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Foreign Credential Evaluation For Cpa

By Author: Ross Barkely
Total Articles: 263

How to Select Foreign Credential Evaluation for CPA

Before you contact an evaluation agency, you have to select the state in which to register for your exam. There are two reasons:

Each state has its own list of approved evaluation agencies - you don’t want to pay for a report that is not identified by the board.
Each state board has slightly different qualifying rules. Therefore, the agency needs to know which rules to apply to when reviewing your transcripts.
Once you settle on a state and get the list of approved agencies, you can pick one based on:

1. Evaluation fee
2. Turnaround time
3. Reputation

1. Evaluation Fee

The fee ranges from $100 to $300 - price difference is closely correlated to turnaround time. For example, FACS is one of the most affordable agency charging $100 for most states, but it takes around 6 weeks.

Most state boards require a “course-by-course” Evaluation. This is different from the “general Evaluation” that some agencies are offering. Please read the fee plan carefully when comparing the fees.

There may also be rush solutions available but expect to add another $100 to the price tag. With appropriate planning, you can avoid this extra cost.

2. Turnaround Time

The number of days required to produce a report varies considerably. Most agencies have a 2 week turnaround time, but can vary from 5 business days to 8+ weeks. Visit to know more information related to this topic, please check - Association of International Credential Evaluators and Center for Credentialing and Education.

3. Reputation

The evaluation process is both an art and a science. It is possible that an evaluators gives you more credit hours than the others.

Having said that, the evaluation result should not be substantially different like evaluators run the risk of getting disqualified by state boards. Due to this, I personally do not recommend an agency based on how “lenient” it interprets your transcripts.

I do recommend agencies that have better customer service, because a friendly evaluator makes your life much easier during the exam software process. I ran a little experience and you can check out my findings at the end of this post.

Tips on Foreign Credential Evaluation Process

1. Submitting the Documents

Most evaluation agencies require the candidates to send in the official or first transcript . By first, it refers to the copy issued by your school that is sent to you in a sealed envelope; by official, it means a copy (either the original or certified copy) sent directly from your school to the agency.

In most cases, this requirement is set by the state board. For example, California state board asks the evaluators to problem report only if the candidate supplies the original copy.

I understand that in some countries it is impossible additional copies of your transcript. Customer services is very important because a good evaluator can suggest a way to work around this issue instead of insisting on getting what is officially required.

Notice: if your current name is different from the name on the transcript (e.g. maiden name), you need supporting document to show the reason of name shift, e.g. a marriage certificate.

2. Translation of Documents

If your transcript is issued in a language other than English, a word-for-term translation is required.

You can explore whether there is an in-house translation service at the evaluation agency. If not, you can either get it translated by an official / governmental agency (as in China), or you can contact a translation program that is a member of American Translators Association (ATA).

It is best to check with your Evaluation agency and see if they have a preferred translation program.

3. Extra information to expedite the process

Another thing to help the agency is to send in your course outline/syllabus so that the agency has full home elevators the content of your qualifications.

4. Estimating the Turnaround Time

I list out the estimated turnaround time for each foreign credential evaluation agency below. It only starts to count after all the required docs are submitted.

For rush program, it is counted in business days. For example, a 2-day time rush program takes 2 business days.

5. Tracking the Progress

Some evaluation agencies have online tracking systems, while others may have an email notification service. A few have no up-dates and you have to call them to check. You may take this into consideration if it is important for you keep tabs on the progress.

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