International students have always faced greater hurdles than US students before embarking on CPA exam preparation. In order to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam, they must present their foreign education for evaluation or have eligibility for a fast track process by possessing international accounting credentials. The fast track is limited to individuals with professional designations from just a few countries and they must pass the International Qualification Examination. So, it isn’t always very fast, despite the name.
Living overseas also complicates selecting a state board in the US for submitting a CPA license application. The application procedure is necessary to meet CPA exam requirements. State boards give CPA candidates the gateway to the exam and ultimately receive the resulting scores. Licensing eligibility for international residents varies among the states.
Further complicating matters is the small number of Prometric testing centers for the CPA exam outside the US. Fortunately, the number of foreign testing locations is expanding to accommodate the growing number of international students seeking to take CPA exam steps.
To help people outside the US navigate the process of becoming a CPA, the AICPA has expanded the resources it provides to CPA candidates. The AICPA’s website ThisWaytoCPA.com recently added tools for international students. This platform has long provided CPA candidates in the US with an avenue to register and create profiles. Users then have access to information about the path to securing CPA licensing. International students can now follow the same process to understand their route to meeting CPA exam qualifications.
In addition to providing tools to register for the CPA exam, ThisWaytoCPA.com gives foreign CPA candidates information about studying for the exam. The website also delivers details about career opportunities for CPAs.
Another feature of ThisWaytoCPA.com is the new mobile application called CPA Exam Aid. The free app syncs with the account of a ThisWaytoCPA.com user. It presents a custom personal timeline and study schedule, exam tips, and links to the online forum about exam-related topics – including international exam issues.
The AICPA reports that a rising number of foreign accountants are eager to obtain a CPA license in the US. Many are working for US-based companies while living overseas. Meeting every requirement for CPA exam completion as a foreign resident is now a little easier because of the AICPA’s online resources. According to the AICPA, thousands of international visitors are already utilizing this program each month.
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