How to Become a CPA in Hawaii

How to Become a CPA in Hawaii

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If you’re wondering how to become a CPA in Hawaii, we’ve organized the Hawaii CPA exam requirements below.

1. Meet the Eligibility and Education Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam

Applicants who wish to be qualified to take the CPA exam will first need to pass the eligibility and Hawaii CPA education requirements. Hawaii applicants should be 18 years or older at the time of application. They must meet the minimum education requirement which is either a baccalaureate degree in accounting, a baccalaureate degree with a major in a subject other than accounting plus 18 semester hours of upper-division or graduate-level accounting or auditing subjects; or a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in accounting, conferred by a college or university outside of the U.S., which has been reported on an educational course-by-course equivalency report prepared by an evaluator approved by the board.

2. Apply for the Uniform CPA Exam

When you’ve met the education requirements, register with NASBA to apply for the CPA exam. Have all your official transcripts sent directly from your college or university to CPA Examination Services – HI, PO Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219. If your school offers official electronic transcripts, they may be emailed to etranscript@nasba.org.

3. Pay for the Uniform CPA Exam

Pay all fees at the time of application to NASBA. First-time applicants are required to pay both an application fee of $170 and an examination fee per exam of $226.15. Re-examination applicants (re-takes for failed sections) will pay a registration fee of $85 and the same examination fee of $226.15 for each exam they wish to re-take.

Click here to see a breakdown of the Hawaii CPA exam costs.

4. Notice to Schedule (NTS)

Wait for your application to be approved and once accepted, NASBA will email or mail you the Notice to Schedule (NTS). Upon receiving the NTS, schedule your exam online through Prometric. You are able to apply for one or more sections of the examination at a time. The NTS is valid for one testing event or six months and must be presented for entry at the testing center.

5. Pass the Uniform CPA Exam

There are four sections in the exam: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG). You must pass each section with a score of 75 or higher, and after passing your first section, you must pass the remaining three exams within 18 months.

6. CPA License Requirements

After passing all four exams, applicants may only proceed with the application if they have completed the education requirements and experience requirements for the license eligibility. Following Hawaii’s new requirement, an applicant must now be a United States citizen, a United States national or an alien authorized to work in the United States without conditions or other encumbrances. The applicants will also be asked to present their Social Security Number upon application.

7. CPA License Education Requirement

Hawaii applicants must have completed a baccalaureate or higher degree with 150 semester hours of college education that includes 24 semester hours in accounting courses, including but not limited to financial
accounting, auditing, taxation, and managerial accounting, of which 18 semester hours are upper-division or graduate-level accounting courses. It should also include 24 semester hours in upper-division or graduate-level accounting or non-accounting business-related courses. Applicants may choose accomplish the 150 semester hours prior to taking the CPA exam.

8. Gain Necessary Experience

To meet the Hawaii CPA experience requirements, candidates are required to complete 1,500 chargeable hours in the performance of audits involving U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards earned while in public accounting practice. Another alternative option is to complete 2 years of professional experience in public accounting practice, private, industry, government or education. Experience is only acceptable if it is earned while employed on a full-time basis and must be supervised by a licensed CPA. Input experience via the board’s experience form.

9. Competence Certificates

Applicants will need to submit 3 Certificate of Competence forms that have been completed and signed by people who are not related to the applicant and will attest to the applicant’s competence, trustworthiness, and fairness.

10. Apply for a CPA License

Applying for a Hawaii CPA license can only be done if an applicant has fully accomplished the license requirements. Apply and mail the form and supporting documents to the board’s address at Board of Public Accountancy, DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801. Note Hawaii is a two-tier state and that receiving the license does not grant practice privileges until the applicant has been issued a Permit to Practice. However, to receive the permit, it is required to have your employer complete the Certification by Employer section in the form.

While most states require ethics before licensing, Hawaii candidates can become a CPA without it as there are no Hawaii CPA ethics exam requirements.

11. CPA License Renewal

Hawaii CPAs shall renew their licenses and permits to practice on or before December 31 of each odd-numbered year. To be eligible for renewal, licensee holders will have to accomplish the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirement where 4 hours of which is in ethics or professional conduct. Renewal can be done here.

12. Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Each permit holder must have completed at least 80 hours of acceptable continued professional education in each biennial reporting period. Of the 80 hours, at least 4 hours must be in ethics or professional conduct. Licensees renewing their Permit to Practice shall certify on the application form that 80 hours of CPE were earned during the 24 months prior to the date of application. The board allows a maximum of 40 CPE hours (earned in excess of the 80-hour requirement) to be carried over to the next biennium period.

Estimated Cost: 905 USD

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