Alaska CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: January 5, 2024 You’re our #1 priority.
100% of the time.

We believe everybody should be able to make online purchases with confidence. And while our website doesn’t feature every test prep company or review course in the universe, we’re proud that the advice we offer and the information we provide is accurate, truthful, objective - and entirely free.

So how do we actually make money? It’s simple, our partners compensate us. While this may influence which products we review and write about, and where they show up on the site, it absolutely does not influence our recommendations or guidance, which are formed by hundreds of hours of research and analysis. Check out our partners here.

What’s the bottom line? We’re on your team and are passionate about helping you achieve your career goals, even if it means we don’t make a dime.

In the midst of a CPA crisis, there’s a silver lining for those considering the licensing process in Alaska. According to the Controllers Council, the accounting, CPA, and corporate finance industries are grappling with a significant shortage of accountants. This shortage is not just a fleeting concern; it’s a growing trend. This looming mass exodus is coupled with the lowest new CPA pipeline in over 13 years.

But why does this make it an opportune time for CPA licensing in Alaska?

For those considering a career in this field, the timing couldn’t be better. This is a chance to be at the forefront of reshaping how the CPA profession operates, especially in a state like Alaska, where the unique economic and geographical context adds an extra layer of intrigue and challenge to the accounting profession.

Let’s look at the requirements in detail together.

Steps to Get a CPA License in Alaska

  • Educational Requirements: Fulfill the specific educational criteria set by the Alaska Board of Public Accountancy. This typically includes a bachelor’s degree with a certain number of accounting and business-related credits.
  • Experience Requirements: Complete the required amount of verified work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. This experience should be relevant and meet the standards set by the Alaska Board.
  • Ethics Examination: Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam, an essential step to ensure understanding and adherence to professional ethical standards.
  • CPA Exam: Successfully pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Candidates often increase their chances of passing on the first attempt by studying from one of the best CPA review courses I recommend.
  • Application Process: Submit all necessary paperwork for the CPA license application. This includes providing proof of education, experience, and examination scores.
  • Application Fee: Pay the required fee for the CPA license application in Alaska. This fee is subject to change, so it’s important to check the latest information.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE): Once licensed, CPAs in Alaska must meet ongoing CPE requirements to maintain their licensure and stay updated with the evolving accounting standards and practices.

As a seasoned expert in the field of accounting and CPA exam preparation, I’ve observed that Alaska’s CPA licensure requirements are uniquely accommodating, especially for international candidates. The state’s approach, which doesn’t necessitate U.S. citizenship or state residency, opens doors for a diverse range of applicants. This inclusivity, combined with Alaska’s dynamic economic landscape, provides a fertile ground for accountants from various backgrounds to thrive and contribute significantly to the industry. Moreover, the emphasis on ethics and comprehensive educational criteria ensures that CPAs in Alaska are not only skilled but also adhere to the highest standards of professional integrity.

Bryce Welker, CPA Expert

CPA Licensure Requirements in Alaska

General Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • US Citizenship: Not required for CPA licensure in Alaska.
  • State Residency: Not a requirement for CPA licensure in Alaska.
  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 19 years of age.
  • Good Moral Character: All applicants must demonstrate good moral character.

Education Requirements

  • Degree and Accounting Concentration:
    • A completed bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
    • 24 semester hours in Accounting.
    • 3 semester hours in Business Law.
    • 3 semester hours in Economics.
    • 3 semester hours in college-level Math, Statistics, and/or Computer Science.
  • Degree In-Progress and Accounting:
    • Applicants within 18 semester hours of completing a bachelor’s degree.
    • Completion of 15 semester hours in Accounting.

Work Experience Requirements

  • Public Accounting Experience:
    • One year of public accounting experience under the direct supervision of a United States CPA.
    • Submission of Verification of Supervised Work Experience form.
    • If supervised by an Alaska CPA, the Verification of Licensure for CPA Supervisor form is not required.


  • Completed Educational Requirements:
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended.
    • Transcripts must be issued by the institution’s Registrar’s Office with the official seal.
    • Degree earned must be posted on the official transcript.
    • Electronic transcripts are acceptable if issued directly from the institution.
  • Currently Enrolled in College:
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended.
    • Submission of a completed Certificate of Enrollment form.
    • Transcripts and Certificate of Enrollment Form must be received directly from the academic institution.

International Education

  • Evaluation by NASBA International Evaluation Services:
    • Required for credentials from institutions outside the U.S.
    • Evaluation must include an equivalency summary, credential analysis, course-by-course listing, and course credit analysis.
    • Original evaluations must be received directly from the evaluation service.

Alaska stands out as an ideal state for international candidates seeking CPA licensure due to its inclusive policies and diverse economic landscape. The state’s lack of U.S. citizenship or residency requirements makes it a welcoming environment for international applicants.

Additionally, Alaska’s acceptance of international educational credentials, facilitated through NASBA International Evaluation Services, streamlines the licensure process for those with foreign qualifications. The state’s varied economy, encompassing industries like oil, gas, tourism, and fishing, offers a wide range of opportunities for accountants. This, coupled with the current high demand for CPAs, creates an advantageous situation for internationally trained professionals to establish a significant presence in Alaska’s accounting sector.

Ethics Course and Exam Requirements

In Alaska, one of the essential steps towards obtaining CPA licensure is the completion and passing of the AICPA Ethics Exam. This requirement underscores the importance Alaska places on professional integrity and ethical standards in the accounting profession.

AICPA Ethics Exam

  • Purpose: The AICPA Ethics Exam is designed to educate and evaluate an applicant’s understanding of ethical practices and professional responsibilities in the field of accounting.
  • Content: The exam covers a range of topics, including the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and widely accepted ethical principles applicable to CPAs.
  • Format: The exam is typically a self-study course culminating in an open-book examination.

Course Enrollment and Pricing

  • Enrollment: Candidates can enroll for the Ethics Exam course through the AICPA or authorized providers.
  • Pricing: The standard price for the AICPA Ethics Exam course, including the exam, is $320. However, a discounted rate of $250 is offered to AICPA members.

Completion and Passing

  • Passing Score: Candidates must achieve a passing score of 90% as determined by the AICPA to fulfill this licensure requirement.
  • Certification of Completion: Upon successfully passing the exam, candidates receive a certificate of completion, which must be submitted as part of the CPA licensure application process in Alaska.

For more detailed information on the AICPA Ethics Exam, including study materials, exam format, and updates on pricing, candidates are encouraged to visit the AICPA website. It’s important for applicants to stay informed about any changes in the requirements or procedures to ensure a smooth and successful path to CPA licensure in Alaska.

Alaska Licensure and Exam Fees

The process of becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Alaska involves various fees at different stages, from the initial application to taking the exam sections. Understanding these fees is crucial for candidates planning their CPA journey in Alaska.

Certified Public Accountant Fees

  • Nonrefundable Application Fee: A fee of $200.00 is required when submitting the application to become a Certified Public Accountant in Alaska. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and is nonrefundable.
  • Certificate Fee: Upon meeting all the licensure requirements, including passing the CPA exam, candidates are required to pay a certificate fee of $300.00. This fee is for the issuance of the CPA certificate.

Education Evaluation Application

  • Purpose: Before applying for the CPA Exam, candidates must first be evaluated to determine if they meet the educational requirements for Alaska.
  • Application Fee: The fee for the Education Evaluation Application is $115.00. This fee covers the evaluation of educational credentials to ensure they meet Alaska’s standards for CPA exam eligibility.

Exam Section Application

  • Eligibility: Once deemed eligible for the CPA Exam, candidates can apply for specific exam sections. It’s important to note that each application is for one exam section only.
  • Application Fee: The fee for each Exam Section Application is $357.80. Candidates are advised to apply for an exam section only when they are ready to take it.
  • Notice to Schedule (NTS): After applying, candidates receive a Notice to Schedule, which is valid for a limited time. The exam section listed on the NTS must be taken within this timeframe; otherwise, the fees paid will be forfeited.

CPA Evolution and Exam Updates in Alaska

The CPA Evolution, slated for implementation in 2024, is a transformative update to the CPA licensure model. Developed collaboratively by the AICPA and NASBA, it aims to realign the CPA licensure process with the contemporary demands of the accounting profession, particularly in technology and analytical skills.

Key Changes in the CPA Exam

  • New Exam Structure: The revised CPA Exam will feature a core section focusing on foundational competencies in areas like accounting, auditing, and tax, integrated with technology. Candidates will also select one of three specialized disciplines: Business Analysis & Reporting, Information Systems & Controls, or Tax Compliance & Planning.
  • Content Relevance: The exam content will be updated to include advanced topics, particularly in data analytics and digital technologies, reflecting the skill set needed in today’s accounting landscape.

Implications for Alaska

  • Adherence to Updated Standards: Alaska will adopt these national changes, meaning CPA candidates in the state will need to prepare for the revised exam format and the new content areas.
  • Adjustments in Educational Prerequisites: Educational requirements for Alaska’s CPA candidates are expected to be updated to incorporate courses that focus on technology and data analysis, aligning with the new exam structure.
  • Shift in CPE Focus: For licensed CPAs in Alaska, Continuing Professional Education may increasingly include topics on emerging technologies and modern accounting practices, in line with the CPA Evolution’s goals.

Action Steps for Alaska’s CPA Community

  • Staying Informed: Candidates and CPAs in Alaska should actively seek information on these changes from the Alaska Board of Public Accountancy, AICPA, and NASBA.
  • Curriculum Updates by Educational Institutions: Alaska’s universities and colleges are anticipated to revise their accounting programs to ensure that graduates are equipped for the new CPA Exam format.

The CPA Evolution marks a significant shift towards ensuring that CPAs are equipped with relevant skills for the evolving business environment. For Alaska, this transition presents an opportunity to elevate the capabilities of its accounting professionals, ensuring they remain competitive and proficient in the face of changing industry demands.

Resources and Local Organizations for CPA Candidates in Alaska

  1. Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy
  2. Alaska CPA License Application
  3. Alaska Society of CPAs
  4. Ethics Course Information
  5. Alaska Society of Independent Accountants


Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy
550 W 7th AVE, STE 1500
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
Phone: (907) 269-8160
Fax: (907) 269-8156


How long does it take to process my CPA licensure application in Alaska?

The processing time for CPA licensure applications typically ranges from eight to twelve weeks after the application is complete.

How will I know the status of my CPA licensure application?

Applicants will receive a notification about their application status after the initial review. It’s recommended to wait for this notification before making further inquiries.

Are scanned or faxed documents acceptable for my CPA application?

No, the Alaska Board of Public Accountancy requires all application documents to be original. Scanned or faxed copies are not accepted.

How do I verify my CPA license to another agency?

To verify a CPA license, send a written request with a $20.00 check or money order payable to the State of Alaska to the Board. The process takes about three weeks.

Is my CPA license record public information in Alaska?

Yes, CPA licensing records are public, but confidential information like social security numbers and exam scores is not releasable.

When does my CPA license expire and how is it renewed in Alaska?

CPA licenses expire on December 31 of odd-numbered years. The renewal process and specific validity periods depend on the license issuance date.

If I recently received my CPA license, do I have to pay the full renewal fee?

No, if you received your permanent license within a year of the expiration date, you only need to pay half of the renewal fee.

When will I receive my CPA license renewal notice?

Renewal notices are sent at least 30 days before the expiration date. Ensure your contact information is updated in the MY LICENSE portal.

What should I do to reinstate a lapsed CPA license in Alaska?

Follow the requirements outlined in the Application for Reinstatement form available on the Board’s website.

Will I receive a certificate for passing all sections of the CPA exam in Alaska?

No, Alaska does not issue a separate certificate for passing the exam sections, as it is a one-tier state. However, exam passage verification can be provided to other states for a fee.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes,, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades.   As Seen On Forbes