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I just finished the CPA license process in Illinois, and horrendous is a understatement as to my experience waiting to get my license to practice. I just wanted to give some helpful advice to my fellow brothers (and sisters!) in accounting arms pursuing the CPA license and hoping to get their license in Illinois.
Here a few helpful tips:
1) My advice is that after you finish your last exam get right started on the ethics exam. That way when you have received the good news that you passed, you can go straight into licensing process.
2) The ILBOA only sends out the Certificate showing that you completed the CPA exam and ethics requirements twice a month, but it is sent electronically!
-I would call and confirm that ILBOA has sent the certificate to the IDPFR (Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation).
-I would also call and confirm that the IDPFR has received your application and the CPA certificate.
3) RTFM! RTFM! Read the instructions on the application for license like your life depends on it, you don’t want to have resubmit information because you’re “instructionally challenged” (Yes, I made up that term). There is nothing worse than receiving a denial letter asking for additional information because you were too dumb to follow the instructions the first time (I fall into this group sadly O__O )
4) You can call the IDPFR and get updates on your application status, don’t be afraid to do this (they have a call center). I would call confirm that they have received your application, received your CPA certificate, and closer to the 6 weeks mark for status updates on any deficiencies, or simply to annoy them because you are anxious and can’t wait (that would be me)
5) It takes the Evaluators 10 to 15 business days to receive your application (or any additional information mailed in) ONCE it arrives at the IDPFR mailing room. My experience has been closer to 10 business days as a good estimate.
6) The general expected time for them process your application is 6 to 8 weeks, but this is only if you do not have any errors or deficiencies in your application.
7) In regards to the experience verification form: IL does not require that your experience be obtained under the supervision of an CPA , verified by an CPA, or solely in public accounting (see the regulations on the IDPFR site for more info).
-Per the instructions make sure that you fill out your portion of the form, and THEN have your employer fill out the second part.
-To be safe, I suggest you have the form filled out after you have received your certificate since this information should be included on the form, and I would also request that your employer put the form in a sealed company envelope so that you can include it with your application with proof of it being untampered with.
-Note: I had this particular issue with my application. I had my employer fill out the form and then I added my certificate number after the fact. I of course received a rejection letter and had to have the form refilled out and sent from my previous employer, not fun.
8) Also, you are allowed to type information into the pdf versions of the form. So if you need to send a form to a previous employer this is the way to do it! You still have to provide original ink signatures though.
9) I also suggest that you include a print out of the letter that the ILBOA emails you stating that they have sent the your CPA certificate information to the IDPFR.
10) Prepare yourself for the lowest low after the highest high of seeing those three letters behind your name. In some ways I think I got used to the struggle. Now, it’s kinda like ok, that’s done so what do I do now???