Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor

ACAT Step 1

Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor


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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 ABA credential is awarded only to those passing the Accreditation in Accountancy examination, or ABA examination, which is offered twice a year at testing centers around the country. In addition, you must also have three years of related work experience, up to two of which may be satisfied through college credit.

In the states of Iowa and Minnesota, achieving the ABA designation meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy. Minnesota requires a score of 75% or higher on both Part 1 and Part 2 of the exam to practice public accountancy.

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.

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.