How to Become a CPA in Delaware

Becoming a CPA in Delaware is not unlike the same process in the other states in the U.S. Learning about the necessary steps required to begin earning a nice CPA salary,  is straightforward. Learning about the economy of the state is an important step in itself and is one of part of becoming a better CPA in Delaware. The population of the little state of Delaware is just under a million people at 961,939. While by no means the smallest state in the union, this is not a lot of people at all, when you consider the population of Texas in 28.3 million.

The most lucrative export for Delaware is miscellaneous medications and pharmaceutical products, accounting for 16% of the state’s total exports. After that is automobile engines and instruments used in chemistry. An interesting fact is that in the top 10 exports in the state, cash register machine manufacture and export earn the state $106 million per year or 2.3% of the exports. When your tax customer comes in with the confused bookkeeper and their books a mess because they relied on their cash register to calculate sales and inventory, you can remember reading this post, and blame some factory in Delaware. The single largest industry in Delaware is finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing. This industry includes finance masters, managerial accountants, business people, and lawyers, as well as all the positions in real estate. This brought in $33.6 billion, or 45.7 percent of Delaware GDP of $73.5 billion.

Why Dealware? What’s it like?

Delaware, the first state, is often referred to as The Small Wonder, The Diamond State, and The Blue Hen State. Before the European explorers took over Delaware many Native American tribes called this region home, including the Lenape people, and the Nanticoke. They are known as “The first state,” because they were the first to state to substantiate the United States Constitution. They were also one of the 13 colonies that took part in what we know of as the American Revolution. The state is surrounded by Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Atlantic Ocean. Delaware is known for having a subtropical climate, as the Atlantic Ocean really has the effect of moderating the state’s overall climate and weather conditions. Their state flag features their coat of arms atop a beige horizontal diamond with a background of colonial blue. The bottom of the flag says December 7, 1787, which is the date they officially became a state. Another interesting thing about Delaware that this writer learned while living in nearby Philadelphia, there is no sales tax. Anytime we needed to purchase a big item, like the computer I am typing on now, we would hop across to the Wilmington computer store and save hundreds of dollars in taxes. I can only imagine what that same mall is like on Black Friday

Delaware Accounting Programs

The University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics located in Newark, DE is the only AACSB accredited accounting program in the state. The university is the flagship school in the state and is a large public research university. UDel itself was founded in 1743, making it among the oldest universities in the country. The Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics was established with a bachelor’s of business administration degree in 1917 and began the college’s active and excellent reputation in the business. Now, The Lerner College offers Full-Time and Part-Time degrees in accounting at the master’s and bachelor’s level. Alfred Lerner was a distinguished alumnus who was a very successful businessman and philanthropist. A famous quote of his was “humility and competence are keys to being successful.” These are words the Lerner business school tries to live up to and to instill in business leaders of tomorrow.

The AACSB is an international is a nonprofit organization that is committed to ensuring excellence in accounting and business educational programs throughout the world. The organization was founded in 1916 and continues to evolve to push for the highest standards of excellence in business and accounting to be even higher. No improvement is enough improvement for this accrediting body, as their goal is to push for continuous quality in education through impact, innovation, and engagement. University programs that seek accreditation must first provide self-disclosure around areas they believe themselves to excel and areas that they would like support on improving. In order to qualify for accreditation, there is are 15 minimum standards that business accreditation recipients must meet. For those programs that also seek the accounting accreditation, as the Alfred Lerner College has earned, there are another 6 minimum standards that pertain to the field of accounting specifically. AACSB accreditation does not signify perfection in accounting and business education, but it does mean a continuous attempt at it.

How to Become a CPA in Delaware

To become a CPA in Delaware there is no age requirement, nor is there a citizenship or residency requirement. The social security number is required. The education required to earn the CPA license requires 150 hours of education, including a bachelor’s degree. An applicant must have 24 semester or equivalent quarter hours in accounting, although to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam all that is required is 120 hours, which is the equivalent of an undergrad or bachelor’s degree in accounting. After the education is squared away, licensees need to earn 1 year of accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in public accountancy or as an accountant in government, industry, academia or public practice.

Delaware Post-Licensure Requirements for Accounting

The post-licensure requirements for the state of Delaware are not too unique for the field of accounting. The general requirements for CPE is 80 hours over the course of two years, with at least 20 hours per year. The Ethics Requirements include 4 hours in ethics courses that are Delaware specific with approval from the board. Licenses must be renewed every other year on June 30 of the odd years. The CPE reporting period goes from July 1 to June 30 every other year, also on odd years. There are additional requirements include eight hours in accounting and auditing, different and equally important, as well as eight hours in tax and twenty additional hours in one of the following: taxation, auditing, or accounting. There are some credit limitations that are important to keep in mind. For example, for CPAs who are academic instructors, there is the ability to gain credit for instruction, but it can only make up a total of 50 percent of the required hours. Publishing materials can also account for CPE credits, however, they can not make up more than 20 credit hours. Up to 30 percent of the licensee’s credit hours can come from self-study, but the board must approve it, and therefore, significant evidence that the work was done must be submitted.

The way the credit calculations work is that instructors can receive one hour of credit for every hour they teach, and two hours are given per in-class hour which accounts for both the research and presentation of the material. If the instructor repeats the material for another class it will not count unless they have significantly altered the presented material. It is Published material can account for CPE credits, specifically, one hour is granted for every 50 minutes of self-declared research and prep time. If the CPA chooses to return to college, they can receive 5 CPE credit hours per semester hour. Every hour in the classroom for non-credit classes equal up to 1 CPE hour.