North Carolina CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

North Carolina CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the North Carolina CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates require one year of experience in accounting with the direct supervision of a Certified Public Accountant who holds a valid license in any state in the United States or the District of Columbia OR 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, four years of experience teaching college transfer accounting courses at a community college or technical institute accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations.

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.

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 North Carolina CPA license would need the following 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 Exam

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

To qualify for a license, all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam must be taken and passed with a score of 75 or better within 18 months. Candidates who need to retake any unit (s) of the exam must apply to the Board for re-examination.

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

Within 1 year of becoming a CPA, the North Carolina State Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to undergo an eight-hour course on the North Carolina Accountancy Statutes and Rules, including the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct.

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 Exam Fees

Effective August 6, 2022,  the section fees are increasing. The Board does not set the section fees; those fees are determined by the Exam partners. The Board’s administrative fees are not changing.

Effective 08/01/2021Effective 08/01/2021
Initial exam fee$230$230
Re-exam fee$75$75
Section Fees
AUD exam fee$226.15$238.15
BEC exam fee$226.15$238.15
FAR exam fee$226.15$238.15
REG exam fee$226.15$238.15

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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