American CPA qualifications are recognized worldwide and are useful for both auditors and financial specialists. Can you become a CPA without an accounting degree?
Minimum educational requirements in accounting
I’m sure you already know that CPA credentials are regulated by individual states, which means that each country sets its own requirements and rules for the certification process. Here’s a general tip on how these CPA requirements usually work.
Most states require CPA candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting to take the exam, but not everyone. This means that you must sit for the exam in one of these states.
At the moment Maine, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Georgia and Alaska do not require an accounting diploma. Remember that you don’t really need to pass the exam in the state in which you plan to get certified. You can take the exam at any Prometric test center in the country, regardless of whether it is in your condition or not.
CPA exam requirements
Everyone who wants to become a CPA must meet the 3 E requirements:
- Education: Get a minimum 4-year bachelor’s degree with a minimum number of accounting and credit hours and 150 credit hours of general higher education
- Exam: pass all 4 parts of the uniform CPA exam
- Experience: 1-2 years of relevant and verified accounting experience
- Some state councils also add another requirement: an ethics exam. To meet the fourth letter E, you must pass any ethics exam that the state commission uses, regardless of whether it is an AICPA professional ethics exam or an exam created by the state commission.
For major non-accounting companies, the problematic areas of these requirements are likely to be:
- The minimum number of billing hours
- 150 hour credit required
- Relevant experience
Can you become an accountant without a diploma?
Let’s now return to the main question: can you become an accountant without a diploma? Finding an accounting job without a diploma will be a challenge, but not impossible. Some people choose this as an opportunity to gain work experience in this field before they graduate and enter the labor market. So again, this is an option.
However, you will not be able to become a professional accountant or certified accountant (CPA) without at least a 4-year diploma. More information about what to do to get a CPA later. That said, there are several accounting tasks you can get before you get your diploma.
Here are a few of them:
- Administrative Assistant
- Tax Preparation
As mentioned above, if you want to work in management accounting, it’s easier to get into this field without a diploma. It all depends on your future goals and what you hope to achieve in the labor market.