Frequently Asked Questions
CPA Exam Questions
What are the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam?
- (a). Successful completion of course work consisting of at least 150 semester hours, with a concentration in accounting, at a college or university recognized by the board, and the applicant is the holder of a baccalaureate or higher academic degree. A candidate MUST meet the education requirements and be able to provide an official transcript or transcripts indicating such BEFORE making application to sit for the exam.
- (b) Within the 150-hour education requirement, a candidate must complete 42 semester hours in business and general education courses, including the following:
- (1) At least 42 semester credit hours in business and general education courses, including the following:
- (A) Macro- and micro-economics plus one upper division economics course;
- (B) at least two courses in the legal aspects of business or business law; (C) college algebra or higher-level math course;
- (D) statistics and probability theory course;
- (E) computer systems and applications course;
- (F) finance course;
- (G) management and administration course;
- (H) marketing course; and
- (I) production, operations research, or applications of quantitative techniques to business problems course;
- (2) At least 11 hours in written and oral communications; (this includes courses such as English Composition, Speech, Business Communications, it does not include Foreign Language, Poetry, Literature, Theatre, etc.)
- (3) at least 30 semester credit hours in courses in accounting theory and practice, including the following:
- (A) Financial accounting course;
- (B) managerial accounting beyond an introductory course;
- (C) auditing course;
- (D) income tax course; and
- (E) accounting systems beyond an introductory computer course.
- (1) At least 42 semester credit hours in business and general education courses, including the following:
- (1) Credit for advanced placement;
- (2) credit by examination; and
- (3) credit for military education;
- (4) credit for competency gained through experience; and
- (5) courses taken for pass-fail credit.
Credits recognized by the board pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed a total of six semester hours.
Is it true that the Board may waive some of the required courses?
For good cause, not to exceed a total of six hours, up to three hours of course requirements in each of the three categories listed above may be waived by the board, but only if the applicant has met the 150-hour education requirement and can provide satisfactory verification that he or she has otherwise met the course requirement.
Is it true that the Board may waive some of the required courses?
Not to exceed a total of six hours, up to three hours of course requirements in each of the three categories listed above may be waived by the board, but only if the applicant has met the 150 hour education requirement and can provide satisfactory verification that he or she has otherwise met the course requirement. Note that a waiver is an exception, not the rule, so any request for a waiver will be considered on a very narrow basis and must be for good cause. Please see the Board’s position paper on waivers under “CPA Exam Info” on the Board’s website at ksboa.kansas.gov
Where do I get an application to sit for the CPA Exam?
By contacting CPA Examination Services at 1-800-CPA Exam (1-800-272-3926) ask for the Kansas Coordinator; or via the Internet at www.nasba.org.
Can I sit for the exam any time I want, and as often as I want?
In July of 2020, the exam went to continuous testing, which means that upon a candidate learning that they failed a section of the exam, they are able to Immediately apply for re-exam of that section.
Can I sit for the exam before meeting the education requirements?
What are the exam application deadlines?
There is no application deadline date. Applications will be taken and processed when submitted. However, once a candidate has been issued a “Notice to Schedule”, the candidate will have six months from the issuance of the “Notice to Schedule” in which to sit for the approved exam sections.
Do I have to sit for all four parts of the exam at one time?
No. Candidates will be able to apply for one section of the examination at a time. Once the candidate is issued a “Notice to Schedule”, the candidate will have six months from the date the “Notice to Schedule” is issued to sit for the approved sections. However, once a candidate has passed a section, the candidate will have 18 months from the date that part is passed to pass the remaining sections before losing credit for the passed part.
Where is the CPA Examination held?
In Kansas, there are four sites:
Topeka: 2800 Wanamaker Road, Ste. 160, Phone: 785-272-7500
Wichita: 2020 N. Woodlawn, Ste. 20, Phone: 316-651-5350
Overland Park: 9611-E Metcalf Ave., Phone: 913-381-6799
Hays: Ft. Hays University, 305 Dwight Dr. Wiest Hall B150, Phone: 785-628-4330
It is up to the candidate to schedule his/her dates and times to sit for the exam. However, when a person has been sent a “Notice to Schedule”, the candidate may schedule to sit for the exam at any Prometric site in the US that provides testing for the CPA exam. Go to www.prometric.com for site information.
When are the results of the exam released, and who will notify me?
Grades are released as they are received by the AICPA and are posted on NASBA’s website. However, once a candidate has passed all 4 parts of the exam, the Board will notify the candidate of the successful completion of the exam–not NASBA. This process will take longer than when NASBA notifies the candidate, because all of the grades have to be released by the AICPA for the testing window and the successful candidate files then sent to the Board by NASBA. Once this occurs, the Board will notify the candidate of their successful completion of the exam. We appreciate your patience.
I am from a foreign country, or I attended a college in a foreign country. What requirements must I meet to sit for the CPA Exam in Kansas?
An individual with a foreign degree must have their foreign degree evaluated to substantiate that the foreign degree is equivalent to a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. institution and must satisfy the 150-semester credit hour requirement. The Board only accepts NASBA’s Foreign Evaluation Service. For more Information:
I passed the exam-- can I call myself a CPA?
Once you have passed the CPA exam, you are required to pass the AICPA’s Professional Ethics course. Once a candidate has successfully completed the ethics course, and has been issued a Kansas CPA certificate, a person may use the CPA as a credential only. (In other words, CPA may appear after a person’s name if they are working in an industry that is not related to the practice of public accountancy.) The CPA Certificate allows a person to use the designation as a credential, not perform or offer to perform, or sign reports for the public, as a CPA.
CAUTION: Financial Planning, litigation support, broker/dealer services, investment advisory, consulting, management advisory and business valuation services, ALL fall under the definition of non-attest practice, and in order to use the CPA designation in connection with these services, a person must also hold a valid Kansas permit to practice.
What if I sat for the exam before the education requirement changed, do I now have to meet the 150-hour education requirement to sit for the exam in the future?
If you sat for the CPA Exam in Kansas as a Kansas candidate prior to July of 1997, you do not have to meet the 150-hour education requirement to sit for the exam in Kansas in the future.
KANSAS IS A TWO-TIERED STATE, WHICH MEANS A PERSON MUST APPLY FIRST FOR A CPA CERTIFICATE AND THEN A PERMIT (LICENSE) TO PRACTICE AFTER MEETING AN EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT. ONLY AFTER OBTAINING A PERMIT TO PRACTICE, MAY A PERSON USE THE CPA DESIGNATION TO PERFORM OR OFFER TO PEFORM SERVICES AS A CPA FOR THE PUBLIC. SEE PERMIT QUESTIONS FOR INFORMATION ON OBTAINING A PERMIT. YOU MAY SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR A CERTIFICATE AND PERMIT SIMULTANEOUSLY; HOWEVER, THE PERMIT WILL NOT BE APPROVED AND ISSUED UNTIL THE CERTIFICATE IS APPROVED.
Note: You are required to submit all required forms to the Board in a complete package when applying for a certificate. Incomplete applications will be returned.
How do I obtain a CPA certificate by exam, or by transfer of grades, in Kansas?
How do I obtain a CPA certificate by reciprocity in Kansas?
A person whose original certificate is from another state may be issued a certificate by reciprocity if the applicant passed the exam with grades that would have been passing grades that time in this state and the applicant meets all current requirements in this state for issuance of a certificate at the time application is made, and at the time of the issuance of the applicant’s certificate in the other state met all such requirements applicable in this state, or the applicant had four years of experience after passing the exam upon which the applicant’s certificate was based and within the 10 years immediately preceding the application.
Permit ( License ) To Practice Questions
A PERSON WHOSE PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS IS IN KANSAS AND WHO HOLDS OUT OR PERFORMS OR OFFERS TO PERFORM SERVICES AS A CPA MUST HAVE A VALID KANSAS PERMIT TO PRACTICE.
Note: You are required to submit all required forms to the Board in a complete package when applying for a certificate.
What is the experience requirement for a permit to practice?
One year of accounting experience obtained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice, providing any type of service or advice involving the use of attest or nonattest skills, all of which was verified by a CPA holding an active license to practice.
What is the cost for a permit to practice?
Do I have to have proof of completion of CE to obtain my initial permit to practice?
Oops! I didn't renew my permit because I didn’t think I needed it, but circumstances changed and now I do. How do I go about "reinstating" my permit?
If a person has been without a permit for longer than 1 year, then the process is deemed to be a “reinstatement of permit”. This requires proof of completion of 40 hours of CE within the previous 12 months from
the date of application for reinstatement, plus payment of a higher fee.
I don't provide any attest services. Am I required to hold a permit to practice to provide non-attest services as a CPA?
Yes. Financial Planning, litigation support, broker/dealer services, investment advisory, consulting, management advisory and business valuation services, all fall under the definition of non-attest practice, and in order to use the CPA designation in connection with these services, requires a person to hold a valid Kansas permit to practice. For the definition of practice of certified public accountancy, please go to www.ksboa.org/statutes/1_321.pdf The definition is broken out into two categories: atttest and non-attest.
Firm Registration, Names & Ownership Questions
Firm, as defined in K.S.A. 1-321(k) means: (1) An individual who operates as a sole practitioner and who issues reports subject to peer review; or (2) any business organization including, but not limited to, a general partnership, limited liability partnership, general corporation, professional corporation or limited liability company.
Must I register my firm?
- A CPA firm with an office in Kansas that performs or offers to perform any attest and/or non-attest services for the public (as defined in K.S.A. 1-321(d) and (s)), must register with the Board.
- A CPA firm that does not have an office in the state of Kansas but performs or offers to perform attest services described in K.S.A. 1-321(d) for a client in Kansas, must register with the Board.
- A CPA who owns a business organization that has an office in Kansas through which he or she performs or offers to perform attest and/or non-attest services as a CPA; i.e. an LLP, LLC, general corporation, professional corporation (association) or partnership, must register that business organization with the Board as a firm, as required by K.S.A. 1-308, regardless of whether or not the entity name includes the CPAs name, or constitutes a fictitious name.
- A CPA firm that neither has an office in Kansas nor performs or offers to perform attest services described in K.S.A. 1-321(d) for a Kansas client, is not required to register with the Board, provided that the CPA firm otherwise qualifies for exemption from registration pursuant to K.S.A. 1-308(c)
- Before registering with the Secretary of State, a firm should first register with the Board to ensure that the name of the firm complies with state law.
How often do I renew my firm registration?
Are there any restrictions on the content and use of a firm name?
Are non-CPAs allowed to have an ownership in the firm?
- The majority of the firm ownership in terms of equity capital and voting rights must be held by holders of valid licenses to practice as a CPA in some state;
- Non-CPAs holding firm ownership must be of good moral character and must be natural persons actively participating in the business of the firm, or actively participating in the business of entities, such as partnerships, corporations or other business associations, that are affiliated with the firm.
- Non-CPAs may not have their name in the firm name.
For more information concerning firm registration, firm names and firm ownership, please contact the Board office.
Peer Review Questions
When is my firm required to have a Peer Review and is proof of completion of Peer Review required in Kansas?
Any firm, or unincorporated sole practitioner, that issues its first report subject to Peer Review (audit, review, agreed upon procedure, forecast) is required to notify the Board, on a form provided by the Board, of the issue date of the report, type of report, and year-end date of the client, and have a peer review completed within 18 months of the first report issued. Here is a link to the Peer Review Form:
Thereafter, proof of completion of Peer Review every three years is required for registered firms and unincorporated Kansas sole practitioners who are subject to Peer Review. Proof of completion is provided with firm registration.
What is considered to be "proof of completion” of Peer Review?
How long is my Peer Review Letter of Completion valid?
What if I can’t provide a letter of completion, will the Board accept anything else?
If an “in process” letter is submitted, the Board will issue a “conditional” firm registration or “conditional” permit renewal, whichever is applicable, subject to providing the necessary letter of completion by a specified date.
Can the Board obtain the results of my Peer Review?
Can the Board take disciplinary action over the outcome of my Peer Review?
Yes. Beginning with Peer Review Reports accepted by Report Acceptance Bodies after December 31, 2001, if a firm receives an Adverse (Fail) report, or if a firm has received 2 modified Peer Review Reports during 12 consecutive years, the Board may limit the scope of practice of attest services of a firm or permit holder if the Board determines that the firm or person failed to comply with GAAP, GAAAS and other recognized authoritative technical standards.
The Board may also take action if a firm has failed to abide by remedial measures required buy a Peer Review Committee or the Board.
What about the new Peer Review Facilitated State Board Access Program?
Kansas is participating in the new AICPA Peer Review State Board Access Program which will allow Boards of Accountancy to access Peer Review information via a secure website, should the firms choose to participate in the program. This new process WILL NOT replace the Board’s current Peer Review submission requirements. Therefore, firms will need to continue to comply with the Board’s requirements unless otherwise notified by the Board.
What about the new Peer Review Facilitated State Board Access Program?
NOTE: ONLY PERSONS HOLDING ACTIVE PERMITS TO PRACTICE ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN CE.
What are the CE requirements?
For active permit holders, the CE requirement is 80 hours every 2 years to include 2 hours of ethics that directly relates to the practice of certified public accountancy.
What is the CE reporting period?
July 1 to June 30 in a biennial period
Does Kansas have a specific CE requirement in the areas of accounting and attest?
Does Kansas has an ethics requirement for CE?
Yes. 2 hours of the required hours to renew the permit must directly relate to the practice of certified public accountancy.
How long do I have to keep my CE records?
CPAs must retain certificates of completion or attendance of CE for five years from the end of the year in which the program or course was completed.
What requirements must be met by the CE sponsor?
- It is a formal program of learning that maintains or improves the professional competence of a permit holder and requires attendance.
- An outline of the program is prepared in advance and provided to the permit holder.
- The program is at least 50 minutes in length.
- The program is conducted by a person qualified in the subject area.
- The program sponsor issues to each participant a certificate of attendance that reflects the name of the program sponsor, title and course field of study, date and location of the program, delivery method of the course, name of the participant, signature of a representative of the program sponsor, and number of CE contact hours.
- A record of registration and attendance is retained for five years by the program sponsor.
What types of programs qualify as acceptable CE?
Professional development programs of the AICPA, State Societies, and local chapters of CPAs;
Technical sessions at meetings of the AICPA, State Societies and local chapters of CPAs;
University or college credit courses.
University or college non-credit courses.
Formal organized, in-firm or interfirm education programs;
Programs in accounting, auditing, consulting services, specialized knowledge and applications, taxation, management, or ethics; and
Programs in personal development, which may include communications, managing group processes, dealing effectively with others, interviewing, counseling and career planning.
What about self-study programs, what types are acceptable?
Individual self-study programs may be eligible, if all of the following conditions are met:
a. The program sponsor has been approved by either the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Registry, or is sponsored by or through the AICPA or a State Society of CPAs;
b. The program requires registration;
c. The program includes a final examination;
d. The participant scores at least 70 % on the final examination;
e. The participant provides certificates of satisfactory completion.
Independent self-study programs may be eligible, if all of the following conditions are met:
a. The program sponsor has been approved by either NASBA”s Registry or is sponsored by or through the AICPA or a State Society of CPAs ;
b. The participant has a written learning contract with a program sponsor that contains a recommendation of the number of credit hours to be awarded upon successful completion of the program;
c. The sponsor reviews and signs a report indicating that all of the requirements of the independent study program, as outlined in the learning contract, are satisfied;
d. The program is completed in 15 weeks or less.
How are CE credits computed?
A course must, however, reach a full 50 minutes to be counted for 1 hour, and a full 25 minutes to be counted as ½ hour. If a course lasts only 45 minutes, it may not be claimed. If a course lasts 70 minutes, then only 1 hour may be claimed, because the full 25 minutes were not attained to count for the ½ hour credit.
Is there any limit on the amount of self-study hours I can claim?
What about instructor/preparation hours/personal development hours ”may they be claimed, and if so, how much?
Hours devoted to actual preparation time by an instructor, discussion leader, or speaker for formal programs shall be computed at a maximum of up to twice the number of CE credits that a participant would be entitled to receive, in addition to the time for presentation, AS LONG AS THE HOURS SERVED CONTRIBITE TO THE PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE OF THE APPLICANT.
Repeated presentations of the same course SHALL NOT BE COUNTED unless it is demonstrated that the program content involved was substantially changed and the change required significant additional study or research.
Hours served as an instructor, discussion leader or speaker, to include preparation, are limited to 50% of the total number of hours of CE required for renewal.
Hours from programs in personal development shall not exceed 30% of the total number of hours of CE required for renewal of permits that renew July 1, 2009 and thereafter.
What about carry-forward hours are they allowed?
Up to 20 hours of acceptable CE earned over the required amount of CE for permit renewal in the previous renewal period may be carried over to the next renewal period.
Carry forward hours may be used toward the CE requirement for the next renewal period.
What if my CE is audited? What do I need to provide?
If you are chosen for audit of your CE claimed for permit renewal, you must provide certificates of attendance/completion for all CE hours claimed. We cannot accept proof of registration, proof of payment, agendas, affidavits, etc. to verify attendance, it must be certificates of attendance/completion issued by the course sponsor. If claiming college course credits, a copy of an official college transcript is required.
Am I required to notify the Board of any address changes? If so, how do I notify the Board?
Yes. K.A.R. 74-5-408 requires a CPA to notify the Board in writing of any change in their name, home address, employer name, address, or electronic mail address within thirty days of the change. You may notify the Board in writing, either by mail, e-mail or fax. Our fax number is 785-291-3501. Our webpage has a Change of Address tab for your convenience www.ksboa.kansas.gov Our e-mail address is email@example.com
The change of address should include your certificate number, old and new address, telephone numbers and indication of your preferred mailing address (office or home).
Are there any restrictions on advertising and use of non-CPA names in a firm name?
Yes. The use of any non-CPA’s name or the name of any entity not registered with the board as a CPA firm in any advertisement or publication or under any heading used for certified public accountants is prohibited. K.A.R. 74-5-403.
TO CLARIFY: PUBLICATIONS THAT HAVE LISTINGS SPECIFICALLY FOR CPAS AND CPA FIRMS SHALL NOT USE THE NAMES OF ENTITIES THAT ARE NOT REGISTERED AS A CPA FIRM WITH THE BOARD, AND NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT LICENSED CPAS WITH THE BOARD. THE NAMES OF AFFILIATED ENTITIES THAT ARE NOT CPA FIRMS AND THE NAMES OF NON-CPA EMPLOYEES MAY BE USED IN NEWSPAPER ADS, BROCHURES, WEBPAGES, LETTERHEAD, ETC.; HOWEVER, THE TEXT SHOULD NOT IMPLY OR MISLEAD THE PUBLIC TO BELIEVE THAT A PERSON OR AN ENTITY IS A CPA OR A CPA FIRM, WHEN IN FACT THEY ARE NOT.
How do I change my name on my records?
In order to change a name, proof is required in the form of a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or Court Order, whichever is applicable.
Are faxed copies of application, renewal or registration forms acceptable?
No. The Board requires an original signature on all forms.
I want to make a complaint against a CPA or a CPA firm. How do I do this?
There is a link to a complaint form found on our website. Complete the form, attach all supporting documents, and mail to the Board office at 900 SW Jackson, Ste. 556, Topeka, KS 66612.
How can I find out if the Board has taken disciplinary action against a CPA?
Our web page lists if there has been any disciplinary action taken by the Board against a firm or individual; however, you will need to call the Board office, at 785-296-2162, and ask for the Executive Director, for specifics on the date and type of disciplinary action taken.
Are fees refundable?
No. In addition, pursuant to K.S.A. 1-206(a) and (b), if the Board denies your application, you may be subject to reimbursement of costs to the Board.