How to Become a CPA in North Carolina

To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in North Carolina, certain eligibility requirements must be met. The NC State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners has a website describing these requirements, with links to the relevant statutes and contacts for CPA applicants.

An applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must be a US citizen or resident alien. The applicant must also possess good moral character, documented by three certificates of good moral character signed by licensed CPAs. These certificates are available under the “Forms and Applications” link on the NCCPA Board’s website; completed certificates must accompany the application.

The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting with 150 semester hours from an accredited college or university, or a school with standards the Board determines to be substantially similar. Twenty-four of the semester hours must include three semester hours each from at least 8 of the following: communications; computer technology; economics; ethics; finance; humanities/social science; international environment; law; management; or statistics. Anyone with a Master’s degree or higher in accounting, tax law, economics, finance, business administration, or law is in compliance with this requirement. The applicant should submit proof of education with the application.

The applicant must meet one of the following work experience requirements:
1) One year of experience in the field of accounting under the direct supervision of a CPA licensed in any US state or Washington, DC;
2) Four years of experience teaching accounting at a regionally accredited four-year college or university, or one deemed by the Board to have substantially similar standards;
3) Four years of experience in the field of accounting;
4) Four years of experience teaching accounting at a regionally accredited community college or technical institute; or
5) Any combination of experience determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to the above.

The applicant must have passed the Uniform CPA Examination with a score of at least 75 on each section. This exam is offered several times per year, and there is a fee required to take the exam. Finally, within one year prior to applying for certification, applicants must complete an eight-hour course on NC Accountancy Statues and Rules, which the Board offers both online and as an in-person seminar.

Forms documenting that the applicant meets these specific requirements are available for download on the NC CPA Board’s website and must accompany the application.