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For those with the drive to enhance their career, becoming a CPA can be an important step.* We’re here to help you through the entire CPA preparation process, providing the information you need: from assessing your readiness to helping you prepare to sit for the CPA exam.
Ready to take the next step? Call a representative at 866.484.1815 and explore the solution that is right for you, or request more information.
Taking individual courses or earning a certificate is a great way to help you stand out to employers. By providing a deeper understanding of accounting, business and finance, our certificates and individual courses can provide the additional hours needed to sit for the CPA exam, boost confidence, offer a sense of preparedness and help you gain an edge in a competitive market.
For those who want to prepare for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure, individual courses and certificate options can provide support and preparation as you work toward this goal. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), licensed CPAs earn an average of 10—15% more than their noncertified peers.
Why University of Phoenix?
University of Phoenix was built around educating working learners. Flexibility and convenience are built into comprehensive programs. Here are a few reasons we’ve become a school of choice:
- Courses can usually be completed in five to six weeks.
- Convenient online courses offer frequent start dates.
- Practitioner faculty average 20 years of experience in accounting and business.
- Individual accounting, business and finance courses are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
- Certificate curriculum is created by subject-matter experts and designed to be current and practical within the field.
- Courses award 10 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
For those preparing for CPA licensure, our individual courses can provide the additional hours needed to sit for the CPA exam.
Learn more by calling a representative at 866.484.1815, or request information here.
We offer a variety of solutions to fit your educational needs.
Our upper division and graduate level courses may help you meet the credit requirements to sit for the CPA exam. Some of our most popular courses include: Accounting Ethics, Accounting Information Systems, Business Law, Contemporary Auditing, Corporate Taxation, Cost Accounting, Finance for Business, Financial Accounting, Forensic Accounting, Government and Nonprofit Accounting, Intermediate Financial Accounting and Principles of Accounting.
Graduate Accounting Certificate
We offer a Graduate Accounting Certificate to help students gain a deeper understanding of accounting concepts and applications. Course topics, which include auditing, taxation, information systems and financial analysis, help students gain the tools to effectively and ethically navigate accounting needs within an organization. Download a detailed certificate description here.
To learn more about our certificate programs and individual courses, Call a representative at 866.484.1815, or request more information.
The exam for CPA licensure can be challenging. We’re here to help support you as you prepare for the CPA exam. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the exam has historically covered four areas:
Tests your knowledge and skills relating to auditing procedures and standards, standards related to attest engagements, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge.
AUD covers the following six topics:
- Engagement Acceptance and Understanding the Assignment (12–16 percent)
- Understanding the Entity and Its Environment (including Internal Control) (16–20 percent)
- Performing Audit Procedures and Evaluating Evidence (16–20 percent)
- Evaluating Audit Findings, Communications and Reporting (16–20 percent)
- Accounting and Review Service Engagements (12–16 percent)
- Professional Responsibilities (including Ethics and Independence) (16–20 percent)
The percentages are estimates of how many exam questions may relate to each topic. Three multiple-choice testlets and one task-based simulations testlet comprise the AUD exam, with multiple-choice testlets accounting for 50 percent of the score. The task-based simulation will contain six or seven tasks, one of which will be a research problem.
Tests your knowledge and skills relating to the general business environment and the business concepts required to understand the reasons for, and accounting implications of, business transactions.
BEC covers the following six topics:
- Corporate Governance (16––20 percent)
- Economic Concepts and Analysis (16–20 percent)
- Financial Management (19–23 percent)
- Information Systems and Communications (15–19 percent)
- Strategic Planning (10–14 percent)
- Operations Management (12–16 percent)
The percentages are estimates of how many exam questions may relate to each topic. Three multiple-choice testlets and one written communication testlet comprise the BEC exam, with multiple-choice testlets accounting for 20 percent of the final score.
Tests your knowledge and skills relating to generally accepted accounting principles for business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and government entities.
FAR covers the following five topics:
- Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting and Presentation of Financial Statements (17–23 percent)
- Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation and Disclosures (27–33 percent)
- Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures (27–33 percent)
- Accounting and Reporting for Governmental Entities (8–12 percent)
- Accounting and Reporting for Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizations (8–12 percent)
The percentages are estimates of how many exam questions may relate to each topic. Three multiple-choice testlets and one task-based simulations testlet comprise the FAR exam, with multiple-choice testlets accounting for 50 percent of the score. The task-based simulation will contain six or seven tasks, one of which will be a research problem.
Tests your knowledge and skills relating to federal taxation, ethics, professional and legal responsibilities, and business law.
Regulation covers the following six topics:
- Ethics, Professional and Responsibility (15–19 percent)
- Business Law (17–21 percent)
- Federal Tax Process, Procedures, Accounting and Planning (11–15 percent)
- Federal Taxation of Property Transactions (12–16 percent)
- Federal Taxation of Individuals (13–19 percent)
- Federal Taxation of Entities (18–24 percent)
The percentages are estimates of how many exam questions may relate to each topic. Three multiple-choice testlets and one task-based simulations testlet comprise the REG exam, with multiple-choice testlets accounting for 50 percent of the score. The task-based simulation will contain six or seven tasks, one of which will be a research problem.
The AICPA publishes detailed descriptions of the specific testable content of each section in its Content Specification Outlines (CSOs). The CPA exam is usually administered in four sections. In most cases, you'll be able to choose the order in which you take each section. Once you pass the first exam, you'll generally have 18 months to pass the additional three.
One requirement to becoming a CPA is that you must pass all four parts of the CPA exam. According to the AICPA, each of the four sections of the examination is graded on a scale of 0 to 99, using a rigorous scoring structure. The minimum passing score is 75. The AICPA provides more information about how the CPA exam is scored.
Find out how we can help you prepare to sit for the exam when the time comes. Call 866.484.1815 to speak with a representative, or request more information.
The process for earning a CPA license involves many different elements.
You can start your journey to become a CPA by downloading the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) official guide, The Uniform CPA Exam Candidate Bulletin.
State Boards of Accountancy
Requirements for CPA licensure vary by state and jurisdiction.* View your state’s requirements here. (This list only reflects those states where our test-prep courses are available.)
*These links are provided for your information and convenience. As these are maintained by various state agencies, University of Phoenix cannot ensure the accuracy or currency of the information provided, nor is it affiliated in any way with the organizations providing the information. Please contact the state board directly to confirm the current requirements in the state of your choice.
Tips for application
Licensure is awarded by individual states. In order to be eligible for application, you must first pass the CPA exam. The CPA exam is offered in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Prometric. Read more about the requirements.
Understanding the rules of application in your state or jurisdiction is key to ensuring you meet the requirements to earn your CPA license. You may also want to consider the following:
- You may only register to take the exam in one jurisdiction at a time.
- Application and exam fees for first-time candidates vary by state. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.
- Applications should be accurate and thorough; incomplete applications are usually rejected.
- The name on your application needs to match the name on the two forms of valid identification exactly. You will use those IDs for admission to the testing center.
- First-time registrants can expect the application process to take between six and eight weeks.
- Official school transcripts must be provided.
Networking and peer-advisory support is key for success in any industry. Consider joining these organizations to build potential connections, get answers or to build your resumé.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA)
- American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)
- Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA)
- Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)
- Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
- Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
- National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
- National Bookkeepers Association (NBA)
Let us help.
Once you’ve met the qualifications and understand the application process to sit for the CPA exam, it’s time to prepare. At University of Phoenix, we offer the flexibility you need to prepare for the CPA exam using your preferred method of learning. Call a representative at 866.484.1815, or request more information.
Fast forward to your future
See how the Graduate Accounting certificate program gave Raymond Rule a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to further his career.
This course or program isn't offered in this area
While many of our courses and programs are widely available, you may find some that are not offered in certain locations or formats.
Have questions about our offerings? Talk to one of our Enrollment Representatives:
* Each state sets forth standards required to be eligible to take the CPA exam and apply for licensure or certification as a CPA. While these courses were designed with consideration for the standards proposed by the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA), University of Phoenix cannot, and will not, provide any assurance that completion of these courses will allow a successful student to qualify within the student's specific jurisdiction. Potential applicants should check with the appropriate organization within their jurisdiction to determine if these courses, combined with their undergraduate degree and any other specific criteria, meet the requirements to qualify for examination in that specific jurisdiction. States frequently change their requirements for examination. There is no assurance that at the time of courses completion the specific jurisdiction's requirements will be consistent with the requirements at the time of admission.
Associate, bachelor's and master's courses are academic, for-credit courses. Transferability of credit is at the discretion of the receiving institution. It is the student's responsibility to confirm whether or not credits earned at University of Phoenix will be accepted by another institution of the student's choice. Individual courses are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Most certificate programs are credit-bearing, and many are eligible for federal financial aid for students who qualify. Please note that the A+ Fundamentals, CCNA and Network+ Technologies certificate programs are not eligible for federal financial aid. The Application Delivery Networking Certificate Program (noncredit) is not credit bearing and not eligible for financial aid. Students completing the noncredit Application Delivery Networking Certificate Program will receive a letter of completion.
While widely available, not all courses are available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative. More information about admissions requirements can be found in the Academic Catalog.