South Carolina CPA Education Requirements [2022]

South Carolina CPA Education Requirements

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South Carolina CPA Education Requirements

To meet the South Carolina CPA education requirements and become a CPA, applicants must complete a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree with 150 semester hours where 36 semester hours are in accounting courses and 24 semester hours in business courses.

Summary of South Carolina CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam120
Credit Hours in Upper-level Accounting course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Credit Hours in Business course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Bachelor’s Required to sit for the CPA Exam?No
Credit Hours to receive a CPA License150
Credit Hours in Accounting course to receive a CPA License36
Credit Hours in Business course to receive a CPA License36
Ethics Exam Required?Yes
Work Experience Required1 – 5 Years
Required CPE Hours Every Year40

Education Requirements

South Carolina has two academic preparation requirements: one to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and another to practice.

For Examination – One hundred twenty semester hours of college course credit, including a baccalaureate or higher degree with an emphasis in accounting. Specific courses are as follows:

  1. At least 24 semester hours of accounting in courses which includes the following mandatory courses, each of which must be taken at 300+ level:
    • Financial Accounting
    • Managerial Accounting
    • U.S. Taxation
    • Auditing
  2. At least 24 semester hours of business courses which may include:
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Business Law
    • Management
    • Computer Science
    • Marketing, and Accounting hours not counted in item (1).

For Permit to Practice – One hundred fifty semester hours of college course credit, including a baccalaureate or higher degree with an emphasis in accounting.

Credit Requirements for South Carolina CPA License

According to the board, South Carolina CPA (Certified Public Accountant) candidates must have completed 150 semester education hours, including at least a bachelor’s degree. A major in accounting is also necessary, with at least 36 semester hours in accounting courses encompassing 24 hours in financial accounting, taxation, and auditing at the junior level or higher. The remaining 12 semester hours must be applicable to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. One Business Law course can be used toward the 36-semester hour Accounting requirement.

In addition, candidates must have at least 36 non-duplicative semester hours in business courses which may include Macro and Micro Economics, Finance, Business Law, Management, Computer Science, Marketing and Accounting hours not counted above.

Accepted Educational Institutions

When you begin your accounting studies, ensure that your college is completely accredited and meets the board’s standards. Every state, including South Carolina, needs your institution to be accredited. The South Carolina Board of Accountancy will recognize college credits and degrees from schools that have essential institutional accreditation from one of the following agencies:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business

Required Courses

Meet the CPA degree and curriculum requirements in South Carolina. The 150 semester hours of college credit necessary can be acquired through a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses and must include the following:

36 semester hours of accounting courses, 24 of which are at the junior level or higher, covering:

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation

Business courses totaling 36 semester hours, including:

  • Economics
  • Business Law
  • Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Management
  • Ethics
  • Marketing
  • Statistics

Foreign Education

If you attended a school outside of the United States, you must have your educational credits evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services.

Age and Residency Requirements

Before taking the CPA exam in South Carolina, the applicant must be at least 18 years old. To take the CPA exam in South Carolina, you do not need to be a resident, employee, or have an office in the state. To sit for the CPA exam in South Carolina, you do not need to be a US citizen, but you must have an SSN or a green card.

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…

South Carolina CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The South Carolina CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: the application fee of $135, the examination registration fee which will depend on the number of sections taken, and the examination fee of $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, the CPA application fee of $150 and then the annual CPA license renewal fee is $80.

Exam fees in South Carolina are similar to all other exam fees except for the application and registration fees. If you need to retake a part, you will have to pay a varied re-application cost.

Application Fee$135.00
Examination Fees
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
Registration Fees
4 examination sections$105.00
3 examination sections$90.00
2 examination sections$75.00
1 examination section$60.00
Re-registration Fee$65.00
CPA License Application$150.00
Annual CPA Renewal Fee$80.00

AICPA Ethics Course and Exam

Candidates for South Carolina CPA must pass an ethics exam recognized by the Board. To meet this criterion, the board now employs the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics course and exam: the AICPA’s Comprehensive Course course and exam. The materials for the course are purely self-study and can be obtained on the AICPA website. The system and ethics exams must be passed with a grade of 90% or above to qualify.

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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