Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor


Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor

The Accredited Business Accountant (ABA) credential has been developed to recognize accountants who have demonstrated entry-level knowledge and skill to provide competent financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, managerial accounting, business law, and ethics for small to medium sized businesses in the United States. The ABA credential is a prestigious indicator to clients, potential clients, employers, and the public at large that the business accountant has proficiency in the accounting and taxation field.

*The use of the term “accountant” for non CPAs varies by state therefore we provide ABA credential holders with the alternate title option of Accredited Business Advisor. See more details under "State Recognition" below.


The ABA credential is awarded only to those passing the two (2) part examination, or ABA examination, which is offered twice a year at testing centers around the country. 

The ABA Exam is a two part exam and the study materials are broken in to two parts as well.  

Practice I: Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Preparation, Presentation and Reporting 
Practice II: Business Consulting Services, Taxation, Business Law and Ethics
For a more detailed look at the topics covered see the ABA Exam Blueprint. 

Experience Requirements

ACAT seeks to ensure that all accredited individ­uals possess theoretical knowledge and the practical knowledge necessary to be successful practitioners. Candidates for the ABA must be at least 18 years of age and must have a minimum of three (3) years of professional experience, or two (2) years of college-level accounting and one (1) year professional experience.

Individuals who pass the exam, but have not met the three year experience minimum, may promote themselves as having “passed the ACAT Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy” but are not entitled to use the ABA designation.

Recognitions and Exemptions

Annual Filing Season Program Record (AFSP)
ABA credential holders qualify for the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion without taking the Annual Refresh Course and Annual Exam.
More about the AFSP

State Recognition
In IA and MN achieving the ABA designation meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy. MN requires a 75% passing score on both Practices of the exam. The use of the term “accountant” for non CPAs varies by state.
More about Minnesota RAP Program
More about the Iowa LPA

The use of the term “accountant” for non CPAs varies by state. In states where the term “accountant” cannot be used in any form or in states that allow the use the term “accountant” as a stand alone word but with a disclaimer—AL, AK, AR, CA, HI, IN, KY, LA, ND, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN and TX, accredited individuals use Accredited Business Advisor®. The process for attaining the credential and rules for use are the same.

Check with your state board of accountancy for your state accountancy compliance rules.