How to Become a CPA in Colorado | Unlocking Your Potential

Steve Bennett
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Colorado CPA

In Colorado, becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those interested in finance, accounting, or aspiring Limited Liability Company owners. CPAs are in high demand and enjoy lucrative salaries, job security, and growth opportunities. In Colorado, as in any other state, aspiring CPAs must fulfill certain educational, experience, and examination requirements to become licensed. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to Becoming a CPA in Colorado and provide valuable tips and resources to help you succeed.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before you become a CPA, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a CPA?

A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is a professional accountant who meets the educational, examination, and experience requirements to become licensed in Colorado. CPAs are accounting, finance, and taxation experts, providing valuable services to individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

In Colorado, CPAs are licensed and regulated by the Colorado Board of Accountancy, ensuring that they adhere to strict professional and ethical standards. CPAs in Colorado offer a range of services, including but not limited to:

  • Tax planning and preparation for individuals, LLCs, and corporations
  • Financial statement preparation and analysis
  • Auditing and assurance services
  • Colorado Business Consulting
  • Internal control and risk management
  • Forensic accounting and fraud investigation

As a CPA, one can work in various sectors, including public accounting firms, Colorado Corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or as a self-employed professional. Regardless of the specific role, a CPA has the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to help clients navigate the complexities of financial management and make informed decisions.

To maintain their CPA license in Colorado, CPAs must also adhere to continuing professional education (CPE) requirements, ensuring that they stay up-to-date with current accounting standards, tax regulations, and industry best practices. This ensures Colorado CPAs provide their clients with the highest service and expertise.

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How to Become a CPA in Colorado

Suppose you’re considering becoming a CPA in Colorado. In that case, it’s important to understand the steps and requirements involved in obtaining your license and starting your professional journey. This step-by-step guide will walk you through becoming a CPA.

Step 1: Fulfill The Educational Requirements

The first step to becoming a CPA in Colorado is to complete the necessary education requirements. The Colorado Board of Accountancy requires CPA candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Additionally, candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college education, including specific coursework in accounting and business.

Accounting Coursework

In Colorado, CPA candidates must complete at least 24 semester hours in accounting courses, including:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Governmental or Not-For-Profit Accounting

It is important to note that introductory accounting courses may not be counted towards the 24-hour requirement.

Business Coursework

In addition to accounting courses, CPA candidates in Colorado must also complete at least 24 semester hours in business-related courses, such as:

  • Business Law
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Statistics

Some states also require specific coursework, such as Colorado-specific ethics courses, so check with the Colorado Board of Accountancy for any unique requirements.

Here is the coursework breakdown for becoming a CPA in Colorado.

Accounting CourseworkBusiness Coursework
Financial AccountingBusiness Law
Managerial AccountingEconomics
Accounting Information SystemsMarketing
Not-For-Profit AccountingStatistics

Step 2: Pass The Uniform CPA Examination

After completing the educational requirements, the next step to becoming a CPA in Colorado is to pass the Uniform CPA Examination on the NASBA website.


The CPA Exam is a comprehensive, four-part test designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in accounting and business. The four sections of the CPA Exam are:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)

Each section of the CPA Exam is scored on a scale of 0 to 99, with a passing score of 75 or higher required for each section. The CPA Exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is offered at Prometric testing centers throughout the United States and, more specifically, in Colorado.

CPA Exam Application Process

To apply for the CPA Exam in Colorado, candidates must first create an account with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Once an account is created, candidates can submit their applications and send their official college transcripts to NASBA for evaluation. NASBA will then determine the candidate’s eligibility to sit for the CPA Exam based on their education and will provide an Authorization to Test (ATT) once approved. The required fee for the Colorado CPA exam application costs $743.60 (4 exam sections) + $150 application fee.

CPA Exam Scheduling

Once candidates receive their ATT, they can schedule their CPA Exam sections at a Prometric testing center. The CPA Exam is offered during four testing windows throughout the year:

  • January 1 – March 10
  • April 1 – June 10
  • July 1 – September 10
  • October 1 – December 10

It is important to note that candidates must pass all four sections of the CPA Exam within an 18-month window, which begins upon passing the first section. If a candidate does not pass all four sections within this time frame, they will lose credit for the oldest passed section and must retake it.

Step 3: Complete The Experience Requirement

In addition to education and examination requirements, CPA candidates in Colorado must fulfill an experience requirement to become licensed. The Colorado Board of Accountancy requires candidates to complete at least one year (or 2,000 hours) of supervised work experience in accounting, auditing, tax, or management advisory services.

A licensed CPA must supervise the work experience with an active license in Colorado or another jurisdiction with substantially equivalent requirements. It is important to note that the experience requirement must be completed within a timeframe of, at most, 36 months.

It is recommended that CPA candidates keep detailed records of their work experience, including dates, hours, tasks, and supervisor information. This documentation will be required when applying for licensure with the Colorado Board of Accountancy.

Step 4: Pass The Colorado Ethics Exam

Candidates must also pass an ethics exam before becoming a licensed CPA in Colorado. The Colorado Board of Accountancy may require a specific ethics course and exam, or candidates may be required to take the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam. This self-study course and exam cover ethical reasoning, independence, integrity, objectivity, and professional conduct. Candidates must score 90% or higher on the ethics exam to pass.

Step 5: Apply For Licensure

Once all educational, examination, and experience requirements have been met, CPA candidates can apply for licensure with the Colorado Board of Accountancy. Candidates must apply, pay $100 initial license fee, $77 biennial renewal, and document their education, examination scores, work experience, and ethics exam completion.

After the Colorado Board of Accountancy reviews and approves the application, candidates will be issued their CPA license and can begin practicing as a Certified Public Accountant in Colorado.

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How Much Does a CPA Make?

The salary of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can vary greatly depending on factors such as years of experience, industry, company size, and job location. The average salary range for a CPA in Colorado is between $60,000 and $120,000 annually.

Entry-level CPAs with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average salary of around $50,000 to $60,000 per year. As CPAs gain experience, their earning potential typically increases. Those with five to nine years of experience can earn an average salary of $70,000 to $90,000 per year, while CPAs with more than ten years of experience can earn upwards of $100,000 or more annually.

In Colorado, CPAs working in metropolitan areas or specialized industries, such as finance or technology, may command higher salaries than those in smaller cities or industries with lower demand for accounting services.

Additionally, obtaining specialized certifications, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or pursuing advanced degrees can further increase a CPA’s earning potential in accounting and finance.


What are the educational requirements to become a CPA in Colorado?
Candidates must have earned an accredited bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting.
Is it mandatory to pass the Uniform CPA Exam in Colorado?
Yes, you must pass all four parts of the CPA exam within an 18-month testing period in Colorado.
Are there residency requirements to be eligible for the CPA exam Colorado?
No, there are no specific residency requirements to take the CPA exam in Colorado.
What’s the first step towards becoming a CPA in Colorado?
Register for an account via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
How long does it take to become a CPA in Colorado?
The time frame varies, but it will take you a minimum of four years to become a CPA in Colorado (a bachelor’s degree plus 150 semester hours required).
After passing the exam, how long is the license valid in Colorado?
CPA licenses in Colorado are valid for 2 years.
How many years of experience do you need to become a licensed CPA in Colorado?
Candidates need 2 years of experience, with an emphasis on public accounting or closely related areas.
Does Colorado require completion of a state-specific ethics course for CPA licensure?
Not as of now, But five exam credits are obtained upon completion of the ethics examination called the AICPA Professional Ethics for CPAs.
Can I aim to get licensed as a CPA through the testing option approved by Colorado State Board of Accountancy for licensing purpose?
Yes, Much more information sets out the testing option eligibility criteria on Colorado’s Board website.
Am I supposed to pass any other test for CPA licensure other than CPA Exam in Colorado?
The AICPA Ethics Exam is the other test that must be passed is the AICPA Ethics Exam as it is not tested in the CPA exam.
Does CPA certification involve licensing requirements in Colorado?
Yes, Qualify for the CPA exam, pass it, satisfy minimum experience conditions as detailed, then you get a legitimate CPA licence for working cox Colorado state.
If licensing through our firm is not feasible, do I have an alternate strategy to satisfy the experience requirement for Colorado CPA licensure?
Yes. You can meet this experience by providing some sort of approved general skills with either private accounting process — like sessions concluded on such subjects, career education times instead of restricting to ordinary accounting companies.
What are the application recourse fees that new CPA applicants have to pay for accepting eligibility?
CPA applications in Colorado include different expenses including examination expenses, filing fees for application, systems authorizing record expenses, payment of permitting fees, and others per each submittal of documentation.
Where do I send the CPA examination application in Colorado?
The NASBA will receive and approve of CPA applications once initial applications have been approved by an educational licensure reassessment administrator and one’s examination site reciprocity ability was reviewed, then submitted for approval to the State Licensing Committee.
What happens when my Colorado CPA application is submitted to the applicable Colorado state organ?
The Board starting processes multi-faceted background inquiries and other excessive requirement particulars to more assess capabilities of applicants regarded for licensure; until qualifications have been set up as appropriate, licensing cannot be issued to such candidates.
Am I needed to undergo a criminal background check as part of my application and acceptance procedure by Colorado than the checking done by affordable accounting programs under AICPA regulations?
Applicant documentation standards for Colorado’s busy professionals comprise getting a criminal background screening, yet multi-State candidates must – even while with an existing screening submitted have provided a one-time identity and letter of recognizance, no older than six months off.
Does obtaining a CPA in Colorado restrict licensure in other states like CPA license mutually approved in compact jurisdictions?
COPA basically embraces compact reciprocity provisions, CPA licensure or a license is traditionally assured throughout compact member regions.
What is the minimum score needed for passing the Uniform CPA exam in Colorado?
At least 75 points earned within an 18-month period applying all four portions of the CPA examination.
Are there any ethical ethical demands necessary before submission to become a CPA in Colorado?
Ethical must take and approve the AICPA Qualified Simplified state Ethics for CPAs evaluation test.
In the State of Colorado, Who oversees the licensing process for CPAs?
Regulatory guidelines concerning ethical practising in the USA have to be cemented by the legislation located beneath Colorado Office of Professional Practice.
How long does it take to hear about the success or failure while waiting for Colorado State Board CPA licensure acceptance?
The Average waiting duration among transmitted earnings documents and acceptance coming from the State Testing Committee variety proceeds ranging from three months to eight weeks.
How often does Colorado need you to disclose ethics documents?
CPA licensees shall use Colorado not less frequently every single three years as normal practice for sustain the 40+ hours of misconduct and civic assessment gained per triennial period.
Other than having renewal forms processed successfully, any other random routines required of CPAs inside the State of Colorado to style themselves against prevalent unconventional difficulties?
Indispensably, detailed geographic distance and job-related physical and vocational programmes to enhance best practical applications before CPAs extend themselves unto the present stance limit to be subject to reviewable dangers that currently occur have been designed and are kept up to date.
Based on candidate characteristics and qualifications under education principles, Does the value of a college degree depend more or less on Colorado in comparison to other states the students are applying?
The effect does not vary because every basic submittal listing necessities national grades of control signifying taught abilities and execution review trademarks to the State Certification Reexamination Agency stream concerned with students from some other states.
If I possess strengths outside Accounting such as personal interests in a language or collaborating career fields, with clear career choices throughout life, can they go experienced until meeting critical occupational tasks authorised to deal with commonly I would meet as a certified public accountant?
Non-accounting units that could or might implicate skills that digital accounting specials merely hardly need involving as multilingual expertise subject to upper-management stages that an accountant could inevitably try contemn inside great businesses higher publications besides policymaking channels on the political subject that prefers organisations broadens knowledge accounts.
Can’t I get three credit – Accounting law ethics lectures via accredited institutions?
The Section runs authorizing people, and annualizing operators taken longer than seventy-years, optional MBA legislators’ education circles for current current-combined organizations in instructing classes towards essential functional expertise profession-organized spirit ruling permitted complexity and professional ethical for accountants examinations adhered family principles of work management.
How do I detect normal license restrictions in Colorado accredited Pennsylvania State Board?
The authoritative background of Colorado frequently refers to secure opportunities posed with certification laws and identical ethical job characteristics as they are guaranteed, They include the capacity to block volunteering to take judgment in regards to ethical and litigation offerings advising as the origin of experienced insight can ever have from autonomous supervisory organisations upheld regarded decision-making leading courses comparable dual-woodwalk course criterion registered serially.
How do I become a CPA in Colorado?
To become a CPA in Colorado, you need to complete the educational requirements, pass the CPA exam, gain the required professional experience, and meet all other eligibility requirements set by the Colorado State Board of Accountancy.
Is it possible to take the CPA exam in Colorado without a college degree?
No, you cannot take the CPA exam in Colorado without a college degree.
Do I have to pass the CPA exam before I can start working as a CPA in Colorado?
Yes, you need to pass the CPA exam before you can start practicing as a CPA in Colorado.
How many times can I take the CPA exam in Colorado?
You can take the CPA exam four times a year in Colorado.
How much does it cost to take the CPA exam in Colorado?
The cost to take the CPA exam varies. Currently, the fee to apply for the exam status in Colorado $60 and then candidate pays per section.
How long does it take to complete the CPA program in Colorado?
It usually takes around 4-5 years to complete the CPA program in Colorado.
Do I have to live in Colorado to be registered as a CPA in the state?
No, but if you are anticipated to live in Colorado, you need to get licensed to practice as a CPA in Colorado.
Is it necessary to have a degree in business always against an accounting degree to become a CPA in Colorado?
No, it is not essential to have a degree in business to become a CPA in Colorado as long as you meet other requirements.
How many hours of experience are needed to become a CPA in Colorado?
At least two years of experience (1875 hours per year) of public accounting operations or related employment will fulfill the 150-hour requirements for the license.
In what states does a Colorado CPA license permit to work in?
A Colorado CPA license allows one to work in more than 50 jurisdictions based on license requirements.
Can a foreign-educated individual become a CPA in Colorado?
Foreign-educated individuals are treated the same as the applicants educated in the United States.
How long does it take for the certification to be granted after passing the exam?
The CPA certification timeline varies. Once a candidate meets these requirements and submitted his application of congruity to CPL resolution worked privately?
How can I apply for the CPA examination in Colorado?
You can apply for the CPA examination through Colorado Board of Accountancy’s website. You need to register for each section separately.
How long is the CPA exam in Colorado?
The CPA exam in Colorado is a four-part computer-based exam that requires 16 hours in total.
Can Colorado CPAs sign tax returns for clients?
Yes, Colorado CPAs can sign tax returns for their clients.
How can I renew my CPA license in Colorado?
You can renew your CPA license in Colorado by completing the necessary continuing education requirements and submitting an online application.
What are the requirements for licensure renewal in Colorado?
To renew a CPA license in Colorado, 80 hours of CPE credits, including four hours of ethics, are required every two years.
What is the required passing score on the CPA exam in Colorado?
To pass the CPA exam in Colorado, you need to get a score of 75 or higher on each of the four sections.
What is the average salary of a CPA in Colorado?
The average salary of a CPA in Colorado varies based on several factors, including experience, location, and more, but roughly $63k PA
Can I claim a reciprocity agreement in Colorado if I am licensed as a CPA in another state?
Colorado allows licensees from foreign and domestic places that met engineering, land surveying, examination schedules, continuous education claims, and compliance with Ethical Rules.
Can I become a CPA in Colorado if I have a criminal record?
The Colorado State Board of Accountancy can refuse an individual’s application/nomation for licensing or permit punishment, after a hearing on his prior conduct.
What is the application process for obtaining a CPA license in Colorado?
The application process for obtaining a CPA license in Colorado includes fulfilling the necessary educational and professional requirements, passing the CPA exam, meeting all the eligibility criteria, and submitting an online application with respect to rightful documentation.
Does Colorado offer any discounts on the CPA exam fees?
Yes, Colorado offers a discount on the NTS application fees for current college and university students.
Can I apply to take the CPA exam in Colorado if I don’t live in the US?
Yes, international applicants or people coming from any part of the globe can apply for CPA examination.
How long does it take to process a CPA license application in Colorado?
Once the application is submitted successfully with the concerns of papers, the processing application can take up to weeks.
What is the recertification process for Colorado CPA licenses?
The recertification process for Colorado CPA licenses involves fulfilling the continuing education requirements and submitting an application for renewal every two years.
What is the process for transferring a CPA license from another state to Colorado?
To transfer a CPA license from another state to Colorado, you have to meet specific requirements related to professional accounting experience, education, and testing. Once you meet these requirements, you can apply for a Colorado CPA license.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting a Becoming Cpa in Colorado

First and foremost, it is crucial to create a detailed budget plan. By analyzing your financial situation and setting realistic goals, you can gain a clearer understanding of how to best allocate your resources. Take into consideration not only the costs of obtaining your CPA license, such as exam fees and study materials, but also your living expenses during this transition period. Developing a comprehensive budget will serve as a roadmap, allowing you to stay on track while minimizing unnecessary expenses.

Utilizing free or affordable study resources is another effective way to save money while preparing for the CPA exams. Many online platforms offer free or low-cost study materials, including practice tests, video lectures, and review courses. These resources can significantly reduce the expenses associated with traditional classroom-based instruction, which often come with high tuition fees. Take advantage of online forums where you can interact with fellow CPA candidates, exchanging insights and tips for exam preparation. Additionally, borrowing or purchasing used textbooks instead of buying new ones can save a significant amount of money.

When considered alongside traditional study options, online courses can be a more financially prudent alternative. Such courses provide flexibility, allowing you to study at your own pace without the need to commit to expensive in-person classes. Be sure to conduct thorough research before selecting an online course, ensuring that it is reputable and recognized by the Colorado Board of Accountancy.

Networking can prove invaluable not only for career advancement but also for cost savings. Engaging with fellow accounting professionals, professors, and even potential employers can open doors to a multitude of opportunities. For instance, accounting firms may provide free or discounted study materials to prospective interns or new hires. Knowledgeable professionals in the field can offer insights and advice, perhaps even suggesting cost-saving strategies that may not be widely known.

The importance of financial responsibility cannot be overstated. Saving money while starting a career as a CPA is not limited to reducing short-term expenses; it also involves considering long-term financial planning. Investing in a solid retirement plan, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), early on can bring significant benefits in the future. Seek professional advice from a reputable financial planner who can guide you through these important decisions.

Finally, explore potential scholarships, grants, or financial aid that can alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with becoming a CPA. Many professional organizations, firms, and universities offer such opportunities to support aspiring accountants. Take the time to research and apply for these options, as they can make a considerable difference.

In conclusion, starting a career as a CPA in Colorado undoubtedly requires financial dedication, but it is certainly possible to save money while embarking on this journey. By creating a thorough budget plan, seeking out affordable study resources, leveraging networking opportunities, and investing in long-term financial planning, aspiring CPAs can successfully navigate the financial challenges of their professional pursuits.


Becoming a CPA in Colorado requires dedication and hard work, but the rewards are worthwhile. With a strong foundation in education and experience, as well as successful completion of the CPA Exam and ethics exam, aspiring CPAs can enjoy a fulfilling and lucrative career in accounting and finance. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed CPA in Colorado and making a significant impact in finance.

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