Texas Uniform CPA Exam Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3233 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Accounting

¶ … Texas Uniform CPA Exam

While many people might know what a CPA is and what it stands for (Certified Public Accountant), this paper looks closely at the nuances of becoming a CPA and how those nuances pertain to this profession within the state of Texas. What the average person doesn't understand is that being given a CPA license is the accounting profession's highest standard of competence and a sign of accomplishment, along with an assurance of quality and experience. Aside from being a Certified Public Accountant, the average CPA is also licensed by their state board of accountancy, a move which signifies a certain level of prestige which has been gained through a thorough demonstration of knowledge and competency through meeting and fulfilling the highest educational standards and by doing well on the CPA exam.

This paper looks at the Texas Uniform CPA Exam, one of the major requirements necessary in order to become a CPA in the state of Texas. Passing the CPA exam is one of the most important parts of becoming a CPA, along with meeting the other licensing requirements which are present within the state of Texas. There are a range of requirements and steps that one must complete in order to sit for the exam in the state of Texas and this paper looks at these regulations along with all aspects of the application process.

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Not everyone who wants to become a CPA can. In fact, there are strict and intensive requirements involved in becoming a CPA and which vary from state to state. However, in Texas in particular, the requirements are as follows: first, one needs to be of good or strong moral character. Thus, in order to just apply to take the exam, one's permanent record needs to demonstrate a long background in personal integrity and a strong moral character. For example, the most pertinent way in which one's character can demonstrate integrity and comparable ethical soundness is via an absence of felonious acts from one's personal history, these include basic things like the answers that an applicant offers regarding arrests, charges, convictions, probations, along with the addition of a felony or misdemeanor other than misdemeanors for driving offenses (tsbpa.state.tx.us). All applicants should be well aware that the Board will be utilizing the database which is a part of the Texas Department of Public Safety -- particularly their division of crime, using a computerized criminal history checks of each applicant who is able to give an application of intent. This database is so useful because "The Texas DPS -- Crime Records Department maintains records of arrests, charges, convictions, probations and deferred adjudications of misdemeanor and felony offenses that occur in Texas. Records of these activities are reported to the Board for further investigation" (tsbpa.state.tx.us). Furthermore, the length of time that this database spans is also incredibly noteworthy: if an applicant was 17 years of age or older; the incident would be recorded to the Board with the exception of criminal records that have been eradicated or sealed by the court in the most official way. When it comes to assessing the moral character of a given individual, the Board also places into consideration the current obtainment of any type of professional license along with any earlier denials of exam privileges of any other state or federal agencies. Thus, possessing a sound moral character is hardly something that the Texas Uniform CPA Board takes lightly.

Another requirement of taking the exam or even applying to take the exam is that one needs to have a BA or higher degree from a college or university in the United States which is board recognized (Sebastian, 2006). All degrees are checked and verified, given the serious nature of the CPA exam. "Degrees are verified by submitting official transcripts with the Application of Intent. An Application of Intent may not be approved until the baccalaureate degree is awarded and shown on the transcript. Degrees earned at colleges outside of the United States may require evaluation to determine equivalency to a baccalaureate or higher degree earned from a Board-recognized U.S. college or university" (tsbpa.state.tx.us). Another requirement to sit for the CPA exam in Texas is the necessity of completing 150 hours or quarter hours of college credit. Again, when applying to take this illustrious exam, one needs to bear in mind that the hours placed on one's application will in fact be checked and verified to ensure that one has indeed studied in the places that one has claimed: official transcripts will be checked. It's true that regulations do vary from state to state, but the reality is that the bulk of states require 150 hours of instruction must as Texas does. It's also worthwhile to note that this regulation is around 30 hours longer than what is provided in a typical four-year bachelor's degree.

It's also worth noting that some requirements revolve around having a minimum number of semester hours for accounting instruction and for business, though in Texas, these are not the exact requirements needed. It's common for CPAs to have bachelor degrees in accounting or in business; some colleges and universities have programs which help to accommodate to the accounting or the business degree with accelerated programs or with programs that are able to allow students to achieve such goals within a reasonable amount of time or at a faster pace.

In Texas, there is a certain amount of flexibility and adaptability with how these 150 semester hours can be achieved. For example, one can do so by completing a master's degree or higher via a specific university, which is acknowledged by the state board of Texas. Secondly, one can complete higher level of accounting classes necessary for the CPA exam, with hours which are needed for BA along with the additional hours which need to equal but not exceed 150 semester hours (tsbpa.state.tx.us). Also, each individual is responsible for accomplishing added semester hours or quarter hours which are supposed to add up to 150 hours or more; again, all coursework must take place in established universities that offer other established disciplines, like communications, business, liberal arts and others (tsbpa.state.tx.us). In fact, once one has obtained a BA degree, all additional coursework needs to be upper level if it is going to be used to the meet this 150-hours requirement.

As alluded to earlier, there is a very strict requirement in Texas which pertains to the completion of 30 semester hours (or quarter hours) of upper level accounting courses from a college or university which meets the recognition of the board (tsbpa.state.tx.us). Half of these total hours must take place in more traditional face-to-face courses and must include a couple hours of tax and accounting research (tsbpa.state.tx.us).

The Board of Texas is extremely specific about the precise types of accounting classes that they consider acceptable and appropriate. For instance, classes on financial accounting and reporting for business organizations may include intermediate and advanced accounting, managerial and cost accounting, auditing and attestation services, internal accounting control and risk evaluation, financial statement analysis, accounting research and evaluation, tax research and assessment, taxation analysis, the scrutiny and analysis of financial statements, and education on the correct methods of financial accounting and the reporting in accordance with government rules and the rules for non-profit entities and other such groups (tsbpa.state.tx.us/exam). Other pillars of this field that the exam will need to cover is along the lines of 12 semesters of accounting information systems such as management information systems, allowing for the MIS courses to be listed or cross-listed (tsbpa.state.tx.us/exam). These are all aspects of the requirements to bear in mind, along with the fact that there is also a fraud examination, along with education on international accounting and financial reporting in conjunction with an accounting internship program which is created for the good of the student in gaining real-time experience.

In fact, the Board specifies that at the very least, a minimum of two semester credit hours in upper-level accounting or tax research and analysis which is relevant to course be accomplished by each student (tsbpa.state.tx.us/exam). This can be achieved in a couple of ways: "The semester hours may be obtained through a discrete (stand-alone) course or offered through an integrated approach. If the course content is offered through integration, the university must advise the board of the course(s) that contain the research and analysis content" (tsbpa.state.tx.us/exam). However, the student needs to be cognizant of the accounting courses which are not recognized by the Board and which will not work in the student's favor in achieving eligibility to take this exam. Courses like principles of accounting, financial and managerial accounting, introductory accounting, ethics courses, and CPE courses along with other comparable classes will not contribute to the eligibility of the student in achieving this degree.

While internships within accounting are supported and even encouraged, there is a sense that the knowledge gained in the internship needs to be equal to or… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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