How to List CPA Designation on a Resume When License Is Inactive

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CPA stands for "certified public accountant." To become a certified public accountant, you first must become licensed in your state. This usually requires meeting certain educational requirements and passing a nationwide licensing exam. However, once you become certified, maintaining that certification will be based on the state from which you obtained the license. These requirements can be found through the American Institute of CPAs, listed as in the Resources section. If you are no longer certified, but you once were, you can still include this information on your resume.

Do not include "CPA" after your name on your resume if your license is inactive. This should only be included if you have an active CPA license.

Create a section for your resume called "Licenses and Certifications." List any licenses and certifications you have in this section.

Add "CPA (inactive)" to the section you created. Since your license is not active, insert this near or at the bottom of your list of licenses and certifications.


Check with your state's licensing board before you include an inactive CPA license on your resume. Depending on your state's requirement, you may be able to renew your license in just a few easy steps, giving you an active license, which will help to impress possible employers.


Don't include your inactive CPA license on a resume that isn't aimed toward an accounting job.