Accounting Certifications

Accounting certifications can be used to enhance your career, achieve promotions and get pay raises. There are a range of options available and some may be a better fit for you than others, depending on your career goals. The following is a sample list of certifications available in the accounting area.


CPA Exam and Certification 

Each state’s Accountancy Board governs the awarding of the CPA certificate. These Accountancy Boards follow the requirements as outlined by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) which provides the CPA exam. The CPA exam is a uniform exam across the United States.  However, each state may have slightly different requirements when a candidate can sit for the exam and obtain the CPA certificate. Please check the Board of Accountancy of the state that you plan to sit for the CPA exam and obtain the CPA certificate for the most recent requirements. 

General Guidance for the CPA exam:
  1. Review eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam: Check the specific criteria from the state’s Board of Accountancy website for the current eligibility requirements for the CPA exam. In Ohio, please check the Accountancy Board of Ohio website.
  2. Apply to sit for the exam online: Every applicant must apply to sit for the exam. The application link is on the NASBA website or from the state’s board of accountancy. The application process can take between four to eight weeks. 
  3. Schedule the exam: After receiving your Notice to Schedule (NTS), you can schedule your exam. You do not have to physically take the exam in the state you will apply for a license. There are four sections in the CPA exam. You may take one section at a time, but you may take multiple sections in each testing window. 
    1. Most states require you to take the exam within six months from the date you receive your notice to schedule. Failure to take the sections of the exam you have applied for within this timeframe may cause you to forfeit fees.
    2. After you pass your first exam, you have 18 months to successfully pass the remaining sections. The score for any individual section will expire after this 18-month window. 
CPA Exam Preparation & Helpful Resources:
  • Work with academic advisors and seek the advice of faculty in choosing the courses that cover the CPA exam topics and help you with the exam taking.
  • Consider taking a CPA review course, which may help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your exam preparation. Some review course providers also offer scholarships such as the Becker Scholarship Program.
  • More information about CPA exam and obtaining the CPA license can be found at American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).


CMA Exam and Certification 

The accounting program at Kent State University is one of 79 accounting programs worldwide to receive the IMA endorsement

The CMA certification does not require you to obtain academic courses beyond your four‐year accounting degree.

There are two parts to the CMA Exam: 
  1. Financial planning, performance, and analytics, and   
  2. Strategic financial management 
The requirements to become a CMA:
  1. Become a member of the Institute of Management Accountants 
  2. Undergraduate bachelor’s degree 
  3. Take the exam and pass (you take the exam while a student) 
  4. Two‐year work experience 

Kent State University has scholarships available for review materials for the CMA exam.   

The general process of sitting for the CMA exam and obtaining the CMA certificate can be found at the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) website.


The general process of sitting for the CIA exam and obtaining the CIA certificate can be found at the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) website.


The general process of sitting for the CFE exam and obtaining the CFE certificate can be found at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) website.

Kent State University has an anti-fraud education partnership with the ACFE. 


The general process of sitting for the CGMA exam and obtaining the CGMA designation can be found at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) website

Kent State University is in the pilot program with AICPA/CIMA for the CGMA designation.