North Carolina CPA Exam Requirements

North Carolina CPA Exam Requirements
Educational Hours Required for Exam 120 Semester Hours
Educational Hours Required for Licensure 150 Hours
Residency Required No
Degree Required Bachelor's
Minimum Age 18
Application Fee $230.00
Additional Requirements 30 semester hours in accounting. Candidates are allowed to count one Business Law class (3 credits) towards this 30-credit requirement.
Additional Note Candidates can get approved to take the CPA exam prior to receiving their bachelor’s degree, if the concentration in accounting is already complete or expected to be completed by the end of the school term.

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North Carolina CPA Exam Requirements

The Certified Public Accountant certification is one of the most prestigious professional certifications available to accountants. It indicates that the accountant has satisfied a demanding set of educational, professional, and ethical standards. In addition, candidates must pass the rigorous CPA exam in order to earn the distinction of this credential.   Before candidates can sit for the exam, they must satisfy their state’s requirementsand qualifications. Each state has its own set of eligibility requirements for the CPA exam, which should not be confused with licensing requirements. Below we will be discussing the requirements for the state of North Carolina.   Unlike many other states, North Carolina CPA exam requirements do not include criteria for a candidate’s state residency. A candidate must be a resident of the United States. Non-U.S. citizens must submit proof of resident status or notarized affidavit of intention to become a U.S. citizen. Candidates must be 18 years old to sit for the exam. They must also submit references of moral character, and they must have a Social Security number.   Candidates can get approved to take the CPA exam prior to receiving their bachelor’s degree, if their concentration in accounting is already complete or is reasonably expected to be completed by the end of the school term within which the examination falls; and they expect to receive their bachelor’s degree within 120 days after the application is received by the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners.   Prospective CPA exam candidates must provide transcripts showing that they have earned 120 semester hours of education from an accredited institution in any subject that includes, or is supplemented by, 30 semester hours in accounting. Candidates are allowed to count one Business Law class (3 credits) towards this 30-credit requirement.   Please note that these requirements can change at any time, so it is best to contact your state board of accountancy prior to applying for the exam or paying any fees.   North Carolina requires 150 credit hours to earn a CPA license. The state also requires candidates for licensure to have one year of supervised work experience gained in employment in a public or private accounting firm, or four years of experience in accounting, self-employed or teaching at an educational institution, or a combination.  Candidates for licensure are required to complete an 8-hour course on the North Carolina Accountancy Statutes and Rules, including the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct.

First-Time and Retake Applicants

North Carolina has separate application forms and fees for first-time applicants and retake applicants, which are available online. All applicants are considered first-time applicants unless they have applied for and taken at least one section of the exam.  Administration fees are required regardless of how many exam sections applicants are taking. The administration fee for first-time applicants is $230 and $75 for retake applicants. All fees are payable to the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners.   Once applicants determine that they meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam, an initial application for the uniform CPA Examination should be submitted to the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners.

Scheduling the Exam

Once the Board verifies a first-time applicant’s educational eligibility, it will then authorize NASBA to issue a Notice to Schedule (NTS). This process will take about 15 business days. Retake applications are processed by the Board and an NTS issued by NASBA in about 10 business days. The Notice to Schedule is valid for six (6) months from the date of issue, so a candidate will have a set period of time to schedule and take the Exam section(s).   After applying to the Board and receiving a Notice to Schedule, applicants can contact the Prometric testing center to schedule a testing appointment. All scheduling, rescheduling, or cancellation of testing appointments is done through Prometric.   Candidates may schedule and take each section of the CPA Exam only once during a testing window. Testing windows are as follows:
  • January 1 through February 29
  • April 1 through May 31
  • July 1 through August 31
  • October 1 through November 30

CPA Exam Fees

Applicants can take one or more sections of the exam at a time and must pay the following fees to State Board of CPA Examiners at the time of application. Exam fees are in addition to the administration fee.
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $208.40
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $208.40
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $208.40
  • Regulation (REG): $208.40

Receiving Scores

After the examination, candidate responses are forwarded to the AICPA for scoring, which then forwards them to NASBA for processing. Candidates can retrieve scores online from NASBA; online scores are updated as they are received.

Preparing for the Exam

Currently the cumulative pass rate of any given exam is about 50 percent, which is a great indicator of the exam’s difficulty. This is where CPA Review can help. We’ve been preparing accounting professionals to pass the exam since 1971 and have successfully helped over 150,000 candidates pass. Plus, just about every accountant that has become a CPA utilized a review program. If you are still unclear about the North Carolina CPA Exam, their education requirements, or the process as a whole, let us help. We can answer your questions and alleviate your concerns. After all, we've been helping exam candidates just like you since 1971. Since then, we've successfully helped more than 150,000 pass!

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