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Frequently Asked Questions About CPA

Q1.What is the AICPA?  

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional organization for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States. 

Q2. How many members constitute AICPA? 

The AICPA has nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries, including CPAs in business and industry, public accounting, government, education, student affiliates and international associates. 

Q3. What is the relationship between state CPA societies and the AICPA? 

The 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands all have independent CPA societies. They are not chapters of the AICPA. The AICPA assists any and all of these societies with the individual, regional or nationwide initiatives. 

Q4.Who determines GAAP?  

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are uniform minimum standards of, and guidelines to, financial accounting and reporting. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) are authorized to establish these principles. 

Q5.Does the AICPA publish magazines or newsletters? 

Yes. The Institute publishes a number of magazines and newsletters which can be found on the Publications page. 


International Testing

Q1.What is international testing?  

The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), in consultation with state boards of accountancy, the Board of Examiners, and other major stakeholders, spent two years studying an international examination delivery program. The result is the international administration of the Uniform CPA Examination (CPA Exam), which utilizes the state board licensure process and the current examination structure. The AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric are providing the same services as they do for the domestic program so that the exam and the licensure process will be the same for international examinees as it is for examinees within U.S. jurisdictions.  

Q2.What are the international locations?  

Initially, the exam will be offered at selected Prometric testing centers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Brazil. Additional information including specific locations and schedules will be posted to the Exams website at www.aicpa.org/cpa-exam as information becomes available. 

Q3.What must candidates do to be able to apply to take the CPA Exam in an international location?  

In order to qualify to take the CPA Examination outside the U.S., candidates will have to establish their eligibility through a state board participating in the International CPA Examination Administration program. In addition, candidates will be required to:
• Make a commitment to seek CPA licensure upon passing the CPA Examination, and thereafter maintain their status as licensees
• Meet citizenship/residency requirements
• Provide demographic information
• Pay additional fees  

Q4.If I test internationally, when will I get my scores? 

Candidates, who give the exam between the 1st to 14th of the exam month, will get the scored within the 20th of the same month. Others, who give the exam between the 15th to the end of the month will get the score by the 6th of the next month.



Applying for the Examination

Q1.To which jurisdiction should I apply?  

There are many factors that affect this decision, and the answers to these questions vary by jurisdiction. In which jurisdiction(s) do you want to be licensed? In which jurisdiction(s) do you want to practice? In order to make an informed decision, please review the license requirements for the jurisdiction(s) in which you want to practice. 

Q2.What are the eligibility requirements for the examination?  

The eligibility requirements vary by jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements regarding education, experience, and residency. Refer to your jurisdiction’s application materials for additional information. 

Q3.What is a “testing window?”  

The Uniform CPA Examination is available during specific periods called testing windows. The first two months of each calendar quarter is an open testing window. Therefore, there are four testing windows each year. March, June, September and December are closed for testing. There is no minimum number of sections that must be completed in a testing window. You may take any section in any order, and you do not have to pass one section prior to applying for another.
* International candidate can appear their exam from an International location during (January, February, April, May, July, August, October & November).  

Q4.What is a “Notice To Schedule,” and when will I receive mine?  

The Notice To Schedule (NTS) is your notification that you may begin scheduling your examination with Prometric. You must present your NTS at the testing center before beginning your examination. For full details on the NTS, please refer to the Candidate Bulletin. 

Q5.How long do I have to pass all four sections of the examination? 

This varies for each jurisdiction. Your State Accountancy Board determines if credit is granted and the length of time credit is valid. Most jurisdictions allow a maximum of 18 months to pass all remaining sections in order to retain the credit on the passed section(s). 

Q6.My conditional credit expires soon. What is the last day I can sit without losing credit?  

You have until the end of testing on the day your credit expires. Remember, when scheduling your examination, some testing centers are not open on weekends or holidays. For some jurisdictions, the expiration date for conditional credit may fall in a non-testing month. Examination content changes do not affect conditional credit. If you passed a section prior to January 1, 2011, and have valid credit, you will not have to retake that section unless the credit expires before you pass all four sections  

Q7.Who certifies CPA and what is the role of AICPA?  

- The CPA exam is administered by the State Board of Accountancy and the certificate is also provided by the State Board.
- AICPA assists in the process of developing and delivering the exam uniformly on behalf of all State Boards.
- Every state has its own educational requirements for admission to the CPA exam and education & experience requirements for admission to membership (license certificate).
- AICPA designed exams delivered through Pro-metric Centre.