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Audit and Assurance Accountants

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Many audit and assurance accountants are certified. Certification is required of all accountants who file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many accountants become certified to improve their job prospects and to grow their business. Accountants are certified by their state's Board of Accountancy. State requirements for certification vary, but what is universal is that accountants must pass a national exam. To qualify, they must have completed 150 semester hours of college course work; this is more hours than most bachelor's degrees. Students may enroll in a five-year bachelor's degree program to meet the 150-hour requirement. Some states allow accounting work experience to substitute for college degree requirements. Many states require two years of prior public accounting experience to qualify for a CPA certificate. Check with your state's Board of Accountancy or the AICPA Web site (http://www.aicpa.org/becomeacpa) for CPA requirements for your state.

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