FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL LICENSE BLOG

Need a Variance or Waiver from the 18-Month CPA Exam Requirement?

We can help you with:

  • Drafting your petition for variance or waiver from the 18-month Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam requirement.
  • Articulating your reason as to why you should receive the variance or waiver.
  • Representation at the Board of Accountancy meeting when your petition is considered.

A Florida CPA candidate is required to complete the four-part Uniform CPA Examination by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in order to become licensed.

The four sections include the following: 

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 
  • Regulation (REG)

An applicant has the option to take each exam section individually, however, the applicant must pass all four sections within a rolling 18-month period that begins on the NASBA grade release date for the first test section passed.

Many applicants often take advantage of being able to spread out the time in which they take each exam section. Unfortunately, unexpected life events can interfere with an applicant’s timely completion of all four sections. Luckily, there is a process for obtaining a variance or waiver from the 18-month completion requirement.

An applicant seeking a variance or waiver must submit a formal petition which precisely specifies:

  • The rule from which a variance or waiver is requested;
  • The type of action requested;
  • The specific facts that would justify a waiver or variance for the petitioner; and
  • The reason why the variance or the waiver requested would serve the purposes of the underlying statute.

An applicant may receive the variance or waiver of the 18-month exam completion requirement if he or she can demonstrate substantial hardship or violation of principles of fairness.

While this process may appear to be fairly straightforward, we have witnessed numerous individuals attempt to represent themselves in front of the Board of Accountancy and argue their case for a variance or waiver with no success.  Because the Board is tasked with upholding the integrity of the profession, they are not inclined to grant a variance or waiver without specific statutory requirements being met.

The assistance of an experienced attorney who is able to articulate your justification for a variance or waiver could mean the difference between failure and success.  Our firm regularly represents licensed professionals before numerous boards statewide.

Our law firm is available for a free no-obligation consultation. To receive your free consultation with Thomas Buchan, Esq., please contact Howell, Buchan & Strong, 2898-6 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32308, at (850) 877-7776.

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