Note – if you work in public accounting or plan on holding yourself out to the public as a CPA, then this information doesn't apply to you – you need to meet your state's CPA Exam requirements. This post will benefit those who are short on the 150 hour rule, but are only going to use the CPA designation as a “credential” within the private sector. Make sure you have full understanding on your respective state's rules on holding yourself out as a Certified Public Accountant.
I have a friend who resides and works in a state that requires candidates to meet the 150 hour rule before they can even sit for the CPA Exam. He's 24 and works in SEC Reporting for a Fortune 500 company. After graduation, he sat for and passed the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Exam. He didn't have 150 hours and his current work load prohibited him from starting on an MBA or other graduate program which would give him his 150 hours, so he sat for and passed the Certified Management Accountant Exam (CMA).
Unbeknown to him previously (and me as well) – the State of Colorado allows out of state candidates who neither work in nor live in Colorado to be licensed as Colorado CPAs. My friend sent in his application, was approved…and is sitting for BEC this week. If he ever wants reciprocity, he will need the 150 hours, but his boss just wants him to pass the Exam – not be eligible to sign tax returns or audit reports.
Most people who work in the private sector let their licenses lapse anyway…the important thing is…did you pass the Exam? If the answer is yes – that's all that they care about.
If you're considering this, be sure to do your due diligence and find out if this is right for you.
The beautiful thing about Prometric offering a uniform exam is that someone in New York can theoretically sit for an exam in New York as a Colorado candidate.
Read more about Colorado's CPA Exam requirements.