August 8, 2019 12:00 PM PT

CPA Exam Cost

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Taking the CPA exam can cost $4,000. The price may be even higher if you don't pass a section or have special circumstances. So how much will the CPA exam cost you? Keep reading to find out.

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Standard CPA Exam Costs

There are many expenses that you may need to pay to prepare for and take your exam. Keep reading to learn how much each of these fees may cost.

CPA Review Course
Depending on the company you choose, a review course may cost as much as $3,000. You can choose from live or on-demand classes that you can take at your own pace. Many companies offer bundles and options to purchase study guides for each test.

Check out our guide on the best CPA review courses to see which course is right for you.

Application Fee
The application fee varies by state but can range from $50–$247. You have 90 days from the date you receive your Authorization to Test to schedule an exam. If you let your ATT expire, you will be required to pay a second application fee.

Examination Fee
Each CPA exam has a separate fee. The standard examination fees according to NASBA are $208.40 per exam or $833.60 for all four.

Ethics Exam Fees
Some states require you to pass the CPA Ethics Exam. They may charge as much as $200 for the exam.

Miscellaneous Fees

While the above fees are standard for anyone taking the test, you may face additional fees charges like:

Transcript Fees
As a part of the approval process to take the CPA exam, you must send your state board an official copy of your college transcripts. Some colleges provide transcripts for free, while others charge a nominal fee.

Registration Fee
If you need to retake a section of the test, you'll pay a registration fee or re-examination fee in addition to the cost of the exam. The amount varies, but the average registration fee is $75.

Some jurisdictions charge a prorated fee depending on how many exams you register for at one time. This is in addition to the average $208.40 per section of the test.

International Candidate Credentials
If you did your studying abroad, you'll need your credentials reviewed by a foreign credential evaluation agency. This process will cost an additional $225.

Before you choose an agency to review your credentials, make sure it's an agency approved by your state board of accountancy.

Additional Accounting Courses
Each state has minimum accounting credits requirement in order to take the CPA exam. If you don't have the required hours, you'll need to take and pay for additional college credits. The fee for the college courses will vary by school.

Travel costs
If you plan to take the CPA exam in another jurisdiction than the one you reside, plan for the cost of transportation and accommodations to get to the examination.

CPA Score Review
If you fail the exam and feel that it was scored unfairly, you can pay for an independent third party to review your score. It won't earn you extra points but can provide reassurance that all quality controls were met. This service can cost as much as $200.

CPA Score Appeal
You may appeal your score if you feel that one or more questions were graded unfairly. The appeal process requires the same security measures used when you took the exam.

You can then submit comments online regarding why you think your answer is correct, and the board will review it. Candidates typically aren't successful in their attempt to appeal their score and the process does cost a lot—as much as $100 per appealed question.

Even after passing the exam, there are still additional fees to become an official CPA:
  • CPA Licensing Fee
    Depending on where you live, you will be charged between $50 and $500 on an annual basis.

  • Continuing Education
    Many states require accountants to complete 40 credit hours of continuing education on a yearly basis. Each credit hour costs approximately $20–$125.

Bottom Line

Taking the CPA exam is an investment, but it's one that will pay off in the end. Before taking the exams, finding a good review course is highly recommended so that you can pass the tests on the first try.

More from CreditDonkey:


CPA Study Guide


Best CPA Review Course


CPA License Requirements

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