4 Key Players in Becoming a CPA

by Kim Condurso, member development specialist, NJCPA | March 31, 2021

When it comes to applying for the CPA Exam, it's easy to get confused with the number of organizations involved in the process. At the NJCPA, we field lots of calls. Remember, we’re not a regulatory board, and therefore, our insight is opinion-based only. But we can help answer general questions about the education or work experience requirements to become a CPA.

So, who are some key players and what are their roles?

  • The National Association of the State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) governs the state boards of accountancy nationwide and determines whether a candidate meets the requirements to sit for the exam based on the requirements set by individual state boards. CPA Exam Services or CPAES, a division of NASBA, will evaluate a candidate's academic transcripts and issue the Notice to Schedule (NTS) once all requirements have been met. The first step in a candidate's journey to becoming a CPA should be to create an account at CPA Central, NASBA's exam portal. NASBA is also responsible for releasing CPA exam scores. Contact the NJ state coordinator at NASBA at 1-800-272-3926 or cpaes-nj@nasba.org for questions pertaining to:
    • Specific academic courses and whether or not they will count towards the 24-credit education requirement for business and accounting coursesAccreditation of a college or university
    • Notice to Schedule (NTS)
    • Changing your jurisdiction
    • Transferring passing exam scores from one state to another
    • The process for international candidates sitting for the exam
    International candidates should visit NASBA's International Evaluation Services for further instruction before submitting a first-time application.
  • Prometric operates test centers. Once NASBA issues the Notice to Schedule (NTS), a candidate will need to schedule the first section of the CPA Exam. Exams are taken in-person at various Prometric testing centers, but the exams can be scheduled online. Prometric will send exams to the AICPA for scoring.

    Contact Prometric for questions about:

    • Scheduling your exam
    • Locating a nearby testing center
    • Arranging testing accommodations
    • What you can/cannot bring to the testing center
  • The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) sets standards for the accounting profession as well as develops content found on the CPA Exam. While not directly involved in the evaluation of a candidate's first-time application, they will announce any changes affecting the content of the exam and are responsible for scoring the exams received by Prometric before results are released to NASBA. The AICPA publishes several helpful resources, including the CPA Exam Blueprints and mock exams, to help with exam preparation.
  • New Jersey State Board of Accountancy is a regulatory board responsible for granting licensure and ensuring that licensed CPAs are practicing according to the law. Once a candidate passes all four sections of the exam, NASBA's CPA Exam Services will forward a candidate's file with exam scores to the NJ State Board of Accountancy, who will issue a congratulatory letter along with an application and further instructions for becoming a licensed CPA in New Jersey.

    Contact the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy at 973-504-6380 if you have questions about:

    • The status of your application for licensure
    • The one-year work experience requirement

Let us know if you need help with becoming a CPA. Find out more at NJCPA.

Kimberly K. Condurso

Kimberly K. Condurso

Kim Condurso is a membership development specialist at NJCPA.

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