There are a lot of people who might think an accounting degree is required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). But that’s not true. Having a degree in accounting is not mandatory to become a globally recognized accounting professional, CPA.
Many experienced and licensed CPAs have degrees in finance or economics, so becoming a CPA without a degree in accounting is extremely possible. But you need to pay very close attention to your state’s requirements, as most states require that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in accounting to sit for the CPA exam.
If you are interested in becoming a CPA, several steps must be taken. You have to take the Uniform CPA Examination, which is a requirement of any state board of accountancy. After passing the exam, you will have more opportunities as a CPA as local boards will require additional education and work experience for these positions.
Fulfilling the education requirement includes completing at least 150 credit hours at an accredited college or university (before taking the CPA exam). Though it varies from state to state, the AICPA recommends 150 credit hours and hence most of the states turned that into a rule.
Some states don’t have the 150 credit hour requirement but require only 120 credit hours before sitting for the exam. However, you need to complete 150 credits to get a CPA license.
In some other states, you can sit for the CPA examination if you have at least a year’s experience working in public accounting under a CPA.
The next important thing you need to look into is your state’s rules about work experience.
Some states are flexible about relevant work experience and can potentially include things like private accounting or teaching and part-time work is allowable in a few states.
Some states might require candidates to have a CPA as a supervisor, while others don’t. It all comes down to which state you want to take the CPA exam.
So, how to become a CPA without an accounting degree?
To become a CPA without an accounting background, you need to adjust your study plan as per your situation.
- If your career is based on tax, you may be stronger in the Regulation section, but weaker in Financial or Audit. If you have worked in corporate accounting, you may have greater capability for Financial, but less capable with the other sections.
- As you approach the CPA exam, you must be aware of the additional time to prepare. And you may have to invest the time to address your weaknesses and build that into your CPA exam preparation strategy.
To be a successful CPA, it is important to know how to study and stay focused. For starters, it is recommended that you allocate your time during the day in 30-minute increments. Avoid any distractions like technology and social media websites during this time. Take a break after these 30 minutes and do something relaxing like watch TV.
If you are planning to take the CPA exam without an accounting degree, you should be prepared to study for an extended period. It will take a lot of determination and motivation to get you through this stage.
Time to study for CPA Exam:
Time management is key to success in any profession, and it is especially crucial in the field of CPA. Many people often struggle to find time to study for their CPA exam and make it a priority. The following are some helpful tips that can help you manage your time better:
- Develop a schedule with your study times, breaks, etc., so you know where you will be during your day.
- Establish priorities by determining what’s most important for your exam.
- Set your study goals and try to stick to them
- Plan ahead of time so your studying doesn’t have to be spontaneous.
The CPA exam is one of the most difficult exams to pass on the first attempt. The more time you put in trying to study for it, the more time you are wasting.
The best way to manage your time with the CPA exam is by planning with a schedule in mind. Make it your daily practice to set up a schedule with which you can work on when studying for the CPA exam.
You need to create a plan for how much time you need to study each day, what subjects you will study and how much time they require, and what kind of breaks you will take in between them.
Thus, the path to CPA for non-accounting majors needs to create a custom study strategy on topics that they haven’t been aware of. You must also consider how much time you can give to studying each day.
If you have a well-thought-out study plan with realistic expectations, you will start with a plan that maximizes your opportunities for the CPA Exam success.
Are you a non-accounting major and want to become a CPA? Just make sure to check with your state’s Board of Accountancy to find out exactly what you have to do.
Choosing the best CPA review course is always crucial. Getting a CPA license has some requirements, so it’s important you know exactly what you need to meet your goal.