Step by Step to Become a CPA in North Carolina (2022)

The North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners overlooks the CPA licensure procedure in North Carolina. The board sets various requirements for prospective CPAs to get their CPA license in the state.

The steps that candidates must go through are similar to other states. However, the specific requirements differ according to the board.

How to become a CPA in North Carolina?

As with other states, CPA candidates in North Carolina must obtain a formal education. Once they do so, they can take the Uniform CPA Exam.

The exam is crucial for the licensure process. Formal education plays a significant role in helping candidates qualify.

Once they pass their exams, candidates must also fulfill the experience requirements set by the board. Lastly, they can apply for their CPA license after completing all these steps.

Educational Requirements

Obtaining formal education is critical in getting a North Carolina CPA license. The board requires candidates to go through formal education in one of the state’s accredited universities.

Candidates must obtain their education in accounting programs. The board requires candidates to complete 150 credit hours of college credit and have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Apart from these, candidates must also meet other requirements during their formal education. These include the following provisions.

  • Candidates must sign up for classes that will count for credit with the board. For these, they have to meet the following requirements.
    • Candidates must earn 150 semester hours and at least a bachelor’s degree. They must also take one of the following accounting concentrations.
      • 30 semester hours of undergraduate accounting courses, which include the following.
        • No more than 6 semester hours in accounting principles
        • No more than 3 semester hours in business law
      • 20 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses
      • An equivalent combination of undergraduate and graduate-level accounting courses, must meet the following requirement.
    • Apart from the accounting concentration, they must also have 24 semester hours of other coursework. It must include three semester hours in eight of the following.
      • Communications
      • Computer technology
      • Economics
      • Ethics
      • Finance
      • International environment
      • Law
      • Management
      • Social science/humanities
      • Statistics
  • For candidates with a master’s degree or higher in one of the following disciplines, the board will waive the 2nd requirement.
    • Accounting
    • Business administration
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Law degree
    • Tax law
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Uniform CPA Exam

Candidates in North Carolina must take their Uniform CPA Exam after meeting the educational requirements. They must meet the following conditions before taking the test.

  • Candidates must be a citizen of the United States.
  • They must be a resident aliens or a citizen of a foreign jurisdiction that extends similar examination privileges.
  • They must be at least 18 years old.
  • They must have a good moral character.

Once they meet these requirements, they must undergo the following process to take the exam.

  • Candidates must download and complete the Initial Application for the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must also submit the following with their application.
    • Two identical copies of their recent passport-sized photo.
    • Official college transcripts with the college’s seal.
    • Application fee, including an administrative fee of $230, plus fees for each section of the exam that they are planning to take.
    • Three references to their moral character.
    •  All court records related to any current or previous charges if applicable.
  • They must schedule their Uniform CPA Exam once they receive their notice to schedule. The test is available through Prometric in one of the approved locations.

Experience requirements

Candidates must go through experience requirements before obtaining their CPA license in North Carolina. They must get experience through one of the following ways.

  • Complete one year of experience in public practice under a licensed CPA’s supervision.
  • Complete one year of experience in accounting practice under a licensed CPA’s supervision.
  • Complete four years of experience as a full-time accounting teacher with an accredited university or college.
  • Complete four years of self-employed accounting experience.
  • Complete four years of accounting experience not supervised by a CPA.
  • Complete a substantially equivalent combination of the above options suitable to the board.
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Candidates must also meet some other requirements, as below.

  • They must complete the correct Experience Affidavit for each experience. The affidavit varies according to the route candidates take from the ones mentioned above.
  • They must also verify the affidavit through their supervisor if applicable.
  • Candidates who get their experience from part-time work must complete the part-time affidavit. Similarly, self-employed and teaching experience holders must obtain relevant affidavits and meet their related requirements.


Below is a summary of how to become a CPA in North Carolina.

  • Prospective CPAs must acquire formal education through an accredited university’s accounting program.
  • They must then pass their Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must choose one of the experienced options the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners set and meet the respective requirements.
  • They must apply for their North Carolina CPA license.


  1. “North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners” –
  2. “Forms & Applications” –
  3. “North Carolina | NASBA” –