These are the requirements to qualify as a certified public accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas and gain a CPA license. CPA requirements vary by state but here we will touch on The Lone Star State. On top of passing the CPA exam, which is by no means easy, you must also meet certain requirements, such as age and residency. We have listed the Texas CPA requirements below as well as information relating to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
We suggest you double check any information with the Texas State Board to make sure you qualify.
There are no age requirements for the CPA exam
There is no residency requirement for Texas.
Texas has a U.S. citizen or legal resident requirement to take the CPA exam.
150 credit hours and a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Accounting: 30 semester hours (upper division)
- Of these, at least 2 semester hours must be in either Accounting or Tax Research and Analysis
- Business: 21 semester hours
- Ethics: 3 semester hours
Applicant’s with foreign educations may have their educations evaluated for substantial equivalence by the University of Texas at Austin, Graduate and International Admissions Center. If approved, they will be permitted to take the CPA exam.
The Board recognizes institutions of higher education that offer a baccalaureate or higher degree from one of the following accrediting organizations:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission (NCA – HLC)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC – CIHE)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC – ACSCU)
The Board does not recognize credits issued by:
- Community colleges
- Two-year colleges
- Extension and correspondence schools or programs
- Continuing education courses
- Technical/vocational schools
Texas requires one year of full-time non-routine accounting work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. This equates to 2,000 hours of experience that must be acquired over a period of no less that one year and no more than two years prior to application. Full details are available here.
- Complete a 3 semester hour ethics course approved by the Texas State Board
- Pass the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct exam with a score of 85% or better.
How to Apply for the Texas CPA Exam
- Submit a Background Statement that includes your fingerprint for cross-checking with FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Records Division files
- Detail any professional license and denial of examination privileges by other states
- Request that the Registrars of all the accredited colleges and universities you attended submit official copies of your transcripts directly to the Board
- Submit the Application of Intent to the Board
|Application of Intent
|Eligibility Application Fee
|$60 ($15 per section)
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD) Exam
|Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam
|Regulation (REG) Exam
|Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam
The Eligibility Exam will need to be paid again with each re-attempt.
All fees are non-refundable.
- Prometric Testing Centers
- Online Uniform CPA Examination
How to Apply for a Texas CPA License
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy processes their own CPA license applications. In order to apply for license, you must:
- Pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam within an 18-month timeframe with a mark of at least 75% per section
- Submit proof of passing the ethics exam
- Complete the experience verification form
- Submit your license application form
- Pay the $70.00 licensing fee
Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders
In order for an out-of-state CPA to practice within Texas, they must:
- Hold a CPA issued by state other than Texas
- Principal place of business is outside of Texas
- NASBA’s National Qualification Appraisal Service verification of either state CPA licensing, or that your qualifications are comparable to or exceed the requirements held by AICPA
If these apply, you may practice in Texas without notifying the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Interstate license reciprocity
Texas recognizes interstate license reciprocity. According to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy’s website, this entails:
- Submitting a Reciprocal Application
- A Letter of “Good Standing” issued by the U.S. Board of Accountancy where you are currently licensed or a letter
- Oath of Office
- Continuing Professional Education Report Form for Certification by Reciprocity:
- No CPE required if initial license has been issued less than 12 months,
- 40 credits are required after one year of licensure
- 80 credits are required after two years of licensure, and
- 120 credits are required after three or more years of licensure.
- Completion Certificate of the Texas board-approved 4 credit ethics course – taken within the last six months
- $100 Application fee
- An open-book examination on the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct
- Submit fingerprint for background check
International license reciprocity
Mutual Recognition Agreements
Texas recognizes Licenses from institutions that are part of NASBA’s Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA.) These applicants will need to pass the NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board’s (IQAB) International Qualification Examination (IQEX) and request IQAB to forward the results directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
The institutions that form part of the MRA are:
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
- CPA Australia
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
- CPA Canada (CPAC)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
NTS Validation Period
You will need to file an eligibility application for each section of the exam. Once approved, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). This will allow you a 90-day window in which to schedule your exam. If you fail to do so within that time frame, your NTS will expire and you will need to reapply and pay the eligibility application fee once again.