I Passed the CPA Exam! Now What?

It’s what you’ve been dreaming about: after spending countless hours studying and chugging coffee, you finally receive notice that you’ve passed all four parts of the CPA Exam. Congrats, you did it! Now what? 

Passing the CPA exam is not the only requirement for earning those three letters after your name. There are four total requirements prior to becoming a certified public accountant, each differing depending on the state in which you plan to practice accounting. The “four E’s” represent each standard, including Exam, Education, Ethics and Experience. Now that you’ve checked exam off the list, let’s take a look at the other requirements.


Don’t worry – you’ve likely already completed this requirement. The Education standard for many states involves 150 credit hours determined by your college or university. Most states require at least a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for the Education requirement.


Some states require one or two years of public accounting work experience in order to become an active CPA. For example, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy currently requires one year of full-time non-routine accounting work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. Some states accept work experience that is not involved with public accounting, but generally the number of years are higher.


Each state requires completion of an Ethics exam. Some states require an AICPA ethics exam, while other states have their own state-specific ethics exam. Your state will provide the study materials for the ethics exam required for licensing or provide guidance on where to find those study materials.


Successfully passing all four parts of the CPA exam is no small feat – so, great job on your accomplishment! Now it’s time to get back to work and finish what you’ve started. Check here for more detailed information on your state’s specific CPA license requirements.