Hawaii CPA Exam Requirements 2024: The Critical Steps

Hawaii CPA Exam Requirements

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Hawaii CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in Hawaii, we’ve summarized the Hawaii CPA exam requirements. Read below to know the exact steps and needs to be a licensed CPA in The Aloha State.

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Summary of Hawaii CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam150
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam18
Credit hours in business subjects to sit for the CPA exam0
Credit hours in accounting courses for CPA License24
Credit hours in business courses for CPA License24
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Work experience required to receive a CPA license2 Years
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseNo

General Requirements

All applicants for CPA licensing in Hawaii must be US residents, US nationals, or certified to work in the country. You must also be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security number.

Education Requirement

To meet the Hawaii CPA education requirements, a baccalaureate or higher degree and 150 semester hours of college education must be completed. These should include 24 semester hours in upper-division or graduate-level accounting or auditing courses and 24 semester hours in upper-division or graduate-level accounting or business-related courses.

Hawaii Uniform CPA Examination

Applying for the CPA Exam

To be eligible to take the Uniform CPA Exam in Hawaii, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have completed at least 18 semester hours of upper-level upper-evaluate or graduate-level accounting or auditing courses
  2. If you are still in college, have a statement from a college official that you will graduate within 120 days of taking the examination.
  3. If you earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from a university or college outside of the United States:
    • Had your academic credits evaluated by an approved foreign evaluation agency
    • Have a letter of acceptance into the graduate degree program from an accredited U.S. college or university

Studying for the CPA Exam

You can apply to take the Uniform CPA Exam once you have completed 120 semester hours (or the quarter system equivalent) and have a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

The CPA exam consists of the three core sections and candidates would need to select one of the three discipline to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge, allowing candidates to choose a specialization. There is no set order in which the exam portions must be completed. The components of the CPA test are as follows:

  • Auditing and Attestation. This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparing agreements.
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting. This exam section covers financial accounting topics for all business entities, including the government and nonprofits.
  • Regulation. This exam section covers federal taxation, tax services, professional ethics, and business law for individuals and business entities.
  • Disciplines
    • Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR): Focused on financial reporting, data analytics, and performance management. This area is suitable for those who are interested in financial analysis and reporting. An extension of FAR core.
    • Information Systems and Controls (ISC): Concentrates on IT governance, data security, and system controls. Ideal for individuals who wish to specialize in IT audits and information security. An extension of AUD core.
    • Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP): Centers on personal financial planning and tax compliance for individuals, businesses, and other entities. Suitable for those with a strong interest in taxation and financial planning. An extension of REG core.

Choose a CPA Review Course

The CPA exam is challenging, and passing it is critical. Determining your best method for CPA exam preparation might be difficult. CPA review classes can be both time-consuming and costly. That is why we have compiled the most popular CPA review course:

  • Becker CPA Review
  • Surgent CPA Review
  • Gleim CPA Review
  • UWorld Roger CPA Review
  • Wiley CPAexcel

Signing Up for the CPA Exam

CPA Examination Services (CPAES) will help you register online or download the Uniform CPA Exam application forms. If you have finished your college degree requirements, you will submit the following:

  • Official college transcript(s) in a sealed envelope
  • Payment by credit card or certified check or money order payable to CPAES
  • A foreign evaluation form if you attended a foreign college or university.
  • ADA accommodation form – (only if you are requesting disability testing accommodations)

If you are currently enrolled in college, you’ll also submit the following in addition to the items noted above:

  • Completed Certificate of the Enrollment form, showing that you will meet the course requirements within 120 days of receiving your Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam

b. Mail your completed application, required transcript(s) and forms, and payment to CPA Examination Services – HI, PO Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219.

c. Wait to receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam sent by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) by mail, fax, or email (based upon the method you selected when submitting your application)

d. Access Prometric’s website to schedule your exam at a Hawaii testing site.

e. Arrive at your testing site on exam day prepared to test.

f. Wait to receive your exam scores by mail, or wait until at least 48 hours after taking the test and access them here.

Hawaii CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Hawaii CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: an education evaluation application fee of $90 and the $344.80 per CPA exam section totaling $1,379.20 for all four sections.

As for CPA licensing, it will depend on whether the year of issue of the license is odd ($139) or even ($215) and will cost $152 for renewal. Then finally, there is the initial permit to practice fee that will cost $155 which will also cost the same amount to renew.

Education Evaluation Application Fee$90.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$344.80
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$344.80
Regulation (REG)$344.80
Disciplines (ISC, TCP, or BAR)$344.80
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$1,379.20
Initial CPA License Application Fee (ODD-NUMBERED YEAR)$139.00
Initial CPA License Application Fee (EVEN-NUMBERED YEAR)$215.00
Permit to Practice for CPA (sole, partner, principal)$155.00
Permit to Practice for CPA (staff member)$63.00
CPA License Renewal$152.00

Passing the CPA Exam

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy administers the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam, required for a CPA license in all 50 states (NASBA). Applicants in Hawaii may take the Uniform CPA Exam after completing a bachelor’s degree and 18 semesters (or 27 quarter) hours of upper-division or graduate-level accounting or auditing studies.

Candidates for the examination should apply directly to NASBA to arrange and take the exam after meeting the 150-hour education requirement or intending to finish it within 120 days (or having achieved a bachelor’s degree plus completed 18 hours of upper-division/graduate accounting study). Within an 18-month rolling period, all four exam components must be passed with a score of 75 or higher.

Credit Requirements for Hawaii CPA License

To complete the state’s education requirements, you must guarantee that your coursework adheres to specified policies. For example, you’ll require 24 hours of accounting classes.

Only six of those hours can be beginning-level courses, with the remaining 18 hours being upper-level or graduate-level courses. Consult your academic advisor to determine which courses methods you will require. You will also need 24 hours of upper-level or graduate-level business courses.

Accepted Educational Institutions

The Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy will accept degrees and college credit hours earned at schools with standard institutional accreditation from any of the six regional accreditors and the national accreditor listed below:

Required Courses

The 150 hours must contain 24 semester hours in accounting, auditing, taxation, business-related courses, and awarding 18 upper-division or graduate-level practices to qualify for a license. Business-related courses that are acceptable include:

  • 24 semester hours of accounting courses, 18 of which are upper-division undergraduate (junior or senior level) or graduate-level accounting courses in disciplines such as (but not limited to):
  • 24 semester hours of upper-division undergraduate or graduate-level accounting or business-related courses, including (but not limited to):
    • The legal and social environment of business
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Business law
    • Organizational, individual, and group behavior
    • Finance
    • Communication skills
    • Quantitative applications in business
    • Globalization
    • Business ethics
    • Computer science
    • Total quality management

Foreign Education

If you graduated from a foreign institution or university, your qualifications must be evaluated by a Board-approved international evaluation agency. NASBA International Evaluation Services can help you find one.

Hawaii CPA Ethics Exam

While most states require ethics before licensing, Hawaii candidates can become a CPA without it as there are no Hawaii CPA ethics exam requirements. Candidates need only to fulfill the experience requirements for licensure after passing the CPA Exam.

Hawaii Experience Requirements for the CPA License

Candidates seeking a CPA license in Hawaii must complete 1,500 auditing experience hours chargeable to customers while working full-time (at least 35 hours per week) for one year or complete two years (3,000 hours) of experience in public accounting practice private sector, government, or academia. The candidate’s supervisors must verify the candidate’s experience hours using the Certification of Public Accountancy Experience form, obtained in the license application packet on the Board’s website.

How to Meet Hawaii Work Experience Requirements

Before being granted CPA practice privileges, you must complete the Hawaii CPA experience requirement under the supervision of a licensed CPA from Hawaii or equivalent jurisdiction.

a. Visit your college’s career center to find good experience opportunities. The Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy has ruled that you must satisfy one of the following requirements to fulfill their experience qualification:

  • Scenario 1: Complete 1500 chargeable hours in auditing while working full-time (at least 35 hours a week) in a public accounting firm
    • Experience must involve using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and auditing standards.
  • Scenario 2: Complete two years of professional full-time (at least 35 hours a week) experience working in:
    • Private industry or private sector
    • Government
    • Education (upper-level teaching undergraduate or graduate-level accounting or auditing subjects)
    • Public accounting practice involves the use of auditing and accounting skills in one or more of the following areas:
      • Issuing reports on financial statements
      • Management advisory services
      • Consulting services
      • Preparing tax returns
      • Offering tax advice

b. Complete Part I of the Certification of Public Accountancy Experience Form (found within the Application for License-CPA packet).

Supervisor Requirements

You must certify your expertise by submitting a Certification of Public Accountancy Experience form signed by your CPA-licensed supervisor. Send the Certification of Public Accountancy Experience to your supervisor, who must complete and sign Part II. Once completed, your supervisor must return the form to you. This form will be sent along with your Application for License-CPA bundle.

Apply for Your Hawaii CPA License

Submit Your Application for Issuance

Hawaii is classified as a two-tier state. After passing the Uniform CPA Examination, you can apply for a CPA Certificate/License under the Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy laws. However, you will not be able to practice until you have completed all of the education and experience requirements and have been issued a Permit to Practice. Let’s go over the steps that got you here in the checklist below:

a. Checklist

  • Complete 150 semester hours of college education and earn a bachelor’s degree
  • Pass the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Complete the Board’s full-time experience requirement of 1500 hours of auditing experience or two years of accounting experience

b. Apply for your Hawaii CPA License. This can either be done after completing the Uniform CPA Exam or at the same time you apply for your permit to practice. You must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or an alien authorized to work in the United States. A completed application packet will include:

  • Application for CPA License form
  • Three Certificates of Competence (found within the Application for CPA license packet) completed by non-relatives who are personally or professionally acquainted with you and will attest to your competence. These must each be signed by your acquaintances in the presence of a Notary Public.
  • Certified, official college transcripts
  • Signed Certification of Public Accountancy Experience (your supervisor completed that during your accounting experience)

c. Mail your application fee of $215 if your license will be issued in an even-numbered year or $139 if your request will be published in an odd-numbered year (via check or money order-payable to Commerce and Consumer Affairs), completed application and supporting documents listed above to Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy, DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801.

d. Wait to receive notification from the Board when your license is approved.

e. Before you can apply for your Permit to Practice, you must fulfill the Board’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirement of 80 CPE hours every two years.

  • You will be credited with 80 CPE hours for passing the Uniform CPA Exam when you apply for your first Permit to Practice, as long as the permit is filed within two years of passing the exam.

f. Apply for your Permit to Practice. Use the Permit to Practice form. This form must be submitted in duplicate, and required fees payable to Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Send the documents to Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy, DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801.

g. Wait to receive your Permit to Practice in the mail within 30 days of applying.

Interstate/International Reciprocal License

Suppose you already have a current CPA certificate or license from another state or jurisdiction and wish to practice in Hawaii. In that case, you must apply for a License and Permit to Practice following the steps above. (Hawaii does not have a separate Reciprocal License form). Additionally, you must:

  • Download the Verification of License and Exam Scores form (found within the Application for CPA License form). Complete the top part of the form and forward it to the state/jurisdiction you hold a CPA license. They will complete the form and submit it to the Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy.
  • Suppose you have held a license in another state for at least ten years preceding the date of your Hawaii license application, and you have been actively practicing public accountancy for at least five years. In that case, you may be eligible for exemption from Hawaii’s education requirements. Submit a written waiver request to the Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy, DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801
  • If you are a foreign candidate, have your academic credentials evaluated by one of the agencies listed above. Forward this evaluation to the Board.
  • Once you have received your Hawaii CPA license, follow the above steps to apply for a permit to practice using this form: Application for 2010-2011 Permit to Practice. You must prove that you have fulfilled the state’s CPE requirement of 80 CPE hours every two years while in practice.

Receiving Your Hawaii CPA License

Following the Uniform CPA Exam results, the application packet will be reviewed and authorized by the Board at the next Board meeting. Applicants will receive their license card within two to three weeks following the meeting, and a certificate will be mailed to them between four to six weeks. Before licensees can begin practicing, they must apply for a Permit to Practice at least 30 days before the permits’ effective date.

Hawaii Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing Education Requirements

To Complete ongoing professional education requirements and keep your Hawaii Permit and Practice.

a. Achieve 80 CPE hours every two years

  • 4 CPE hours must be in ethics or professional conduct
  • 40 CPE hours may be carried over to the next two-year period
  • 50 minutes of class/program time equals one CPE hour
  • A one-day program of at least 6 hours equals 8 CPE hours.
  • One semester hour of a college credit course equals 15 CPE hours.
  • One semester hour of a college non-credit course equals one CPE hour

b. Take CPE programs only in approved subjects, including (but not limited to):

  • Auditing
  • Accounting
  • The social environment of business
  • Administrative practice
  • Business law
  • Ethics/professional conduct
  • Finance
  • Business management/organization
  • Management advisory services
  • Insurance
  • Behavioral ethics
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Personnel/human relations
  • Personal development
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Production
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Financial planning
  • Taxes

CPA License Renewal in Hawaii

CPA license holders in Hawaii must renew their licenses and permits by December 31 of each odd-numbered year. Renewal applications are sent out automatically 30 days before the deadline. CPAs must complete the requisite 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) (including four hours of ethics) for each two-year renewal cycle to comply with Hawaii legislation. More information is available on the Board’s website.

Hawaii CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Hawaii’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.

Do CPA scores expire in Hawaii?

Credit for any passed portion will be valid for 18 months from when the examination sections were taken. Exam credit expires in areas. You will lose credit for any units completed after the 18-month time has expired, and you will have to retake those sections.

What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Hawaii?

To sit for the CPA exam, you must have a bachelor’s degree, 120 semester hours, and 150 semester hours to acquire the license.

How do I register to take the CPA exam in Hawaii?

To register for the CPA Examination, you will be required to create a user account. If you previously applied for the CPA Examination using a method other than our online application tool (by paper application or another manner), you will need to import your previous application information. You need to know the jurisdiction in which you took the exam for the first time as a first-time candidate and your Jurisdiction ID Number. By creating a user account, you will be able to apply for the exam, keep your current information up to date, monitor your results, check your application status, and reprint your Notice(s) To Schedule.

How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Hawaii?

A CPA license in Hawaii needs 150 credit hours; however, you may sit for the CPA exam after receiving a bachelor’s degree.

Does Hawaii require an ethics exam for the CPA?

The Aloha State does not need an Ethics exam, but you must meet its experience criteria before you may be licensed.

How much is the CPA exam in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the cost of taking all four sections of the CPA test is $1,379.20, plus the $90 education evaluation application fee.

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