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Colorado CPA Exam Requirements


For Candidates in Colorado that have not Taken the Uniform CPA Exam

The Colorado State Board of Accountancy, which is under the Division of Professions and Occupations, exclusively regulates CPAs operating in the state and not other accountants, auditors or tax preparers. Exam and licensure applicants should note the current requirements differ according to when their degree was conferred. Of further note is the fact that requirements are changing effective July 1, 2015 in accordance with the Uniform Accountancy Act.

All scenarios are detailed here.

Education Requirements
Exam candidates in Colorado DO NOT need 150 semester hours to sit for the exam.

A bachelor’s degree (120 semester hours) is required; however, there are separate requirement options depending upon the date the degree was received.

*Accredited online master’s programs in accounting are helping to make the 150 semester hours required for a CPA license more accessible than ever. The AICPA recognizes Master of Science in Accounting programs as providing bachelor’s degree holders with the most direct path to earning the additional credit hours required for CPA licensure.

For persons that received their degree before July 1, 1993:

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 27 semester (40 quarter) hours in accounting subjects from an accredited college/university. At least 21 of these hours must be in specialized accounting courses such as:

  • Cost Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Intermediate Accounting
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Accounting Theory
  • Auditing (at least three hours)

AND

At least 21 semester (32 quarter) hours in business administration courses like:

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

For persons that received their degree after June 30, 1993:

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least 27 semester (40 quarter) hours in accounting classes of which three must be in auditing and 21 in upper division courses such as:

  • Accounting Ethics
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Accounting Research & Analysis
  • Accounting Theory
  • Taxation
  • Management of Cost Accounting
  • Accounting/Reporting of Business Organizations
  • Accounting/Reporting of Government Agencies and not-for-profit Organizations
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fraud Examination
  • Internal Controls / Risk Analysis
  • Tax Research & Analysis

AND

At least 21 semester hours in related courses in other areas of business administration to include no more than six in a single category. Suggested courses include all of the business courses listed under Option One plus:

  • Business Ethics
  • Business Computer Information Systems
  • Behavior of Organizations, Groups and Persons
  • Legal/Social Environment of Business
  • Quantitative Business Applications

For Persons applying for the exam after July 1, 2015:

A bachelor’s degree at minimum (120 semester hours of college courses) and at least 27semester hours in accounting courses (3 hours auditing and 21 hours above the undergraduate level) covering:

  • Accounting Ethics
  • Accounting information system
  • Accounting Research
  • Accounting Theory
  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Financial Accounting and reporting
  • Government and non-for-profit
  • Financial Statements Analysis
  • Fraud Examination
  • Internal controls and Risk Assessment
  • Managerial or cost accounting
  • Tax
  • Tax research and analysis

AND

21 semester hours of business courses (12 hours above the undergraduate level and 6 hours maximum from a single subject area) covering:

  • Behavior of organizations, Groups, and Persons
  • Business communications
  • Business Ethics
  • Business law
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Legal and Social Environment of Business
  • Quantitative Application in Business
  • Management
  • Statistics

Note: Professional training or courses that are part of a chartered accounting program do not qualify.

General Requirements

  • Valid Social Security Card
  • No residency requirement

Examination Fee Requirement
There is an initial application fee of $150 after which candidates must pay a separate fee for each of the exam’s four sections.
There is an exam registration fee of $75 per sitting.

In addition, the section fees in Colorado are:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – $192.03
  • Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) – $172.51
  • Finance Accounting & Reporting (FAR) – $192.03
  • Regulation – $172.51

The computerized Uniform CPA examination is administered by Prometric. Their testing centers in Colorado are located in the following cities:

  • Longmont
  • Greenwood Village

Already passed the CPA Exam and looking for additional licensing requirements in Colorado? – Click Here