Utah CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: January 3, 2024 You’re our #1 priority.
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In the midst of a nationwide CPA crisis, there’s a silver lining for aspiring accountants in Utah. But first, let’s face the facts: According to Business Insider, the accounting industry is experiencing a significant shortage. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reports a decline in the number of people graduating with accounting degrees and those passing the CPA exam. This shortage is not just a statistic; it’s a call to action.

Why Utah? Why now?

Utah’s stringent CPA license requirements set a high bar, but this is exactly why it’s an opportune time to dive into the licensing process in the Beehive State. With fewer CPA-certified professionals out there, the demand for qualified accountants is skyrocketing. This isn’t just about filling a gap; it’s about stepping into a role that’s increasingly crucial in the business world.

Navigating the CPA licensing process in Utah might seem daunting, but it’s a journey worth embarking on. With specific educational and work experience requirements, Utah ensures that its CPAs are not just qualified, but exceptionally so. This rigorous process isn’t just a hurdle; it’s a stepping stone to a rewarding career in a field that’s more vital now than ever.

So, what does this mean for you? It means that now is the time to act. With businesses facing compliance risks due to the shortage of accountants, your skills and expertise as a Utah CPA will be more valuable than ever. This isn’t just a career move; it’s a chance to make a significant impact in the business world. Ready to take the first step? Let’s dive into what it takes to crush the CPA exam and emerge as a leading professional in Utah’s accounting landscape.

Steps to Get a CPA License in Utah

  • Fulfill the stringent education requirements, including 150 semester hours with specific course criteria.
  • Gain relevant work experience, supervised and verified by an active US CPA.
  • Successfully pass all four sections of the CPA Exam (consider enrolling in a CPA review course for thorough prep).
  • Complete an Ethics Exam, focusing on professional standards and responsibilities.
  • Accurately complete and submit all necessary CPA license application paperwork.
  • Pay the applicable CPA license application fee.

CPA License and Exam Requirements in Utah

General Requirements

  • Minimum Age: There is no minimum age requirement in Utah for CPA licensure.
  • US Citizenship: Not required for CPA licensure in Utah.
  • State Residency: Not a requirement for CPA licensure in Utah. As discussed in this Reddit thread, many CPA hopefuls move from other states.

Education Requirements

The educational requirements for CPA licensure in Utah are detailed and designed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of accounting and related fields.

  • Credit Hours: A total of 150 semester hours from an accredited institution is required.
  • Degree: A graduate degree in accounting automatically qualifies a candidate. Alternatively, a graduate degree in business with specific accounting courses or an undergraduate degree in accounting or business with certain criteria can also qualify.
  • Specific Coursework:
    • For those with a graduate degree in business, 24 semester hours in undergraduate courses or 15 semester hours in graduate courses covering financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting are required.
    • Candidates with an undergraduate degree must have 16 semester hours in upper-division accounting courses and 12 hours in upper-division business (non-accounting) courses.
    • Additional requirements include 8 semester hours of graduate accounting courses and 12 hours of graduate level business courses.

For detailed information on educational requirements, candidates can refer to the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) website.

Work Experience

Work experience is a crucial component of the CPA licensure process in Utah, ensuring that candidates have practical exposure to the field.

  • Duration: A minimum of 1 year (2000 hours) of accounting experience is required.
  • Nature of Work: The experience can be in public or non-public accounting.
  • Supervision: The work experience must be supervised and verified by an active US CPA.

“Meeting the work experience requirements for CPA licensure in Utah is a critical step in forging a successful accounting career. This phase is not just about fulfilling a checklist; it’s an invaluable opportunity to apply academic knowledge in real-world scenarios, under the guidance of seasoned professionals. In Utah, the mandate of 1 year (2000 hours) of supervised work experience ensures that aspiring CPAs are not only proficient in theory but also adept in practical, hands-on accounting practices. This experience lays a robust foundation for a CPA’s professional journey, equipping them with the skills and insights necessary to navigate the complexities of the accounting world with confidence and integrity.”

Bryce Welker, CPA Expert

Ethics Course and Exam Requirements

In Utah, as part of the CPA licensure process, candidates are required to successfully complete an ethics exam, emphasizing the profession’s commitment to high ethical standards. This requirement is pivotal in ensuring that CPAs adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, and professional behavior.

  • Requirement: Passing the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) ethics exam is a mandatory step for CPA licensure in Utah.
  • Content: The AICPA ethics exam focuses on the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and ethical reasoning. It aims to instill a deep understanding of professional ethics in accounting practice.
  • Format: The exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions and case studies that test the candidate’s ability to apply ethical principles in various scenarios.
  • Pricing: The AICPA Ethics Exam course, along with the corresponding exam, is priced at $299, while AICPA members are eligible for a discounted rate of $245.

Utah CPA Exam and Licensure Fees

Navigating the CPA licensure process in Utah involves understanding the various fees associated with the exam and application process. These fees are an essential part of the journey towards becoming a CPA, covering the costs of evaluating educational qualifications and administering the exam sections.

Education Evaluation Application

Before applying for any section of the CPA Exam, candidates must first be evaluated to determine if they meet the educational requirements for the selected jurisdiction.

  • Purpose: The Education Evaluation Application is a preliminary step to ensure that candidates have fulfilled the necessary educational criteria to sit for the CPA Exam.
  • Fee: The fee for the Education Evaluation Application is $90.00. This fee covers the administrative costs of reviewing and verifying the candidate’s educational credentials.

Exam Section Application

Once a candidate is deemed eligible for the CPA Exam, the next step is to apply for a specific exam section. It’s important to note that candidates can apply for only one exam section per application.

  • Advice for Candidates: Applicants are encouraged to apply for an exam section only when they are fully prepared to take it. This is crucial because the Notice to Schedule (NTS), which candidates receive upon application approval, is valid for a limited period.
  • Validity of NTS: The NTS is an authorization to schedule and take the exam section for which the candidate has applied. It is important to schedule and take the exam within the validity period of the NTS to avoid forfeiting the fees paid.
  • Exam Section Application Fee: The fee for each Exam Section Application is $344.80. This fee is specific to the application for one section of the CPA Exam and does not cover other sections or additional costs.

Importance of Timely Application

Candidates should carefully plan their exam schedule, considering the validity of the NTS and their own preparedness for the exam. Applying for an exam section only when ready helps in efficiently managing both the financial and time investment in the CPA licensure process.

CPA Evolution and Exam Changes in 2024

The CPA profession is undergoing a significant transformation with the CPA Evolution, a joint initiative by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). This initiative is set to bring about substantial changes in 2024, reshaping the CPA licensure model to better align with the rapidly evolving skills and competencies required in the accounting profession.

General Changes in the CPA Evolution

  • New Licensure Model: The CPA Evolution introduces a new licensure model that emphasizes core accounting skills and deepens focus on technology and data analytics.
  • Exam Structure: The Uniform CPA Examination will be restructured. While maintaining a strong foundation in accounting, auditing, and tax, the exam will include three distinct disciplines: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).
  • Specialization: Candidates will choose one of these disciplines for in-depth study, allowing them to tailor their skills to specific career paths or areas of interest within the accounting profession.
  • Skillset Emphasis: The new model places greater emphasis on technological skills and the ability to analyze and interpret data, reflecting the changing nature of the accounting profession in the digital age.

Specific Changes for Utah

  • Adaptation to New Requirements: As with all states, Utah will adapt its CPA licensure requirements to align with the new CPA Evolution model. This includes changes in educational curriculum and exam preparation to meet the new exam structure.
  • Educational Institutions’ Role: Universities and colleges in Utah offering accounting programs will likely update their curricula to incorporate the new competencies and knowledge areas emphasized by the CPA Evolution. This ensures that graduates are well-prepared for the updated CPA Exam and the demands of the modern accounting profession.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE): Current CPAs in Utah may need to seek additional CPE opportunities to stay abreast of the new technologies and methodologies introduced by the CPA Evolution.

Impact on Aspiring CPAs in Utah

  • Preparation for Changes: Aspiring CPAs in Utah should stay informed about these changes and seek guidance from educational institutions and professional bodies on how best to prepare for the new exam format.
  • Long-Term Benefits: The CPA Evolution is designed to equip new CPAs with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in a technology-driven business environment, enhancing their long-term career prospects.

Utah Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

Utah Board of Accountancy

160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT  84111
Tracy Taylor – [email protected]


What are the educational requirements for CPA licensure in Utah?

To be eligible for CPA licensure in Utah, candidates must complete 150 semester hours of education. This includes a graduate degree in accounting or a graduate degree in business with specific accounting courses. Alternatively, an undergraduate degree in accounting or business with certain criteria can also qualify.

Is work experience required for CPA licensure in Utah?

Yes, candidates must have a minimum of 1 year (2000 hours) of accounting experience, supervised and verified by an active US CPA. This experience can be in public or non-public accounting.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to become a CPA in Utah?

No, U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for CPA licensure in Utah.

What is the Ethics Exam, and is it mandatory for CPA licensure in Utah?

The Ethics Exam, specifically the AICPA ethics exam, is a requirement for CPA licensure in Utah. It focuses on the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and ethical reasoning. The exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions and case studies.

How much does it cost to apply for the CPA Exam in Utah?

The Education Evaluation Application fee is $90.00. Once deemed eligible, candidates must pay an Exam Section Application Fee of $344.80 for each exam section they apply for.

What changes will the CPA Evolution bring in 2024?

The CPA Evolution will introduce a new licensure model emphasizing core accounting skills and a focus on technology and data analytics. The CPA Exam will be restructured to include three disciplines: Business Analysis and Reporting, Information Systems and Controls, and Tax Compliance and Planning.

Can I apply for more than one CPA Exam section at a time in Utah?

No, candidates can only apply for one exam section per application. It is advised to apply for an exam section only when ready to take it, as the Notice to Schedule (NTS) is valid for a limited time.

Are there any residency requirements for CPA licensure in Utah?

No, there are no state residency requirements for CPA licensure in Utah. Candidates from outside Utah can apply as long as they meet the other licensure requirements.

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