Cpa Requirements By State 2020

A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is a qualified and certified accountant who meets the education and experience requirements to be a certified accountant and has passed the Uniform CPA Examination. CPA is a designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and helps enforce standards in the accounting industry. Additionally, certified public accountants are subject to a code of ethics.

While CPAs are known for their role in income tax preparation, CPAs also specialize in areas such as bookkeeping, forensic accounting, managerial accounting, information technology, and auditing. CPAs can also work their way into executive positions such as chief financial officers (CFOs).

To receive a CPA designation, individuals are required to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business administration. Individuals are required to complete a specific number of hours of education, either 120 or 150 hours, and have no fewer than two years of experience in public accounting. All CPAs must pass the Uniform CPA Examination whose requirements vary by state and must complete a specific number of hours of continuing education every year.

CPA requirements vary between all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The process involves meeting the specific eligibility requirements set forth by the state board of accountancy to which you applied.

Credit Hours Required for License

In all 50 states and D.C., individuals must complete 150 hours of credits for a CPA license.

Before July 1, 2015, Colorado only required 120 hours. After July 1, 2015, the requirement was increased to 150 hours with a Bachelor’s degree.

Before June 30, 2014, New Hampshire required 120 hours. After June 30, 2014, the requirement was increased to 150 with a B.A.

Before July 1, 2014, Vermont required 120 hours. After July 1, 2014, Vermont increased its requirement to 150 hours with a B.A.

Minimum Age

The minimum age requirement for receiving a CPA license varies by state. Many states have no age requirement and others have requirements ranging from 18 to 21.

The following states require a minimum age of 18 years old to receive a CPA license:

  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The following states have a minimum age of 19:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska

The following states have a minimum age of 21:

  • Missouri
  • New York

Citizenship Requirement

Non-U.S. citizens may still qualify as licensed U.S. CPAs if they meet the Board of Accountancy eligibility requirements in one of the U.S. jurisdictions. The exam and licensure process is the same for international applicants as it is for U.S. citizens.

The following states, however, require U.S. citizenship to sit for the CPA exam:

  • Alabama
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina

Residency

In many states, applicants do not need to be a resident of that state to sit for that state’s CPA exam.

The following states, however, do require residency:

  • District of Columbia
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Social Security

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, the majority of U.S. states require that the individual applying to become a CPA have a Social Security Number (SSN).

The following states do not require an SSN:

  • Illinois
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin

Visit the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website for more information regarding exams, licensure, and requirements for each state.

Cpa Requirements By State 2020

State Credits For License Ethics Exam? Citizenship? Citizenship? Min. Age Experience? Residency? Soc. Security
Colorado120YesNoNoYesYesYes
New Hampshire120NoNoNoYesYesYes
Vermont120YesNoNoYesYes*
Alabama150YesYesYes19YesYesYes
Alaska150YesNoNo19YesYesYes
Arizona150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
Arkansas150NoNoNoYesYesYes
California150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Connecticut150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Delaware150YesNoNoYesYesYes
District of Columbia150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Florida150NoNoNoYesYesYes
Georgia150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Hawaii150NoYesYes18YesYesYes
Idaho150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
Illinois150YesNoNo18YesYesNo
Indiana150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Iowa150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Kansas150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Kentucky150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Louisiana150NoYesYesYesYesYes
Maine150NoNoNoYesYesYes
Maryland150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
Massachusetts150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Michigan150NoNoNoYesYesYes
Minnesota150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Mississippi150NoNoNoYesYesYes
Missouri150YesNoNo21YesYesYes
Montana150YesNoNoYesYesNo
Nebraska150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Nevada150YesNoNoYesYesYes
New Jersey150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
New Mexico150YesNoNoYesYesYes
New York150NoNoNo21YesYesYes
North Carolina150YesYesYes18YesYesYes
North Dakota150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Ohio150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
Oklahoma150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Oregon150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Pennsylvania150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Rhode Island150YesNoNoYesYesYes
South Carolina150YesNoNo18YesYesYes
South Dakota150YesNoNoYesYesNo
Tennessee150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Texas150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Utah150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Virginia150YesNoNoYesYesYes
Washington150YesNoNoYesYesYes
West Virginia150NoNoNo18YesYesYes
Wisconsin150YesNoNo18YesYesNo
Wyoming150YesNoNo18YesYesYes