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    I am trying to get confirmation as to whether or not I am able to hold myself out to the public as a “CPA” in Illinois if I don't have experience in public accounting after I pass the exam. I currently am planning to begin studying for the exam in the next couple months. I have 3 years of experience in corporate finance, in which I perform multiple accounting functions but my title is financial analyst.

    Most websites say I need 1 year of “Public Accounting Experience”. However, the Illinois Accounting Act states…

    “Sec. 14. Qualifications. The Department may license as licensed certified public accountants the following:

    (a) All persons who have received certificates as certified public accountants from the Board or who hereafter receive registrations as registered certified public accountants from the Department who have had at least one year of full‑time experience, or its equivalent, providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, which may be gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice.”

    I called the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation today and I asked very specifically if my current experience would satisfy the requirements. The person I spoke with could do nothing more than tell me repeatedly to read the Accounting Act found on their website, and could not refer me to anyone else for more help.

    I am strictly going for the CPA so that I can bolster my credentials as a financial analyst. It is important that I am able to put CPA on my resume as I feel I may, in the future, be in a position where this can help me find better job opportunities or move up within the company I currently work.

    Can anyone help provide me with an answer? I am aware that Illinois is shortly taking away the ability to receive a Certificate (they are going to a one tier state in July of 2012), so licensure is now the only option to hold yourself out to the public as a CPA.




    @Most websites say I need 1 year of “Public Accounting Experience”

    every state is different so the public accounting experience is not always a requirement. I believe in Colorado no experience is needed with 150 semester hours. Anyway the insert from the Illinois website is confusing ( possible because BEC is in my brain) hopefully some Illinois folks can help you out further. Good luck



    Your work exp has to be under another cpa in the USA in other states that don't require public only exp, like NY and CA. Anyone supervise you in your co that's a cpa? Your curr work exp doesn't qualify as public acct if you are in corp finance



    If you pass all 4 sections of the CPA & the ethics before April 30, 2012, you'll be able to be a registered CPA in IL which allow you to legally hold yourself out to the public as a CPA. I say April 30 because you need to be registered BY July 1, 2012 to be grandfathered in as a registered CPA. After July 1, all CPAs will have to be Licensed in which case you'll need at least one year of full time accounting experience.

    I'm doing the same thing you are, just trying to boost my credentials because I have no plans currently to go into public accounting.



    Here's a link with some info that may help you:



    Illinois is a two tier state.

    If you get the CPA certificate (which you qualify for) you cannot put CPA on your business cards or call yourself a CPA. You only have the certificate.

    If you are LICENSED as a CPA, which requires experience as the law says, then you can put CPA on your business cards or call yourself a CPA.

    After July 1, 2012, the only option is to be a licensed CPA. The certificate option will disappear then.

    @kasias: Why April 30, 2012? Does it really take that long for them to process your paperwork to issue the certificate?



    That is what my professor advised during my reivew course. I assume she was allowing time to receive your exam score sometime in May and to send in all of your registration materials to the state and it be processed by June 30th.



    @bobkorz, if you register by June 30, you are allowed to use the CPA title.



    yes, if you complete all sections and ethics in illinois by july 2012, you can hold yourself out to be a CPA with a registration certificate and/or a license to practice public accounting. the former you don't need CPE's or work experience in public accounting, but the latter you do. again, in both cases, you can put CPA on all your collateral, and hold yourself out to the public as a CPA. it's just that you need the license to give opinions on F/S to the public. they told me that CPE's may be required in the future for registered CPA's in illinois, but no proposals have been put forth to that end so far. they also said that after july 2012, you can only do the license and must have public accounting experience, CPE's and be able to perform F/S opinions. the registration certificate will go away for new CPA's only. registration CPA's before then are grandfathered. i know these as facts because i have had discussions and emails with illinois board, and that is why i did the CPA as well. i would have never wasted my time if i needed to be fully licensed or desired to do public accounting as a career. no way.i am using the CPA to complement my other experience, academics and certifications. glad i finished it all this year and didn't risk coming against the july 2012 deadline.



    @kasias Thanks for that link! That was really helpful.

    @snausages Based on the link to the Illionois CPA society, the new law specifically removes the requirement of “public accounting”. Accounting related activities outside of public accounting will permit licensure under the new law. I confirmed this with a member of the Illinois CPA Society.

    Thanks to everyone for your input.

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