How To Become A Certified Public Accountant in South Florida

How to Become A Certified Public Accountant in South Florida

Are you good with numbers? Does budgeting come easily to you? Would you like to help others with your skills? Are you a meticulous record keeper? Can you understand complex structure and programs easily and relate that information to others? If this is you, then you might be inclined to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

A rewarding and successful career is something we all want out of life. Certified Public Accountants are a vital part of society who help people and businesses of all kinds to manage their money and stay on top of financial obligations and in compliance with the law. CPAs help individuals build wealth and process taxes. For businesses, they help increase revenue and save capital by assisting them in building better budget plans for their operations and using available loopholes and programs to reduce their tax burden.

By the Numbers: FNU Meets the Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam

The state requirements to sit for the exam include a BA with 120 credit hours at an accredited university. At Florida National University you can graduate with a BA in accounting with exactly 120 credits, note, however, that to fulfill all of the requirements after passing the exam to get licensed you must get an additional 30 hours of class time, totaling 150 hours. At FNU we have more classes that meet CPA licensing requirements.

The official requirements are only 24 semester hours of upper-division business and 24 hours of upper division accounting, specifically in:

  • taxation
  • auditing
  • cost/managerial
  • financial
  • accounting information systems


How to Become A Certified Public Accountant in South Florida


Three hours of a business law course are also required and the class must cover the following subjects: contracts, torts, and the Uniform Commercial Code, however, “excess” upper division accounting courses may be substituted with permission.* Junior or community college credits do not apply.

To complete the FNU program you will need to complete (beyond the core level classes) 34 upper-level courses and 25 electives.

At FNU we offer all of the courses required to sit for the CPA exam, as well as the extra classes required for the licensure to practice in Southern Florida. We also include interesting classes such as Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, International Banking & Financing, Government & Institutional Accounting, Strategic Management, Management Information Systems, Advanced Spreadsheet Analysis for Business and Economics, Corporate Finance, Cross-Cultural Management and more. Check out our full Accounting BA program here.

(*Those who applied before 1983 have grandfathered clauses. View details on the official site for CPA requirements)

If the university you chose to attend is not accredited in the U.S. you can still apply to sit for the exam, but you must go through an extra process of validating the credits through an institution, which can choose to not accept some of your credits.

In every instance, this is an advantage of attending an accredited university in Florida. FNU is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associates, baccalaureate and master’s degrees that are nationally recognized.

This means that the validation process for your CPA license is quick and immediate. No second-guessing or time wasted with classes that don’t count and no having to retake classes.

Hone Your Skills and Take the Test!

Once you have completed your program and have prepared yourself with the knowledge to work in the field and take the exam, you will then need to work as a junior accounting to gain the necessary experience.

The state of Florida requires that after you have taken the exam that you work as a junior accountant for 52 weeks at 40 hours per week. You can also stretch this out to 104 weeks at 20 hours per week if you like. While working as a junior accountant you will need to be active in the performance of the following items or tasks regularly:

  • Accounting
  • Tax Preparation or Consultation
  • Compilation
  • Attest
  • Management Advisory
  • Financial Advisory

There are some criteria that go along with the experience portion of your requirements. For instance, you may get your experience before or after taking the exam, but you may not count any experience that was gained before completing the educational portion of your requirements. You do not have to gain your experience consecutively, you may do in periods over a reasonable amount of time. You can take off for vacations, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave and other approved reasons as well. You must complete your work under the supervision of a CPA and it must be verified by either that CPA or by a chartered accountant who is in good standing and recognized by the International Qualifications Appraisal Board.

Ok, here is where we get to brag on yourselves a little so please oblige us in that for just a moment, after all, FNU has a lot that we are proud of. We have been around since 1982 and have been helping students prepare for a brighter future and open professional doors along their career path for more than 30 years. As mentioned, we are a full, regionally-accredited university that offers a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of today’s diverse, active, and vibrant workforce. The professional world of today is constantly evolving, and at FNU we help students evolve along with it so they can stay ahead of the curve and ready to take on whatever tomorrow’s workforce needs will demand.

Get Started by Letting Us Help You Take Your First Steps


We are ready to help you to take the first steps toward your new career as a certified public accountant. FNU offers accounting programs that can lead to the following degrees, Associate of Arts in Accounting, Associate of Science in Accounting, and Bachelors of Science in Accounting. Our accounting programs are backed by our regional accreditation and are recognized all over the country as being among the best in the nation. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, and you can get started with the application process for financial aid using the links located below.

Contact us via phone at (305) 821-3333 or use our online contact form for more information. We look forward to seeing you around campus, and to helping you get started with your future as a CPA.


Florida National University Office of Admissions

Florida National University Financial Aid

Florida National University Course Catalog 2018-2019 [PDF]

FAFSA Online Application & Information