Can a felon become a certified public accountant?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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Can a felon become a certified public accountant?

I am considering a career in accounting, but as a felon am at a standstill. I do not want to waste my time, money, and energy getting a degree only to be denied a CPA license.

Asked on August 4, 2011 New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the thing (and it is really a catch 22), you have to actually fill out and submit the application to take the exam, disclose that you have been convicted of a felony and then you will be notified if you can sit for the exam.  Can you be denied the opportunity to sit for the exam?  Yes, you can be.  There are character and fitness requirements for a CPA just like there are for attorneys.  The New York application asks about it specifically and will require that you provide a written explanation and relevant court documents.  It may be possible - and I do not know for sure - for you to write to the board and ask for an advisory opinion on the matter before you embark on the career. 

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