Texas CPA Exam & License Requirements: How to Become a CPA in TX

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In the world of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), a seismic shift is underway. According to Bloomberg Tax, companies and accounting firms are now offering substantial bonuses and salary increases to attract and retain CPAs in response to staff shortages and record turnover. This change comes after a period marked by sluggish pay growth in the accounting sector.

Now, let’s pivot to Texas, where the CPA crisis presents a unique opportunity. Amidst this backdrop of increased demand and competitive compensation, aspiring CPAs in Texas find themselves in an advantageous position. The current landscape not only underscores the value of CPAs but also highlights the perfect timing for going through the licensing process in Texas.

With firms vying for skilled accountants and offering better pay and benefits, there’s never been a more opportune moment to step into this profession. But wait, there’s more to this story. Let’s delve deeper into why now, more than ever, is the ideal time for Texan professionals to pursue CPA licensure.:

Steps to Get a CPA License in Texas

  • Educational Requirements: Fulfill the necessary educational qualifications, including 150 semester hours of college coursework.
  • Work Experience: Complete the required amount of verified work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
  • CPA Exam: Successfully pass all sections of the CPA exam. Check out the best CPA study materials to pass the first time.
  • Ethics Course: Complete the Texas State Board-approved ethics course.
  • Application Submission: Accurately fill out and submit all required CPA license application forms.
  • Application Fee: Pay the applicable CPA license application fee.

CPA License Requirements in Texas

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:

  1. Minimum age NOT required
  2. Bachelor’s degree or higher
  3. US Citizenship NOT required to take exam
  4. Residency NOT required

General Requirements

To embark on the journey of becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Texas, candidates must meet several key requirements. These include:

  • Background Check: Complete the electronic fingerprint process for a background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This is a crucial step to ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of future CPAs.
  • Degree Requirement: Hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from a board-recognized United States college or university, or an equivalent degree from an institution of higher education in another country as determined by board rules.
  • Application of Intent: The first step to determine eligibility to take the CPA exam is to submit an Application of Intent.

Education Requirements

The educational prerequisites for CPA licensure in Texas are specific and designed to ensure that candidates have a comprehensive understanding of accounting principles and practices:

  • Credit Hours: Complete 120 semester hours or quarter-hour equivalents of college credit.
  • Accounting Courses: Complete 21 semester hours or quarter-hour equivalents of upper-level accounting courses from a board-recognized college or university.
  • Business Courses: Complete 24 semester hours or quarter-hour equivalents of upper-level related business courses. This must include two-semester hours of accounting or business communications.

Gaining relevant work experience is a pivotal step in your journey to becoming a CPA in Texas. This experience not only fulfills the licensure requirements but also equips you with practical skills and insights essential for a successful accounting career.

Work Experience

  • Verification by a Licensed CPA: Your work experience must be verified by a licensed CPA who can attest to the nature and duration of your work. This typically involves a signed statement or form provided by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
  • Detailed Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of your roles, responsibilities, and achievements. This should include specific projects you worked on, the skills you applied, and any significant contributions you made to your organization.

Tips for Finding Suitable Positions

  • Networking: Attend industry events, join professional accounting organizations, and connect with alumni from your college to expand your professional network. Many opportunities in accounting come through personal connections.
  • Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Consider internships or entry-level positions in accounting firms or industry roles. These can provide a solid foundation and often lead to full-time positions.
  • Leverage Your College’s Career Services: Many colleges offer career services that can help you find internships and job opportunities in the accounting field.
  • Online Job Portals and Recruitment Agencies: Utilize online job portals specialized in finance and accounting roles. Recruitment agencies can also be a valuable resource in finding positions that meet the CPA work experience requirements.

“Aspiring CPAs in Texas must not overlook the crucial role of work experience in their licensure journey. In Texas, the requirement of verified work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA is not just a formality; it’s a fundamental part of shaping a competent and skilled accounting professional. This hands-on experience is where theoretical knowledge meets practical application, providing invaluable insights into the real-world challenges and responsibilities of a CPA.”

-Bryce Welker, CPA Expert

Case Study: Navigating the Texas Work Experience Form for CPA Licensure


A Reddit user, poubear44, faced a common challenge encountered by many CPA candidates in Texas: understanding the requirements for the Texas Work Experience Form. This form is a crucial component of the CPA licensure process, requiring a detailed statement from a supervisor to verify the candidate’s work experience.


Poubear44’s supervisor, the CFO of their company, needed guidance on what to include in the statement of CPA experience. The statement had to adequately describe the type and amount of experience the supervisor possessed that qualified them to oversee poubear44’s work.


Seeking advice, poubear44 turned to the Reddit community for insights. They received valuable input from other users who had navigated similar challenges. One user, Martillotejano31, provided a helpful link to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy’s website for clarification on work experience requirements and suggested contacting the board for further assistance.


Poubear44’s CFO, a CPA and CGMA with over 20 years of diverse experience in public accounting, private practice, and industry, provided a comprehensive statement. It detailed their extensive experience in financial statement preparation and analysis, tax return preparation, internal audit, and overseeing accounting functions in various organizations. This statement successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Texas Work Experience Form, paving the way for poubear44 to proceed with their CPA licensure.


This case study highlights the importance of clear communication and seeking guidance when completing licensure requirements. It also demonstrates the value of community support and resources like professional websites and forums in navigating the CPA licensure process. Poubear44’s experience serves as an encouraging example for other CPA candidates facing similar challenges in Texas.

Requirements for International Candidates Applying for Texas CPA Licensure

As this Reddit thread shows, Texas licensure can be tricky. International candidates seeking CPA licensure in Texas face a unique set of requirements, ensuring that their qualifications align with the standards set by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

  • Degree Evaluation: International candidates must have their baccalaureate or higher degree evaluated to confirm its equivalence to a U.S. degree. This evaluation is conducted by a Board-approved foreign credential evaluation service.
  • Educational Requirements: They must meet the educational prerequisites similar to U.S. candidates, which includes 150 semester hours of college coursework, with specific hours in accounting and business-related subjects. The evaluated foreign education must fulfill these criteria.
  • TOEFL Exam: Depending on their background, international candidates may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to demonstrate proficiency in English.
  • Social Security Number: While a Social Security Number (SSN) is generally required, international candidates without an SSN should consult with the Texas State Board for alternative identification options.
  • Work Experience: Like domestic candidates, international applicants must complete the required amount of work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
  • CPA Exam and Ethics Course: International candidates must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and complete the Texas State Board-approved ethics course. They must also meet other Texas requirements.
  • Background Check: They are also subject to a background check, which includes fingerprinting, to ensure the safety and integrity of the profession.

Ethics Exam Requirements

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy sets forth specific requirements for the Ethics Exam, an essential part of the CPA licensure process. These requirements ensure CPA candidates have a solid foundation in ethical reasoning and professional conduct.

Core Requirements

  • Board-Approved Ethics Course: Applicants must complete a Board-approved four-hour ethics course at a recognized educational institution.
  • Course Content: The course should provide a framework for ethical reasoning, professional values, and attitudes necessary for exercising professional skepticism and behavior that benefits the public and the profession.
  • Coverage Topics: The ethics course must cover various topics, including ethical reasoning, integrity, objectivity, independence (specific to accounting), other core values, AICPA, SEC, and Texas Board of Accountancy ethics rules, and ethical theory.
  • Case Studies: The course should predominantly incorporate accounting case studies and moral dilemmas, supplemented by business and general case studies.

Rules of Professional Conduct Exam

  • Exam Requirement: After completing the ethics course, candidates must pass the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct exam.
  • Passing Score: A score of 85% or better is required to pass this open-book exam.
  • Exam Format: The exam is mailed to candidates after they pass the CPA exam.

Texas Licensure and CPA Exam Fees

The process of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Texas involves various fees associated with the application and examination stages. Understanding these fees is crucial for candidates planning their CPA journey in Texas.

Application of Intent Fees

  • Standard Application Fee: The fee for the Application of Intent is $20. This fee applies to candidates applying for the first time.
  • Payment Method: Candidates should submit a check or money order in U.S. dollars made payable to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy along with their Application of Intent. It is important to note that cash payments are not accepted.

Application of Intent: Transfer of Credit Fees

  • Transfer Fee: For candidates transferring credit from another state, the fee for the Application of Intent – Transfer of Credit is $100.
  • Payment Method: Similar to the standard application, a check or money order in U.S. dollars should be made payable to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and submitted with the application.

Eligibility Application Fees

  • Online Submission Fee: When submitting the Eligibility Application online, there is a fee of $15.00 for each section of the CPA exam.
  • Convenience: This online submission process offers convenience and efficiency for candidates applying for multiple sections of the exam.

CPA Exam Fees

  • Exam Section Fee: The fee for each section of the CPA exam is $344.80. This fee is applicable for each section of the exam.

CPA Evolution and Exam Changes in 2024

The CPA Evolution is a transformative initiative reshaping the CPA licensure model to better align with the rapidly evolving business and technological landscape. Set to take effect in 2024, this initiative, a collaborative effort by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), aims to ensure that newly licensed CPAs are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed in today’s digital world.

General Changes in the CPA Exam

  • Updated Exam Structure: The CPA Exam will undergo significant changes in its structure. It will still assess core competencies in accounting, auditing, tax, and technology, but with a greater emphasis on skills such as data analytics, information technology, and business processes.
  • Specialization Areas: One of the notable changes is the introduction of distinct specialization areas. Candidates will choose to focus on one of several disciplines, such as business analysis and reporting, information systems and controls, or tax compliance and planning.
  • Enhanced Focus on Technology: Reflecting the increasing importance of technology in accounting, the new exam format will integrate technological competencies across all sections.

Specific Changes for Texas

  • Alignment with National Standards: Texas, like other states, will align its CPA licensure requirements with the new national standards set forth by the CPA Evolution. This means Texas CPA candidates will need to prepare for the updated exam format and content.
  • Educational Requirements: Texas educational institutions offering accounting programs are expected to adapt their curricula to meet the new competencies required by the CPA Evolution. This may include more courses in data analytics, cybersecurity, and technology-driven auditing.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE): Current CPAs in Texas may see changes in CPE requirements, with more courses focusing on technology and data analysis to stay current with industry trends.

Local CPA Organizations and Networking Groups for CPA Candidates

Here are some local CPA organizations and chapters in Texas that can assist CPAs:

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA) Local Chapters: TXCPA has 20 strong local chapters across Texas, providing a community and professional network for CPAs in various regions. These chapters offer local events, CPE opportunities, and networking platforms. Some of the chapters include Corpus Christi Chapter, East Texas Chapter, Fort Worth Chapter, Panhandle Chapter, Rio Grande Valley Chapter, San Angelo Chapter, and South Plains Chapter. For more information, find a local chapter in Texas near you.

Corpus Christi Chapter of TXCPA: This chapter serves CPAs in the Corpus Christi area, offering local networking, professional development, and community service opportunities.

Fort Worth Chapter of TXCPA: The Fort Worth Chapter provides support and resources to CPAs in the Fort Worth area, including local events and CPE courses.

These local chapters are integral parts of TXCPA, offering tailored support and networking opportunities to CPAs in specific regions of Texas.

Texas Exam Information and Resources

For more info, contact Texas State Board of Public Accountancy:

505 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 380 Austin, TX 78752
Phone: (512) 305-7851
Fax: (512) 305-7875
Email: [email protected]


What are the educational requirements to become a CPA in Texas?

To qualify for CPA licensure in Texas, candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college coursework, including a baccalaureate degree. This must include 21 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses and 24 semester hours of upper-level related business courses.

How much is the fee for the Application of Intent for Texas CPA licensure?

The fee for the Application of Intent is $20. This fee is required when submitting the initial application to start the CPA licensure process in Texas.

Is there a different fee for transferring CPA exam credits from another state to Texas?

Yes, for candidates transferring CPA exam credits from another state, the fee for the Application of Intent – Transfer of Credit is $100.

What is the cost for each section of the CPA exam in Texas?

Each section of the CPA exam in Texas carries a fee of $344.80.

Are international candidates eligible for CPA licensure in Texas, and what are their specific requirements?

International candidates are eligible for CPA licensure in Texas. They must have their educational credentials evaluated for U.S. equivalency, meet the same educational and experience requirements as domestic candidates, and may need to pass the TOEFL if required.

What is the Texas Ethics Exam, and what are its requirements for CPA candidates?

The Texas Ethics Exam is a requirement for CPA licensure in Texas. Candidates must complete a Board-approved four-hour ethics course and pass the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct exam with a score of 85% or better.

How can I find a Board-approved ethics course for Texas CPA licensure?

Board-approved ethics courses can be found on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy’s website. These courses are evaluated and approved by the Board to meet specific educational standards.

What is the process for applying for the CPA exam in Texas, and what documents are required?

To apply for the CPA exam in Texas, candidates must submit an Application of Intent, pay the required fees, and provide transcripts showing completion of educational requirements. After approval, candidates can then apply to take each section of the CPA exam through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

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