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Delaware CPA Exam Candidate Isn’t Sure About Audit Hours

Are you a CPA exam candidate desperate for answers with no clue how to find them? Let me do the Googling for you, shoot me a note and I promise I won’t get snippy (my doctor adjusted my dose).

Hello Adrienne,

I do have 99.99% of the education requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam. All but one, I don’t have any auditing credit hours. Am I going to be able to sit for the CPA or should I go back to school and complete this requirement?

Here’s the good news: in some states, you can sit for the exam before you meet all licensure requirements, and in most, that means experience can wait until you have sat for and passed all exam sections. The lengtave to complete these experience requirements varies by state and due to the ever-changing nature of exam requirements, you will want to verify any information I’m about to give you with the state board directly just to be safe. No one’s perfect, especially me. Delaware candidates may contact NASBA’s Delaware coordinator Misun Shin at [email protected] or (615) 880-4263.

So, once you sit for and pass all four parts of the CPA exam, you’ll need to take the AICPA ethics exam, which you can order directly from them. Don’t trip too hard, it’s self-study meaning open book. AICPA members get it cheaper than non-members so be sure to join first before you buy it.

Assuming you’ve aced those two steps, you can then worry about your experience.

Delaware work experience is based on the degree you hold. If you have a Master’s, you will need 1 year of experience as an employee of a CPA firm or equivalent experience as an accountant in other fields (e.g., government, commerce, industry). Bachelor’s holders must have 2 years of experience and Associates (yes, Delaware allows you to sit for the exam with a 2 year degree) must have 4 years of experience to be licensed to practice as a CPA in that state. You can no longer receive a certificate (non-practicing CPA title) from Delaware as of 2006.

Your other option is to complete your work experience requirement as an owner, principal or employee of a public accounting firm (full-time). Double the numbers above; 2 years for Master’s holders, 4 for Bachelor’s and 8 for an Associate.

Nowhere on the Delaware Board of Accountancy’s site do I see a mention of audit hours.

The Delaware State Society of CPA’s BeaCPA website states:

2 years experience obtained in engagement, resulting in the preparation and issuance of financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting as defined in the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

as a requirement for Associate and Bachelor’s holders. Master’s candidates must obtain 1 year experience including any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, internal audit, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills.

What this says to me is that you don’t actually need audit hours at all unless you plan on doing audits. Delaware would like auditing to be a part of your 21 required accounting units that make up your education requirement but does not require it.

Again, check with the state board just to be 100% sure but it looks like you’re all clear to sit for the exam at this point, no reason to wait until you have the experience.

Good luck and please check in with us to let us know how your exams turn out!

(UPDATE) Brilliant Business Idea of the Day: Delaware Liquor Store Offers Tax Prep Services

Taxes are a touchy subject with Americans. This is known. On the one hand, a Tennessee CPA combined his love for 1040s and firearms, issues coupons to clients who, in their jubilation, can spend their refunds at his gun shop. Even if someone were not due a refund, it wouldn’t be tough to convince someone in small-town Tennessee that purchasing a gun is bound to make you feel better about the IRS impending on your freedom. For others, finding out that their sophisticated tax planning didn’t go as intended, may just cause them to grab the nearest bottle of hooch and try to forget their troubles for awhile.

Thanks to Kay Bell, we have learned that one liquor store in Delaware has made this latter scenario more convenient for its customers:

Because we were curious to know more, we called up Steve’s to find out the situation. We spoke to someone who said that returns start at $65 but the lady in charge was out and could call us back with the details. We’ll have the lowdown for you when we hear back from her.

UPDATE: We just got off the phone with Yvette Nidwik, who does the tax prep over at Steve’s and she shared with us a few more details. Unfortunately, the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, “Do we get a discount on booze?” is a flat “No.” Apparently it’s illegal in Delaware law to give discounts on liquor associated with another service (or something). Be that as it may, we were surprised when Yvette told us that she has a lot of “church people” as clients despite the proximity to the Devil’s brew. Yvette has been preparing tax returns for eleven years, five of those at Steve’s. She is not a CPA but plans on becoming an Enrolled Agent soon. She also doesn’t have a problem with the IRS’s forthcoming preparer regulations, saying, “it’s a good thing,” and that she’s “a fixer” meaning she has lots of clients who come in with prior year returns and she find lots of mistakes (especially from discount preparers that will remain nameless).

So if you’re in the area and don’t have the time or willingness to do your own, look Yvette up at Steve’s but she’s a busy lady, so no messin’ about and she’d probably prefer if you stopped in the liquor store after speaking with her.

Tax service in liquor store sure makes toasting the end of tax season easy [DMWT]

BDO Officially Resides in the First State

By all accounts, BDO as a firm, has had a decent 2010. There were the typical raises and promotions that were met with a giant “meh” by the BDO faithful.

The firm celebrated its 100th birthday last month, with offices marking the occasion in various ways. And probably most importantly, the Florida Appeals Court ordered a new trial in the Banco Espirito Santo case.

The decision in this case allowed the firm to jump off its deathbed reenergized, allowing Jack Weisbaum to continuing to moonlight as a TV commercial star as well as open a Raleigh, North Carolina office.

The good times continue with the addition of McBride Shopa & Co. including a message from Tom Shopa with a pleasant piano accompaniment in the background.

Jack W. was able to sneak away from a busy commercial shoot to share his feelings on the matter:

“The addition of the partners, professionals and staff formerly with McBride Shopa adds the important Delaware market to BDO’s existing presence in the Philadelphia and the greater Washington, DC area. We are excited about the many growth opportunities that this combination will bring to our clients and our future clients,” said Jack Weisbaum, CEO of BDO USA.

The bright side for BDO is that since the Taxman is likely coming to Delaware, there will be plenty of new business opportunities.

Christine O’Donnell Attack Ad on “Taxman” Chris Coons Uses Witchy-Sounding Music

We defy you to find more appropriate background music for a scene with three spell-casting broads cackling around a cauldron.

But what about that sinister rhetoric? Jim Newell over at Gawker suggests that the ad channels a viral ‘Bed Intruder Song’. Reasoning that the lyrics “Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, cause they rapin’ everybody up in here” translated into the “Hide your will, hide your lights, ’cause he’s taxing everything out here.”

Maybe Newell is onto something. If you just imagine boxy eyeglasses and a Members Only jacket combined with Coons’s textbook horseshoe balding pattern, he would have a über-creepy vibe going on. Plus he loves taxes! Yep, this ad is a winner.

[via TaxProf]