Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Oklahoma is a great way to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to become a successful financial professional. The Oklahoma Board of Accountancy requires CPA candidates to complete specific educational and examination requirements before they can become licensed. This article will provide an overview of the steps necessary to become a CPA in Oklahoma, including educational requirements, examination requirements, and the application process.
Becoming a CPA in Oklahoma
What is synonymous with Oklahoma and industry? Oil and gas extraction. The Sooner State gives Texas and Louisiana a run for their money in the oil business. All four Fortune 500 corporations based in the OK state are significant players in the energy industry. Today’s Energy means more than oil and gas. It means high-tech green energy sources like the 324 Megawatt Blue Canyon Wind Farm. The energy sector will continue relying on many innovative, trained, and capable accounting professionals during the current and future transition from fossil fuels to clean energy solutions.
Many are surprised to discover that Energy isn’t the biggest employer in Oklahoma. According to analysis and research firm IBISWorld, the healthcare and social assistance sectors are the largest moneymakers. Healthcare is a more than $800 billion industry in the nation. It is forecast to continue expanding by at least five percent annually nationwide. That number amounts to excellent job security for all Oklahoma CPAs who establish themselves in the healthcare field.
Oklahoma also maintains traditional small business and individual tax accounting. There are financial advising roles available in Oklahoma as well. The state hosts small firms, like Katz, Sapper & Miller, in Oklahoma City. Regional public accounting firms like Hogan Taylor keep Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices. These entities have a significant presence.
Here are the Steps to Become a CPA in Oklahoma:
Understanding how to become a CPA in Oklahoma is simple. Follow these four steps in this article. You will gain the needed information and be well on your way to establishing yourself as an accounting expert.
- Getting Your CPA Education in Oklahoma.
- Taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Oklahoma.
- Gaining the Needed Experience in Oklahoma.
- Getting Your CPA License and Continuing Education in Oklahoma.
Getting Your Education in Oklahoma
Future CPAs begin their careers by requesting information from colleges and universities in Oklahoma that offer accounting programs. Certified public accountants practicing in the Sooner State require 150-credit hours of college credit and at least an undergraduate degree. Under Oklahoma’s residency requirement, students must be a resident of Oklahoma before applying to take the Uniform CPA Exam.
The standard undergraduate degree in accounting consists of 120 semester hours. Pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate or accounting master’s represents the most tried and tested way to get thirty additional credits. Many excellent accounting programs are available through online learning. Future CPAs in Oklahoma can also find specialized five-year CPA programs. These business schools offer a blended undergraduate and graduate curriculum to give professionals the 150 semester hours needed to meet Oklahoma’s CPA requirements.
The Oklahoma Accountancy Board validates degrees and credits earned at colleges and universities that feature standard institutional accreditation from agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Business students who graduate from foreign schools need their credentials to be evaluated. Member organizations of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc assess credentials. Future CPAs request the evaluation from the agency. When evaluations are completed, they are submitted to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board for consideration.
The Oklahoma Accountancy Board sets all CPA rules. It is vital to meet Oklahoma’s CPA coursework and degree requirements if you want to become a CPA in Oklahoma. Whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, 150 credit hours of college coursework must be taken. Over half of the coursework needs to be upper-level courses with multiple classes in accounting and business.
Students must pursue 30 semester hours of accounting courses beyond the introductory or principles course level. Students must have one course in assurance or auditing. There must be a concentration on external auditing standards that includes Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS). There must also be nine credit hours in upper-level business courses such as:
|Financial information systems||Business law|
|Risk management||Business communication|
Taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Oklahoma
First, students satisfy Oklahoma’s educational requirements. Then test takers are eligible to apply for the Oklahoma’s Uniform CPA Examination. Future CPAs in Oklahoma may apply online or by submitting a Qualification Application.
The application includes the following:
- A passport-sized headshot photo.
- A notarized Affidavit Verifying Lawful Presence in the U.S.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
- A $50 check payable to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board.
Applicants mail the above resources to:
Oklahoma Accountancy Board
201 Northwest 63rd Street, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
The Oklahoma Accountancy Board reviews and processes all Qualification Applications within a week. Applicants receive an Approval Letter signifying they are Exam Candidates. Applications are approved, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) send candidates payment coupon. Candidates must include payment to NASBA for each section of the exam they plan to take. The Oklahoma Accountancy Board sends out approval packets.
Candidates receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam by mail or email, depending on the method chosen at the time of application. Test takers can log on to the Prometric website to schedule examinations at an Oklahoma testing site. Prometric centers include Tulsa and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma. Some Uniform CPA Exam takers must arrange testing accommodations due to disabilities. These exam takers use the ADA Request for Special Accommodations.
Gaining the Needed Experience in Oklahoma
CPAs in Oklahoma must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam. After passing the sections, they are ready to complete the Oklahoma Accountancy Board’s experience and ethics course requirement.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Home Study Course on Professional Ethics must be passed with a score of 90%. Materials for this course may be ordered online.
All certified public accountants in Oklahoma have at least one year/1,800 hours of verifiable public accounting experience within four years of applying to become CPAs. Business school students can contact their career center to find practical experience. Work experience in Oklahoma can be full or part-time. Self-employment qualifies as experience in Oklahoma. Work experience can be through work in academia, industry, public practice, or government. Experience must include one or more of these skills to qualify: Accounting, Attestation, or Tax services.
All work experience must be verified by CPAs with current, valid licenses in Oklahoma or another state. A PA licensed in Oklahoma or another state can prove work experience.
Getting Your Oklahoma CPA License and Continuing Education
Oklahoma is a two-tier state. This distinction means that CPAs must have CPA certificates and permits to legally practice public accounting. CPAs in Oklahoma must check to make sure they have completed the following steps:
- Acquire 150 credit hours of college education and pursue at least an undergraduate degree.
- Take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam.
- Take and pass the AICPA Ethics Exam.
- Satisfy the Board’s requirement of one year/1800 hours of accounting work experience.
- Send Experience Verification Form to the Oklahoma Accountancy Board.
- Receive an Application for Certification from the Oklahoma Accountancy Board once Experience Verification Form gets approved.
CPAs wanting to maintain Permits to Practice Accountancy in Oklahoma must satisfy the state’s continuing professional education requirements. Professionals who receive their initial Permits to Practice must fulfill forty CPE hours the year before they apply. It is notable that CPAs who work in academia or for the government do not have to hold a Permit to Practice. CPAs maintaining a Permit to Practice fulfill 120 CPE hours every three years.
Current and qualifying CPAs complete four CPE hours every three years in professional ethics. At least 72 CPE hours must be in public accounting subjects over three years. At least eight CPE hours in accounting, taxation, or assurance are taken annually to remain qualified. CPAs who supervise or review compilation agreements complete four CPE hours in compilation agreements annually.
Are you going to be the next CPA in Oklahoma?
CPAs in Oklahoma enjoy a thriving economic ecosystem that keeps them engaged in an exciting career path. Accounting professionals are in high demand in Oklahoma, but the coursework these professionals endure is not easy. The time commitment is substantial.
Now is a great time to consider pursuing the credentials that will make it possible to become a CPA in Oklahoma. Get your education. Meet the requirements for qualification. Commit to staying current with coursework.
CPAs in Oklahoma will continue to strengthen the state’s economy and enjoy ample job security for years to come. What is not to love about a record-keeping and accountancy career that ensures an organization will stay healthy for years? Business needs well-trained, keen workers who can manage the books and keep organizations profitable. There is no end to what a CPA in Oklahoma can accomplish.