Hello, this is Stephanie from IPassthCPAexam.com. I’d like to give you an overview of foreign
credential evaluation. This is Part 4 of the video series dedicated to international
candidates. What is Foreign Credential Evaluation? The education system varies greatly in different
parts of the world. While the state boards of accountancy in the
US generally accept candidates anywhere, it is difficult for them to understand their
education level in the respective local systems. Therefore, the state boards require a report
that shows the courses as US equivalent, so that they can determine the applicant’s
eligibility on the same basis. This report is known as the foreign credential
evaluation report. Who needs the evaluation report? There is a common misconception that every
international candidate requires such a report. The need is actually based on where the applicant
went to school, and not his or her nationality. For example, if the applicant came from France
but he went to college in the US, he does not need an evaluation report because the
transcript was issued from a university in the United States, and the state boards have
no problem understanding that. Whereas a US citizen who spent a semester in Australia, and she wants the courses taken in Australia to be counted in her CPA exam application, then she needs to obtain an evaluation report. Where can I get the report? Most state boards outsource this process to
third-party evaluation agencies. Exceptions are Illinois and Texas where they accept and evaluate transcripts from US and other countries. Each state board has a list of approved evaluation
agencies, so make sure you check against this list before the selection process. How can I pick an agency? The agencies provide similar service and I
don’t have a general recommendation. Again, the most important factor is whether
they are included in the approval list of your state board. As a general rule, you can select an agency
based on price, type of service, turnaround time and customer service. The price ranges from $100 to $300 and more. The more affordable ones generally take longer
and do not provide rush service. In terms of the type of service, there are
two main groups. The first group includes agencies that only
accept original transcript sent directly from your school. The second group includes the ones that accept
notarized or certified copy of your transcript. These agencies understand that it is very
hard for candidates from certain countries to request original copies from their schools,
and therefore, they get the copies and perform the verification on their behalf. This second group of agencies provides an additional service and understandably, their fees are quite a lot higher. In terms of turnaround time, the slowest may
take more than 8 weeks, but the fast ones can take only a few days if you don’t mind
paying extra for the rush service. For customer service, it is rather subjective,
but I ran an experiment by sending the same request to all the evaluation agencies and
analyze their feedback. You can see how I categorize them based on
my finding at the bottom of this page. I hope this video is useful in giving you
an overview of the foreign credential evaluation. If you haven’t done so, please check out
the rest of the video series for international candidates in the playlist. Questions are most welcome and you can drop
a note in the comment section below. Thanks for watching and see you in the next
video.