UNISA and CPA/Accounting

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PMBrooks, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. PMBrooks

    PMBrooks New Member

    I found a thread on this question from 2003, but no one answered the question. So I am posing it again...

    Does anyone know if the accounting courses from UNISA qualifies a person to sit for the CPA exam in the US? I know this varies per state, but I would think there would be some general requirements common to each state.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

  3. foobar

    foobar Member

    The answer is . . . probably not . . . and . . . maybe . . . and . . . it depends. This is a very complex question with answers that will differ widely by state and your specific background.

    Most accountancy boards will rely on an evaluation service just as they would for any degree from outside of the US.

    Some potential issues/questions:
    • UNISA 3-yr degree vs US four year degree
    • differences between US vs SA accounting and auditing principles
    • most states require course in US taxation
    • are you already a Chartered Accountant or CPA in your country?
    • IQAB equivalency exam
    • mode of delivery (some states limit non-classroom courses)

    There is no general rule that would apply from state to state. In some cases, you may be able to determine that a UNISA degree is ruled out by some published rule. You might get lucky and find a source that actually says state "X" accepts UNISA courses/degrees. Otherwise, I suspect you're going to have a very hard time getting solid answers to your questions until you find someone that has actually applied for a CPA license with a UNISA course/degree.
  4. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    2. Candidates With Non-US Education

    The main CPA exam requirement is on education — most states require a 120-150 semester credit hours (equivalent to a Bachelor and Master degree respectively) from a “accredited college, university or educational institution in the US” to either sit for the exam or for CPA certification.

    If your degree is earned outside of the US, chances are that your university is not accredited. No worries, as state board accept non-US transcript if it is evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation company.

    Foreign Credential Evaluation

    Each State Board has its own requirement on this: for example, Florida only recognizes the evaluation done by FACS, one of the biggest providers of credential evaluation services; while some others are fine with any services that are members of the NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services).

    Please expect a couple hundreds of US dollars and allow at least a month (more likely 2 months) for the company to get back to you. You may also find the FAQ section from FACS useful.

    Other than having your transcript evaluated, the process is the same as everyone from the US. Please go back to the top of this page and read the section for CPA Exam requirements to pick a state, and CPA Exam review courses comparison if you decide to go ahead.

    From: CPA Application For International Students
  5. Lukeness

    Lukeness Member

    Sadly the degree alone would not be sufficient in South Africa either. To work as a fully fledged accountant you need to have you Chartered Accountant postgraduate diploma after your three year bachelor degree (BCom, CA - equivalent to the 4 year degree ). You could still work for an accounting firm without it, but you would then not be allowed to sign off any of the financial books.
  6. muaranah

    muaranah New Member

    The CPA exam is going to incorporate IFRS as of 2011, so the UNISA degree may not be a handicap after all (with the exception of US taxation).
  7. tiffer

    tiffer New Member

    I just wanted to note that nearly all states now require 150 hours, with specific requirements for business and accounting credits and courses.

    Also, it's really best to get your transcripts evaluated if you think you have the credits, there's no other way to be 100% sure how they'll evaluate you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010

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