North Carolina CPA Requirements

A CPA is a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state board of accountancy.

To earn the prestige associated with the CPA license, you are required to demonstrate knowledge and competence by meeting high educational standards, passing the CPA exam and completing a specific amount of general accounting experience.

The two most important aspects of becoming a CPA are passing the Uniform CPA Exam and meeting licensing requirements in the state where you want to practice.

North Carolina CPA licensure Requirements – Overview
Educational Hours Required for Licensure150 Semester Hours
Residency RequiredU.S. citizen or legal resident
Degree RequiredBachelor’s or Master’s
Minimum Age18
Application Fee$100.00
Additional RequirementsNorth Carolina Board of Accountancy Site

Educational Hours Required for licensure

The Certified Public Accountant certification is one of the most prestigious professional certifications available. 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 North Carolina CPA requirements and qualifications. Each state has its own set of eligibility requirements for the CPA licensure, which should not be confused with CPA exam requirements. Below we will be discussing the requirements for the state of North Carolina.

  • The 150 semester hours required include a concentration in accounting
  • 24 semester hours of coursework which include one (1) three (3) semester hour course from at least eight (8) of the following 10 fields of study:
    • communications;
    • computer technology;
    • economics;
    • ethics;
    • finance;
    • humanities/social science;
    • international environment;
    • law;
    • management; or
    • statistics

Minimum age required

Applicant must be 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States or legally present in the United States.

Professional Ethics

Candidates who have successfully passed the examination will be required to complete the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s continuing professional educational course “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course On-Demand (For Licensure).”


$100 for the individual application and $60.00 annual renewal.

Work Experience

  • One year’s experience in the field of accounting under the direct supervision of a certified public accountant who currently holds a valid license in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.
  • Four years of experience teaching accounting in a four-year college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations or in a college or university determined by the Board to have standards substantially equivalent to a regionally accredited institution.
  • Four years of experience in the field of accounting.
  • Four years of experience teaching college transfer accounting courses at a community college or technical institute accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations.
  • Any combination of such experience determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to the foregoing.
  • 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.

A firm license process

Each firm and office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accountancy in this State shall register with the Board within 30 days after it is opened, and annually thereafter, on a form prescribed by the Board.

Each office shall be under the direct supervision of a resident manager who must be registered with this Board and the holder of a valid annual permit.

North Carolina CPA firm Registration

Additional Information

While we do our best to keep all of this information up to date you are welcome to visit and or contact that North Carolina Board of Accountancy with any other questions you might have.

North Carolina State Board of Public Accountancy
Address: Licensing Section
NC State Board of CPA Examiners
PO Box 12827
Raleigh, NC 27605-2827
Phone: (919) 733-1422, (919) 733-1423
Fax: (919) 715-8411
CPA Certification form: North Carolina CPA Certification Form

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