The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but this process is complicated by the additional exam and licensure requirements stipulated by each state. To ease this process, we have compiled a detailed overview of the Alabama CPA requirements. This should help if you are planning to either sit for the CPA exam, transfer your existing credits or CPA license to Alabama, or to maintain your existing Alabama CPA license. As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Alabama has a minimum age requirement of 19 to sit the CPA exam.

Citizenship

Alabama requires either citizenship of the United States or that the applicant legally present in the United States

Education

Alabama has a credit requirement of 120 semester hours (or 18 quarter hours) from a 4-year college or university education that is accredited by a regional accreditation board such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities. However, they will still need to acquire 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) within 36 months of passing the exam before they can apply for licensure.

The minimum course requirements for the EXAM are:

  • Accounting (24 hours) – upper division (300 level or higher) undergraduate and/or graduate level
  • Business-related courses (24 hours)

The minimum course requirements for LICENSURE (including those earned for the exam):

  • Accounting (23 hours) – upper division (300 level or higher) undergraduate and/or graduate level
  • Business-related courses (27 hours)

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by a board-recognized credit evaluation service, such as the Foreign Academic Credentials Service (FACS). The evaluation service will then notify the applicant whether their education was found to be substantially equivalent to that of the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy’s educational requirements. If not, they will be informed of which requirements need to be fulfilled and they will need to have those evaluated once they are completed as well.

Work Experience

CPA applicants need to fulfill ONE of these work experience requirements before they can apply for CPA licensure in the state Alabama:

  • One‐year of full‐time employment by a public accounting firm as a staff accountant and supervised by a practicing CPA or PA holding a valid permit to practice; or
  • Two‐years of full‐time employment properly supervised and has sufficient quality and depth in the accounting field in industry, business, government, or college teaching
  • These can also be combined

Ethics

The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy requires applicants to take the Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course On-Demand (For Licensure), as well as the associated exam. They will need to obtain a score of at least 90% for licensure. This must be done after passing the CPA exam.

Background Check

Applicants will need:

  • To be of good moral character
  • To provide two forms of identification, one of which must be a government issued photo ID with your signature, such as a driver’s license, passport or military ID. The second ID may include another government issued photo ID or a valid, unexpired credit card, bank ATM card or debit card. The names on both forms of ID must match the name entered on the application form. • Unacceptable IDs include draft classification card, Social Security card, or U.S. permanent residency card (green card)
  • To submit the CPA exam application form

Fees

Application feen/a
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Total$904.60

Fees are non-refundable. Most exams can be rescheduled. 

Locations

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

Alabama allows for CPAs who holds a valid and current out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent to that of Alabama’s to practice in Alabama without applying for a state CPA license on condition that:

  • Their principal place of business is in the state of licensure
  • The individual will stop practicing in Indiana should the license expire in the issuing state

Reciprocal Application

Interstate License Reciprocity

Alabama recognizes interstate reciprocity of CPA licenses from jurisdictions and states that are considered to be substantially equivalent to that of Alabama’s. In order to apply for CPA license conversion, you will need to submit the Application for Certificate by Reciprocity form with the stipulations listed above, as well as:

  • The submission of CPA exam grades by the issuing state board if they have not yet received their CPA license from the issuing state
  • A ‘Letter of Good Standing’ from all state boards from which you have received licensure
  • List any felonies or misdemeanors you may have committed
  • Must meet the current CPA educational and work experience qualifications of Alabama
  • Pay the $100.00 registration fee

International License Reciprocity

Alabama recognizes international license reciprocity provided that the license is recognized as being substantially equivalent to that of Alabama’s and that they take and pass the NASBA’s International Qualification Examination (IQEX.) The IQEX exam fee is $835, and the Illinois IQEX application fee is $345. This would apply only to those issuing bodies that form part of the NASBA/IQAB’s MRA agreements.

They will also need to:

  • Be a US citizen or legally present in the US
  • Be a least 19 years old
  • Be of good moral character
  • Must meet the current CPA educational and work experience qualifications of Alabama
  • Submit the Application for Certificate by Reciprocity form
  • Pay the $100.00 registration fee

NTS Validation Period

After you have paid the Alabama CPA application fee, you will receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS.) You will then have 6 months from the date of issuance in which to write your exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to reapply for the exam. You can reschedule the date during that time.

License Renewal Requirements

Alabama CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses every annually by September 30th or their license will expire. They will have a window period until December 31st to rectify this or their status will change to ‘delinquent.’ This will likely incur a fine and other possible disciplinary action.

When they renew their license, they are required to report 40 hours of continued professional education (CPE).

The educational requirements are as follows:

  • Accounting and/or Auditing (8h)
  • Ethics (2h)

Renewal fee: $75.00

Acceptable CE hours:

CE hours are calculated as follows:

  • One college semester hour credit equates to 15 CPE, one quarter semester hour equates to 10 CPE
  • Non-credit college courses will equate to one CPE per classroom hour
  • Group programs and blended learning programs must be a minimum of one hour, but credit may be earned in one-fifth or one-half hour increments after the first full hour is earned.
  • Self-study programs must be a minimum of one-half credit initially, but credit may be earned in one-fifth or one-half hour increments after the first full hour is earned.
  • Nano learning is earned at one-fifth credit hour

CE limitations

  • No more than 12 CPE hours of Behavioral or Personal Development courses
  • No more than 20% of the total CPE hours may be from Nano classes
  • Only 50% of CPE can come from authoring published works

Renewal Fee: $100.00

Delinquent penalty fees:

  • Filing after December 31st – $100.00
  • Filing after February 28th – $500.00

Inactive license holders

Alabama CPA license holders can opt to change their license status to ‘inactive.’ This will allow them to maintain their license by paying the renewal fees, without the need to meet the CPE requirements. However, they will not be permitted to practice as a CPA until their license is made ‘active’ again. In order to switch their license status back, they will need to apply for reinstatement and meet the license renewal requirements stipulated above. They will also need to renew their license annually by September 30th.

Inactive Renewal Fee: $50.00

State Board

Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy

  • Address: 770 Washington Ave # 226, Montgomery, AL 36104, United States
  • Phone: +1 334-242-5700
  • Fax: 317-233-4236
  • Email: Anna.Baker@asbpa.alabama.gov
  • Hours: 07:30-16:30
  • Website: https://www.in.gov/pla/professions/indiana-board-of-accountancy/
  • Address: 770 Washington Ave # 226, Montgomery, AL 36104, United States
  • Phone: +1 334-242-5700
  • Fax: 317-233-4236
  • Email: Anna.Baker@asbpa.alabama.gov
  • Hours: 07:30-16:30
  • Website: https://www.in.gov/pla/professions/indiana-board-of-accountancy/
  • Resources: