Experience Requirements to Become a CPA

In order to apply for a CPA license in New Jersey, you must pass the CPA Exam and provide satisfactory evidence of:

  • One year of experience in the practice of public accounting or its equivalent, under the direction of a licensee; and
  • The experience includes evidence of intensive and diversified experience in auditing or accounting as determined by regulation of the board.

Individuals working in government, industry or education, whose experience is obtained without the direct supervision of a licensed public accountant or certified public accountant, are granted some special exemptions to the experience requirements outlined above. If an individual obtains not less than four years of experience prior to the effective date of the Accountancy Act (April 8, 1998), the Board will accept that experience until April 8, 2004. If the individual was working in government, industry, or education, without the supervision of a licensee, at the time of the effective date of the Accountancy Act (April 8, 1998) and after, four years of experience will be accepted by the Board until April 8, 2002. This experience may be combined with public accounting experience on a pro-rata basis.

Candidates for certification must produce Statements of Experience for ALL employment following acquisition of a baccalaureate degree. Failure to comply with this requirement will delay consideration of your application.

Tax Experience

Individuals who work in Public Accounting, who are working toward meeting the New Jersey experience requirement, and who are employed in the tax department of their firm/company should consider the following:

In order to meet N.J.’s experience requirement, 25 percent of your time must be spent in Auditing & Accounting (Item A. Auditing & Accounting.). Therefore, when filling out the N.J. Statement of Experience form, do not indicate that 100 percent of your time is spent in “Tax Services” (Item B under I. Public Accounting Experience).

Working in the tax department, you will spend significant time on the following Auditing & Accounting activities:

  • Testing, prepaid, intangible and deferred charges
  • Review and verification of accounts payable and accruals
  • Application of analytical review procedures
  • Review of significant subsequent events
  • Review of pertinent legal documents
  • Review of financial statements
  • Drafting of financial statement

Indicate on the form which of the above activities you have participated in, making sure that the numbers in “percent of time” under Auditing & Accounting total 25 percent. The remaining 75 percent should be listed under Tax Services.

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