Cost of Converting an International Accounting License to a CPA License?

Guide to the International Accounting License to CPA License Conversion Costs

international-accounting-license-conversion-feesThe journey to convert your international accounting license to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in the United States can be confusing.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand that this process involves several steps, each with its own set of costs.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses involved, helping you to plan your finances and set realistic expectations.

Types of Fees to Convert Your International Accounting License to a CPA License

There are several different types of fees that you will need to pay throughout the process of converting your international license to a CPA license. The cost of each fee varies depending on whether you need to complete each step or not.

Let’s look at the different fees in the conversion process and what you can expect to pay for you new CPA license.

Credential Evaluation

The first step in converting an international accounting license to a CPA license involves getting your educational credentials evaluated. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) offers an International Evaluation Service for this purpose.

The cost for this service ranges from $225 to $350 depending on the type of evaluation required. It’s a necessary expense to ensure that your international qualifications are equivalent to the U.S. educational standards.

Exam Fees

Once your credentials have been evaluated and deemed equivalent, the next step is to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. The exam fees can vary significantly from one state to another, ranging from $700 to $1,000 for all four parts of the exam.

This does not include additional application fees that some states may require. Ensuring that you are well-prepared can help prevent the need for retakes, which would incur additional costs.

Licensing Fees

After successfully passing the CPA exam, you will need to pay licensing fees to obtain your CPA license.

These fees also vary by state but typically range from $50 to $500. Some states may have additional fees for background checks or ethics exams, which can add to the total cost.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Maintaining your CPA license requires ongoing education. The costs associated with Continuing Professional Education (CPE) can vary widely depending on the courses you choose and the state requirements.

On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $100 per CPE credit hour, with most states requiring around 40 credit hours per year.

How much will it cost an international accountant to convert their license?

The typical cost for international accountants to convert their license to a CPA license is approximately $1,500 including exam costs, licensing fees, and reciprocity fees.

Additional Fees for International Accountants to Get Their CPA License

Additional Considerations

If your primary language is not English, you may need to invest in English proficiency tests or preparatory courses to ensure success in the CPA exam, which could add to the overall cost. Additionally, if you require visa sponsorship to work in the U.S., there may be associated legal and application fees.

Benefits and Return on Investment

While the cost of converting an international accounting license to a CPA license can be substantial, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and return on investment. Holding a U.S. CPA license opens doors to a multitude of career opportunities, potentially leading to higher salaries, job security, and professional recognition.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

To manage the costs effectively, it’s crucial to budget and plan your finances. Research the specific fees associated with the state where you intend to obtain your license, factor in the costs of exam preparation and CPE, and consider any additional expenses that may apply to your unique situation.

Seeking Support and Resources

There are numerous resources available to assist international accounting professionals in this process. NASBA’s website provides detailed information on the evaluation and examination processes. Additionally, there are various scholarships and financial aid options available that can help alleviate some of the financial burdens.


Converting an international accounting license to a U.S. CPA license is an investment in your future. While the associated costs can be significant, the potential for professional advancement and financial reward makes it a worthwhile endeavor.

By understanding the financial aspects, planning accordingly, and utilizing available resources, you can navigate this process successfully and reap the benefits of holding a prestigious CPA license.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most expensive part of converting an international accounting license to a CPA license?

The most expensive part of the process is typically the exam fees, which can range from $700 to $1,000 for all four parts, varying by state.

Are there any financial aid options available to help cover the costs?

Yes, there are various scholarships and financial aid options available that international students can explore to help cover the costs of converting their accounting license.

Can I start working in the U.S. before I complete the conversion process?

The ability to work in the U.S. before completing the conversion process depends on visa requirements and job opportunities available to international candidates. Some employers may offer visa sponsorship for qualified individuals.

Is the cost of converting an international license to a CPA license worth it in the long run?

Yes, despite the upfront costs, obtaining a U.S. CPA license can lead to numerous career opportunities, higher salaries, and professional recognition, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.