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January 25, 2023

What Happens If CPA Candidates Can’t Meet the Work Experience Requirement?

What happens when you have too few jobs for too many would-be CPAs who have the exam passed but no job prospects to meet the work experience requirement?

The CPAnet forums hit just that, asking if CPA exam scores ever expire:

I have passed all four sections of the CPA exam but currently I am not working under the supervision of a CPA. Is there a time limit on when to get the cpa license after passing the exams? Any consequence of not obtaining the license within the timeframe?

In fairness, one of the posters only passed completely in January, so it isn’t like they’ve been sitting on passing CPA exam scores for three years with no luck. Where are those people?

Anyway, in a world where there are too many warm bodies and not enough chairs, it’s useful to know whether you’ll have to sit for the CPA exam all over again in 5 years when you finally get a job or not.

The general rule, as with most aspects of the CPA exam, is that it varies by state. In California, you will have to take additional CPE after 5 years if you don’t meet your licensure experience requirement by then.

Or, it could be that there are plenty of jobs but not for people who aren’t capable of doing them.

The problem could be picky HR professionals on the other end, and I wouldn’t blame them at all. If I were in HR, I’d be wary of folks like this who spell their former employer’s name wrong. Maybe that’s not important to hiring managers and recruiters or I’m giving them too much credit for being that perceptive but there is a minimum here; it isn’t hard to meet it.

What happens when you have too few jobs for too many would-be CPAs who have the exam passed but no job prospects to meet the work experience requirement?

The CPAnet forums hit just that, asking if CPA exam scores ever expire:

I have passed all four sections of the CPA exam but currently I am not working under the supervision of a CPA. Is there a time limit on when to get the cpa license after passing the exams? Any consequence of not obtaining the license within the timeframe?

In fairness, one of the posters only passed completely in January, so it isn’t like they’ve been sitting on passing CPA exam scores for three years with no luck. Where are those people?

Anyway, in a world where there are too many warm bodies and not enough chairs, it’s useful to know whether you’ll have to sit for the CPA exam all over again in 5 years when you finally get a job or not.

The general rule, as with most aspects of the CPA exam, is that it varies by state. In California, you will have to take additional CPE after 5 years if you don’t meet your licensure experience requirement by then.

Or, it could be that there are plenty of jobs but not for people who aren’t capable of doing them.

The problem could be picky HR professionals on the other end, and I wouldn’t blame them at all. If I were in HR, I’d be wary of folks like this who spell their former employer’s name wrong. Maybe that’s not important to hiring managers and recruiters or I’m giving them too much credit for being that perceptive but there is a minimum here; it isn’t hard to meet it.

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