TITLE 23: EDUCATION AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
SUBTITLE A: EDUCATION
CHAPTER VI: BOARD OF EXAMINERS
PART 1400 CERTIFICATE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
SECTION 1400.90 THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENT


 

Section 1400.90 The Educational Requirement

 

a) Requirements Applicable Until January 1, 2001

 

1) As provided in Section 3 of the Act, to be admitted to take the examination given before January 1, 2001, a candidate for the Illinois certified public accountant examination must have successfully completed at least 120 semester hours of acceptable credit. Of the semester hours accepted by the Board, at least 27 semester hours shall be in the study of accounting, auditing and business law, provided not more than 6 semester hours shall be in business law. Candidates may apply to take the certified public accountant examination during their final term, semester or quarter, but must meet the educational requirements at the time the examination is given.

 

2) Acceptable credit recognized by the Board is:

 

A) credit earned from a college or university that is a candidate for or is accredited by a regional accrediting association that is a member of the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA);

 

B) credit earned at a business school or college of business within the educational institution that is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); or

 

C) Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

 

b) Requirements Applicable from January 1, 2001 Until July 1, 2013

 

1) To be admitted to take the examination for the first time after January 1, 2001 until July 1, 2013, a candidate for the Illinois CPA examination must have successfully completed at least 150 semester hours of acceptable credit and earned a baccalaureate or higher degree. The semester hours accepted by the Board must include an accounting concentration or its equivalent. A candidate will be deemed to have met the education requirement if, as part of the 150 semester hours of education or equivalent as determined by the Board, he or she has met any one of the four conditions listed in subsections (b)(1)(A) through (D). With each of the conditions listed, accounting hours do not include business law, and no more than six semester hours of accounting may be obtained through internships or life-experience.

 

A) Earned a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting from a program that is accredited in accounting by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board.

 

B) Earned a graduate degree from a program that is accredited in business by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board and completed at least 24 additional semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level or equivalent combination thereof, including courses covering the subjects of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.

 

C) Earned a baccalaureate degree from a program that is accredited in business by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board and completed 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level, including courses covering the subjects of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting, and completed at least 24 additional semester hours of business courses, or substantially equivalent (other than accounting) courses, at the undergraduate or graduate level.

 

D) Earned a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited educational institution or other institution recognized by the Board, including at least 24 semester hours of accounting at the undergraduate and/or graduate level with at least one course each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting and completed at least 24 additional semester hours in business courses or substantially equivalent (other than accounting) courses at the undergraduate or graduate level.

 

2) For purposes of subsection (b)(1), the formula for conversion of quarter hours to semester hours is to multiply quarter hours by two-thirds.

 

3) Authorization to Test

 

A) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b)(3)(B), proof of satisfactory completion of all educational requirements must be received by the Board before the Board issues an authorization to test.

 

B) First time candidates who apply for the examination will be granted provisional approval of in-progress courses taken at domestic institutions. Candidates granted provisional approval shall be allowed 120 days from the date of taking the first section of the examination to provide evidence that all requirements have been completed. No grades will be released to the candidate until all final official credentials are received and eligibility verified by board staff. If final transcripts verifying completion of all courses for eligibility to sit are not received by the Board within 120 days after taking the first examination section of the computer-based examination, grades for all examination sections authorized with provisional approval will be voided.

 

c) Requirements Applicable Beginning July 1, 2013

 

1) Examination Qualifications

 

A) Beginning July 1, 2013, an applicant must provide proof of successful completion of:

 

i) 150 semester credit hours, as defined, of college or university study that includes an accounting concentration or equivalent; and

 

ii) a baccalaureate or higher degree; and

 

iii) the requirements set out in subsection (c)(3).

 

B) Applicants who have taken the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination at least once before July 1, 2013 may take the examination under the qualifications in effect when the examination was first taken.

 

2) Definitions

 

A) Board − Illinois Board of Examiners (IBOE).

 

B) Semester Credit Hours or SCH − conventional college or university semester credit hours.

 

C) 150 SCH − accumulation of all credits earned and posted to the applicant's official college or university transcripts.

 

D) Conversion of Quarter Credit Hours to SCH − quarter credit hours may be converted to SCH by multiplying quarter credit hours by two-thirds.

 

E) Internship − faculty approved and appropriately supervised short-term work experience, usually related to student's major field of study, for which the student earns academic credit as posted to the applicant's official college or university transcripts.

 

F) Life Experience − college level life experience posted on a college or university transcript as academic credit that has been assessed by appropriate faculty and/or staff of that institution as earned competence. Those areas addressed in the review of life experience should, at a minimum, contain the context of the experience in relation to work and studies and a detailed description of the experience.

 

G) AICPA Content Specification Outlines or CSOs − extent of the technical content identified to be tested on each of the four sections of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The outlines list the areas, groups and topics to be tested.

 

H) Colleges or Universities − Board-recognized institutions of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and/or the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Recognition means the accrediting organization is certified as legitimate and competent. An individual program within a larger accredited institution may be separately accredited by a professional or specialized organization. Business schools recognized by the Board are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Programs in accounting recognized by the Board are accredited by AACSB or ACBSP.

 

I) Integration of Subject Matter program of learning in which certain subjects that may be discrete courses in some colleges or universities are integrated or embedded within related courses. Colleges or universities that use an integrated approach to cover multiple course subjects will need to provide evidence of the required coverage. Acceptance of integration of any subject matter is subject to Board approval. Proof of coverage may be provided through specific evaluation by a national accrediting organization recognized by CHEA, such as AACSB or ACBSP, in which evidence is provided to assure the Board that the respective subjects adequately cover the desired content.

 

J) Ethics program of learning that provides a framework of ethical reasoning, professional values and attitudes for exercising professional skepticism and other behavior that is in the best interest of the public and profession. At a minimum, an ethics program should provide a foundation for ethical reasoning and the core values of integrity, objectivity and independence.

 

K) Graduate Accounting Credit Hours hours earned in courses classified by the college or university as post-secondary level courses leading to a master's degree. For purposes of meeting the accounting hours requirement, one graduate SCH is equivalent to 1.6 SCH earned at the undergraduate level.

 

L) Applicant − person who has applied to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.

 

3) Examination Admittance

An applicant will be deemed to have met the educational requirement if, as part of the 150 SCH of education, or equivalent as determined by the Board, the applicant has met any one of the following three conditions:

 

A) Earned a graduate degree from an accounting program that is accredited in accounting by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board (see subsection (c)(2)(H));

 

B) Earned a graduate degree from a business or accounting program that is accredited in business by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board (see subsection (c)(2)(H)) and completed at least 30 SCH in accounting as described in subsection (c)(4) at the undergraduate level, or the equivalent at the graduate level;

 

C) Earned a baccalaureate or higher degree (except as defined (c)(3)(A) or (B)) from an accredited education institution recognized by the Board (see subsection (c)(2)(H)) and:

 

i) completed 30 SCH in accounting, as described in subsection (c)(4), at the undergraduate level, or the equivalent at the graduate level; and

 

ii) completed at least 24 SCH in business other than accounting, as described in subsection (c)(5), at the undergraduate or graduate level.

 

4) Accounting Course Requirements

 

A) Accounting courses are those courses commonly included in the accounting curriculum. The required 30 SCH in accounting must include:

 

i) Financial accounting;

 

ii) Auditing;

 

iii) Taxation;

 

iv) Management accounting.

 

B) The 30 SCH in accounting may also include cost accounting, not-for-profit accounting, governmental accounting, internships and life experiences, research and analysis and other areas included in the CSOs that are approved by the Board.

 

C) Internships and life experience credits included in the 30 SCH in accounting are limited to a maximum of three SCH.

 

D) The 30 SCH in accounting must include two SCH in research and analysis in accounting. The subject matter may be a discrete course or may be integrated throughout the undergraduate or graduate accounting curriculum. Integrated courses must meet the requirements of subsection (c)(2)(I). Two SCH in research and analysis in accounting is the maximum allowed in meeting the 30 SCH requirement.

 

5) Business Course Requirements

 

A) Business courses are those courses commonly included in the business curriculum and cover some or all of the following subject matter content:

 

i) Business ethics;

 

ii) Business law;

 

iii) Economics;

 

iv) Management;

 

v) Marketing;

 

vi) Finance;

 

vii) Business communication;

 

viii) Business statistics;

 

ix) Quantitative methods;

 

x) Information systems;

 

xi) Internship and/or life experience; or

 

xii) Other areas as may be approved by the Board.

 

B) Internships and life experience credits included in the 24 SCH in business are limited to a maximum of three SCH.

 

C) Two SCH in business communication and three SCH in business ethics is the maximum allowed in meeting the 24 SCH requirement. For integrated courses across the accounting and business curriculums, SCH may only apply in meeting either the accounting or business SCH requirement. The 24 SCH in business must include two SCH in business communication and three SCH in business ethics. The subject matter may be discrete courses or integrated throughout the undergraduate or graduate accounting curriculum or business curriculum. For example, if a three SCH course in accounting includes one SCH in business ethics, two SCH may count toward accounting requirements and one SCH may count toward the business ethics requirement.

 

6) Evaluation of Foreign Credentials

The Illinois Board of Examiners reserves the right to evaluate all foreign academic credentials. Evaluations completed by outside agencies are not accepted. Factors that are considered when evaluating foreign educational credentials are:

 

A) The official status of the institution that issued the credentials;

 

B) The type of education that the credential represents: secondary, tertiary, academic, technical, vocational, pre-professional, in-service, or part of a certificate, diploma or degree program;

 

C) The authenticity of the credential;

 

D) The role the credential plays in the educational system of the country from which it came;

 

E) The recognition of the credential in the country where the candidate is from; and

 

F) The U.S. equivalent of the quantity and quality of education the credential represents.

 

7) Authorization to Test

 

A) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c)(7)(B), proof of satisfactory completion of all educational requirements must be received by the Board before the Board issues an authorization to test.

 

B) First time candidates who apply for the examination will be granted provisional approval of in-progress courses taken at domestic institutions. Candidates granted provisional approval shall be allowed 120 days from the date of taking the first section of the examination to provide evidence that all requirements have been completed. No grades will be released to the candidate until all final official credentials are received and eligibility verified by Board staff. If final transcripts verifying completion of all courses for eligibility to sit are not received by the Board within 120 days after taking the first examination section of the computer-based examination, grades for all examination sections authorized with provisional approval will be voided.

 

(Source: Amended at 35 Ill. Reg. 16071, effective September 26, 2011)