What’s Next After You Take The CPA Exams?

You’ve been down in the doldrums of studying for months, and now that you’ve passed, you feel so lost and confused. What will you do if you can’t study? Fear not, we have a roadmap on how to survive after you take the CPA exams.


after you take the cpa exams

If you haven’t done this already, you need to get on it. Take the time to have some fun! I know, you’re like, fun? What is fun? But forget your CPA woes and let loose a little.

Go out with friends, spend some quality time with your spouse, take your kids to a theme park, or snuggle up with your pets. You deserve a little self-love surrounded by people (or cats, or dogs, or horses) who also love you.

Wait For Your State Board Letter

I know your nerves are completely fried from all the waiting the CPA exam has  forced you to do, but you’re going to have to wait a little longer. You need to get your congratulatory letter in the mail from your State Board of Accountancy. It’ll further confirm your CPA genius and make you feel good that somebody fancy has recognized your achievement.

Make sure you hold onto this little piece of paper. Your State Board of Accountancy should have your file noting you passed the exam, but who knows what could happen. Keep this until you’ve got your license in hand just in case your state board forgets you passed.

In some states, your letter will note you need to take an ethics exam if you haven’t already (the exams continue!). So if you need to, and you haven’t, I would jump on that horse right away.

Get Your Work On

The goal of all these shenanigans is actually getting your CPA license, so you’re going to have to put in the required work time. States vary, but they usually require between one and two years of work experience authorized by a licensed CPA.

Public is a great place to work because most everyone in public is a CPA. But if you can find work with a corporation under a CPA, or at a smaller firm, feel free to do it. Get that experience whatever way floats your boat.

Take Any Classes You Need

On that note, you’ll need to make sure your education requirement is complete. Some states will let you take the exam with a certain amount of hours, but to get your license you need more. Poke around and find some classes that you’d like to take to satisfy this requirement.

Make sure you check your State Board of Accountancy’s specific education requirement. They might require a certain amount of accounting or business related hours to get your license. So before you start taking Intro to Surfing to satisfy your hours, make sure you’re all caught up on the required stuff.

Get Da License!

Got the education, ethics, exam, and experience all knocked out? Woo! You’ll need to go to your State Board of Accountancy’s website and download the application for Initial Licensure. You’ll fill this out, send it in, wait (yep, more), and get that fancy, shmancy license. Make sure to hang it up somewhere real nice.

After You Take The CPA Exams… Learn Some More

I know you’d love to never sit through another lecture or open another book again, but in order to be compliant, you’re going to have to keep learning. As a CPA, you’re required to take continuing professional education (CPE) on a regular basis. This is often around 100 hours every 2-3 years. Check with your state board for specific requirements, then find a CPE provider that makes you smile.

If you’re in the post-exam boat, I congratulate you. If you’re not, just continue dreaming about what that will be like, and use that to motivate you to keep kicking some exam butt!

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