Getting Ready

Once you have selected a state where you can get qualified, you are in much better control. In this chapter I walk you through the following steps:

  • Budgeting
  • Submitting the application
  • Scheduling the exam
  • Arranging travel and accommodation
  • Visualizing the experience at the testing center
  • Waiting for the result


The CPA exam is a substantial investment of time, effort, and money. Before making the decision to pursue the CPA, let us look at how much it can cost for the entire process.

The Examination Fee

This is the fee for first-time applicants in 2013:

  • FAR: $190.35
  • AUD: $190.35
  • BEC: $171.25
  • REG: $171.25
  • Total: $723.20

Additional fees include:

  • Application fee: Applicable to all first-timers and some retakers depending on the state, ranging from $30 to $200.
  • Registration fee: Ranges from $50 to $150 depending on the number of exam sections you take. You can save up by registering multiple sections in one go.
  • If you fail the exam and require a retake, you will have to pay the registration fee and examination fee again.

Total fees: $900–$1,100

CPA Review Courses

Although not mandatory, CPA review courses greatly increase your chance of passing success. The cost ranges anywhere from $260 for a set of CPA review books to full-blown guided review courses at more than $3,000. You should select a course based on your background, budget, and learning style.

CPA Ethics Exam

Around 35 states and jurisdictions require candidates to take a CPA ethics exam ...

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