USCPA NOW – FAQs & Eligibility Requirements

Henry Zimmer’s Comprehensive IQEX Program

Course developer Henry Zimmer has prepared a Comprehensive IQEX Program that covers everything an eligible Canadian professional or Chartered Accountant needs to learn to successfully pass the exam. Study notes are written in an easy-to-follow conversational style that emphasize the most likely topics tested in the exam. The materials also contain over one-thousand sample multiple choice questions with detailed solutions. Many of these questions are from old exams and the questions tend to be repeated from year-to-year.

Based on over twenty years of experience in teaching IQEX courses, Henry Zimmer guarantees that, after an initial run-through, there will be nothing in the materials (See the IQEX Syllabus and Grading Structure) that you won’t understand. USCPA-NOW promises that you will have a clear-cut picture of the amount of study time you will need to successfully pass IQEX.

To ensure your success, all participants are entitled to reasonable email/telephone consultation with Henry Zimmer. You should wait until you have completed an initial reading of the study notes and have reviewed the FAQs before requesting any assistance.

The USCPA-NOW materials include an analysis and discussion of the 26 most likely topics to be tested by the 8 Task Based Simulations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What Makes USCPA-NOW Unique?

USCPA-NOW’s Comprehensive IQEX Program is the market leader in helping participants prepare for the IQEX Exam. USCPA-NOW is the only IQEX preparation course offers personalized email/telephone consultation with its course developer. The USCPA-NOW program starts from scratch and assumes you have no prior knowledge of U.S. taxation, U.S. law or U.S. ethics.

U.S. based courses advertising IQEX preparation merely review what U.S. college students learned in their undergraduate courses and leave eligible Canadian professionals frustrated studying on their own with no personal guidance. USCPA-NOW is with you every step of the way until you pass the IQEX Exam!

How does it work?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in the U.S. offers qualified Canadian CPAs (and Irish, Mexican, New Zealand, Australian, Scottish, South African and Hong Kong CAs/CPAs) a 4-hour International Qualifying Examination (IQEX) consisting of 76 multiple-choice questions and 8 short task-based simulations. Please see the Exam Application page. The exam may now be taken at your convenience throughout the year at a Prometric Center anywhere you wish in Canada (most major cities) or the U.S and at some international locations. Upon passing, you will be eligible to join one of 45 State Boards as a CPA.

It doesn’t matter when you received your Canadian CPA or Chartered Accounting designation. There is no testing of Accounting or Auditing. 100% of the material covers U.S. Tax, Law and CPA Ethics. It is strongly recommended that you start your studies as soon as possible to avoid the need to cram.

Believe it or not, the topics comprise an enjoyable learning experience and, with some directed preparation, you will be successful.

The USCPA-NOW Comprehensive Program includes everything you will need to prepare for IQEX. There is no need to obtain any other study aids whatsoever!

What are the eligibility requirements to write IQEX? Is there an articling requirement for CPAs?

Eligibility criteria are explained here.

When is IQEX offered? How long is the exam?

The IQEX examination is now offered throughout the year at Prometric Centers in major Canadian and U.S. cities. Detailed information is included in the USCPA-NOW course material. You may visit the Prometric website at http://www.prometric.com/cpa. The exam requires you to book a 4.5 hour time slot. The first half hour is for orientation and the exam itself is 4 hours.

What is the cost of the exam? What is the application deadline?

Please click on Examination Application Procedures and Deadlines.

What are the examination application procedures and deadlines

You should access the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) website at http://www.nasba.org/ and review the material on IQEX. The USCPA-NOW study materials include a summary of the major points. However, before you register with USCPA-NOW, there are a few things you must know.

  1. You may print a copy of the IQEX application form from the NASBA website and complete it manually. The fee to write IQEX is $835 U.S. payable by Mastercard, Visa or Discover and is to be mailed with your application.
  2. If a CPA Canada member, you must arrange for a Letter of Good Standing to be sent directly to NASBA by your Provincial Institute. NASBA must receive it before you are granted permission to schedule your examination. To be eligible to write IQEX, your CPA experience requirement must have been completed. There are no longer any exceptions since the exam is offered throughout the year. A Notice to Schedule is open for six calendar months. If a member of a Chartered Accounting institute with a Mutual Recognition Agreement in place with NASBA/AICPA, then it is likely similar will be required from your home institute. Check exact requirements with your home institute and / or NASBA.
  3. The earlier you apply (and your Letter of Good Standing is submitted) the greater your chances are of securing the testing date and location you desire. Testing is administered at Prometric Centers in Canada and the U.S. A list of testing locations can be found at http://www.prometric.com/cpaEffective July 1, 2020, the IQEX examination is now offered throughout the year.Please be aware that each Prometric Center has a limited number of computers and they administer many different kinds of tests (eg. LSAT, MCAT etc.) simultaneously.
When will the grades be released?

The estimated target release date is based on the following factors: the day you took your test by, and when the AICPA receives examination data files from Prometric, Usually, you can expect to receive your grade within two to three weeks after you have written the exam.

Which U.S. jurisdictions accept IQEX?

IQEX is accepted by 45 states and The District of Columbia. The following 5 states do not accept IQEX:

    • Alaska
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Hawaii
    • Rhode Island
To which state should I apply after I pass IQEX?

Unless you have a compelling reason to join a particular State Board, it is recommended that you apply to the state of Illinois or the state of Arizona. Further information will be provided with your course materials.

After passing IQEX and joining a State Board, do I obtain all rights as a CPA?

Although you may refer to yourself as a U.S. CPA, in most jurisdictions a license to sign audit reports is not granted automatically. Such license is also not granted by simply passing the full Uniform Exam in the U.S. Various states impose additional education and/or experience requirements for those CPAs seeking permission to sign audit reports. The NASBA website www.nasba.org lists all the individual State Boards along with contact information.

After passing IQEX, will I be able to prepare U.S. tax returns?

If you want to prepare U.S. tax returns, it is recommended that you enroll in the online tax course that is offered at www.theincometaxschool.com There are two components, the first covering personal tax and the second dealing with corporations and partnerships. Both components offer many hours of verifiable Continuing Professional Education.
Passing the IQEX Exam and becoming a U.S. CPA automatically fulfills the recently implemented IRS tax preparer requirements. U.S. CPAs in Canada may obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and are exempt from the ongoing testing and continuing education requirements. A U.S. Social Security Number is not required. 

What is your repeat policy if a participant fails the IQEX Exam?

Paper class: Unsuccessful IQEX writers may make an email request for an updated USCPA-NOW study binder if updated materials are required. A request for updated materials must be made within 60 days of receiving your notification from NASBA that you were unsuccessful. You will have to pay printing costs of approximately $70 U.S. plus shipping.
USCPA-NOW will respond and advise you of the shipping cost via USPS Priority Courier. USCPA-NOW must receive payment of $70 plus shipping costs before the materials are shipped. Contact chiefexecutive@cawnetworkusa.com for more details. (If you reside in Canada, the cost is under $50. If you live in the U.S., it is around $15. Shipping to other countries should not exceed $100.)

On-line class: For the online class candidates have a year’s access to the IQEX material.  If a candidate needs longer than this then contact chiefexecutive@cawnetworkusa.com to request an extension of your access. There is no cost for this – we want you to be successful and understand you may need more time to study.

What is the difference between the paper-based course and the on-line course?

The paper-based course consists of 500+ letter size pages delivered in a 3 ring binder, available for those who prefer to study using pen and paper.

The online course includes all the proven paper course content that has been significantly upgraded and modernized by applying the latest on-line learning techniques including:

  • Cutting edge technology including interactive elements and videos
  • Easy to read format, with key study points highlighted
  • Interactive tests imbedded within the content to reinforce learning
  • Trackable statistics / analytics so you can see how you are progressing
  • Desktop and mobile device friendly allowing you to access it on-line, anywhere, anytime
  • Users can take / retake sections multiple times
  • One click links to resources, including IRS forms and the AICPA blueprint
  • In-line note taking
Why Should I Obtain a U.S. CPA?

There are several reasons for making the investment in a U.S. CPA designation.

  1. You may be living in the U.S. or may decide to move to the U.S. or to another jurisdiction where the U.S. CPA is more readily recognized than a CA or a Canadian CPA;
  2. You may have clients that are U.S. parents or subsidiaries of Canadian firms;
  3. You may be employed, or decide to become employed by a U.S.-based entity even if you don’t relocate;
  4. All paid tax return preparers must now have a Preparer Tax Identification Number issued by the IRS before preparing any tax returns. As a U.S. CPA, you will be exempt from passing the IRS competency exams and the annual continuing education requirements.
  5. CPA Canada: Even though a Canada-wide adoption of the initials CPA has taken place, the U.S. will not recognize the Canadian CPA certification any more than it did the predecessor Canadian CA designation.
Are you subject to Provincial Institute / Home institute continuing professional education requirements?

If you are, why not use this opportunity to combine a professional designation with the fulfillment of your continuing professional development commitments?

Subject areas and grading

IQEX Subject Areas & Grading

Subject Area Percentage of Exam
Business Law 12%
Ethics 13%
Federal Taxation 75%
100%

 

Study Time

Approximate Study Time Commitment

Obviously, your required study time will be dependent on whether you have prior knowledge of Business Law and/or U.S. Taxation. (Please note that IQEX does not provide any hands-on taxation experience. Accordingly, the USCPA-NOW course is not designed to provide the expertise needed to handle “real-life” client situations. See FAQs for more details.)

Assuming you have no prior knowledge about any of the topics in the IQEX Syllabus, the following is an estimate of the average study time requirement after an initial review of the material or the 2-day course:

Subject Area Total Hours
Business Law

    • Contracts
    • Federal Securities Acts
    • Commercial Paper
    • Secured Transactions
    • Bankruptcy
    • Debtor-Creditor Relationships
    • Agency
    • Regulation of Employment and the Environment
    • Business Structure
12

Ethics

    • CPA Legal Responsibilities
      • Common Law
      • Federal Statutory Liability
    • Ethical Considerations for Tax Return Preparers
13
Federal Taxation

    • Individuals
    • Corporations
    • Partnerships
    • Transactions in Property
    • Gift and Estate Taxes
    • Trusts and Exempt Organizations
50
75

QUALIFYING FOR IQEX

CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR IQEX

NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) has established Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with the following countries that enable you to qualify for the IQEX:
CPA Australia
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
CPA Canada (CPAC)
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

Please note that, if you ultimately are considering joining a particular state board, do NOT look at that state’s education or practical experience requirements.  When you pass IQEX, you are automatically assumed to have met any state board requirements and you will not be asked to substantiate either your prior education or experience.

What is the Mutual Recognition agreement between the USA and Canada?

(Please read the section below- “*International Applicants Welcome”- if you are not a Canadian CPA)

On November 1, 2017, The United States, Canada (and Mexico) signed a new five-year Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) that offers Canadian CPAs who did not qualify under the old MRA a pathway to obtaining a US CPA by making themselves eligible to write the US International Qualification Examination (IQEX) and then registering with one of 45 State Boards of Accountancy.

To become eligible, non-legacy CPA applicants must affirm that they are capable of performing audit and attest services in accordance with relevant professional standards, including having the requisite additional experience and training.

Legacy Chartered Accountants Who Now Hold a Canadian CPA Designation

The eligibility requirements are basically unchanged for Canadian IQEX candidates who have passed the now-expired UFE and have met their experience requirements prior to receiving their designations. This is because most Legacy CAs automatically have the right to perform audits in their jurisdictions, whether or not they actual perform this kind of work. If a Legacy CA does NOT have the right to perform audits in his or her home province, the Legacy CA IQEX candidate must demonstrate that they have met the educational requirement for this right through their legacy educational program. Alternatively, they must successfully complete CPA Canada’s Post Designation Public Accounting Examination. (Please click the heading below for details)

Post Designation Public Accounting Examination

The Post Designation Public Accounting Program and Examination are administered by the individual Provinces, historically on an annual basis. (The frequency may be altered over time as demand increases.)

The course is self-study and is designed to be covered over an 8-10-week period. The estimated study time required is 15 hours per week.

In Ontario, the cost is $1,000 plus 13% HST. However, time spent in studying and taking the exam qualify as CPE hours.

Candidates are provided online with a detailed course outline and all materials. There are no deadlines, submissions or workshops.

The examination is held in major centers such as Toronto and Ottawa (for Ontario CPAs).

The examination is 4.5 hours long and consists of 60 multiple choice questions and a 2-hour integrated case study. Candidates are given access to restricted resource material such as Handbooks, The Income Tax Act, common ratios and a tax-shield formula.

The multiple-choice question topics are:

Financial Reporting

10 questions

Strategy & Governance

5 questions

Audit and assurance

10 questions

Finance

5 questions

Taxation

5 questions

The case study will focus on Assurance and Financial reporting.

Important Note: The program requires significant relevant practical experience in order for the individual to be licensed in Canada. However, for IQEX purposes, the only requirement (beyond one year of flexible experience) is that the prospective candidate must pass the examination.

For more information please go to: https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/career-and-professional-development/public-accounting-post-certification-bridging-requirements

What if you are a former CGA / CMA or a post-unification graduate of the Canadian Professional Education Program?

While the Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program recognizes that a member might concentrate or specialize in one or more areas other than auditing (e.g. Forensic Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Taxation etc.), the US mandates that a US CPA must have an in-depth knowledge of Auditing and Attestation. Accordingly, while some former CGAs/CMAs and many graduates of the new Canadian Professional Education Program meet this criterion, there are those who do not.

The new MRA does however provide non-qualifying Canadian CPAs a pathway to IQEX eligibility.

If you are a former CGA /CMA or are a post-Unification graduate of the Canadian Professional Education Program (PEP), please click on one of the two headings below:

 

Former CGAs/CMAs

In most cases, former CGAs and CMAs are provided with a pathway to IQEX eligibility even if they do not have the right to perform audits in the provinces where they hold their memberships. The following criteria must be met in all cases:

The IQEX applicant must have a baccalaureate or higher degree.

The IQEX applicant must have completed the relevant legacy body’s educational program.

The IQEX applicant must have at least one year of verifiable experience. This includes providing a service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. The experience may be acceptable if gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice. (Some State Boards may impose specific experience requirements.)

The IQEX applicant must possess the right to perform audits in the Canadian jurisdiction where he or she is registered

OR

Must have successfully completed CPA Canada’s Post Designation Public Accounting Examination.  (Please click for details.)

The MRA specifies that every IQEX applicant must be in compliance with the CPE requirements of his or her Canadian jurisdiction. To maintain a US CPA, one must also adhere to legally imposed laws, regulations and policies.

IQEX applicants must also be members in good standing of their Provincial Institutes.

Please understand that USCPA-NOW cannot evaluate any candidate’s eligibility to take IQEX. If you are in doubt, you should send in a registration form to The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and wait for an acceptance before registering for the USCPA-NOW IQEX PROGRAM.

Canadian PEP graduates

In virtually all cases, recent CPA graduates of the Canadian Professional Education Program (PEP) are provided with a pathway to IQEX eligibility, even if they do not have the right to perform audits in the provinces where they hold their memberships. The following criteria are required in all cases:

The IQEX applicant must have a baccalaureate or higher degree.

The IQEX applicant must have completed the PEP educational program.

The IQEX applicant must have at least one year of verifiable experience. This includes providing a service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. The experience may be acceptable if gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice. (Some State Boards may impose specific experience requirements.)

The IQEX applicant must possess the right to perform audits in the Canadian jurisdiction where he or she is registered by having passed the two electives  PEP Tax and PEP Assurance (or their equivalent in a graduate program at a post-secondary institution accredited by a Provincial CPA Body)

OR
Must have successfully completed CPA Canada’s Post Designation Public Accounting Examination. (Please click for details.)

The MRA specifies that every IQEX applicant must be in compliance with the CPE requirements of his or her Canadian jurisdiction. To maintain a US CPA, one must also adhere to legally imposed laws, regulations and policies.

IQEX applicants must also be members in good standing of their Provincial Institutes.

Please understand that USCPA-NOW cannot evaluate any candidate’s eligibility to take IQEX. If you are in doubt, you should send in a registration form to The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and wait for an acceptance before registering for the USCPA-NOW IQEX PROGRAM.

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