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Certified Public Accountant

Becoming a CPA

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Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Certification

See how Georgia Southwestern's committed faculty members can assist you in meeting your goal to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam. GSW’s BBA in Accounting program meets the educational requirements for the CPA exam. We help prepare graduates for careers in accounting, including offering opportunities to complete internships, participate in summer leadership programs, and network with accounting professionals.

CPAs provide accounting services, tax services, and audit services. Only CPAs can provide audit services for public companies. CPA’s roles are expanding to include greater skill sets and a greater grasp of emerging technologies (NASBA, 2023). CPAs follow a code of ethics and annually complete Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements to maintain licensure. The Department of Labor reports that the average accountant’s salary in the United States is $72,000. CPAs earn 10-15% more than non-CPAs (GLIEM, 2023). Accountants are some of the most sought-after professionals. In 2023, 62% of companies plan to add full-time accounting positions. 

The CPA Exam Evolution

It is an exciting time to pursue a CPA license. In a joint effort between the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Uniform CPA Examination is changing to prepare students for these increasing opportunities.  Starting in January 2024, the CPA model will include CORE + Discipline. The CPA Examination reflects three pillars of the CPA profession: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).

Student Resources

BBA in Accounting

COBAC Internships

Certification Information

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Business & Political Science Building


Faculty & Staff

CPA Licensure Preparation

Students wishing to sit for the CPA exam in Georgia must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university and at least 20 hours of upper-level accounting courses (beyond ACCT 2101 and 2102).

Requirements for licensure include the following:

  • At least 24 semester hours of general business classes
  • Pass all four parts of the CPA Exam
  • At least 150 semester hours earned on the transcript
  • At least one year (2,000 hours) of full-time continuous work experience in public accounting, business, industry, or government under the supervision of a person who holds a live permit as a certified public accountant. The experience can be earned no earlier than one year before application (for full requirements, visit the Georgia State Board of Accountancy).


Do I need a MAcc or MBA to become a CPA?

No, you do not need a graduate degree to sit for the CPA Exam. You can sit for the CPA Exam when you obtain your Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting or a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited institution and 20 semester hours of accounting beyond ACCT 2101 and ACCT 2102.

How do I apply to take the CPA Exam in Georgia?

NASBA’s CPA Examination Services division handles registration and administers the CPA exam.  Contact NASBA at (800)-CPA-EXAM or (800)-272-3926.

When should I take the CPA Exam?

Plan to take the CPA exam when you graduate from GSW with your Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.  You want to take the exam while the material you learned is still fresh in your mind.

Should I take a review course?

Yes, you should take a review course. Completing a review course will help you recall what you learned and understand how questions will be worded. Many review courses offer guarantees where you can repeat the review for any sections you don’t pass.

Do internships count toward my 150 hours?

Georgia will count 3 accounting hours (of the 30 required) for an internship. Any GSW accounting elective will count towards the 150-hour requirement.

Can I take the CPA exam in Georgia and still be licensed in another state?

Yes, the CPA exam is a national test with reciprocity in some states. You must communicate with the state board of accountancy for specific requirements where you plan to become licensed.

Can Students join the Georgia Society of CPAs?

Yes, students can become members of the Georgia Society of CPAs by visiting the Member Application web page.