According to, “reciprocity” is a term which dates back to 1766 and means the “mutual exchange of privileges; specifically: a recognition by one of two countries or institutions of the validity of licenses or privileges granted by the other” In the world of CPAs, reciprocity means the process which allows a CPA licensed in Connecticut to practice in Washington or Maine.

The CPA Exam is a national test. Licensing occurs at the state or jurisdiction level: you have to meet the state’s requirements to sit for the exam before you can take the test. Once you pass the exam, most states recognize that you passed and do not ask you to take the CPA Exam again.

Reciprocity allows you to practice in additional state(s), which expands your opportunities, such as accepting a terrific promotion. To be granted reciprocity, you need to apply to that new state.

Each state has its own rules regarding the granting of reciprocity based on your experience and education. You may wish to check out this set of state reciprocity on the internet.

To obtain reciprocity in Alabama, you would submit your current license, education and list of all employers since college graduation.

To obtain reciprocity in Connecticut, you would need to: * meet Connecticut’s initial requirements to sit for the exam in terms of ethics, experience, education, and the ability to pass the exam * have passed the CPA Exam * hold a CPA license in good standing from another U.S. jurisdiction * practiced in the field of public accountancy at least five of the last ten years.

State Requirements: States NOT Requiring 150 Semester Hours

As of April 2010, only four states did not require that you complete 150 semester hours before you sit for the CPA Exam. These four states are: * California * Colorado * New Hampshire and * Vermont.

As of this writing, the District of Columbia and 46 states require that you complete 150 semester hours before you sit for the exam. To give you an idea, 150 hours is an additional 30 semester hours beyond a standard bachelor’s degree.

There are universities such as Ferris State University in Michigan which offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to meet the 150 semester hour requirement to sit for the exam. Please understand that a master’s degree is not required to sit for the exam.

If you would like to sit for the CPA Exam, you should carefully consider the requirements of your state to sit for the exam. If you are not certain, call the State Board of Accountancy. Know what your state requires in terms of the number of business, accounting, or ethics courses you need to sit for the exam. Then confirm that your university offers those classes or find a university which does. States have the option to change their requirements at any time so stay alert.

Remember: the CPA Exam is the same if you take it in Anchorage or Atlanta. What is different are the requirements of Alaska or Georgia to sit for the exam. Applying to a state where you do not qualify to sit for the exam simply delays you sitting for the exam and starting your career as a CPA.

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