How Much Does It Cost to Become a CPA?

Accountant
$ Application Fees: $10-$200 $ $ Exam Fees: $800-$1,000 $ $ $ Exam Review Courses: $70-$4,000

All companies and organizations need a certified public accountant (CPA) for the preparation and maintenance of financial documents.

Because of their great impact on the company’s success, organizations are looking for professionals with education, experience and expertise.

In the US, licensed accountants acquire licenses in their home countries.

CPA licensing requirements vary from country to country.

There are many reasons to become a CPA, and the most important are:

  • many positions require this license,
  • salaries large exceeding the contagion of unlicensed professionals, and
  • job security and credibility.

Average Costs

For starters, you need to pay a fee to your state board in order to apply for the exam.

This is a one-time fee, but you could also pay several times if your application is rejected for the first time or your Notification Testing Authority (ATT) has expired.

Fees vary from $10 to $200.

For example, the application fee in West Virginia is only $10, while in Montana the application fee is $245.

Of the jurisdictions that have developed their own fee schedule, the lowest application is $150 (Oregon and US Virgin Islands).

There is, for example, Wisconsin, which is in its own league.

It combines an application and exam fee of $412.40 for one section and $1,106.60 for all 4 sections.

The next set of fees that is in line for payment are the exam fees.

For example, if you apply to Minnesota for all four section at once, it costs about $1,000.

The registration and enrollment fee will be charged each time you apply, so you need to take care of the schedule.

It is recommended to sign up for as many sections as you feel comfortable taking in over a 6 month period.

The NASBA examination fee schedule that guides the majority of state boards is:

  • AUD: $208.40
  • BEC: $208.40
  • FAR $208.40
  • REG $208.40

The NASBA totals include these individual CPA test costs:

  • $100 – AICPA (development and scoring),
  • $82.28 – Prometric (testing),
  • $6.12 – Security Fee/Digital Photograph,
  • $20 -NASBA (database and reporting).

NASBA does not determine fees in only five state committees.

Likewise, candidates taking exams at international locations may have higher exam fees.

52 out of 55 state committees also charge a registration fee.

37 state boards have a fixed fee no matter how many CPA sections you schedule.

The range of fixed registration fees is from $30 to $150.

Otherwise, the average prices are:

  • One Section: $63,
  • Two Sections: $81,
  • Three Sections: $99,
  • Four Sections: $177,

For example, if you sign up individually for each section, you’ll pay $252, and if you sign up all at once, you save $80.

But remember, your NTS is only good for 6 months.

If you apply for all four sections, you will need to schedule all four exams in the next 6 months.

CPA is a difficult and challenging test and not everyone passes the first attempt.

It is not a bad idea to invest in a course review to increase your chances.

Vocational courses cost between $1,300 and 4,000. Although the price is quite high, it will save both time and money in the long run.

Examples

According to the CPA Exam Guy, if you want to take a test in California, you need to pay $100 for initial application fee, and $193.45 for each section.

Becker CPA Review cost $3,499, UWorld Roger CPA Review is $2,999, Surgent CPA Review is $1,595, Yaeger CPA is $1,199, Review Gleim CPA Review is $1,599 and Fast Forward Academy is $1,749.

Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants highlights an average price of $1,000 for exam costs, $1,300 for self-study courses and $3,000 for live courses.

You may plan to spend at least $1,500 plus review course costs to obtain your CPA certificate.

Here’s a breakdown of all CPA costs:

  • $1,500 – CPA review course,
  • $100 – application fee,
  • $775 – exam fees (all 4 section),
  • $250 – registration fees,
  • $150 – ethics exam fee,
  • $250 – licensing fee,
  • $3,025 – Total Costs.

Additional Costs

Most states require you to pass an ethics exam after completing the CPA exam to obtain your CPA license.

Not a big deal but not free either.

The AICPA ethics exam costs between $150 and $200.

This includes the textbook and all the fees needed to take the exam.

Jamie Willis