Hawaii CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Hawaii CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Hawaii CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates must satisfy ONE of the following:


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. OR
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, and offering tax advice

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

Education Requirements

According to the State of Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy, CPA candidates must complete 150 semester hours of undergraduate study, including awarding a bachelor’s degree.

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 course methods you will require. You will also need 24 hours of upper-level or graduate-level business courses.

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

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:

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.

Pass the Uniform CPA Exam

Candidates who have obtained a Notice to Schedule are qualified to schedule and take the Uniform 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.

The Four CPA Exam Sections

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems) and its underlying business processes, risks, and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting, and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPAexcel, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Ethics Exam

There is no Hawaii CPA ethics requirement. However, you need to fulfill its experience requirements prior to licensure. If you don’t have a need for the full license, Hawaii is a two-tiered state and has an allowance for those who only need a certificate.

Exam Fees

All first-time applicants are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee upon submission of the first-time application. All re-examination candidates are required to pay both a registration fee and an examination fee at the time of registration.

Initial Application Fee$170.00
Registration Fee$85.00
AUD Exam Fee$226.15
BEC Exam Fee$226.15
FAR Exam Fee$226.15
REG Exam Fee$226.15

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

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