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Becoming a CPA in Florida can be a great way to jumpstart your career in accounting. It is a challenging but rewarding process that requires dedication and commitment. In order to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida, there are several steps you must take. These include education requirements, passing the CPA exam, obtaining the necessary work experience, and applying for licensure with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). With hard work and determination, you can become a successful CPA in Florida.

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Florida is one of the most popular states for accountants to find jobs. There are over 70,000 accountants currently working within the state. The average annual salary for accountants in Florida is over $70,000. This average amount is higher or lower according to the area of practice. Florida has the fourth-highest number of accountants and auditors in the country. Projections Central forecasts demand for accountants and auditors to grow 14% between now and 2030. This impressive rate is twice as fast as the national prediction for the occupation.

Florida’s Division of Certified Public Accounting (DBPR) maintains the process for becoming a CPA in the state. 

So How Do You Become a CPA in Florida? 

Here is a checklist you must complete to become a CPA in Florida:

  • Florida CPAs must complete 150 credit hours of accounting-intensive college-level education.
  • Florida CPAs accumulate the required experience hours.
  • Florida CPAs take the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Florida CPAs apply for a CPA license.

Florida CPAs complete 150 credit hours of accounting-intensive college-level education 

Florida CPAs must complete 150 semester hours of college-level education to complete a CPA license. Completing these courses results in an undergraduate degree or higher. At least 30-credit hours of upper-division accounting coursework should be within the 150 credit hours. These courses will cover auditing and cost accounting. There will be three financial accounting hours and three taxation credit hours. Students must also complete 36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours of general business courses. Three to four of the general business credit hours must be business law.

Florida CPAs accumulate the required experience hours

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CPAs must acquire at least 2,000 hours of work experience. These professionals complete the hours over one year of full-time work experience. They must work at least 40 hours weekly or find the hours through two years of part-time work experience. That format includes at least 20 hours per week of work.

The hours must be accumulated and verified by an approved chartered accountant or licensed CPA. The experience hours may begin after the applicant has completed 120 credit hours of coursework. Those accredited courses must concentrate on accounting and business. Accounting experience includes public, private, or government practice. Professionals can also apply academia to their experience requirements.

Florida CPAs take the Uniform CPA Exam 

Accounting boards of all 50 states require that future CPAs take the Uniform CPA Exam. The examination is developed and offered through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Passing the test is how CPAs earn their certifications to practice their craft. Once the required education requirement has been met in Florida, future CPAs apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam. 

The Florida DBPR Division of Certified Public Accounting offers the exam. Once authorization is granted, candidates apply with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Future Florida CPAs schedule and take the exam. Test takers must pass all four exam parts within a rolling 18-month period.

All Florida Uniform CPA Exam test takers must meet a set of education requirements. Though 150 total hours are required for the license, candidates can sit for the Florida CPA Exam after completing 120 semester credit hours (180 quarter credit hours). There is no Bachelor’s degree requirement associated with the exam itself. 

The Florida education requirements include the following:

  • Upper-division accounting hours of 120 credit semester or 180 quarter hours.
  • The 24 semester or 36 quarter hours include auditing and cost accounting topics.
  • Three semester or four quarter hours of financial accounting.
  • Three semester or four quarter hours of taxation (Financial accounting and taxation courses must be based on U.S. accounting standards.
  • Upper-division general business hours of 120 credit semester or 180-quarter hours.
  • The 24 semester or 36 quarter hours include three semester or four quarter hours of business law on U.S. Law

Florida CPAs apply for a CPA license

CPA candidates in Florida must create accounts with the Florida DBPR, and: 

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  • They provide evidence that they have met all work and education requirements for licensure.
  • They pay an application fee.
  • They submit their exam results.
  • They complete a license application to the DBPR. These licenses must be applied for within three years of passing the exam. Applicants apply through the online portal. Future Florida CPAs can print and mail application forms.

All applicants apply for licensure and complete the application within three years of passing the last part of the CPA Exam. The NASBA notifies applicants they have passed the test.

Applicants who fail to complete the licensure application within three years watch their CPA exam grades expire. Those applicants then reapply for licensure for endorsement, as stated in the state’s Section 473.308(7)(a), F.S. Licensure requirements.

Application Requirements for Your Florida CPA

Successful applicants obtaining an original license must: 

Test takers apply to the DBPR. Applicants receive an email verifying the receipt of their application. They are approved for the license. Applicants then sign on to their DBPR account to print a license. Applicants should receive a wall certificate after three to six weeks of approval.

All Florida CPAs must: 

  • Pass four parts of the CPA Exam within 18 months .
  • Take total required education hours of 150 or 225 quarter hours.
  • Take total upper-division accounting hours. These hours include 30 semester or 45 quarter hours. Topics include auditing and cost accounting. There are three semester or four quarter hours of financial accounting. There are three semester or four quarter hours of taxation. These courses are based on U.S. accounting standards. 
  • Take total general business hours. These hours include 36 semester or 54 quarter hours. There are three or four quarter hours of business law based on U.S. Law.
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All lower-level general business courses posted to transcripts after the end of August 1989 do not count. Standardized tests, like CLEP, are not acceptable for accounting and general business courses. Advanced placement courses are qualified if the applicant has been granted college credit for the AP courses by the degree-awarding institution. 

Florida CPA Work Experience 

A licensed CPA verifies one year of work experience after 120 or 180 quarter hours from an accredited university. The institution of higher learning must offer a concentration in accounting and business courses. 

Work experience includes the following: 

  • Any type of advice or service involving accounting, attest, tax, compilation, management advisory, consulting skills, or financial advisory.
  • The experience requirement must be met through employment in public practice, government, industry, or academia.
  • Experience must average at least twenty hours a week for part-time and no more than forty hours a week over fifty-two weeks. 

Verifying CPAs confirm that the applicants completed services for a minimum of 2,000 hours gained over at least fifty-two weeks. This record is revealed when submitting the Verification of Work Experience form. Experience secured before or after taking the exam, whether partly before the exam and partly after the exam, is immaterial. The two periods should equal at least one year. 

How Does a Florida CPA Stay Current?

Once you are a CPA in Florida, it’s time to understand how to keep your certificate current. The DBPR requires all CPAs to complete eighty hours of continuing professional education (CPE) to keep CPA licenses current. These renewals happen every two years. At least eight of these hours are in accounting and auditing. Four hours are in an ethics course approved by the Board. 

The four categories for Florida CPE include:

  • A minimum of eight hours in accounting and auditing.
  • Technical business.
  • No more than twenty hours of behavioral coursework.
  • At least four hours in ethics.

There is additional information on the DBPR website.


These CPE requirements for all Florida CPAs assist these professionals in maintaining their professional competence and knowledge. The four categories included helping these professionals keep on top of their game. Technology and money management are moving at the speed of business today. Accountants need excellent training and resources to stay ahead. All Florida CPAs complete a total of 80 CPE hours. The hours in accounting and auditing help them stay sharp. The four hours in Board-approved ethics every two years ensure they make the right decisions with organizations’ resources.

It is a great time to consider becoming a CPA in Florida.

Related Resources:

Best Degrees to Become an Accountant
Ultimate Guide for Accountants
Best Online MBA Programs for Accountants

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?