Accountants with at least one professional certification often earn significantlly more than accountants with no certification. Oklahoma
accountants can benefit greatly by obtaining a Certificate of Public Accounting license, enabling them to further their career and earning potential. Oklahoma CPA licensing has recently undergone many changes, due to a Senate bill passed in 2004.
Both CPA’s and Accountants are committed to maintaining the integrity of financial information, while also working to improve their client’s business finances. However, a degree in accounting assures potential clients and employers of your competency in accounting procedures and principals.
Candidates applying for the CPA exam must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. At least 150 credit hours are required, including 30 accounting classes. While the recent changes enable those with only 30 accounting hours (from 36) to take the certificate exam, a one year experience requirement replaces the other six hours. At least one of the 30 hours must be an auditing class, nine hours must include upper division economic, business laws, statistics, business management, business communication, marketing, finance, management information systems and/or computer science. Applicants must also be Oklahoma residents of a good moral character.
The one-year experience equates to 1800 hours of employment and must be verified by an individual approved by the Oklahoma Board of Accountancy (such as a CPA or PA). Candidates for the exam can contact the Oklahoma Accounting Board at 405-521-2397 to determine if their experience qualifies. All work experience must have been completed with four years of filing the CPA application. Examples of acceptable work include accounting, attest, taxes, and other applicable jobs.
The Oklahoma CPA exam is a 14-hour exam (recently computerized) divided into four sections: Auditing and Attestation, Regulation, Business Environment and Concepts, and Financial Accounting and Reporting. Once candidates are approved for eligibility, they can begin taking their exams. Candidates can take one or more sections at once, but cannot take the same section more than once during any ‘testing window’ (quarterly period). There are typically 18 months in which to pass all four sections. Fees range from $150 to over $400, with all exams about $520 total.
With a current pass rate under 45%, applicants should prepare in advance. Reviewing past college exams, particuraly final exams, is very helpful in preparing for the CPA certification. The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) have exam samples, along with testing dates and times, available on their website.
After candidates have completed the CPA exam, it is forwarded to American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for scoring. The exams are again forwarded to the National Institute of Certified Public Accountants (NASBA) once advisory scores and performance information become available. This involves matching the scores and performance information to each individual candidate. Only then does NASBA forward the scores to boards of accountancy for approval and the release to candidates. The boards of accountancy determine the schedule in which candidates receive their scores. CPA exams are scaled between 0-99; a 75 is a passing score. Unsuccessful candidates may request a re-score and/or appeal to the OSCPA.