Passed The CPA Exams? Hold the Champagne...You're Not Done Yet.

CPA Exam Score Release

So we're a week post-score release, how did you do? Let's just go ahead and say you passed so it's time to celebrate and pop a few bottles. Actually, pop a whole lotta champagne! What you've accomplished is MAJOR so let's not pretend like it was easy.

You still have some work to do tho. Depending on where you are in your career, you may have more work to do than other candidates. Throughout this whole journey I felt like I was being "punked" and every rule in place was designed to make me jump through 50-11 more hoops for that piece of paper. Learn from my "journey" and if you can avoid some of my missteps then good for you! After you finally pass all 4 exams, here's where the work begins.....

Apply for your license.

Similar to when you applied to sit for your sections, you must officially apply for your CPA license. Once I passed all sections, I received an email from NASBA with application instructions. Depending on your jurisdiction, this will include submitting your resume, educational history, getting work experience verified and in some cases an ethics exam. Yes, ANOTHER exam to take, but this one is completely online and will require studying, just not to the extent of FAR or REG.

Make sure all other requirements are met.

Education. Most CPAs have advanced degrees simply because, to meet the education requirements of the CPA you almost have to. While I laugh at it now, I think back to getting that email from NASBA that my application was denied because of 6.4 semester hours were needed. My frustration was because my school was on quarters when I graduated and switched to semesters a few years later. Basically, I was the collateral damage of the quarter-to-semester conversion which, had that not occurred, I would have had enough hours. Had to find 6.4 more hours after the quarter/semester conversion.

Work experience. Get your work experience verified. Hopefully you've worked under a CPA but if you're having issues here, like I did, there's still hope. I initially applied in Georgia where the work experience requires the most recent year of work experience to be under a CPA. In my 15 year career, this past year was the only one where I didn't work under a CPA.

There was NO way I was going to come this far and not get this requirement. I had to look at other jurisdictions where my work experience beyond the past year would count. I decided on Colorado. I won't bore you with work experience requirements as they vary by jurisdiction, but I suggest you check your state's requirements here and take the proactive approach. 

The moral of the story is - work hard, pass the exams and pop some champagne. Once you are holding that piece of paper in your hand, pop some more bottles. After what I went through to become a CPA, I'm celebrating EVERY SINGLE DAY.

If you’re still taking exams, keep going you’re almost there! If you’re struggling with a topic or just need an extra boost to get over the hump, let‘s talk about it. As someone who took exams 13 times I’m all for helping a candidate pass the monstrous exams. Not sure how to record the bond discount amortization? Shoot me an email and I’ll break it down for you.


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