To become a certified public accountant in Texas, candidates must meet all requirements and pass the CPA exam, including the notoriously difficult FAR CPA exam section. (Check out our post on FAR CPA exam tips for more information about how to study for this challenging section of the test.)
The state board of accountancy enforces high standards to practice accounting.
CPA exam requirements in Texas include steps for education, application and licensing. A Texas CPA will have to carefully comply with this regulatory framework.
In addition to the mandatory college and graduate classes, studying for and taking the CPA exam is essential. This process in and of itself is rigorous. Most students find themselves in need of a CPA exam review courses, which are available online.
This article covers all the requirements you need to meet to qualify for the CPA exam and become a CPA in the state of Texas
Texas CPA exam requirements
The requirements to take the CPA exam and become an accounting professional in Texas are:
- Electronic fingerprinting and background check
- A bachelor’s degree from an approved institution
- 150 semester hours of college credit from an approved institution, in approved subjects
- 30 semester hours of upper level accounting courses
- 24 semester hours of upper level business courses
- A three-hour, board-approved ethics course
Read on for more information about each of these requirements.
The Texas state board of accountancy sets the requirements for the CPA. Texas CPA education requirements extend to college courses and an ethics exam.
In order to take the CPA exam, you must have a bachelors or a graduate degree. You must have received this degree from a board-recognized institution of higher education. In this degree, you will have to complete a minimum of 150 semester hours of accounting or board-approved subject matter.
Additionally, candidates will need 24 semester hours of upper level business courses (such as business communications) and 30 semester hours upper level accounting or tax research courses, 15 of which must be in traditional learning environments (not virtual). Education requirements are ultimately at the ruling of the board.
The board rules that a CPA candidate must, according to the board’s judgment, comply with AICPA candidate standards. Texas CPA requirements have separate rulings from this board that stipulate additional business courses and a three semester hour ethics course that is required to take the CPA exam.
These specific board rulings explain which schools, courses, and subjects are accepted:
- Which educational institutions are recognized: Board Rule 511.52
- Definition of an accepted accounting course: Board Rule 511.57
- Which related business subjects are eligible: Board Rule 511.58
- Ethics course requirement: Board Rule 511.58(c)
The state of Texas does not currently allow work experience or any other accomplishments as substitutes for education requirements.
Age and residency requirements
The state of Texas has many requirements for the CPA exam. However, age and residency are not statutory or mandated. In Texas, there are:
- No age requirements for the CPA exam
- No residency requirements for the CPA exam
Texas CPA exam fees
Taking the CPA exam can be a financial investment. All of the fees are non-refundable and must be submitted as a check or money order to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
When you set out to take the CPA exam in this state, you will have to pay the following fees:
Application fee: in Texas, the CPA application fee is $20 and accompanies a candidate’s application of intent.
Exam fees: the NASBA fees for each section of the CPA exam, as of November 16, 2019, are:
- AUD: $209.99
- BEC: $209.99
- FAR: $209.99
- REG: $209.99
CPA certificate fee: to be issued a CPA certificate, you will have to pay $50.
CPA license renewal fee
The annual CPA license renewal fee in Texas is $257, the money from which goes toward several important operations of the Board. Most of it ($200) goes into a Texas state General Revenue Fund, with $10 going into a trust account for accounting scholarships, and $47 going toward general Board operations.
Besides the fees paid to the state, it’s important to be prepared for the other expenses involved in becoming a CPA — check out our article on CPA costs for a full breakdown.
Texas CPA exam dates/Texas CPA testing windows
The Texas CPA exam dates align with national testing at Prometric locations. There are four Texas CPA testing windows. These are:
- January 1-March 10
- April 10-June 10
- July 1-September 10
- October 1-December 10
The uniform CPA exam comes with a standard testing protocol. You must pass each of the four sections of the CPA exam within 18 months.
Texas CPA license requirements
You must pass the CPA exam and follow work requirements for one year before receiving a CPA license.
In order to receive a CPA certification in the state of Texas, you must also:
- Take an ethics course
- Take an exam on the rules of professional conduct
- Take an oath of office
- Pay a $50 fee for printing your CPA certificate
Each year in Texas, there is a twice yearly ceremony that swears in new CPAs. You will receive a certificate in addition to your CPA license.
Texas CPA license requirements also mandate what each practicing CPA must do each year to maintain their license. This includes annual fees and approved ongoing education units.
Texas CPA application of intent
To take the CPA exam in Texas, you will submit an application to prove that you meet the requirements. This will include the above education requirements, such as courses in tax research and analysis and other board rules.
A first step is to submit the Texas CPA application of intent. You will pay $20 and submit this form to start your process toward a CPA license.
Texas CPA work experience requirements
Once you have met the requirements and passed the CPA exam, you will have to accomplish the necessary work experience. The requirement is one year, minimum, of accounting employment.
You will have to follow the Texas CPA work experience requirements carefully to make sure your experience meets the guidelines. These will determine where you can work and whether or not you have to report directly to a licensed CPA.
Texas CPA license renewal fee
Throughout your career as a CPA, you will have to maintain your certification. The Texas CPA license renewal fee may vary depending on a few factors. The fees you may pay are:
- Individual annual license: $66
- Individual annual license for a retired or disabled person: $15
- Annual license for a firm: $50 per office
- Transfer of exam credits from Texas: $40
- Replacement certificate: $50
Because some states have CPA reciprocity agreements with Texas, you may apply for certification having already been licensed in another state. Texas CPA reciprocity also has a fee. Certification by an out-of-state CPA to Texas by reciprocity is $100.
Texas CPA resources to get you started
The best place to find additional information about Texas CPA requirements is through the Texas State Board of Accountancy. This is the governing body that regulates CPA requirements in the state of Texas and issues licenses.
Texas state board contact info:
- Exam/Qualifications: (512) 305-7851 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Licensing: (512) 305-7853 or email@example.com
- Sponsor review: (512) 305-7832 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enforcement: (512) 305-7866 or email@example.com
- General contacts: (512) 305-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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