North Carolina CPA Education Requirements [2022]

North Carolina CPA Education Requirements

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North Carolina CPA Education Requirements

To meet the North Carolina CPA education requirements and become a CPA, candidates will need to hold a bachelor’s degree completing 150 semester hours that include a concentration in accounting, and 24 semester hours of coursework with a 3-hour course in specific fields of study.

This article will help you to become a CPA in North Carolina and is a requirement for you to take the North Carolina CPA exam.

Summary of North Carolina CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam120
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam30
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Work experience required to receive a CPA license1 – 4 Years
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseYes

North Carolina Education Requirements

In order for an applicant to get a North Carolina CPA license, he or she had to undergo a series of training programs. NCCPA requires all candidates who are planning to get a CPA license would need the following North Carolina CPA education requirements:

For CPA Exam. Must have 120 semester hours including a concentration in accounting that has:

  • 30 semester hours of undergraduate-level courses with 6 semester hours in accounting principles and 3 semester hours in business law, or
  • 20 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses open exclusively to graduate students, or
  • a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses equivalent to the requirements mentioned above.

For Licensure. Must hold a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting and 150 semester hours that include:

  • 24 semester hours of coursework with one 3-hour course in at least 8 of the following fields of study:
    1. Computer Technology
    2. Communications
    3. Ethics
    4. Economics
    5. Humanities/Social Science
    6. Finance
    7. Law
    8. International Environment
    9. Management
    10. Law
    11. Statistics

The only accountancy law course that the state board accepts is the NC Accountancy Law: Ethics, Principles, & Professional Responsibilities.

Accepted Educational Institutions

The North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners (NCCPA) accepts degrees from the following Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)-recognized accrediting associations:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (formerly New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges

The NC State Board also accepts degrees from the following US Department of Education (USDE)-recognized accrediting associations:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)

Pass the Uniform CPA Examination

The “Uniform CPA Examination”, which is a 4-part exam, is developed by the AICPA – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by NASBA – the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

The Four CPA Exam Sections are:

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 CPA, 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…

North Carolina CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The North Carolina CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: the initial examination application of $230, the CPA exam registration which cost $75, the current per CPA exam section fee of $226.15 totaling $905 for all four sections (will increase by August 2022), the certificate application fee that cost $100, and finally the renewal fee of $60.

Initial Exam Application Fee$230.00
Registration Fee$75.00
Section Fees (Current)
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$905.00
Section Fees (Effective 08/06/2022)
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$238.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$238.15
Regulation (REG)$238.15
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$953.00
Application for Original NC CPA Certificate$100.00
Certificate Renewal$60.00

North Carolina CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the North Carolina CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates are expected to complete an eight-hour course on the North Carolina Accountancy Statutes and Rules, including the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct. The course should be taken within one year prior to applying for a license or, as the board suggests, meet the requirement within the last few months prior to applying for a license.

The North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA) course, NC Accountancy Law:  Ethics, Principles, & Professional Responsibilities, is the only accountancy law course the Board accepts for CPA licensure.

North Carolina CPA Experience Requirements

When applying for a CPA license in North Carolina, the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners (NCCPA) will not issue a certificate unless the candidate has completed the required work experience. One of the following four North Carolina CPA experience requirements must be met by the applicant:

  • 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 experiences determined by the State Board to be substantially equivalent to the foregoing.

One year of work experience is 52 weeks of full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as working at least 30 hours each week for at least one year. Experience affidavits for part-time work (less than 30 hours each week) must contain a record of the actual part-time hours the applicant performed accounting services only for each week of part-time employment. Actual part-time hours do not include hours paid for sick leave, vacation leave, attending CPE courses, or other time not spent directly performing accounting services.

Getting your North Carolina CPA License

Where do we go from here? As you have now passed the rigorous three-part exam of the Uniform CPA Examination, you are still not officially a CPA yet. One last form needs to be filed with the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners (NCCPA) to receive your CPA license. To do that the applicant must satisfy all the CPA license requirements below:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Good moral character
  • Meets the necessary education and experience requirements
  • Passed all 4 sections of the Uniform CPA Examination with a minimum grade of 75

The CPA candidates must complete the Application Package for Original NC CPA Certificate that can be found on the forms and applications section of the NCCPA website along following documents:

  • Three certificates of good moral character
  • Experience affidavits
  • Proof of completion of the accountancy law course
  • A photo that meets US passport standards
  • Payment by check or credit card.

If a CPA candidate did not take the Exam as a North Carolina candidate, the candidate must submit an Interstate Exchange Form (included in the Original NC CPA License Application package) and request a transfer of Exam credit from the jurisdiction that holds his or her Exam grades.

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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