Unfortunately, the road to becoming a CPA requires a great deal of hard work, determination, bureaucracy and financial investment. Aside from applying for and taking the exams, there are many other associated costs that are not often mentioned out right but are discovered mid-process. Here, we have attempted to compile a list of the known fees that you are likely to encounter as either an international accountant or international accounting student who is hoping to acquire your CPA license. A detailed outline of the process involved can be found here, so we will only be touching on it where necessary below and expanding on those not yet discussed in greater detail.

How much will it cost an international accountant to convert their license?

There are two ways for an international accountant to convert their professional accounting license to a CPA license. The first is where an accredited accountant whose degree is from an accounting board within the jurisdiction of Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) can apply to convert their license. The other is by taking the full CPA exam. These requirements will vary by state, and it should also be noted that some states do not recognize the MRA or do not allow for non-citizens to sit their exams. So, you will first need to confirm that you are eligible to write the exam in your preferred state before you begin attempting the application process. We will outline each process and the associated costs below:

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA):

An MRA is an agreement made between the NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) and the accounting boards of certain countries that allows them to practice in the US as a CPA without completely needing to re-credential. However, they will first need to take and pass NASBA’s International Qualification Examination (IQEX,) which is much more condensed than the four-part CPA exam. This means that based on the state, the applicant may be able to work there, provided that they meet the requirements. However, there are a number of steps involved, and a few of them will entail fees.

These fees include:

  • The NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) application fee – $225
  • Satisfying the credit requirements of both countries/ the state (varies greatly per country/state)
  • Apply under foreign reciprocity – fees vary per state. 

For instance:

  • In California, there is a $250 application fee, as well as a $100 transfer fee
  • In Texas, there is a $100 application fee, and a $100 transfer fee
  • Some states do not recognize reciprocity

So, this is another important bit of research to conduct before choosing the state you want to work in.

  • Writing the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) – $835.00
  • Taking an AICPA Ethics Exam (where required) – Between $189 ~ $245

At maximum cost, this would put an MRA license conversion at around $1,655, provided that you will not need to translate or convert some of your credits. Additionally, retaking the IQEX will cost you another $835.00, should you fail.

Non-MRA license conversion costs

Some states will allow you to convert your international license if it is found to be substantially equivalent to the state board’s CPA requirements. However, others may require you to apply for the CPA exam in the same way as a student with an international degree. With states that do allow for this possibility, the first step is usually to have your credentials and transcripts evaluated by a credentials evaluation service that is recognized by the state board. As with most requirements, the services accepted will vary from state to state, so you should check on the state board’s website for confirmation before applying.

Most states who allow for this possibility accept the evaluations processed by the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES). Through them, this service costs $250 for a specific jurisdiction. They will evaluate your licensure, educational transtips, work history and other relevant information. 

You can also opt for  a general evaluation for $350. They will then inform you whether you are missing any requirements and what you can do to meet them. You apply with either a specific state in mind, or in general so that they will then provide you with a list of states that will accept your credentials, where applicable. If accepted, you can then follow the procedure outlined above. 

If you fail to meet the requirements, you will need to fulfill the outstanding requirements and then reapply. This will necessitate submitting the new application and documentation, as well as paying the $120 fee for further evaluation.

Summary of State Costs

StateTotal Exam FeesEthics Exam FeeReciprocity Cost
Alabama$904.60$189 – $245$100
Alaska$1,449.60$189 – $245$500
Arizona$1,004.60$189 – $245$100
Colorado$1,399.96$189 – $245$185
Connecticut$1,399.96$189 – $245$300
Delaware$1,414,60$189 – $245$160
District of Columbia$1,414,60n/a$175
FloridaCPA Exam – $1,134.60 State exam – $240n/a$250
Idaho$1,004.60$189 – $245$295
Illinois$1,509.60$189 – $245$120
$189 – $245$100
Kansas$1,414.60$189 – $245$250
Maryland$971.60$189 – $245$89
Minnesota$1,159.60$189 – $245$150
Missouri$1,814.60$189 – $245$165
Montana$1,549.60$189 – $245$200
Nebraska$1,429.60$189 – $245$285
Nevada$1,509.60$189 – $245$240
New Hampshire$1,789.60n/a$435
New Jersey$1,144.60$189 – $245$75
New Mexico$1,464.60$189 – $245$175
New York$1,409.96n/a$427
North Carolina$1,134.60$0-$315$100
North Dakota$1,024.60$189 – $245$140
Oklahoma$1,504.60$189 – $245$350
Oregon$1,054.60$189 – $245$225
Puerto Rico$2,259.60n/a$145
Rhode Island$1,069.96$189 – $245$375
South Carolina$1,274.96$189 – $245$150
South Dakota$1,004.60$189 – $245$150
Tennessee$1,374.60$189 – $245$200
Utah$1,384.60$189 – $245$85
Vermont$1,054.60$189 – $245$100
Virgin Islands$1,790n/a$150
Virginia$1,104.60$189 – $245$75
Washington$1,074.60$189 – $245$150
West Virginia$1,074.60n/a$200
Wyoming$1,014.60$189 – $245$110