How much Does the CPA Exam Costs? [2023 Update]

If you’ve looked into taking the CPA exam and becoming a Certified Public Accountant, you’ve probably discovered that it’s not free. Many people do not notify you about the various CPA exam costs involved in taking the exam and receiving your license.

Obtaining your CPA exam certification is a significant investment that will pay off for the rest of your life, but it will not be inexpensive. Let’s take a look at all of the costs associated with becoming a CPA and find out how much the CPA exam is.

CPA Exam Review Course Costs

Even before you pay any CPA review exam expenses, you should acquire a CPA exam review course. It is possible to study for the CPA exam without one, but it is far more difficult and you are much more likely to fail numerous times.

Believe me. It isn’t worth it. Why would you want to put off taking the CPA exam any longer than necessary? Do the right thing and enroll in a CPA exam review course that is appropriate for you.

The majority of CPA exam courses range in price from $1,000 to $3,000. I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the most popular and valuable courses right here. Examine it before you buy one.

Application Fees

The CPA Exam application fee is the first of the CPA exam fees. This varies by state, but it is often between $50 and $200.

This is the fee you pay to your state board to apply to take the exam. It’s simply a one-time price, but if your application is refused the first time or your permission to test notice (ATT) expires, you may have to pay it again.

You don’t want either of these things to happen because paying the application cost again is pointless. Follow these steps to ensure that your application process runs as smoothly as possible the first time.

CPA Examination Fees

The exam payments are the next set of payments you’ll have to pay. These are the expenses incurred as a result of taking the CPA exam.

After receiving your ATT, you will be able to select which parts to take and pay the necessary fees. The CPA Exam cost of each component of the CPA exam varies by state, although the majority of states charge $193.45 each section.

  • AUD: $193.45
  • FAR: $193.45
  • BEC: $193.45
  • REG: $193.45

Registration Fees

Depending on your state, you may also be required to pay a registration fee when signing up for a part. These fees are often structured in a tiered form, allowing you to save money by enrolling in many sections at the same time. This is how it works.

  • One Section: $63
  • Two Sections: $81
  • Three Sections: $99
  • Four Sections: $177

As a result, if you sign up for each of the four sections separately, you will pay a total of $252 in registration costs. Now, relax and don’t go wild thinking you’ll sign up for all four sections at once to save $80.

Keep in mind that your NTS is only valid for 6 months. If you register for all four sections, you must schedule all four examinations within the following six months or your NTS will expire. Then you’ll have to pay the exam payment and registration expenses all over again to acquire a new NTS. That is where they catch you.

Be astute. Sign up for only one at a time. In the long term, it will save you money.

CPA Exam Ethics Fees

In order to obtain your CPA license, many states require you to take and pass an ethical exam after passing the uniform CPA exam. As far as tests go, this isn’t a big deal, but it isn’t free either.

The AICPA ethics exam costs between $150 and $200. This covers a study book as well as all exam-related expenditures.

CPA Licensing Fees

After passing all four sections of the CPA exam and the AICPA ethics exam, you will need to pay your state board of accountancy’s CPA licensure costs.

This cost varies by state. Some jurisdictions charge as little as $50 a year, while others want to make a buck off of you and charge upwards of $500 per year. To keep your license and practice public accounting, you must pay this fee in perpetuity.


Didn’t you think you were done yet? So, once you’ve paid your licensing fee to the state board, you’ll need to keep up with your continuing education. This, like all criteria, varies by state.

Each year, most states require you to complete 40 hours of continuing education. Depending on the platform and provider you pick, your CPE could cost anywhere from $20 to $125 per hour.

You can estimate that continuing education will cost at least $1,000 per year.

Hidden Costs of the CPA Exam You Didn’t Expect

I know what you’re thinking right now. “Come on, there can’t be any more costs, can there?” Well, it’s possible. Here are a few examples.

Additional Exam Payments

The majority of CPA exam candidates do not pass the CPA exam on their first attempt. As a result, they must pay to retake each section that they fail again. This can quickly pile up, given that sitting for a portion costs around $250.

If you fail two portions, you will be charged an additional $500. Yikes!

Additional CPA Exam Review Costs

This expense isn’t as common as the last one, but it’s still quite common. Many candidates ignore my advice on how to choose the finest CPA review and end up with one that does not work for them.

As a result, they fail one or two sections and are forced to look for an alternative CPA review course.

Other candidates receive the correct CPA Review, but it has an expiration date that has passed. As a result, they must pay an additional fee to renew the CPA Review. The majority of companies, such as Roger and Becker, charge around $500 to renew their courses.

International Candidate Credential Costs

If you apply from outside the US, your state board will have to determine whether your education meets the minimal standards. They will charge you a price for this review, as they do for anything else.

Most states that permit international candidates to take the CPA exam in their state charge a $150 – $200 fee for this additional evaluation.

Example of Fees Required for the CPA Exam

CPA Exam Application Fee: $100.00

When submitting an application to take the CPA Exam for the first time, all first-time applicants must pay both an application fee and an examination fee (both of which are stated below). Depending on the state, application fees might range from $30 to $200.

CPA Exam Reapplication Fee: $50.00

Instead of paying the application cost, all re-examination candidates must pay both the reapplication and examination fees when registering to retake any component of the CPA Exam. This is also known as the “registration cost.”

Some states will give reapplication candidates the option of retaking two or more tests at a reduced cost. In California, for example, the reapplication fee is a flat $50, in addition to the CPA exam part(s) the candidate wishes to repeat.

CPA Exam Fees: $734.10

Most states use the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s CPA Exam fees pricing structure (NASBA). Using California as an example, the total cost of all four parts of the CPA exam is $734.10.

CPA Review Course Expenses: $1,500 on average

Finally, there is the cost of a CPA review. The cost of review courses varies, however applicants can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on which CPA Review is used.

Make an effort to think optimistically. Keep in mind that the CPA Exam is primarily a mental game of power. As a result, the more optimistic you remain, the more successful you will be. Remember that “a dream does not become a reality by magic; it requires sweat, commitment, and hard work.” Passing the uniform CPA Exam is a challenge that you can and will overcome if you believe in yourself, put in the time to study, and prepare yourself for success!

CPA Exam Approximate Total Cost: $2,334.10

It’s crucial to remember that the CPA Exam total cost is an estimate based on a sample fee scale for the state of California and the average cost of a CPA Exam course. In reality, the entire cost of the CPA Exam will vary per state.

Is the CPA the Most Expensive Accounting Certification?

When all certifications, including those in the financial realm, are considered, the certified public accountant certification is not the most expensive accounting certification.

The CFA® credential is significantly more expensive to get than the CPA credential. To become a certified financial analyst, you would need to invest around $4,000 in training.

Is a CPA License Worth It?

The entire cost of passing the uniform CPA exam is approximately $4,400. This amount will, of course, vary depending on the CPA Review you select. Furthermore, each state has its own set of restrictions and fees, which could result in a greater (or cheaper) total cost. You should also keep in mind that you may not pass on your first try. This could result in additional exam payments and registration fees. The overall cost of passing the uniform CPA exam, on the other hand, is a small fraction of the financial rewards that you can achieve as a member of one of the world’s most respected accounting organisations.

In a nutshell, sure. It’s well worth it. Obtaining your CPA license will provide you with access to various opportunities that you would not have had otherwise.

You will also make significantly more money. Over the course of his or her career, the average CPA earns approximately $1 million more than his or her non-certified counterpart. That’s quite cool.

It is well worth the initial expenditure as well as the year required to pass the CPA exam. Simply put your head down and get it out of the way. You’ll be glad you did.

Will my firm pay for my CPA Exam Review materials?

Many firms reward candidates after they pass each section or the entire CPA Exam. It is up to your firm whether or not they will pay for your CPA Exam Review materials. If you are unsure whether your firm will pay you for CPA exam review materials, inquire with your boss.

Can you be a CPA without a degree?

The majority of states need you to have finished at least 150 credit hours of study (a Bachelor’s Degree typically lasts 120 credit hours). While a specialist accounting degree is not required, most states do require that you have completed at least 150 credit hours of study. As you begin to develop your approach, make sure to research the applicable legislation in your jurisdiction.

Have You Started To Study Yet?

If you haven’t begun to study yet, do take a look at my comparison of the best CPA exam review courses to select the one that suits best your learning style.

The improper path could mean the difference between passing the first time and failing multiple times. Choosing the correct course is well worth the investment.


The entire CPA Exam cost of passing the CPA exam is approximately $4,400. This amount will, of course, vary depending on the CPA Review you select. Furthermore, each state has its own set of restrictions and fees, which could result in a greater (or cheaper) total CPA Exam cost.

You should also keep in mind that you may not pass on your first try. This could result in additional exam payments and registration fees.

The overall CPA Exam cost of passing the CPA exam, on the other hand, is a small fraction of the financial rewards that you can achieve as a member of one of the world’s most respected accounting organisations.

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