Licensed accounting professionals - called certified public accountants (CPAs) or public accountants (PAs) - prepare, evaluate, and attest to the accuracy and completeness of financial statements and related information. Only a licensed CPA or PA may perform the attest function in New York State. CPAs and PAs may also provide tax planning, financial advisory and management advisory services. These particular services may also be provided by unlicensed individuals in NYS. The term "public" in the CPA and PA titles typically refers to third-party reliance on the integrity of the financial information presented by the licensed accountant. However, CPAs and PAs may also be employed in private industry, government, not-for-profit and educational institutions where they apply their professional skills and knowledge to help ensure that the employing entities books, records, management and financial operations are maintained in a manner consistent with applicable standards.
To be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in New York State you must:
150-Semester Hour Pathway
To fulfill the education requirement for licensure as a 150 semester hour pathway:
Requirements for equivalent programs for individuals who have not completed a NYS Registered Program or received a Master’s degree in accounting from an AACSB institution that is accredited in business and accounting:
120-Semester Hour Pathway
NOTE: Applicants under the 120-semester hour pathway who have completed additional coursework may request to have their education re-evaluated to determine if they meet the 150-semester hour pathway.
Applicants who completed any of their post-secondary (college) education outside of the United States and did not complete a NYS Licensure Qualifying Profession or an AACSB program as outline above will be required to have a full review of their education for licensure.
Acceptable experience may be earned in a public accounting firm, government, private industry or an educational institution. The experience can be in one of the following service areas: accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, taxation, or consulting skills. The experience must be gained under the supervision of a U.S. certified public accountant who is properly licensed and registered or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction of their principal place of business. If a CPA supervisor was not properly licensed or registered or authorized to practice in the state where they practiced, the experience cannot be accepted.
New York State recognizes the Uniform CPA Examination, prepared and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In New York, the examination is administered by CPA Examination Services, a division of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
The examination is a computerized examination consisting of four parts:
The passing score for each of the four examination parts is 75. An applicant must successfully pass all parts of the examination within a (rolling) eighteen (18) month window. The applicant may sit for parts individually, once during each calendar quarter.
The fee for licensure is $377.
In 2014, there were 2,594 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2013, there were 3,282 licenses issued for this occupation.
New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 270
13-2011 - Accountants
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).
Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.
This page was last updated on 11/10/16.
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