Alaska CPA Exam Requirements

Full Guide to Qualify to Take the CPA Exam in Alaska

alaska-cpa-exam-requirementsTaking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in Alaska is the next big step in your future career as an accountant. The process and requirements can be kind of confusing though.

It’s important to make sure you understand and meet all of the qualifications before you start your application process, so you don’t end up wasting time and money.

This article provides a detailed walkthrough of the Alaska CPA exam prerequisites, from education to ethics, ensuring that you have a comprehensive blueprint for your CPA journey.

Education Requirements

To sit for the CPA exam in Alaska, candidates must meet specific educational requirements set by the Alaska Board of Public Accountancy:

Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

Credit Hours: A total of 150 semester hours or the quarter-hour equivalent is required. This typically exceeds the standard 120 hours needed for a bachelor’s degree, prompting many candidates to pursue additional coursework.

Accounting Courses: At least 24 semester hours of accounting coursework beyond the introductory level must be completed. These courses should include subjects such as auditing, financial accounting, management accounting, and taxation.

Business Courses: Candidates must also complete 24 semester hours in business-related subjects. Courses may include business law, economics, finance, marketing, management, business ethics, and other similar classes.

It is essential for candidates to ensure that their coursework meets the Alaska state board’s specifics since variances can occur in how different states classify upper-level accounting courses.

For those who completed their education outside the United States, the Alaska Board requires an evaluation from NASBA International Evaluation Services or another board-approved foreign evaluator to determine equivalency.

Residency and Social Security Requirement

In Alaska, there are no residency requirements to sit for the CPA exam. This means that you do not need to be a resident, have an address, or even be employed in the state of Alaska at the time you apply for the CPA examination.

However, a Social Security Number (SSN) is typically required to apply for the CPA exam in most states, including Alaska. The application process generally asks for a candidate’s SSN as part of the identity verification process.

If you don’t have an SSN or if you’re an international candidate, it’s important to reach out directly to the Alaska Board of Public Accountancy for guidance on alternative procedures, as they can provide the most current and relevant information or exceptions that may apply.

Ethics Exam Requirement

In Alaska, after passing the Uniform CPA Examination, candidates are required to pass an ethics exam as one of the conditions for licensure. The ethics examination that is typically accepted is the one provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

The AICPA’s ethics exam is a self-study course titled “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course.” It covers the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and the conceptual framework that CPAs must adhere to in their professional roles. The course is designed to reinforce a CPA’s understanding of professional ethics standards and how to apply them in their daily practice.

The specific passing score, the process to register for the ethics exam, and any deadline to complete it after passing the CPA Exam may vary.

CPA Exam Application Process in Alaska

Submitting Transcripts

The journey begins with submitting official transcripts to the Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy. It’s paramount to verify that your educational institutions are appropriately accredited and that your coursework meets the specific Alaska requirements.

Application and Fees

With transcripts in hand, candidates must complete the application process, which includes the submission of a non-refundable fee. This process is streamlined through the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) website, which acts as a liaison between you and the Alaskan board.

The Notice to Schedule (NTS)

Upon application approval, candidates receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). This crucial document is your ticket to schedule and sit for the CPA exam sections within six months, the validity period of the NTS in Alaska.

Schedule the Exam

With the NTS, you can schedule your exam with Prometric, the testing service that administers the CPA Exam. You will choose a date, time, and location that is convenient for you.

Sit for the Exam in Alaska

The CPA exam is a uniform test across the United States, but in Alaska, candidates can schedule their exams at approved Prometric test centers located across the state. This accessibility allows candidates to plan their exam dates at their convenience, optimizing their chances for success.

Post CPA Exam Requirements

Experience Requirement

Clearing the CPA exam is a significant milestone, yet it’s the experience that shapes a competent CPA. In Alaska, one year (2000 hours) of work experience in government, industry, academia, or public practice, verified by a licensed CPA, is required.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements

The learning journey continues even after licensure. Alaska requires CPAs to complete 80 hours of CPE every two years, with a minimum of 20 hours per year, to ensure CPAs remain knowledgeable about the ever-evolving accounting landscape.

Alaska’s approach to the CPA requirements balances rigorous standards with a realistic pathway for candidates. With no residency requirement and a clear, structured process, the state opens its doors wide to prospective CPAs.

By meeting the educational benchmarks, passing the ethics exam, navigating the application process, and committing to continuous learning through CPE, you can claim the esteemed title of CPA in the Last Frontier. With dedication, preparation, and perseverance, your CPA aspirations in Alaska can turn into a rewarding reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be an Alaska resident to take the CPA exam in Alaska?

No, Alaska does not require CPA candidates to be state residents.

How many accounting credit hours are required to sit for the CPA exam in Alaska?

You need 24 semester hours in accounting subjects above the introductory level.

Is work experience mandatory for obtaining a CPA license in Alaska, and if so, how much?

Yes, one year (2000 hours) of verifiable work experience is required for licensure in Alaska.

After passing the CPA exam, is there an additional ethics exam requirement in Alaska?

Yes, candidates must pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure.

Do I need an accounting degree to take the CPA exam in Alaska?

No, an accounting degree is not mandatory to take the CPA exam in Alaska, but you must meet specific credit hour requirements in accounting and business-related subjects.

Can I take the Alaska CPA exam without a Social Security Number?

No, a Social Security Number is required to apply for the CPA exam in Alaska as part of the identification process.

How long is my Notice to Schedule (NTS) valid in Alaska?

In Alaska, your NTS is valid for six months, within which you must schedule and take your CPA exam sections.

What kind of work experience is required for CPA licensure in Alaska?

You need to complete one year of work experience in public or private accounting, supervised by a licensed CPA, to qualify for CPA licensure in Alaska.