How to Become a CPA in Florida | Unlocking Your Potential

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Florida CPA

In Florida, 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 Florida, 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 Florida 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 Florida. CPAs are accounting, finance, and taxation experts, providing valuable services to individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

In Florida, CPAs are licensed and regulated by the Florida Board of Accountancy, ensuring that they adhere to strict professional and ethical standards. CPAs in Florida 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
  • Florida 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, Florida 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 Florida, 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 Florida CPAs provide their clients with the highest service and expertise.

To start an accounting firm, you must start an LLC in Florida. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services for you to check out. This includes the top features and affordable prices.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Legal Support

  • Highly Reputed Company

$299 + State fee

  • Single LLC formation package

  • Flat price for all services

  • Legal consultation

Becoming a CPA in Florida is not just about crunching numbers; it’s about providing valuable financial guidance to varied businesses. It’s about how to start an LLC and drive it towards success in this competitive landscape.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

How to Become a CPA in Florida

Suppose you’re considering becoming a CPA in Florida. 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 Florida is to complete the necessary education requirements. The Florida 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 Florida, 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 Florida 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 Florida-specific ethics courses, so check with the Florida Board of Accountancy for any unique requirements.

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

Accounting CourseworkBusiness Coursework
Financial AccountingBusiness Law
Managerial AccountingEconomics
AuditingFinance
TaxationManagement
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 Florida is to pass the Uniform CPA Examination on the NASBA website.

NASBA

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 Florida.

CPA Exam Application Process

To apply for the CPA Exam in Florida, 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 Florida CPA exam application costs $837 (4 exam sections) + $50 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 Florida must fulfill an experience requirement to become licensed. The Florida 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 Florida 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 Florida Board of Accountancy.

Step 4: Pass The Florida Ethics Exam

Candidates must also pass an ethics exam before becoming a licensed CPA in Florida. The Florida 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 Florida Board of Accountancy. Candidates must apply, pay $50 initial license fee, $105 biennial renewal, and document their education, examination scores, work experience, and ethics exam completion.

After the Florida 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 Florida.

Recommended: Begin your journey to become a CPA with the first bold step by using Legalzoom’s LLC formation services. When you start an LLC with Legalzoom, you’re not just making a business transaction, you’re carving out a future in the accounting and business industry. Even making your own accounting firm, it is best to hire an LLC services. That’s why we recommend –

LegalZoom ($0 + State Filling Fees)

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 Florida 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 Florida, 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.

FAQs

What are the educational requirements for becoming a CPA in Florida?
You must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
Is a specific major needed to become a CPA in Florida?
No, but an accounting degree is preferred.
Are there any age restrictions for becoming a CPA in Florida?
No.
Is passing the CPA exam enough to become licensed in Florida?
No, you must also meet the educational and experience requirements.
How many hours of coursework are required to be eligible to take the CPA exam in Florida?
You must have completed 120 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours of required accounting coursework.
Can I take the CPA exam while still in college?
Yes, but you must have completed at least 120 semester hours prior to sitting for the exam.
How many hours of experience are required to become a licensed CPA in Florida?
You must have at least two years of professional experience.
Can I complete my experience requirement before passing the CPA exam?
Yes, but you must submit evidence of completion within 90 days of obtaining your license.
Can I gain experience while still in college?
Yes, as long as it meets the requirements set by the Florida Board of Accountancy
How much does it cost to become a CPA in Florida?
There is no set cost, as it depends on your specific education and experience.
How long does it take to become a CPA in Florida?
It typically takes three to four years to meet the education and experience requirements and pass the CPA exam.
Is it possible to get licensed as a CPA with a criminal record in Florida?
Yes, but the Florida Board of Accountancy will have to consider certain factors.
What can I expect from the CPA exam in Florida?
The CPA exam consists of four sections and covers a variety of accounting topics.
How many parts are there to the CPA exam in Florida?
There are four parts
How long does each part of the CPA exam take to complete?
Each individual section takes four hours to complete.
Do I need to take all four parts of the CPA exam at once?
No, you can take each part individually, but you must complete all four within an 18-month period.
How long does it take to get my CPA exam scores back in Florida?
Scores are released online within 24 hours.
Is my Florida CPA license recognized outside of Florida?
Yes, but requirements may differ by state.
Can I apply for a Florida CPA license if I am licensed in another state?
Yes, you can apply, but you must meet Florida’s specific requirements.
What is the passing score for each part of the CPA exam in Florida?
You must score at least 75.
Can I retake a failed part of the CPA exam in Florida?
Yes, but you have to pay for the exam again.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can retake a failed part of the CPA exam in Florida?
No, but you must wait until your score is released before you can schedule a retake.
How do I apply for a Florida CPA license?
You must submit an application to the Florida Board of Accountancy.
What is the time limit to complete all four parts of the CPA exam in Florida?
You must pass all four parts within 18 months.
Can I work as a CPA with an expired license in Florida?
No, you must have a current state license to work as a CPA.
Is there a difference between a CPA and a non-certified public accountant in Florida?
Yes, a CPA is certified and authorized to practice accounting in Florida.
How often do I need to renew my Florida CPA license?
Every two years.
What is the cost of a CPA license renewal in Florida?
The fee depends on a variety of factors, including the date of renewal and compliance history.
Who issues Florida CPA licenses?
The Florida Board of Accountancy.
What is a CPA?
A certified public accountant (CPA) is a professional who provides accounting and financial services for individuals, companies, and organizations.
What are the requirements to become a CPA in Florida?
To become a CPA in Florida, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, meet specific coursework requirements, pass the CPA exam, and have work experience in accounting.
Can I become a CPA in Florida with an online degree?
Yes, you can become a CPA in Florida with an online degree if it meets the degree requirement and is from an accredited institution.
How many hours of accounting coursework are required for CPA licensure in Florida?
In Florida, you must have 24 semester hours of accounting courses and a minimum of 24 semester hours of other business courses.
Does Florida require work experience to become a CPA?
Yes, Florida requires one year of accounting experience to become a CPA, with a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience.
What is the CPA exam, and how do I register for it in Florida?
The CPA exam is a four-part examination consisting of auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting and regulation. To register for the CPA exam in Florida, visit NASBA website.
When can I take the CPA exam in Florida?
You can take the CPA exam in Florida as soon as you meet the educational requirements.
How much does it cost to take the CPA exam in Florida?
The cost to take the CPA exam in Florida varies throughout the year and depends on the number of exam parts, but as of August 2021, it costs $219.09 per part.
What is the passing score for the CPA exam in Florida?
The passing score for the CPA exam in Florida is 75.
Are there any study materials available to help with the CPA exam in Florida?
Yes, there are a variety of study materials available for the CPA exam in Florida, such as review courses, study books, and online resources.
What is the best way to prepare for the CPA exam in Florida?
The best way to prepare for the CPA exam in Florida is to study consistently, use study materials, take review courses and practice with sample questions and exams.
How long does it take to get my CPA license in Florida after passing the exam?
Once you pass the CPA exam and fulfill the experience requirement, it generally takes four to six weeks to get your CPA license in Florida.
How long is my CPA license valid in Florida?
In Florida, your CPA license is valid for two years.
What is the process to renew my CPA license in Florida?
To renew your CPA license in Florida, complete the required continuing professional education, comply with state laws and regulations and pay the CPA license renewal fee.
How much does it cost to renew my CPA license in Florida?
As of August 2021, it costs $105 to renew a CPA license in Florida.
What continuing education requirements are there to maintain my CPA license in Florida?
In Florida, you must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in every two-year renewal period, with at least 20 hours in accounting and auditing, and four hours in ethics.
What are the options for completing the CPE requirement in Florida?
There are many options for completing the CPE requirement in Florida, including attending seminars, completing courses, and participate in academic classes.
If I already have a CPA license in another state, what do I need to do to obtain a license in Florida?
If you already have a CPA license in another state, you can apply for a CPA certification based upon endorsement or reciprocal application with Florida Board of Accountancy.
Can I practice as a CPA in Florida if my license is from a different state?
If you hold a CPA license from another state, you can practice as a licensee in Florida if you meet certain practice privileges conditions and requirements and complete OPR’s Reciprocity Class (online).
How do I report violations of Florida law by accountants?
To report violations of Florida law by accountants, you can file a complaint with the Florida Board of Accountancy.
Can non-CPAs own CPA firms in Florida?
No, in Florida, only licensed CPAs can own or operate a CPA firm.
How many CPE hours do I need to complete as a first-time CPA licensee in Florida?
First-time CPA licensee in Florida is not required to complete the CPE for the first renewal of their license.
What are the experience requirements to obtain my CPA license in Florida?
To obtain a CPA license in Florida, you must have one year (2,000 hours) of verified accounting experience.
How do I find a job after obtaining my CPA license?
To find a job after obtaining your CPA license, you can look for openings in accounting firms, consultancies within or outside of Florida, public sector accounting jobs or start your firm.
How do I change my name on my license in Florida after marriage or divorce?
To change your name on your CPA license in Florida due to marriage or divorce, you need change your name with official records such Social Security Administration and court order which can be provided to the Board of Accountancy.
If I move out of Florida, how do I continue my certification or license?
To continue your certification under the Board of Accountancy, you must notify the Board of your new address and adhere to CPE requirements of Florida.
How can I find more information about CPA certification or license in Florida?
To find more information about CPA certification or license in Florida, you can visit Florida Board of Accountancy’s website.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting a Becoming Cpa in Florida

First and foremost, when it comes to education, consider exploring all your options. While attending a prestigious university may seem like the ideal route, it often comes with a hefty price tag. Look for community colleges or online programs that offer an accredited accounting curriculum at a lower cost. Many of these institutions provide excellent education, preparing you just as well for the CPA exams as more expensive alternatives. Be sure to thoroughly research the curriculum and reputation of any program you are considering to ensure its quality.

Additionally, textbooks are notorious for burning a hole in students’ pockets. Consider buying used textbooks or renting them instead. Online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay often provide used copies at significantly lower prices. Alternatively, check if your local library has the required textbooks available for borrowing. This way, you can save money and ensure you have the necessary resources to excel in your studies.

One major expense on the journey to becoming a CPA is the examination fees. It is crucial to plan your study schedule efficiently to avoid unnecessary exam retakes. Take full advantage of the free resources available online, including practice exams and study guides. Many websites and forums offer a wealth of materials created by experienced CPAs and accounting professionals. Dive into these resources and practice as much as possible to increase your chances of passing the exams on your first attempt.

While it may be tempting to attend multiple expensive CPA review courses, it is important to carefully consider your options. Compare prices and read reviews from other candidates who have taken these courses. Some offer more affordable packages without sacrificing the quality of instruction. Explore these alternatives and choose the one that best fits your budget and learning style. It is worth noting that dedication and self-discipline are equally important as any review course when it comes to exam success.

Beyond the exam fees, becoming a CPA in Florida requires fulfilling the licensing requirements, which could also become a financial hurdle. Ensure you have a clear understanding of these requirements, such as work experience and continuing professional education. Leverage networking opportunities to connect with fellow accountants who may be willing to provide guidance and mentorship. They can share valuable insights on how to navigate the licensing process efficiently, potentially helping you save time and money.

In conclusion, while the costs associated with starting a career as a CPA in Florida can be overwhelming, they should not discourage passionate individuals from pursuing their dreams. By carefully considering your education options, minimizing textbook expenses, utilizing free online resources for exam preparation, and prioritizing efficient networking, you can make your journey to becoming a CPA more affordable. Always remember that a solid foundation of knowledge, combined with the right study habits and determination, is the key to success in this profession.

Conclusion

Becoming a CPA in Florida 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 Florida and making a significant impact in finance.

Leave a Comment