are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
If you have any additional questions, or need any additional
information, please contact the Board office at 785-296-2162,
by Fax at 785-291-3501, or via our web e-mail submission form
1. 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 approved by the board, and the applicant is the holder of a baccalaureate or higher academic degree. The Board does not have a list of approved colleges and universities. Please contact the Board office if you have questions.
b. Within the 150-hour education requirement, a candidate must complete 42 semester hours in business and general education courses, including the following:
A macroeconomics course, a microeconomics course, and one upper division economics course
At least two courses in the legal aspects of business or business law;
College algebra of higher-level course;
Statistics and Probability theory course;
Computer systems and applications course;
Management and Administration course;
Marketing course; and
Production, Operations Research or applications of quantitative
techniques to business problem course.
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.)
At least 30 semester credit hours in accounting theory and practice including:
Financial Accounting and reporting for business organizations course, which may include one of the following:
Intermediate Accounting course
Advanced accounting course; or
Accounting theory course.
Managerial Accounting beyond an introductory course;
Auditing course concentrating on auditing standards generally accepted in the United States as issued by the AICPA auditing standards board or the PCAOB, or both;
U.S. Income tax course; and
Accounting Information Systems beyond an introductory computer course.
c. Residency ”Must be a resident of Kansas, or have a place of business as a public accountant in, or be permanently employed by a public accounting firm in Kansas.
2. 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 the "CPA Exam Info" tab @ www.ksboa.org
3. Where do I get an application to sit for the CPA Exam?
Online at https://cpacentral.nasba.org/
4. Can I sit for the exam any time I want, and as often as I want?
The exam is offered in "windows". A "window" is the equivalent of a quarter. The exam will be offered no less than two months out of each examination window. A candidate may not sit for a particular section more than once in a testing window. However, a candidate will be able to sit for a particular section 4 times in a year.
5. Can I sit for the exam before meeting the education requirements?
Beginning July 1, 2016, Kansas CPA exam applicants may sit for the exam up to 60 days before meeting the education requirements. The applicant will be required to submit final transcripts and any documents verifying completion of the education requirements to the Board or the examination service within 120 days after the applicant has taken the first section of the examination. Failure to provide the required documentation within the 120 days may result in the applicant’s scores being voided, subject to notice and an opportunity for a hearing before the Board. Please contact the Board office if you have any questions.
6. What are the exam application deadlines?
With the computerized exam, 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.
7. 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.
8. Where is the CPA Examination held?
In Kansas, there are four Prometric (Sylvan) sites: Topeka, Wichita, Overland Park, Pittsburg and Hays.
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 that provides testing for the CPA exam. Go to www.prometric.com for site information.
9. When are the results of the exam released, and who will notify me?
Grades are released as they are received by the AICPA and may be accessed by the candidate online. Once a candidate has passed all 4 parts of the exam, the Board will notify the candidate of the successful completion of the exam in writing. This process will take longer 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. A candidate may access their scores online by clicking on the following link:
10. 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. Contact the Board office for a listing of acceptable foreign evaluators.
11. 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.) 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. The CPA Certificate allows a person to use the designation as a credential, not hold out or sign reports for the public as a CPA. If a person wants to reflect this information on a resume, then we strongly suggest that the CPA designation is explained by saying, "not licensed to practice in Kansas". 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: attest and non-attest.
12. What if I sat for the exam before the education requirement changed in May of 1997--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 as a Kansas candidate in the future.
NOTE: 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 HOLD OUT, PERFORM OR OFFER TO PEFORM SERVICES AS A CPA FOR THE PUBLIC. SEE PERMIT QUESTIONS FOR INFORMATION ON OBTAINING A PERMIT.
1. How do I obtain a CPA certificate by exam, or by transfer of grades, in Kansas?
A Kansas exam candidate need only complete the Application for Certificate by Passing Examination in Kansas, and pay a $25.00 application fee, after the candidate has successfully completed the CPA exam as a Kansas candidate and the AICPA ethics exam. A person transferring their grades to Kansas is required to meet Kansas' specific education requirements at the time of transfer and be a resident of Kansas.
2. 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
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.
1. 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.
2. Does the person verifying my experience have to be a supervisor?
The experience no longer has to be under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA; however, a licensed CPA must verify that a person has the experience necessary to obtain a permit to practice.
3. What is the cost for a permit to practice?
The fee for a permit to practice is predicated off of whether the CPA certificate has an odd or even number and whether the application for a permit to practice is made in an odd or even year. For instance, if a person has an odd-numbered CPA certificate such as 0003, and is making application for a permit to practice in an odd-year such as 2013, then the fee will be $150.00. If the odd-numbered certificate holder makes application for a permit to practice in an even-year such as 2014, then the fee for the permit would be $75.00.
4. Do I have to have proof of completion of CPE to obtain my initial permit to practice?
No. Once you have obtained your first permit to practice, you will be assigned a number of pro-rated CPE hours to obtain before the next renewal.
5. 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 decides within 1 year after the permit expired that he or she wants the permit, then the permit is considered to be a late renewal, which requires proof of completion of the 80 hours required to renew (plus an additional 8 hours penalty if the 80 hours were not completed within the permit period), plus payment of a late fee of $225.00.
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 CPE within the previous 12 months from the date of application for reinstatement, plus payment of a higher fee.
6. 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, FIRM NAMES & FIRM 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.
1. Must I register my firm?
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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).
e. 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.
2. How often do I renew my firm registration?
Annually by December 31.
3. Are there any restrictions on the content and use of a firm name?
Yes. A CPA is not permitted to practice certified public accountancy utilizing or advertising a firm or professional name that is misleading as to the legal form of the firm, the persons who are partners, officers, members, managers or shareholders of the firm or any other matter. See K.S.A. 1-316. Although the Board permits the use of fictitious firm or professional names, the content and use of such names are subject to limitations as further described in K.S.A. 1-316 and K.A.R. 74-5-406. For example, Kansas law limits the use of the terms & Associate & Associates, Group, Company, etc. Furthermore, and without limitation, a firm name may not contain the name of an individual who is neither a present nor a former partner, member, or shareholder of the firm or its predecessor.* (See information concerning non-CPA ownership below).
4. Are non-CPAs allowed to have an ownership in the firm?
Kansas law permits ownership of a firm by a non-CPA, provided that the ownership structure of the firm complies with K.S.A. 1-308, including without limitation, the following requirements:
a. 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;
b. 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.
c. 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.
NOTE: ONLY PERSONS HOLDING ACTIVE PERMITS TO PRACTICE ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN CPE.
1. What are the CPE requirements?
For active permit holders, the CPE requirement is 80 hours every 2 years to include 2 hours of ethics that directly relates to the practice of certified public accountancy.
2. What is the CPE reporting period?
July 1 to June 30 in a biennial period
3. Does Kansas have a specific CPE requirement in the areas of accounting and attest?
4. Does Kansas has an ethics requirement for CPE?
Yes. 2 hours of the required hours to renew the permit must directly relate to the practice of certified public accountancy.
5. How long do I have to keep my CPE records?
CPAs must retain certificates of completion or attendance of CPE for five years from the end of the year in which the program or course was completed.
6. What requirements must be met by the CPE sponsor?
For group live courses and intra firm courses:
a. It is a formal program of learning that maintains or improves the professional competence of a permit holder and requires attendance.
b. An outline of the program is prepared in advance and provided to the permit holder.
c. The program is at least 50 minutes in length.
d. The program is conducted by a person qualified in the subject area.
e. The program sponsor issues to each participant a certificate of attendance that reflects the name of the program sponsor, title and description of content, 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 CPE contact hours.
f. A record of registration and attendance is retained for five years by the program sponsor.
7. What types of programs qualify as acceptable CPE?
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.
8. 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.
9. How are CPE credits computed?
1 hour (or 1 credit) for each full 50 minutes, and ½ hour, or .5 credit for each full 25 minutes after the first hour of credit has been earned for attended and self-study courses. For instance, if a course lasts 75 minutes, then 1.5 hours, or 1.5 credits, will be awarded for that course.
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.
10. Is there any limit on the amount of self-study hours I can claim?
There is no limit on the amount of self-study hours.
11. 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 CPE 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 CPE required for renewal.
Hours from programs in personal development shall not exceed 30% of the total number of hours of CPE required for renewal of permits that renew July 1, 2009 and thereafter.
12. What about carry-forward hours are they allowed?
Up to 20 hours of acceptable CPE earned over the required amount of CPE 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 CPE requirement for the next renewal period.
13. What if my CPE is audited? What do I need to provide?
If you are chosen for audit of your CPE claimed for permit renewal, you must provide certificates of attendance/completion for all CPE 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.
1. 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 home address, business name or business 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.org 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).
2. 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: TELEPHONE BOOK LISTINGS AND 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.
3. 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 of divorce decree, whichever is applicable.
4. Are faxed copies of application, renewal or registration forms acceptable?
No. The Board requires an original signature on all forms.
5. 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 web page http://www.ksboa.org/pdf/complaint.pdf Complete the form, attach all supporting documents, and mail to the Board office at 900 SW Jackson, Ste. 556, Topeka, KS 66612.
6. 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.