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US CPA Exam Now Offered in the Philippines | What Does this Mean for U.S. Firms?

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The accounting world now has 7000+ more reasons to celebrate and be optimistic. In a move that has been eagerly anticipated (at least here at TOA), the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announced that the US CPA exam is now available in the Philippines starting July 2024.

World-class Filipino accounting talent across the 7000+ islands in the Philippine archipelago now has a direct path to a US CPA license. This development opens up a world of opportunities for Filipino accounting professionals and US accounting firms alike.

Let’s dive into the details of this game-changing move, how it impacts the U.S., Philippine, and global accounting landscape, and the pathway for Filipino accountants to become licensed US CPAs.

Implications for US Accounting Firms

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The availability of the US CPA exam in the Philippines is a strategic move that can significantly benefit US accounting firms. Here’s why:

Addressing the Talent Shortage

Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion

Expanding Global Reach

Cost Efficiency

Global Implications: How it Impacts Firms in Australia, New Zealand, and Beyond

The significance of the US CPA exam being available in the Philippines extends beyond just the U.S. and Filipino markets. This development is set to have a profound impact on accounting firms in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. Here’s how:

Enhancing Service Offerings

By leveraging the expertise of Filipino US CPAs, firms in Australia and New Zealand can enhance their service offerings. These professionals bring a deep understanding of US accounting standards, regulations, and best practices, which can be particularly beneficial if you have international operations or looking to expand into the U.S. market. This added value can help you differentiate your firm in a competitive market.

Tighter Outsourcing Competition

With the U.S. now becoming a more attractive career prospect for Filipino accountants, firms in Australia, New Zealand, and other regions that rely on outsourced Filipino CPAs face a new challenge: fiercer outsourcing competition. Filipino CPAs that used to shy away from choosing U.S. clients due to the rigorous licensing process can now have a direct path to a US CPA license, making it harder for Australian and New Zealand firms to attract valuable Filipino talent.

A New Pathway for Filipino Accountants

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For many aspiring Filipino accountants, the dream of becoming a US CPA just became significantly more accessible. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to become a CPA in the U.S. through the CPA exam international administration:

1. Academic Requirements

2. Choose the Right State

Each state in the U.S. has its own set of requirements for the CPA board exam. Filipino candidates must decide which state’s requirements they can meet. Some states may require candidates to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or be a U.S. citizen. However, these requirements don’t apply in Wisconsin, New York, Montana, Illinois, and South Dakota.

It’s also important to know which jurisdictions (states) allow international candidates to take the US CPA Exam. Here’s the list of popular participating jurisdictions international candidates often choose:

Colorado Michigan Montana
Delaware New Hampshire California
Virgina Alaska Illinois
Guam Washington
Meanwhile, here are the four jurisdictions that do not currently participate in the international administration of the US CPA exam.
Alabama Idaho North Carolina Virgin Islands

3. Evaluation of Credentials

Candidates will need to have their academic credentials evaluated by an approved foreign credential evaluation service. This process ensures that their education meets the standards set by the chosen state board.

4. Application to Sit for the Exam

After selecting the State and completing the credential evaluation, candidates must apply to sit for the US CPA exam. This involves submitting the application materials, paying the necessary fees, and providing the required documentation requirements.

5. Taking the US CPA Exam

Once you’ve qualified, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) letter which will contain all the necessary information for your exam schedule, including the location, date, time, and other important details.

The US CPA exam consists of four sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG).

Click the button below for the complete US CPA exam candidate guide 👇

A Bright Future Ahead

The decision by NASBA to offer the US CPA exam in the Philippines is a win-win for both Filipino accountants and U.S. accounting firms. For Filipino professionals, it opens doors to global career opportunities and the chance to work with some of the most prestigious firms in the industry. For U.S. firms, it offers a solution to the talent shortage, promotes diversity, and provides cost-effective ways to expand their global operations.

Meanwhile, firm in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world that rely on outsourced Filipino accountants, it’s time to rethink your outsourcing strategy to compete with the U.S. market.

If you need expert outsourcing advice, talk to one of our experts today so we can walk you through our proven, time-tested outsourcing playbook.