Securing your CPA qualification is a defining moment in many people’s careers. They pinpoint passing the exam as the precise moment when a host of career opportunities suddenly became available to them, boosting their earning potential and making them more desirable to prospective employers. For those staying in the same company, they often tout the CPA exam as the moment they felt more secure in their job and the moment that bosses began earmarking them for a promotion.
The benefits of the exam cannot be overstated. But before you can access this wealth of opportunity, you have to pass the exam. Passing the exam doesn’t just mean learning the material and excelling in all four sections, it also means ensuring you can cover the costs and fees associated with sitting the CPA exams. Here we break down 5 CPA exam costs that you need to anticipate going into the process.
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CPA Review Course: $1,000-$3,000
CPA review courses provide you with the necessary study materials to pass the four CPA exams. The best courses will have video lectures, email support, and audio materials and will cover all aspects of the CPA course.
Application Fees: $50-$100
The application fee to take the CPA exams vary from state to state. The fee goes to the state board and covers their processing of your application to take the exam.
It is a one-off expense: however, if your application is rejected and you have to reapply, you will have to pay the fee again. If you let your test notice authorization (ATT) expire, you will also have to pay the fee again when you reapply.
CPA Exam Fees: Around $200 per Exam
Again, the precise exam fees vary from state to state, but most charge around $200 per exam. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) collects the exam fees and has a list of each state’s exam pricing on its website.
Only pay for the exams you are planning on taking within the next six months. Once you pay your exam fees and registration fees (see next section) you have six months to take the exam. Therefore, any exams taken later than six months will require you to pay the necessary fees again.
Exam Registration Fees: Around $300 for all four sections
Aside from the examination fees, you will also need to pay the exam registration fees. These vary from state to state but are often tiered, meaning if you pay for all four registration fees in one sum, it is cheaper than paying for one or two exams at a time.
However, proceed with caution. Once you pay your exam registration fees, you have six months to take the exam. If you are not planning on taking all four exams in the same six-month period, only pay the registration fees for the exams you are planning on taking, or you will have to pay the registration fees again.
CPA Ethics Exam Fees: $150-$200 (Not applicable in every state)
While not all states require you to pass an ethics exam, some, including Texas and California, ask you to sit an ethics exam before they award you the CPA license. The cost of ethics exams vary; but you can expect to pay between $150 and $200 to sit the exam.