Missouri CPA Exam & License Requirements: How to Become a CPA in Missouri

Updated: January 4, 2024 You’re our #1 priority.
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In the midst of a CPA crisis, where more than 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors have left their jobs in the past two years, marking a staggering 17% decline, a unique opportunity has emerged. This information, reported by Lindsay Ellis in The Wall Street Journal, highlights a critical gap in the accounting field. But here’s the catch: the dwindling number of college students entering the field cannot fill this gap.

Now, you might be wondering: What does this mean for aspiring CPAs in Missouri? Well, consider this: with a significant portion of professionals departing from the accounting sector, including young professionals in the 25- to 34-year-old range and mid-career professionals between 45 and 54, the demand for qualified accountants is skyrocketing. This isn’t just about baby-boomer retirements; it’s a deeper shift in the workplace landscape.

So, why is this the perfect time to go through the licensing process in Missouri? The answer lies in the current market dynamics. With high demand and low supply, newly licensed CPAs are finding themselves in a prime position. They’re not just filling vacancies but stepping into roles with greater responsibility and potentially higher rewards.

This is a golden opportunity for those who are ready to take the leap. But what does it take to become a part of this exclusive group of in-demand professionals? Let’s dive deeper into the journey of becoming a CPA in Missouri during this unprecedented time.

Missouri requires state residency in order to obtain a CPA license.  The state requires 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA exam, including 33 accounting credits and 27 business credits. Candidates may sit for the exam up to 60 days prior to completing the education requirements.

Steps to Get a CPA License in Missouri

  • Fulfill educational requirements, including 150 semester hours and a baccalaureate degree.
  • Gain relevant work experience under a licensed CPA.
  • Successfully pass all sections of the Uniform CPA Exam with a CPA prep course.
  • Complete the AICPA Ethics Exam, a necessary step for licensure.
  • Submit the CPA license application along with all necessary documentation.
  • Pay the required CPA license application fee.

CPA Licensure Requirements in Missouri

General Requirements

  • Minimum Age: 21 years old.
  • U.S. Residency: Not required.
  • State Residency: Candidates must be a resident, employee, or maintain an office in Missouri.

Education Requirements

  • Degree Level: Bachelor’s degree or higher with an accounting concentration.
  • Credit Hours: A total of 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution.
  • Accounting Courses: At least 33 semester units in accounting, including a minimum of 18 units in upper-division accounting courses and 1 course in auditing.
  • General Business Courses: A minimum of 27 semester units in general business.

Work Experience

  • Experience Requirement: 1 year of public or non-public accounting experience.
  • Part-Time Work: Accepted if it totals 2,000 hours of accounting experience and is completed within a 3-year window.

Additional Requirements from Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA)

  • CPA Exam Eligibility: To sit for the CPA exam, candidates need at least 120 semester hours, including a minimum of 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours of general business courses.
  • CPA Licensure: For licensure, candidates require 30 semester hours in accounting and 30 semester hours in general business, totaling 150 credit hours. Up to 9 accounting credit hours can be from internships or independent study.

Ethics Exam

The Ethics Exam is a crucial component of the CPA licensure process in Missouri, emphasizing the profession’s commitment to high ethical standards. This section outlines the key aspects of the Ethics Exam and its requirements for CPA candidates in Missouri.

  • Purpose: The Ethics Exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of ethical practices and professional responsibilities in the accounting profession. It is designed to ensure that all CPAs adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.
  • Content: The exam typically covers topics such as professional conduct, ethical reasoning, AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct, and case studies related to ethical dilemmas in accounting.
  • Format: The Ethics Exam is usually an open-book, multiple-choice format, allowing candidates to refer to materials during the exam.
  • Cost: The AICPA Ethics Exam course and corresponding is priced at $299, with a discounted rate of $245 available exclusively for AICPA and NASBA members.

Missouri-Specific Requirements

  • Administering Body: In Missouri, the Ethics Exam is often administered through the Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA) or another designated organization.
  • Passing Score: A passing score is typically set at 90% or above.
  • Time Frame: Candidates can take the Ethics Exam at any point during their CPA exam process, but it must be completed before applying for CPA licensure.

“Passing the Ethics Exam goes beyond just ticking a box for your CPA license; it’s like making a solemn promise to uphold the highest standards of integrity in our field. It’s not just about knowing what’s right or wrong; it’s about embedding these principles into the very fabric of your professional life. This exam is your first step in a lifelong journey of ethical practice, a journey that will define your career and enhance the trust your clients place in you. Remember, as CPAs, we’re not just number crunchers; we’re guardians of trust and ethical standards in the financial world.”

– Bryce Welker

CPA Exam and Licensure Fees in Missouri

Navigating the financial aspects of the CPA licensure process is crucial for candidates. In Missouri, there are specific fees associated with the Education Evaluation Application, Exam Section Application, and the initial CPA License. Understanding these fees helps candidates plan and budget for their journey to becoming a CPA.

Education Evaluation Application

  • Purpose: Before applying for any section of the CPA Exam, candidates must first be deemed eligible. The Education Evaluation Application assesses whether a candidate meets the educational requirements necessary to take the CPA Exam in Missouri.
  • Fee: The fee for the Education Evaluation Application is $90.00. This fee covers the cost of reviewing educational credentials and determining eligibility for the CPA Exam.

Exam Section Application

  • Application Process: Once a candidate is found eligible for the CPA Exam, they can apply for specific exam sections. It’s important to note that candidates can apply for only one exam section per application.
  • Advisory: Candidates are advised to apply for an exam section only if they are prepared to take it within the validity period of their Notice to Schedule (NTS). The NTS is valid for a limited time, and the exam must be taken within this period. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the fees paid for that section.
  • Fee: The fee for each Exam Section Application is $348.80. This fee is applicable for each section of the CPA Exam that the candidate applies for.

Initial CPA License Fee

  • After Passing the Exam: Upon successfully passing all sections of the CPA Exam and meeting other licensure requirements, candidates can apply for their initial CPA license.
  • Fee: The fee for the initial CPA license in Missouri is $90.00. This fee is required to process the licensure application and issue the CPA license.

CPA Evolution and the 2024 Exam Changes

The CPA profession is undergoing a significant transformation with the CPA Evolution initiative, set to take effect in 2024. This initiative is a joint effort by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to ensure that the CPA licensure model remains relevant in the rapidly changing business and regulatory environment. The changes will impact the CPA Exam structure, content, and the overall approach to CPA licensure, with specific implications for candidates in Missouri and across the United States.

Key Changes in the CPA Exam Structure

  • Disappearance of BEC (Business Environment and Concepts): One of the most notable changes in the CPA Exam is the elimination of the BEC section. This change reflects the evolving nature of the accounting profession and the need for a more integrated approach to business concepts.
  • Introduction of New Sections: In place of BEC, the CPA Exam will introduce new sections that focus on emerging areas of knowledge and skills necessary for newly licensed CPAs. These sections are designed to better prepare candidates for the modern accounting landscape.

General Changes in the CPA Exam

  • Increased Emphasis on Technology and Analytics: The new exam structure will place a greater emphasis on technology, data analytics, and digital acumen. This shift acknowledges the increasing role of technology in accounting and the need for CPAs to be proficient in these areas.
  • Integration of Core and Discipline-Specific Skills: The exam will consist of a combination of core competencies in accounting, auditing, tax, and technology, along with deeper dives into specific disciplines. Candidates will have the flexibility to choose a discipline in which to demonstrate more advanced skills.

Missouri Exam Information and Resources

  1. Missouri State Board of Accountancy
  2. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) – Missouri
  3. Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA)
  4. Missouri CPA License Application Form

For more details, please contact:

Missouri State Board of Accountancy

3605 Missouri Boulevard
PO Box 613
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0613
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 573-751-0012


What are the educational requirements to sit for the CPA Exam in Missouri?

To sit for the CPA Exam in Missouri, candidates need at least 120 semester hours of college education, including 24 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in general business courses. For CPA licensure, 150 semester hours are required, with additional specific coursework in accounting and business.

Is work experience required for CPA licensure in Missouri?

Yes, candidates must complete 1 year (2,000 hours) of public or non-public accounting experience, verified by a licensed CPA. This experience can be part-time, as long as it totals 2,000 hours and is completed within a 3-year period.

How do I apply for the CPA Exam in Missouri?

Candidates must first submit an Education Evaluation Application to determine their eligibility. Once eligible, they can apply for specific exam sections through the CPA Examination Services, applying for only one section at a time.

What is the fee structure for the CPA Exam and licensure in Missouri?

The Education Evaluation Application fee is $90.00. Each Exam Section Application costs $348.80, and the initial CPA License fee, after passing the exam, is $90.00.

What changes are expected in the CPA Exam in 2024 due to the CPA Evolution?

The CPA Evolution will eliminate the BEC section and introduce new sections focusing on technology and analytics. The exam will integrate core competencies with discipline-specific skills to reflect the evolving accounting profession.

How is the Ethics Exam structured in Missouri, and when should I take it?

The Ethics Exam in Missouri is an open-book, multiple-choice test, typically covering professional conduct and ethical reasoning. It can be taken at any point during the CPA exam process but must be completed before applying for CPA licensure.

Can international candidates apply for the CPA Exam in Missouri?

International candidates can apply for the CPA Exam in Missouri, provided they meet the same educational and experience requirements as domestic candidates. U.S. residency is not required, but candidates must be a resident, employee, or maintain an office in Missouri.

What resources are available for CPA candidates in Missouri to prepare for the exam?

Candidates can use CPA review courses for exam preparation. The Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) offer resources like study materials, practice exams, and webinars. Educational institutions in Missouri may also provide CPA exam preparation programs.

Bryce Welker, 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