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New Jersey Works Out Its Big CPA Exam Application Kink

You guys remember earlier this month when we found out that some eligible CPA exam candidates in New Jersey were incorrectly rejected by CPAES, the company the NJ Board uses to process exam applications? Yeah, well, that’s fixed now.

According to NJSCPA Director of Communications Don Meyer, the current NJ regulations regarding educational requirements to sit for the CPA Exam have been and will continue to be the “law of the land” until the State Board determines otherwise.

• Under the current regulations, applicants wishing to take the CPA exam prior to earning the full 150 credit hours must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, take 60 semester hours of “liberal arts” courses AND take specific government, finance and business courses.

• However, due to some confusion about the interpretation of those regulations, the Board will on an interim basis grant waivers to candidates to sit for the exam if they have 120 semester hours of general college level education and a bachelors degree.

To read more, check out this update from NJSCPA.

New Jersey CPA Exam Candidates Get Incorrectly Rejected by CPAES

I’m sorry we missed this last week, I’ve been busy making arts and crafts and railing on misguided kids.

According to the NJSCPA, some New Jersey CPA exam candidates got disturbing news from CPAES when they were told they did not meet the state education requirements.

The New Jersey Society of CPAs was recently alerted that a number of CPA Exam candidates in New Jersey had their applications rejected by CPA Examination Services (CPAES) because they did not meet the education requirements. Upon further investigation, the NJSCPA learned that there has been some confusion about thNew Jersey’s regulations concerning education requirements.

The NJSCPA is currently working with the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy to bring about a resolution to this situation that is in the best interests of CPA Candidates and the public. We expect to have a more detailed announcement about that resolution following the State Board’s next meeting on October 20.

At the moment, here is where we stand:

CPA Exam candidates whose applications were rejected by CPAES are encouraged to request a waiver. CPAES will hold your waiver request until the State Board makes its announcement in late October.

CPA Exam candidates who have submitted applications, but have yet to receive any type of notice from CPAES, please be advised that CPAES is holding your application until the State Board makes its announcement in late October. Any applications received between now and that announcement will be held until further action by the State Board.

The lone comment on the NJSCPA post states:

Well, this explains a lot. I applied for the exam more than 3 months ago and still haven’t heard a word. My understanding, which was gained by reading the NJSCPA, NASBA, and AICPA websites, was that in NJ one only needs to complete a Bachelor’s degree to sit for the exam. The 150 hour credit-specific requirement was always referenced to in the licensure section. I, for one, will be pretty upset if they decide to reinterpret these guidelines.

New Jersey! Why didn’t you guys tell me this?! For the record, I think I Pass the CPA Exam has the most comprehensive state CPA exam requirement page outside of NASBA’s own Accountancy Licensing Library, so if you have questions about individual jurisdiction requirements, check there also.

SO. New Jersey requirements:

1. Education Requirements To Sit For The Exam:

• Bachelor degree or above with accounting concentration
• 120 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution
• Note to international candidate: NJ State Board only recognizes ECE as the only foreign credential evaluation agency for their state.

2. Additional Requirements To Get CPA License:


• Fulfill 150 semester hours AND any of the following:
• Graduate degree in accounting
• MBA with
• Any graduate degree with 30 hours in accounting class

Work Experience:

• 1 year of public accounting experience supervised and verified by a licensed CPA

Ethics Qualification:

• There is no need to take the CPA Ethics Exam by AICPA. Instead, you’ll need to take an ethics course offered by these providers

3. Residency & Age Requirements:

• US citizenship not required
• NJ residency not required
• Minimum age: 18

Now this might not be a big deal to anyone else in the country but I’m sure anxious NJ candidates on a deadline did not appreciate this fubar snafu. This might be an appropriate time to analyze what else CPAES “administers” on behalf of the state boards of accountancy that choose to use their services:

• Process and evaluate requests from candidates seeking special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This involves an individual negotiation process with each candidate, including receipt of a signed agreement from the candidate
• Notify National Candidate Database (and/or candidate) of candidate’s eligibility to take the examination
• Remit portion of fees to boards, if requested
• Remit portion of fees to National Candidate Database for distribution to NASBA, AICPA and Prometric
• Assist boards of accountancy in acquiring necessary hardware and software to communicate individual candidate credit status • Hold scores of candidates with deficiencies after obtaining board approval electronically with the National Candidate Database (transmitting both data and funds) and, if necessary, AICPA and Prometric
• Assist boards in addressing and resolving any electronic communication issues involving CPAES and the National Candidate Database
• Track candidate progress from scheduling through CBT examination delivery
• Receive candidate scores from National Candidate Database
Analyze scores and post appropriate credit to candidate records, including expiration dates
• Provide boards with score reports, including
• Print and distribute score notices to candidates after board approval
• Provide passing candidates with licensure and other information
• Answer candidate questions about score results and diagnostics
• Maintain permanent electronic files for all candidates
• Issue written, oral and electronic reports to boards
• Prepare statistical reports of candidate performance

Put into perspective, that’s a pretty big snafu if, in fact, CPAES bumbled CPA exam candidate applications. That’s a big if until we hear the final word from NJSCPA.