North Carolina CPA Requirements
Are you looking to take the CPA Exam as an exam candidate for North Carolina? Each state or region in the United States has a different set of requirements in order to sit for the test. If you are considering North Carolina, you should first understand if you meet all of the necessary qualifications including education, residency, and age requirements. Below you will find the appropriate prerequisites, test center locations, exam fees, resources, and contact information to help you better understand all North Carolina CPA requirements. For example, did you know that U.S. citizenship is required to sit for the exam?
Please note that obtaining a CPA license in NC may require additional qualifications including continuing education or work experience.
The data on this page was last reviewed and updated in November 2017.
CPA Exam Requirements in North Carolina
- Bachelor’s degree is required.
- 120 hours from a college or university accredited by one of the regionally accredited associations in any subject that includes, or is supplemented by, a concentration in accounting
- Additional semester hour requirements. See full education requirements on the e North Carolina Board of Accountancy website.
North Carolina State Requirements & Education Options
The educational requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam is a bachelor’s degree (120 hours) from a college or university accredited by one of the regionally accredited associations in any subject that includes, or is supplemented by, a concentration in accounting.
21 NCAC 08A .0309, Concentration in Accounting, states:
(a) A concentration in accounting includes:
(1) at least 30 semester hours, or the equivalent in quarter hours, of undergraduate accountancy courses which shall include no more than six semester hours of accounting principles and no more than three semester hours of business law; or
(2) at least 20 semester hours or the equivalent in quarter hours, of graduate accounting courses that are open exclusively to graduate students; or
(3) a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses which would be equivalent to Subparagraph (1) or (2).
(b) In recognition of differences in level of graduate and undergraduate courses, one semester (or quarter) hour of graduate study in accounting is considered the equivalent of one and one-half semester (or quarter) hours of undergraduate study in accounting.
(c) Up to four semester hours, or the equivalent in quarter ours, of graduate income tax courses completed in law schools may count toward the semester hour requirement of Paragraph (a) of this Rule.
(d) Where, in the Board’s determination, an accounting course duplicates another course previously taken, only the semester (or quarter) hours of one of the courses shall be counted in determining if the applicant has a concentration in accounting.
(e) Accounting courses include such courses as principles courses at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels; managerial accounting; business law; cost accounting; fund accounting; auditing; and taxation. There are many college courses offered that would be helpful in the practice of accountancy, but are not included in the definition of a concentration in accounting. Such courses include business finance, business management, computer science, economics, writing skills, accounting internships, and CPA exam review.
In North Carolina, a person is eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination provided that he or she is a citizen of the United States (or has declared the intention of becoming a citizen); is a resident alien or is a citizen of a foreign jurisdiction which extends to citizens of this State like or similar privileges to be examined.
18 Years Old
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CPA License Requirements in North Carolina
Continuing education is required.
Work experience is required.
Social Security Number is required.
Within one year prior to applying for certification, all certificate (license) applicants must complete an eight-hour course on the North Carolina Accountancy Statutes and Rules, including the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct. The Board suggests that applicants meet the requirement within the last few months prior to applying for a certificate (license). The North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA) [Phone (919) 469-1040 or 1-800-722-2836] offers two qualifying courses: a one-day, group-study seminar, “Ethics Principles and Professional Responsibilities,” and an online self-study course, “North Carolina Law Course: Ethics, Principles, and Professional Responsibility for North Carolina License Applicants.”
Getting your CPA license in North Carolina can mean that additional requirements must be met. Since fees, requirements, and rules may change on a frequent basis, we highly recommend contacting the North Carolina State Board of Accountancy for complete licensing information.