South Carolina CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements To Become a CPA
South Carolina CPA Requirements
South Carolina CPA Requirements
Candidates in South Carolina must pass the CPA Exam, obtain work experience, meet education requirements, and pass the mandatory ethics exam to obtain CPA licensure. The South Carolina Board of Accountancy issues CPA licenses to successful candidates, and works closely with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
|Social Security Requirement||Yes|
|Age, Citizenship, and Residency Requirements||
|Good Moral Character||Yes|
|Education Requirements for Licensure||150 hours (including B.A.)|
|Pass the Exam||Score at least 75 in each CPA Exam section|
|Work Experience||1 year of full-time experience|
|Ethics Exam Requirements||Yes|
|International CPA Examination Program||Yes|
To sit for the CPA Exam, South Carolina CPA candidates must obtain a minimum of 120 semester hours from an accredited institution. Of the 120 hours, the following requirements must be met:
- Complete at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses, including 6 undergraduate hours (3 graduate hours) of principles or introductory accounting.
- Complete at least 24 semester hours of business courses, which may include accounting content not used toward completing the above accounting requirement.
To qualify for licensure, candidates must complete a bachelor’s or higher degree with a total of 150 semester hours. Specific hourly requirements differ slightly from the exam requirements and are outlined below:
- Complete at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses, excluding principles or introductory accounting courses, and taught at the junior level or above.
- Complete at least 24 semester hours of business courses other than accounting. This may include accounting content not used toward completing the above accounting requirement.
The Uniform CPA Examination has four sections, and candidates must score a minimum of 75 in each section to pass. All exam sections must be passed within an 18-month timeframe.
Work Experience Requirements
CPA candidates in South Carolina must complete one year (2,000 hours) of accounting experience, providing services or advice involving the use of accounting, compilation, attest, management advisory, tax, financial advisory, or consulting skills. The work experience must be verified by a CPA in industry, public accounting, or academia. See exceptions below:
- For teaching: Must include at least 24 semester hours of teaching courses within the scope of the CPA Exam that are applicable to a bachelor’s or higher degree, taught at the intermediate level or above.
- NASBA’s Experience Verification: Candidates may fill out and submit to NASBA a Substantial Equivalency Evaluation report from the NASBA National Qualification Appraisal Service.
Experience can be earned via full-time or part-time employment at a rate no quicker than 40 hours per week, and does not qualify until after an applicant has met the CPA Exam accounting education requirements. If experience is obtained seven or more years before submitting an application, additional experience within the two years prior to application must be acquired.
After passing the CPA Exam, you must pass the CPA ethics exam provided by the AICPA. This is an 11-hour self-study course; you must score at least 90 or higher to pass the exam. The material is available online on the AICPA portal. The course aims to provide the ethical framework for practicing as a CPA license holder in South Carolina.
South Carolina participates in the International CPA Examination Program, facilitating international students to become CPA licensees in South Carolina. Candidates must have their credentials evaluated by NASBA's International Evaluation Services (NIES). Candidates can sit for the CPA Exam and undergo the licensure procedure if deemed substantially equivalent.
South Carolina CPA Exam & Licensing - Cost and Fees
South Carolina has an initial exam application fee of $135, paid to the board. $238.15 for each CPA Exam section must be paid to NASBA.
|South Carolina CPA Exam Fees|
|Initial Application Fee||$135.00|
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD)||$238.15|
|Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)||$238.15|
|Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||$238.15|
If you need to retake any exam sections, you will be subject to the following re-examination fees:
|South Carolina CPA Re-Examination Fees|
|Re-exam 1 Section||$60|
|Re-exam 2 Sections||$75|
|Re-exam 3 Sections||$90|
|Re-exam 4 Sections||$105|
Candidates can apply for a South Carolina CPA license via an electronic application on the state portal. The licensing fee of $150 is paid to the South Carolina Board of Accountancy. However, you can also apply for CPA licensure in South Carolina:
- If you have passed the CPA Exam in another state by opting for a transfer of scores
- If you are licensed in another state through a reciprocity application with a fee of $150
South Carolina CPA License Renewal Requirements
South Carolina CPA license holders must renew their licenses annually, with the cycle running from February 1 to January 31 every year. The board will send periodic reminder emails to renew licenses, and you must meet the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. The renewal fee is $80. If you cannot renew your license in the stipulated time, you must reach out to the board and obtain special consideration before January 31.
South Carolina CPA Continuing Education Requirements
South Carolina mandates licensees to obtain at least 40 CPE credit hours annually for license renewal. Out of the 40 credit hours, you are allowed:
- A maximum of 8 personal development hours
- A maximum of 20 self-study course hours
- A maximum of 10 hours in a single day
Over three years, six hours must be in ethics, with at least 2 being in South Carolina Rules and Regulations. Note that new licensees (who have never been licensed in another state) are exempt from the ethics CPE requirement for the three-year reporting period in which they are licensed. Licensees can carry over up to 20 credit hours of CPE each year (with some exceptions), and must retain their CPE hours earned for five years.
South Carolina CPA Exam: Dates, Score Release, and Scheduling
The Uniform CPA Exam is held year-round, allowing candidates to schedule the exam based on their preferences. Check out the CPA Exam score release dates to know when you can expect your scores. Here's a step-by-step guide to applying for and scheduling your CPA Exam:
Submit Your CPA Exam Application
All South Carolina CPA candidates must register and apply through CPA Central. You must enter all the required information and submit your educational transcripts to the board. The initial application fee to be paid to the board is $135.
Obtain Authorization to Test (ATT)
Upon determining your eligibility, the state board will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) that certifies your eligibility to sit for the CPA Exam.
Notice to Schedule (NTS)
After obtaining your ATT, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA. Your NTS is an important document that allows you to schedule your CPA Exam. It is available three to six weeks after your application is received.
Exam Scheduling With Prometric
NASBA uses the services of Prometric to help candidates schedule their CPA Exam date and location. You may want to do a quick search for the nearest testing center.
Pass the Exam
You must score at least 75 in each CPA Exam section within an 18-month period to pass the exam.