CPA Licensing Requirements in North Carolina

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For Candidates in North Carolina who have Passed the Uniform CPA Exam

In order to qualify for CPA licensure in North Carolina after completing the exam, candidates must fulfill several requirements pertaining to education and experience:

Education Requirements

In addition to the 120 hours required to sit for the CPA Exam, candidates for CPA licensure must complete another 30 semester hours for a total of at least 150 semester hours in accounting-related coursework that results in a bachelor’s degree at minimum.

These 30 additional semester hours must include at least 24 semester hours that consists of one three-hour course in eight of the following subjects:

  • Statistics
  • Communications
  • Management
  • Computer Technology
  • Law
  • Economics
  • International Environment
  • Ethics
  • Humanities/Social Science
  • Finance

Experience Requirement

Candidates must prove field-related work experience prior to licensure. Qualifying work experience includes at least:

  • One year working in public practice accountancy (Experience must be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA)
  • One year working in in the field of accountancy (Experience must be completed under the supervision of a licensed CPA)
  • Four years working in the field of accountancy
  • Four years teaching accountancy (Experience must be through an accredited college or university)
  • Four years of self-employment experience in accounting
  • Any combination of past experience in accounting that the State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners deems equivalent to one of the abovementioned options

Ethics Course Requirements

Within one year preceding licensure application, all candidates must successfully complete an eight-hour class on the North Carolina Accountancy Statutes and Rules. The course must also instruct in the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct.

Licensure Application Fee

The State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners requires a $100 application fee to be enclosed with the “Original North Carolina CPA Certification Application.”

Continuing Professional Education Requirements

All active CPAs in North Carolina must complete at least forty hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits by December 31st of each year to maintain licensure.

Of these hours, two hours must pertain to regulatory or behavioral professional ethics and conduct.