Certified Public Accountants (CPA) have the highest earnings potential of accountants, greater job security, and eligibility for many of the most prestigious positions in the accounting field. Earning an accounting-focused MBA from Emporia State University provides a fast track to becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Kansas. (Each state licenses CPAs though its own Board of Accountancy.) Candidates are required to pass a test as well as hold a specified number of semester hours — 150 in Kansas — in an accounting program.
The Kansas Department of Labor expects over 2,000 additional accounting positions to be added to the Kansas economy between 2012 and 2022, representing a 16 percent increase in the number of employed accountants in the state.
Kansas-Specific Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam
There are two steps to becoming a CPA in Kansas:
- Pass the Uniform CPA Exam and apply for a certificate without practice rights.
- Apply for a license/permit to practice after completing one year of related work experience required by the Kansas Board of Accountancy.
In order to take the CPA Exam, candidates must complete 150 semester hours with a concentration in accounting and hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from a board-approved college or university.
Most bachelor’s degree programs require only 120 hours. Obtaining a 33-semester-hour MBA in accounting from Emporia State, a board-approved university, gives candidates with a 120-hour bachelor’s degree more than the required number of semester hours to sit for the CPA Exam.
Of the 150-semester-hour education requirement, 42 semester hours must be in business and general education courses which include:
- Upper-division economics
- Business law (2)
- Statistics and probability theory
- Computer systems and applications
- Management and administration
- Production, operations research, or applications of quantitative techniques to business problems (choose one)
- Written and oral communications (11 hours)
Finally, to become a CPA in Kansas, the candidate must be a resident of Kansas, or have a place of business as a public accountant or be permanently employed by a public accounting company in Kansas.
Under certain specific circumstances, the Board may waive up to six credit hours, but only if the candidate has met the 150-credit-hour education requirements and can provide verification that the course requirements have been met. Waivers are an exception, not a rule, and are considered on an extremely narrow basis.
Procedure for Taking the CPA Exam in Kansas
In July 2016, the Board began allowing candidates to take exams up to 60 days before meeting the education requirements. Final transcripts and documents must be submitted to the Board or examination service within 120 days after the candidate has taken the first section of the exam. The candidate’s score on the exam may be voided if transcripts and verifying documents are not provided within this 120-day time frame. The candidate will be given notice and provided an opportunity for a hearing before the Board in such cases.
The exam is offered in “windows” or quarters. The exam is offered no less than two months out of each examination window. A candidate cannot take a section more than once in each window but may take a section up to four times in a year. Candidates are not required to take all four parts of the exam in each window.
There are no application deadlines. Applications are submitted online and candidates are processed and issued a “Notice to Schedule.” Once the “Notice to Schedule” has been issued, the candidate has six months to take the approved exam sections.
Exams are given in Topeka, Overland Park, Wichita, and Pittsburg. Candidates may also schedule exams at Prometric sites that provide testing for the CPA exam. Prometric is a third-party provider accepted by the Board. Grades are released by the AICPA as they are received and can be accessed online. The candidate will also be notified in writing.
Accountants with the desire for greater earnings potential and increased job security, and the drive to move into executive positions within their company may want to consider earning an MBA from Emporia State. With this degree, an accountant is well-prepared and qualified to sit for and pass the CPA exam, and become a board-certified CPA in the state of Kansas.