In Illinois, applicants who wish to become certified public accountants must:

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • have a certificate as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the University of Illinois;
  • have one year of accounting experience; and
  • pass the four-part CPA examination.

In Illinois, licensure must be renewed every three years and requires 120 hours of continuing education.

For additional information, contact:

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: 217.785.0800, Fax: 217.782.7645

All states use the CPA exam prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The CPA examination is difficult. Only about one out of four of those who take it each year pass each part they attempt. Candidates are not required to pass all four parts at once. Many states, however, require all sections of the test be passed within a certain period of time.

For information regarding the CPA examination in Illinois, contact:

Illinois Board of Examiners
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 107, Naperville, IL 60563
Phone: 815.753.8900, Fax: 815.753.8953

Voluntary certification is available for accountants who are not qualified to take the CPA exam. These accountants may have acquired some skills on the job, but do not have the required formal education or work experience. Several professional groups offer certification. Certification is optional for some accountants. Beginning accountants are not required to have a license before they practice. These accountants, however, are limited in terms of the titles they can use and the work they can do.