The Board’s Licensing section is responsible for processing original, reciprocal, reclassification, and renewal CPA license applications, providing CPA license/Exam score verifications to other Boards of Accountancy, and administering the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) compliance program. The Licensing section also registers and renews CPA firm registrations and monitors the peer review compliance program.
A person may be eligible for an original North Carolina CPA license if they
An applicant for CPA licensure must have successfully passed the Exam with a score of at least 75 on each section in accordance with 21 NCAC 08F .0105. If a license applicant did not sit for the Exam as a North Carolina candidate, they must request the transfer of Exam credit from the US jurisdiction (Board of Accountancy) that holds their Exam grades and submit an Interstate Exchange form completed by the US jurisdiction (Board of Accountancy) in which the applicant sat for the Uniform CPA Exam. These forms (Application for Transfer of Credit for Passing All or Part of the Uniform CPA Examination in Another Jurisdiction and Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure Information are included in the Original Certificate Application Package.) An applicant must complete the initial portion of the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure Information and forward the form to the Board of Accountancy where credits and/or status were established (include a self-addressed, stamped envelope). The Board of Accountancy will complete the remainder of the form and return it to the applicant. The applicant will then submit the completed form as part of their application for NC licensure.
NCGS 93-12(5)(a) sets forth the education required of candidates applying for CPA licensure. The 150 semester hours should include a concentration in accounting, as defined by 21 NCAC 08A .0309, and 24 semester hours of coursework which include one (1) three (3) semester hour course from at least eight (8) of the following ten (10) fields of study:
Anyone applying for CPA certification who holds a Master’s or more advanced degree in accounting, tax law, economics, finance, business administration, or a law degree from an accredited college or university is in compliance with 21 NCAC 08F .0410(a)(2).
An applicant who did not sit for the Exam as a North Carolina candidate must submit official college/university transcripts that show the completion of the education requirement pursuant to NCGS 93-12(5), 21 NCAC 08A .0309, and 21 NCAC 08F .0410. Applicants who earned credits at more than one (1) college or university should include a transcript from each school. The Board accepts original official transcripts, not photocopies, signed by the college registrar and bearing the college seal or by electronic delivery of official transcripts directly from the college registrar or through the institution’s chosen provider. Please send e-transcripts directly to Alice Grigsby (email@example.com).
An individual who attended or graduated from a college or university outside of the United States is responsible for obtaining authorization from the Board prior to having their educational background evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) before submitting a CPA license application to the Board. The applicant pays all expenses for the evaluation services process.
The Board will not issue a CPA license to an applicant unless the applicant has acquired the appropriate work experience. 21 NCAC 08F .0401 requires that the work experience be completed prior to the date an individual applies for licensure. NCGS 93-12(5)(c) defines work experience as:
In calculating work experience, one year of work experience is 52 weeks of full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as working at least 30 hours each week for at least one year. Experience affidavits for part-time work (less than 30 hours each week) must include a record of the actual part-time hours the applicant performed accounting services only for each week of part-time employment. Actual part-time hours do not include hours paid for sick leave, vacation leave, attending CPE courses, or other time not spent directly performing accounting services. The applicant for licensure must submit to the Board experience affidavits from all relevant employers.
Within one year before applying for NC CPA licensure, all 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 three months prior to applying for a license. The North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA) course, NC Accountancy Law: Ethics, Principles, & Professional Responsibilities, is the only accountancy law course the Board accepts for CPA licensure.
Individuals applying for original North Carolina licensure must submit the Original Certificate Application package including
An applicant who does not have a Master’s degree in accounting, business administration, economics, or tax law, or a juris doctor (JD) with a concentration in accounting or tax, must complete and submit the 150-Hour Worksheet for License Applicants (included in the Original Certificate Application package). If an applicant did not sit for the Exam as a North Carolina candidate, they must apply for the transfer of Exam credit from the US jurisdiction (Board of Accountancy) that holds their Exam grades and submit an Interstate Exchange Form (included in the application package).
The Board conducts a background check of applicants [21 NCAC 08F .0502(b)]. An applicant who has ever been charged, arrested, convicted, found guilty of, received a prayer for judgment continued, or pleaded nolo contendere to any offense, including traffic infractions, must include all court records and any current or previous charges (including probation) with their application. Applicants are not required to disclose any arrest, charge, or conviction a court has expunged. Under North Carolina law, traffic violations (including speeding tickets) are reported as criminal offenses.
Applicants may check their application status online.
A person may be eligible for a reciprocal North Carolina CPA license if they
A person applying for reciprocal North Carolina licensure must submit the Reciprocal Certificate Application Package
NCGS 93B-2 requires all occupational licensing boards to record the number of license applicants classified as active-duty military or a military veteran, and the number of applicants who are the spouse of a person classified as active-duty military or a military veteran. Applicants who are active-duty military, a military veteran, or the spouse of a person classified as active-duty military or military veteran, should make the Board aware of their military status.
The Board staff automatically issues a temporary permit to practice to all reciprocal license applicants upon receipt of their reciprocal license application and fee. The applicant receives a statement from the Board confirming that the individual is in good standing in the US jurisdiction (Board of Accountancy) issuing their CPA license and that the individual is entitled to temporarily use the CPA title and engage in the public practice of accountancy in North Carolina for 120 days after issue or upon issuance of the individual’s reciprocal license, whichever comes first. The Board grants temporary permits to practice only to applicants for reciprocal licenses pending their qualification under 21 NCAC 08H .0101.
Applicants may check their application status online.
Under NCGS 93-10(c), Practice Privileges, an individual whose principal place of business is outside North Carolina and holds a valid unrevoked license as a CPA may be eligible to perform or offer to perform services in North Carolina as a CPA without notice to the Board, the submission of any other documentation or the payment of any fee. To be eligible for the practice privilege, the individual must
An international accountant must meet all requirements for North Carolina CPA licensure in effect at the time of their application. North Carolina has mutual recognition agreements with Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan that allow for licensure between the jurisdictions. An international accountant applying for licensure as a North Carolina CPA must contact the Licensing Staff to request an Application for Original CPA Licensure via the International Qualifications Exam (IQEX).
|CPA License Applicant Fees|
|Application for Original NC CPA License||$100.00|
|Application for Reciprocal NC CPA License||$100.00|
|Application for Reciprocal License with Temporary Permit||$100.00|
|Transfer of Exam Credit for Sections Passed in Another Jurisdictions||$75.00|
Members of the military and their spouses may be eligible for economic assistance from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for expenses related to the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure. The North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs may have resources related to the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure.
License applicants must submit any changes to their mailing address, phone number, or email address to the Board in writing. Please submit a change of address by mail using this form or send the change(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Address changes made with the NCACPA, AICPA, or other professional organizations do not update the address information on file with the Board. Email addresses are not public record information.
If an applicant’s name has legally changed and is different from the name on any transcript or other document supplied to the Board, they must complete the Notice of Name Change form and provide the Board with a copy of the document(s) (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.) legally authorizing the name change.
Information on applying for the Uniform CPA Exam as a North Carolina candidate
Information on applying for an original or reciprocal North Carolina CPA license
Information for North Carolina CPAs on license renewal, status changes, and CPE requirements
Information on registering a CPA firm, firm registration renewals, peer review compliance, and the practice privilege for out-of-state firms
Information on choosing a CPA or CPA firm, verifying a practitioner’s license, and filing a complaint
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