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How To Completely Screw Up Your CPA Exam Application

Our friends at the Maryland Association of CPAs recently shared some of the reasons Maryland CPA exam candidates have their applications rejected by the state board. Because we aren't nearly as cool as Bill Sheridan, we didn't think to ask state boards this question first but hopefully MACPA's efforts will help all candidates consider how they apply for the exam.

Here are just a few of the top reasons applications in Maryland are rejected. These issues are mostly universal, so don't tune it out if you aren't applying in Maryland:

  • The applicant did not read and follow the directions for submitting the application.
  • The applicant did not complete the application completely and accurately.
  • The applicant did not list all names he or she has used in the past and present.
  • The applicant did not list all transcripts on the online application.
  • The applicant did not have all official transcripts sent directly from all schools the applicant has attended. The State Board does not accept transfer credits; official transcripts from each school must be submitted.

The full list can be found at CPA Success.

Obviously not reading and following directions is an issue and hopefully one that doesn't happen often but other common application snafus include out-of-state applicants not including detailed course syllibi or foreign applicants not having their transcripts fully evaluated. All of this to say be sure you familiarize yourself with your state's requirements before you begin the application process.

Incomplete or missing information will pretty much guarantee your application is rejected in any state; this isn't like filling out a customer comment card, you'll do yourself a huge favor if you read the instructions carefully and include everything they want from you including your former name (if you are married).

As always, if you have questions about the application process, contact your state board directly, CPAES or NASBA.