As aspiring CPAs in Georgia embark on the path to licensure, it’s important to recognize the evolving landscape of the accounting profession. The CPA Journal highlights significant trends affecting the industry, such as the shift towards remote work, which Marc Rosenberg describes as “the biggest game-changer to the CPA industry since 1978.” Additionally, the profession has experienced notable economic growth, with a 9.5% increase in revenue and a 12% rise in income per partner in 2021.
Firms are also transitioning from compliance to advisory services, adapting to client demands for more than traditional accounting services. With an aging workforce, as evidenced by the increase in partners over the age of 60, the profession is at a pivotal moment of change.
If you’re wanting to be a part of this change and apply for CPA licensure in Georgia, you’re on the right page. I’ve crafted this guide that details the Georgia CPA exam and licensure requirements, preparing candidates for a career in this dynamic and evolving field.
Georgia CPA Licensure Snapshot
The process of obtaining CPA licensure in Georgia involves several key steps:
- Meeting Education and Work Requirements: Ensure completion of the required educational coursework and requisite work experience as per Georgia’s specific guidelines.
- Passing All Sections of the CPA Exam: Consider enrolling in a CPA review course for effective preparation, as nearly half of the candidates may not pass on their first attempt.
- Filling Out and Submitting CPA License Application Paperwork: Ensure all documentation is accurate and complete.
- Paying the CPA License Application Fee: This is a standard part of the licensure process.
General CPA Requirements in Georgia
To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:
- Minimum age: 18
- U.S. Residency NOT required
- State Residency NOT required
The educational prerequisites for CPA licensure in Georgia differ based on when the applicant first sat for the CPA Exam:
For those who sat for the CPA Exam prior to January 1, 1998:
- Bachelor’s degree.
- 20 semester hours in Accounting above the introductory level.
For those who sat for the CPA Exam after January 1, 1998:
- Bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Total of 150 semester hours of education.
- 30 semester hours in Accounting above the introductory level.
- 24 semester hours in business-related subjects.
Work Experience Requirements
The experience necessary for CPA licensure in Georgia varies depending on the field of work:
Public Accounting Experience:
- At least one year (2,000 hours) of full-time experience, supervised by a licensed CPA.
- The experience must involve various accounting services and adhere to recognized standards and ethics.
Industry Accounting Experience:
- One year (2,000 hours) of full-time experience in financial accounting and auditing, supervised by a licensed CPA or registered public accountant.
Government Accounting Experience:
- One year (2,000 hours) in a government agency performing auditing and accounting functions, supervised by a licensed CPA or equivalent.
- Teaching in the accounting discipline at an accredited four-year college or university, covering at least two different courses above the introductory level.
For each of these categories, the experience must be recent, and completed not more than one year before the application date.
In Georgia, CPA candidates are not required to take a separate ethics exam as part of the CPA licensure process. This differs from some other states where an ethics exam is a mandatory component for CPA certification. However, it’s important for candidates to remain aware of and adhere to the ethical standards of the accounting profession, as these principles are integral to the practice and reputation of CPAs. Despite the absence of a formal ethics exam requirement in Georgia, maintaining high ethical standards is crucial for success and integrity in the field.
Georgia Exam Fees
For CPA candidates in Georgia, the fee structure for the CPA exam is as follows:
- Total Examination Fee: The cost for all four sections of the CPA exam is $1,379.20, with each section costing $344.80.
- Education Evaluation Application Fee: An initial fee of $90 is required to assess educational qualifications for CPA exam eligibility.
- Re-examination Fees: If retaking any exam sections, candidates will incur re-examination fees, which vary based on the number of sections reapplied for.
In addition to these fees, candidates seeking licensure in Georgia must also pay the following:
- Initial Licensure Fee: $140.
- Transfer of Grades Fee: $220.
It’s important to budget for these costs, as they are all necessary steps in the CPA licensure process in Georgia.
Georgia CPA Exam Updates
The CPA licensure process in Georgia is adapting to the significant changes brought by the CPA Evolution. With the new CPA Exam format launching in January 2024, the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section will be replaced by three new Discipline sections. Candidates must pass one Discipline exam along with the three Core Exams.
Extended CPA Exam Credit Validity in Georgia
As per a recent Reddit thread, Georgia has implemented a significant change to the CPA exam process. The state has extended the validity period for CPA exam credits, now allowing candidates an additional 12 months to complete all exam sections. This adjustment provides CPA candidates with increased flexibility and more time for preparation, which is especially helpful in managing the challenges and demands of the exam process.
Of course, not everyone thinks they will benefit from the change with one Reddit user saying, “I didn’t need to hear this. Now I’m gonna give myself more excuses to procrastinate studying for Reg.”
GA Exam Information and Resources
For more details, please contact:
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217-3858
Email: [email protected]
You need a bachelor’s degree or higher with 150 semester hours of education, including 30 hours in advanced accounting and 24 hours in business-related subjects.
You need one year (2,000 hours) of full-time experience in public accounting, industry, government, or academia, supervised by a licensed CPA.
International credentials are accepted but must be evaluated by an approved service. The auditing course must include U.S. GAAS.
The BEC section will be replaced by three new Discipline sections starting January 10, 2024. Candidates must pass one Discipline exam along with the three Core Exams.
In Georgia, CPAs need 80 hours of CPE every two years, including an ethics course.
Yes, through reciprocity, if your current state’s licensure requirements are similar to Georgia’s.
International candidates must have their education evaluated for U.S. equivalency and may need to meet additional English proficiency and residency requirements.
Georgia is one of the few states that do not require taking the AICPA ethics exam as a requirement to being a CPA.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com 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