Illinois CPA Requirements – A Closer Look

Certified Public Accountants in Illinois are routinely ranked among the best paid professionals in the state.    The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported that the 2012 median Salary for CPA’s in Illinois was $64,900, ranking it 12th among all 50 states.

So if you are just beginning your studies or if you are already working in an accounting related career in Illinois, there are some things you will want to be aware of before you get started on a CPA Program.   Below we’ll take a look at some fairly standard professional requirements for CPA’s as well some Illinois specific requirements.

Illinois CPA Requirements – A Brief Overview

Illinois CPA RequirementsThe requirements for Certified Public Accountants are always going to vary from state to state.  There are however, some fairly standardized requirements that all CPA’s regardless of their state of licensing are required to meet.

These standard requirements typically include:

  • That an applicant for a CPA license has finished a four-year degree from an accredited university in the field of accounting or a related field
  • That an applicant for a CPA license have completed a minimum of 150 semester units of college  coursework while pursuing that degree
  • That an applicant for a CPA license has taken and passed the four part Uniform CPA Exam.  This exam is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • That an applicant for a CPA license will have worked previously for a minimum of one year or 2000 hours in an accounting related position

The State of Illinois requires that all CPA candidates have achieved 150 semester units in pursuit of an accredited baccalaureate degree and has met ONE of the following FOUR requirements:

  • The applicant has received a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting from a program that is accredited in the area of accounting by an agency recognized by the  State Accountancy Board
  • The applicant has received a graduate degree from a program that is accredited in business by an agency recognized by the State Board of Accountancy and also completed at least 24 semester units in accounting at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level, or an equivalent combination of the two.  The courses must include subjects covering the areas of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
  • The applicant has earned a baccalaureate degree from a program that is accredited in business by an agency recognized by the State Board of Accountancy and has also completed 24 semester units in accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level.  These courses must include the areas of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.   The applicant must also have completed at least 24 semester hours of business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • The applicant has received a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited university or other institution recognized by the State Board of Accountancy, including a minimum of 24 semester units of accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level or a combination of both levels.  Also at least one course each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting and at least 24 units in business courses.


To read about the CPA Licensing requirements for the state of Illinois, visit the Illinois Board of Examiners page.

Getting Started Is Easy

To learn more about Illinois CPA programs just use the simple search feature located at the top of this page.  You can also browse through a lot of great information on bookkeeping and accounting careers by visiting our main page.  Thanks for reading and best of luck in your studies!

CPA and Bookkeeping Certification in Illinois

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