good customer service, because a friendly evaluator makes your life so much easier during the exam application process.
Tips on Foreign Credential Evaluation Process
1. Submitting the Documents
Most foreign credential evaluation agencies would require you to send in your original or official transcripts. In most cases, this requirement of original or official transcripts is set by the state board.
You may find it impossible to send additional copies of your transcript, which is why evaluators with customer service are very important. A good evaluator will find a way to work around this issue instead of insisting on getting what is officially required.
If you currently have a name that is different from the name on your transcript, you will need supporting documents to show the reason for the name change, e.g., a marriage certificate.
2. Translation of Documents
If your transcript has been issued in a language other than English, a word-for-word translation for the document is required.
You can explore whether the evaluation agency has an in-house translation service. It is advisable to check with your evaluation agency and see if they have a preferred translation service.
3. Sending Extra Info to Speed up the Process
If you want speedy evaluation, send in your course outline or syllabus so that the agency has maximum information on the content of your qualifications, necessary for an unhindered service.
4. Tracking the Progress
Some evaluation agencies provide online tracking systems, while others offer email notification service. Some agencies have no provisions for updates, and you have to call them to check. Take this factor into consideration if it is important for you to keep track of the progress.
Hope the above article is helpful to you. If you have any queries, feel free to comment in the section below. Happy Learning!
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