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FLORIDA CPA REQUIREMENTS

How to become a CPA in Florida

Florida CPA requirements include passing the CPA Exam, completing 150 semester hours of education (you can take the CPA Exam with 120 hours), verifying one year of work experience, and then applying for your CPA license. We walk you through how to apply for the CPA Exam and meet these requirements.

CPA Exam and license requirements for Florida

Like many other states, Florida uses NASBA’s services to assist in its management of CPA candidates. To become a CPA in Florida, you’ll need to complete the following steps:
Step 1: Complete 150 semester hours at an accredited institution, including a baccalaureate or higher
degree (you can sit for the CPA Exam with 120 semester hours)
Step 2: Pass the CPA Exam
Step 3: Verify at least 2,000 hours (1 year) of experience
Step 4: Apply for your Florida CPA license and pay associated fees
Once the Florida State Board of Accountancy issues your CPA license, you must complete yearly continuing professional education (CPE) requirements to maintain it.

Florida CPA requirements

U.S. Social Security NumberYes
U.S. citizenshipNo
ResidencyNo
Minimum ageNo
International CPA recommended stateNo
Two-tier stateNo
Semester hours required for CPA Exam120
Semester hours required for CPA licensure150
Ethics examNo
Florida CPA Requirements

Florida CPA Exam requirements

Education requirements

Florida requires you to complete 120 semester hours of education prior to taking the CPA Exam.

  • Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited* institution
  • 120 semester hours from an accredited institution or institutions
  • Accounting concentration to include:
    • 24 semester hours in upper-level accounting courses
      • Courses must include Taxation, Auditing, Financial, and Cost/Managerial.
      • Any upper-level accounting courses in excess to the 24-semester-hour requirement will be used to meet the business requirement.
    • 24 semester hours of upper-level business courses
      • Courses must include 3 semester hours of business law.
    • One microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, business law, and introduction to computer course may be lower-division.

 
After obtaining a baccalaureate degree, all additional coursework used to meet the 150-hour requirement must be upper level.

Choosing a master’s program

The Florida schools below offer programs that may help you meet the CPA education requirement. Some offer combined 150-hour degree programs. These programs usually combine a master’s degree (such as an MBA) with an undergraduate degree in order to meet the CPA’s 150-hour education requirement. Make sure you speak to an academic advisor about your future plans and the Florida CPA Exam and license requirements before you commit to a path.

For your education credits to count toward Florida CPA requirements, the institution must be accredited by one of the following agencies (note that many institutions list the accreditation on the back of their transcripts):

Best CPA review courses in Florida

Florida accounting schools offer some of the best CPA review courses in the country. Gleim, the CPA review course created by professor emeritus Dr. Irvin N. Gleim, is used by more top 10 accounting schools than any other review course.

Gleim partners with Florida accounting schools

Gleim works with many prestigious accounting schools in Florida. We offer CPA review resources for professors to use in their accounting courses. Ask your professor about using Gleim materials or talk to us today.

We offer a Campus Rep program and discounts for students in Florida who wish to pursue a CPA or other accounting certification.

Gleim partners with Florida accounting schools

Gleim works with many prestigious accounting schools in Florida. We offer CPA review resources for professors to use in their accounting courses. Ask your professor about using Gleim materials or talk to us today.

We offer a Campus Rep program and discounts for students in Florida who wish to pursue a CPA or other accounting certification.

How do Florida accountants fare on the CPA Exam?

To pass the CPA Exam, you must score a 75 or higher. NASBA reports the 2015 average Florida CPA Exam candidate score was 73. (It’s no secret the CPA Exam is difficult.)

Florida CPA Exam Performance Summary

Candidates TotalSections TotalSections First-TimeSections Re-ExamPercent PassAverage ScoreAverage Age
314876244571305352.30%7330.6

How to apply for the CPA Exam in Florida

Candidates do not have to apply for all four sections at one time. When you are ready to sit for your first section of the CPA Exam, follow these steps to apply and get started.

Step 1: Create an account and submit your application at the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website or complete and submit the printable application.

Step 2: During your application process you will:
• Select the examination sections you are requesting to take.
• Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee.
• Provide your official transcripts/foreign academic credentials evaluations with your application.
• The transcripts must show the specific accounting and general business courses you’ve taken.
Step 3: If you have previously sat for the CPA Exam in another state, you will need to send an Interstate Exchange Form.

Step 4: You will then receive a Jurisdiction ID number. This number is what you will use to apply online to take the examination on NASBA’s CPA Central website.

Step 5: Create an account on CPA Central, and follow the applicable steps (including paying your examination fees) to receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA.

Step 6: Once you have your NTS, you may contact Prometric to schedule your examination dates.
• To ensure the availability of a testing date, schedule your exams as soon as possible after receiving your NTS.

Only sign up for sections you are prepared to take. All sections authorized must be taken within six months from the date on the NTS. Exam fees that are paid to NASBA are not refundable. If you do not take a section you signed up for, your fee for that section will be forfeited.

Florida CPA Exam fees

Florida CPA Exam Fees

Paid to Florida State BoardFee
Initial CPA Exam Application$50
Registration Fee$75
Paid to NASBA (per part) 
AUD$208.40
FAR$208.40
REG$208.40
BEC$208.40

Where to take the CPA exam in Florida

Instructions to contact a Prometric Testing Facility will be provided in the NTS you will receive from NASBA. We found CPA Exam testing centers in the Florida cities listed below. You can confirm the testing center location near you using the Prometric Test Center Selection tool.

  • Jacksonville
  • Gainesville
  • Daytona Beach
  • Orlando

  • Tampa
  • Tallahassee
  • Miami
  • Dania Beach

  • Boca Raton
  • West Palm Beach
  • Fort Myers
  • Sarasota

Florida CPA Exam scheduling

You must pass all four sections of the CPA Exam within an 18-month rolling window. The clock starts as soon as you pass your first section. If you have not passed all four sections at the end of 18 months, you could start to lose credit! Once 18 months passes from the date you passed a section, you will lose credit for it if you haven’t also passed all the sections by that time. Make sure you schedule your CPA Exam sections for the perfect dates to optimize your chances of passing all four sections within 18 months.

Florida CPA Exam score release

The AICPA does not have a strict score release schedule, but it does set target dates. We list the latest target score release dates for candidates. The Florida Board of Accountancy uses the NASBA candidate portal for their score releases. You will need to log in to the NASBA candidate portal to view your score.

Florida CPA license requirements

Work experience

One year (2,000 hours) of full-time accounting experience is required to qualify for a CPA license in Florida. Work experience includes any type of service or advice involving any of the following: accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills. Work experience must be documented on the Verification of Work Experience Form and be supervised and verified by a licensed CPA.

Education

Florida’s education requirements for CPA licensure are more strict than it’s requirements to sit for the CPA Exam. Candidates who have passed the CPA Exam must meet these requirements prior to receiving their CPA license.

1. 150 semester hours from an accredited institution, to include:
30 semester hours of upper-level accounting courses.
• Courses must include Taxation, Auditing, Financial, and Cost/Managerial.
• Only 3 semester hours may be from an internship.
• Any remaining internship credit may be applied to the general business requirement.
36 semester hours of of upper-level general business courses.
• Courses must include 3 semester hours of business law.
• At least 3 hours each in business law, taxation, and financial accounting.

2. Baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution

CPA Ethics Requirements

The Florida Board of Accountancy does not require CPA candidates to complete an ethics exam.

How to apply for a CPA license in Florida

The Florida Board of Accountancy requires applications to be printed and mailed to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Applicants must complete their application within three years of passing the CPA Exam.

Step 1: Print and complete the CPA Licensure Application Form.

  • Provide the required applicant information.
  • Complete criminal background information and provide explanation if applicable.
    • You will need to provide a copy of arrest reports and disposition or final order(s) and documentation that proves all sanctions have been served and satisfied.
    • If you cannot provide documentation, a certified statement from the clerk of court for the relevant jurisdiction will satisfy this requirement.

Step 2: Complete the Verification of Work Experience Form.
Step 3: Request official school transcripts that verify the education requirements. Copies do not satisfy this requirement.
Step 4: Submit your application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

  • Your application must include:
    • Completed CPA Licensure Application form with all applicable documents
    • A $50 check payable to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation
    • Official school transcripts verifying the education requirement
    • Completed Verification of Work Experience form

Contacting the Florida Board of Accountancy

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 487-1395

Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607
Phone: (352) 333-2505
Email: veloria.kelly@myfloridalicense.com
Fax: (352) 333-2508

Florida CPE requirements for CPAs

CPAs in Florida must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE). At least 20 hours must be in accounting or auditing-related subjects; 4 hours must be in a board-approved ethics course; and no more than 20 hours can be in behavioral subjects. These CPE requirements must be met during each two-year renewal period.

Florida CPA jobs and salaries

How much does a CPA make in Florida? According to our latest annual CPA Salary Report, the average annual salary for an accountant in Miami, FL, is $81,757. Certified public auditors often earn 10-15% more than their non-certified peers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state of Florida has one of the highest employment levels for accountants and auditors in the U.S., with an annual mean wage of $70,050 state-wide.

Top States for Employment of Accountants and Auditors

StateEmploymentEmployment per 1000 jobsLocation quotientHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
California143,6708.610.99$40.16$83,540
Texas116,0009.761.12$39.10$81,330
New York108,13011.741.35$45.88$95,430
Florida73,9108.781.01$33.68$70,050
Pennsylvania52,1509.021.04$35.93$74,730

Many CPAs work at accounting firms in Florida, and the sheer number of accountants working in the state is staggering. The Tampa Bay Business Journal released the following numbers about the Tampa Bay Area in early 2019:

Largest Tampa Bay Area Accounting Firms

FirmNo. of Local CPAsNo. of Local Non-Accountants
PwC3081292
Ernst & Young139505
Deloitte120460
CBIZ88152
KPMG68135

Florida accounting organizations

Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA)

With over 19,500 members, FICPA serves as an association for all CPAs in the state. The FICPA has been working to advance the accounting profession in Florida for 100 years. The organization’s stated purpose is to connect Florida’s CPAs and other accounting and financial professionals. In addition, they provide learning programs, a network of local chapters, and advocacy for accountants state wide.

Looking for a different state? View all states

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