The AICPA/NASBA Uniform CPA exam is difficult on its own, but this process is further complicated by each state having their own set of CPA requirements to fulfill before you can sit the exam. To make this process easier, we have compiled a detailed overview of all the Delaware CPA requirements for the exam and licensure. This guide will inform you of the requirements to sit for the CPA exam, to apply for CPA Licensure and to maintain your existing Delaware CPA license. As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the Delaware Board of Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Delaware has no minimum age requirement to sit the CPA exam.

Residency

There are no residency requirements in Delaware.

Citizenship

Delaware has no citizenship requirements to sit the CPA exam.

Education

Delaware has an educational requirement of having a four-year bachelor’s degree from a university or college that is accredited with the Board. Although the applicant will require 150 semester hours for licensure, they can sit the CPA exam once they have acquired at least 120 semester hours.

These must include:

  • Accounting (24 hours in college-level accounting), including:
    • Financial Accounting
    • Auditing And Attestation
    • Taxation
  • Alternatively, the Board will accept a degree from a two-year college, provided that it is accredited by an association recognized by the Board at the time of the applicant’s graduation, with a concentration in accounting, or what the Board determines to be substantially the equivalent of such concentration; and has at least four years’ accounting experience as an employee of a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in the practice of certified public accountancy; or has not less than four years’ experience as an accountant as stipulated above

Acceptable semester hour credits:

  • Online courses are acceptable if they are accredited through a board-approved US college or university
  • Correspondence, CLEP, and CPA review credits are not acceptable
  • Coursework completed as part of a Chartered Accountant or similar program is considered professional training and is, therefore, not accepted toward the education requirements for the U.S. Uniform CPA Examination.

Board-recognized regional accrediting agencies

Non-recognized educations

US licenses or degrees that are not recognized by the Board can be evaluated by NASBA’s National Qualification Appraisal Service (NQAS) service to confirm for substantial equivalency. This will cost you about $250.00, which you must pay to NASBA. If approved, you must request that the results be sent directly to the Board.

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by any either the Foreign Academic Credentials Service (FACS) or NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). If approved, these must then be sent directly to the state board by the institution.

Work Experience

Delaware requires the applicant to have had one year of experience, equivalent to 2,000 hours, before they can apply for CPA licensure. This experience must include providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills. All of this experience must be supervised by a United States CPA who meets requirements prescribed by the Board by rule. This experience will be acceptable if it was gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.

Ethics

The Delaware Board of Accountancy requires all CPA license applicants to complete the AICPA self-study Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure) and their corresponding exam. Applicants will need to achieve a score of at least 90% within two years prior to applying for CPE licensure. This must be done AFTER passing the full CPA exam. ACIPA should then be requested to send the results directly to the board.

Background check

To apply to take the Delaware CPA exam, applicants will need to:

  • Submitting the authorization form for a criminal background check
  • Set up an online account with the Delaware Board of Accountancy
  • Submit the application form
  • Request the Registrars of all the issuing institutions of their educations to submit official copies of their transcripts to the NASBA CPA Examination Service (CPAES.) This can either be done through the postal service in sealed envelopes or online directly from the university of college
  • Include official copies of transcript translations and official copies of the transcript themselves where necessary
  • Include official credit evaluations where applicable, sent directly from the evaluation service

Fees

Initial application Fee$170.00
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Registration Fees (4 x $85)$340.00
Total$1,414,60

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

Locations

Applying for CPA Licensure

To apply for CPA licensure in Delaware, you will need to:

  • Submit your application to the state board
  • Pass the CPA exam
  • Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Submissions of work experience verification form
  • Submission of copies of name change documentation where relevant
  • Have the Registrars of all issuing institutions submit copies of your transcripts directly to the Board
  • Request the evaluation service to send copies of their evaluation to the Board where necessary
  • Pay the application fee of $165.00
  • Submit the Experience Affidavit

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

A CPA who holds a valid out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent, or has been certified as equivalent by NQAS, to that of Delaware’s CPA license can practice in Delaware without applying for a state CPA license on condition that:

  • The license is current in the issuing state or jurisdiction
  • Their principal place of business is in the state of licensure
  • They do not have an office or represent in Delaware
  • They have at least four years of experience outside of Delaware within the ten years preceding this application according to the stipulations above
  • The must have fulfilled the CE requirements listed below
  • They have fulfilled the 150-credit hour requirement, have acquired one year of work experience and have passed the CPA exam
  • The individual will stop practicing in Delaware should the license expire in the issuing state

Reciprocal Application

Delaware recognizes interstate reciprocity of CPA licenses from jurisdictions and states that are considered to be substantially equivalent to that of Delaware’s, provided that:

  • They have not committed crimes connected to accountancy/ will permit a criminal background check
  • Submit copies of all transcripts as described above
  • Meet the work requirements
  • Meets the educational requirements
  • Has passed the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Meets the CE requirements

International License Reciprocity:

Delaware does not recognize the NASBA/IQAB Mutual Recognition Agreements or the IQEX exam. Therefore, any foreign license holder will need to have their credentials evaluated as stipulated under ‘Foreign Educations’ above, and then sit the full CPA exam if approved.

NTS Validation Period

Once you pay for your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in Delaware, you will have 6 months from the date of issuance in which to write your CPA exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to reapply for the exam.

License Renewal Requirements

Delaware CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses biennially by June 30th of every odd year. The permit fee is $165.00. License holders will receive a renewal notice a few months prior to the expiration date. They are also required to fulfill 80 Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours during that time, with a minimum requirement of 20 CPE per year. These must be submitted with the Delaware Professional Regulation Online Service (DELPROS.)

The educational requirements are as follows:

The Board may make exceptions based on individual hardship such as health, foreign residency, military service and other factors. Another exception is for first-time license holders. Those who have held a license for less than 1 year do not have to fulfill any CPE requirements, while those who have held their license for more than 1 year but less than 2 years – 40 CPE with no less than 20 CPE per year.

Inactive license holders

Delaware CPA license holders can opt to change their license status to ‘inactive’ before the termination date of their license on June 30th of an even year, or before their license expiration date. This will allow them to maintain their inactive license by paying a biennial ‘inactive’ renewal fee, 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. If they fail to reactive their license within five years, their license will be terminated.

In order to switch their license status back, they will need to apply for reinstatement and meet the license renewal requirements stipulated above.

Expired license holders

Any CPA licensee who fails to renew their license by June 30th will automatically have their license switched to ‘Expired’ status. They will then need to apply for reinstatement within one year or their license will be terminated.

In order to reactivate their license, they will need to:

  • Meet the educational requirements stipulated above
  • Pay the penalty fee and license renewal fee
  • Submit to a criminal background check

State Board

Delaware Board of Accountancy