The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but each state also has its own set of requirements that must be met before you can qualify to write for their board. In order to make this process easier, we have compiled a detailed overview of what the Florida State Board of Accountancy’s requirements are if you wish to either sit for the CPA exam, transfer your existing credits or CPA license to Florida, or to maintain your existing FlCPA license. As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the BOA to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Residency

There are no residency requirements.

Citizenship

A social security number is required to sit for the CPA exam.

Education

Candidates require a high school certificate or higher to write the exam. They must also meet either 120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours in order to write the CPA exam.  This includes the following educational requirements. Make sure that the courses are board approved, as there are some that are not. These are stipulated on the Florida Board of Accountancy website.

The mandatory course requirements are:

  1. Accounting – 24 semester or 36 quarter hours including:
    • Coverage In auditing and cost accounting
    • 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of US-based financial accounting
    • 3 semester hours or four 4 quarter hours of US-based taxation
  2. Business – 24 semester or 36 quarter hours including:
    • 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of business law based on USA Law
  3. 21 semester hours or 32 quarter hours of general business 

Note

  • All courses must be at the upper-division level, with the exception of Introductory Macro and Micro Economics, Introductory Statistics, Business Law, Introduction to Computer Information Systems, and any written or oral communication course described in Rule 61H1-27.002(2)(b), F.A.C.
  • Upper-division accounting courses in beyond the accounting requirements listed above may be used to meet the general business requirements
  • No credit will be given for courses that duplicate another course for which the applicant has received credit
  • All courses will be evaluated for eligibility by the state board

Recognized accreditation

(as per the Florida State Board website):

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)’

Non-recognized accreditation

Students who graduated from other institutions will need to meet the following additional requirements:

  • 15 semester hour graduate courses from an accredited institution, including:
    • At least 9 hours of graduate-level accounting courses including 3 hours of graduate tax
    • These courses cannot duplicate the courses covered in the non-accredited degree

Work Experience

One year of work experience, averaging at least 20 hours a week or no more than 104 weeks, or no more than 40 hours a week over no more than 52 weeks. This can be done either before or after taking the CPA exam.

Ethics

Florida does not require an Ethics exam.

Background Check

CPA License Requirements

The CPA license fee application is $50. This can only be applied for upon the completion of all work and study requirements, including earning a total of 150 semester or 225 quarter hours. This is 30 semester hours and 65 quarter hours beyond the exam requirements. All four parts of the exam must each be passed within an 18-month period. This period counts for each part separately. 

Education requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from a college or university that is recognized by the board 
  • Accounting: 30 semester or 45 quarter hours
  • Business: 36 semester or 54 quarter hours

Note

  • These include the hours stipulated above. The credits also cannot be obtained from a vocational program.
  • Once the exam is passed, you have 3 years in which to apply for the license, or you will need to retake the exam.

Fees

Initial Application Fee$50
Auditing & Attestation (AUD) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Regulation (REG) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
State Exam Fee$180.00
Total$1,134.60

State Exam Fee Options

One section of exam$60.00
Two sections of exam$75.00
Three sections of exam$90.00
Four sections of exam$105.00

Reapplication fee is $50.

The CPA license fee is $300. 

All fees are non-refundable, but most exams can be rescheduled. 

Locations

  • Prometric testing centers in state
  • Prometric testing center in Guam

Applying for Exam from Out-of-State

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

Out-of-state CPA license holders or firms can apply for temporary practice permits when they are sent to practice for specific engagements, not for long-term business engagements. It is not required for those who are entering Florida solely to advise on federal tax matters or to prepare federal tax returns. Once approved, the permit is only valid for 90 days. Each application can only cover a single engagement. The application fee is $400.

Reciprocal Application

Florida does not recognize reciprocity from other states or jurisdictions. Instead, you will need to apply for licensure by endorsement. 

Interstate License Endorsement

CPA holders from other US states can transfer their license by applying for a CPA License by Endorsement

Applicants must submit:

Requirements for Endorsement

  • Holds a valid US state license and at least one year of experience in a valid state or territory where the license criteria was substantially equivalent to the licensure criteria that existed in Florida at the time the license was issued
  • OR holds a valid US state or US territory license and:
    • Passed all four parts of the AICPA Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, with a grade of at least 75 on all four parts (or passed the IQEX with a grade of 75 or better for approved Chartered Accountants)
    • Met the 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours and education requirements and courses listed above
    • Has completed the one-year work requirement
  • OR passed the AICPA Uniform CPA exam and been licensed as a public accountant in another state for at least ten years
  • OR holds a valid US state or US territory license and:
    • Passed all four parts of the AICPA Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, with a grade of at least 75 on all four parts (or passed the IQEX with a grade of 75 or better for approved Chartered Accountants)
    • Have a Bachelor’s degree with a focus on accounting and business from an accredited college or university 
    • Have at least 5 years accounting experience in either the industry, public, academia, or governmental accounting experience after acquiring their CPA license or becoming an approved Chartered Accountant. If you are self-employed, you can either have any CPA verify your work experience, or you can provide five letters form clients, either former or current, who can attest to your performing work for them over the last five years. These letters must be notarized and bearing the client’s letterhead.

International License Reciprocity

Florida only recognizes the licenses of chartered accountants from Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong. Chartered accountants from these countries are required to pass either the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination or the IQEX examination. 

However, license holders from all other countries will need to meet Florida’s education requirements and pass the AICPA Uniform CPA examination. Not that this list does not cover all of those under NASBA’s Mutual Reciprocity agreement.

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions may apply to have their transcripts evaluated by of the BOA-approved foreign credentials evaluation services stipulated on this list. Official evaluations must be mailed to the BOA directly from the foreign credentials evaluation service in the sealed envelopes in which they came. If approved, the applicant will need to meet the requirements stipulated under the ‘non-recognized accreditation’ heading above. They will then be allowed to apply for the CPA exam.

NTS Validation Period

Active license holders: 

Florida’s Board of Accountancy requires licenses holders to renew their license every other year. Each period begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th.  For first time license holders, this goes from June 30th of the year of issuance. This means that if you acquire your license on May 20th, 2021, your license will only expire on June 30th, 2023. 

In order to qualify, you must complete you will need to complete a total of 80 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) within that two-year timeframe. Then, you must submit the license renewal application form and pay the fee.

The subject requirements are:

Note

  • These courses do not have to go through college or universities but can be through either group study or self-study courses. Although the BOA recommends using approved providers from their list, other courses may also be considered, provided that they meet the BOA’s CPE Guidelines. If they are still unsure whether the course meets the requirements, the licensee can request that the course be reviewed by the Committee on Continuing Professional Education (CPE Committee.)
  • There used to be a 120-hour requirement, but this was changed in light of Covid-19. So, it may be worthwhile to confirm these requirements with the BOA.

Automatic Extensions

  • The extension will automatically extend to September 15 if the licensee completes an additional 8 hours in Accounting and Auditing subjects
  • The extension will automatically extend to December 31 if the licensee completes an additional 16 hours in Accounting and Auditing subjects
  • These hour requirements for the extensions were waived in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is advisable to confirm with the board before assuming that this ruling still stands

Renewal Fee: $105

Inactive License Holders 

In order to reactivate an expired license, you will need to meet the reapplication requirements and submit the Reinstatement of Null and Void License Form. There are three acceptable categories of inactive licenses, namely either requesting for license to be made inactive, delinquency due to illness or delinquency due to unusual hardship. You will be required to attach a statement supporting this with you application form.

Renewing an inactive license must be done in two parts. 

First, you will need to apply to transition your license status from ‘null and void’ to ‘delinquent.’ This entails paying the delinquency fee, as well as submitting certificates proving completion of 120 CPE hours. These must include the following educational requirements:

  • 30 hours in accounting and auditing courses
  • 8 hours in board approved ethics courses
  • No more than 30 hours in behavioral subjects

Next, you will need to apply to transition your license status from ‘delinquent’ to ‘active.’ This entails paying the Null and Void Reinstatement Application Fee, as well as submitting certificates proving completion of 120 CPE hours. The CPE hours from the ‘null and void’ to ‘delinquent’ transition cannot be used towards these requirements. Ego, this process entails a total of 240 hours of CPE to be accumulated.  The new CPE courses must include the following educational requirements:

  • 30 hours in accounting and auditing courses
  • 8 hours in board approved ethics courses
  • No more than 30 hours in behavioral subjects

Appeals for other reasons for reinstatement may be considered according to the board’s discretion.

There are three fees that must be paid when the form is submitted: 

  • Null and Void Reinstatement Application Fee – $ 250 
  • Delinquency Fee – $25 
  • Renewal Licensure Fee $ 105

State Board

Florida Board of Accountancy