The Licensing section of the Board is responsible for processing initial and renewal applications for CPA certification, certificate reclassification (inactive status, reinstatement, and reissuance) applications, interstate exchange forms, & license verification letters. The Licensing section also administers and monitors the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) compliance program. Information on applying for an original or reciprocal North Carolina CPA certificate is available on the License Application page.
Contacting the Licensing Staff
Buck Winslow, Manager
Alice Grigsby, Specialist (individual CPA licensure & renewal, certificate reclassification inactive status, reinstatement, & reissuance) applications, interstate exchange forms, and license verification letters)
Cammie Emery, Specialist (CPA firm registration & renewal, peer review, CPE, & CPE audit)
NC State Board of CPA Examiners
PO Box 12827
Raleigh, NC 27605-2827
Use of CPA Title
The North Carolina General Assembly, through the North Carolina Accountancy Act, has authorized the Board to regulate the use of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) title. Individuals who live in North Carolina and are licensed as a CPA by another jurisdiction, but not by this Board, may use “CPA” or “Certified Public Accountant” on a résumé if they include the jurisdiction that granted the CPA certificate/license and the status of the certificate/license if it is on any status other than active (e.g., inactive, retired, lapsed, etc.).
Annual Certificate Renewal
All active North Carolina CPAs are required to renew their certificates annually before July 1. To renew a certificate, the licensee must submit a properly completed certificate renewal application form that shows the number of CPE minutes completed in the previous calendar year and the annual renewal fee of $60.00. If a CPA fails to renew their certificate before July 1, the Board will send a Letter of Demand to the CPA at their last known mailing address. Failure to complete the renewal process within 30 days of the mailing date of the demand letter automatically results in forfeiture of the CPA certificate. Upon forfeiture of the certificate, the individual is no longer a CPA. The Board will send, by certified mail, a notice to the individual that requires them to return the actual certificate to the Board within fifteen (15) days. A person who has forfeited their certificate for failure to renew may apply to the Board for reinstatement. If you have questions regarding certificate renewal, please get in touch with Alice Grigsby or Buck Winslow.
A North Carolina CPA’s certificate status may fall into one of several categories, including
- Active – when used to refer to the status of a person, describes a person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification and who has not otherwise been granted “Inactive” status;
- Can’t Use Title- a person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification and has signed a Form of Practice affidavit stating that because the individual practices public accounting in a form not approved by the Board, they will not use the CPA title in any way.
- Forfeited – a person whose North Carolina certificate of qualification has been returned by the Board under conditions imposed by 21 NCAC 08G .0406(b)(2), 08J .0101(c), or a Consent Order.
- Inactive – when used to refer to the status of a person, describes one who has requested inactive status and been approved by the Board and who does not use the title “certified public accountant” nor does he or she allow anyone to refer to him or her as a “certified public accountant,” and neither he nor she nor anyone else refers to him or her in any representation as described in 21 NCAC 08A .0308(b).
- Probation – a person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification under conditions imposed by the Board.
- Revoked – a person whose North Carolina certificate of qualification has been permanently removed or for a specific time under a discipline imposed by the Board.
- Surrendered – a person whose North Carolina certificate of qualification has been surrendered for a period of time under a Consent Order with the Board.
- Suspended – a person whose North Carolina certificate of qualification has been revoked for a specific period of time under conditions imposed by 21 NCAC 08J .0111(3) or under a discipline imposed by the Board.
- Voluntary Surrender – a person whose North Carolina certificate of qualification has been voluntarily surrendered by a Consent Order with the Board.
Reclassification of CPA Certificate
Inactive Status & Reinstatement
An active CPA may apply to the Board for a change to inactive status by submitting an online request. An individual on inactive status is no longer considered a CPA and is not subject to the renewal fees or continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. Although an individual on inactive status is allowed to keep, but not display, their physical CPA certificate issued by the Board, they cannot use the title “certified public accountant” in any manner.
An individual on inactive status may reinstate to active status by completing the application form, paying the current certificate application fee, submitting three certificates of moral character and endorsements of eligibility, and furnishing the Board with documentation of the completion of the necessary hours of CPE, including the required course on the North Carolina accountancy statutes and rules.
An individual on forfeited, revoked, or suspended status is no longer considered a CPA and is not subject to the renewal fees or continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. They are required to return their physical CPA certificate within 15 days of the status change and may be subject to additional penalties for failure to do so. An individual on forfeited, revoked, or suspended status may apply for reissuance [21 NCAC 08J .0106] of their CPA certificate. Please contact Alice Grigsby for information on applying for reissuance.
PRACTICE PRIVILEGE (MOBILITY)
An individual whose principal place of business is outside North Carolina is granted the privilege to perform or offer to perform services, whether in person or by mail, telephone or electronic means, in North Carolina as a CPA without notice to the Board, the submission of any other documentation or the payment of any fee, if the individual meets all of the following conditions:
- Holds a valid unrevoked certificate/license as a CPA or its equivalent issued by another state, a territory of the US, or the District of Columbia;
- Holds a valid and unrevoked license or permit to practice as a CPA issued by another state, a territory of the US, or the District of Columbia;
- Has passed the Exam; and
- Has not been convicted of a felony under the laws of the US, any state, a territory of the US, or the District of Columbia and has never been convicted of a crime, an essential element of which is dishonesty, deceit, or fraud unless the jurisdiction in which the individual is licensed has determined the felony or other crime has no effect on the individual’s license.
Individual Consent to Jurisdiction
An individual who qualifies for practice privilege and exercises the privilege by performing or offering to perform services as a CPA in North Carolina simultaneously consents as a condition to the grant of this privilege to:
- Comply with the laws of North Carolina, the provisions of the chapter and rules adopted by the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners;
- Have an administrative notice of hearing served on the licensing board in the individual’s principal state of business, notwithstanding the individual notice requirements of S. 150B-38; and
- Be subject to personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and disciplinary authority of the Board.
If you have questions regarding the individual practice privilege, please contact Buck Winslow or Alice Grigsby. Information on the practice privilege for CPA firms is available here.
Change of Address
Without a valid home and business address (including telephone number, fax number, and email address) on file for each certificate holder or CPA firm, the Board cannot disseminate vital information to its licensees. You may submit home and business address changes (including telephone number, fax number, and email address) online. Board staff cannot accept an oral change of address. NOTE: Address changes submitted to the NCACPA or other professional organizations have no effect on your address listed with the Board.
If a licensee’s legal name changes, the licensee must provide the Board with copies of the document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.) that legally authorizes the name change. If a licensee’s legal name has changed and they want a CPA certificate issued in that name, they must provide the Board with copies of the document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.) that legally authorizes the name change, return the certificate initially issued by the Board, and submit a $25 check payable to “NC State Board of CPA Examiners.” The average processing time for a new CPA certificate is about 120 days. If you have questions regarding this matter, please get in touch with Alice Grigsby.
NC DOR Privilege License
Under NCGS 105-41, CPAs licensed by the Board are required to have an annual privilege license issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NC DOR). Please review the Opinion Letter issued by the Department of Revenue for an explanation of the privilege license. Additional information is available on the NC DOR website.
Members of the Military & Military Spouses
Although the requirements for licensure are the same for military and non-military applicants, NCGS 93B, 21 NCAC 08F .0105, and 21 NCAC 08J .0101(g) extend specific benefits to members of the military and their spouses. As a military member, you 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 also have resources related to the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure.