The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but this is made more complicated by each state also having its own set of CPA 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 Georgia State Board of Accountancy requires for CPA licensure. This should prove helpful if you are planning to either sit for the CPA exam, transfer your existing credits or CPA license to Georgia, or to maintain your existing Georgia CPA license.
As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the Georgia State Board of Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.
Georgia CPA applicants must be at least 18 years old.
There are no residency requirements in Georgia.
There are no US citizenship requirements in Georgia. However, regardless of whether they are a United States citizen, a legal permanent resident of the United States or a qualified alien or non-immigrant under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, the applicant will need to submit a legal affidavit to the board. If the applicant is not a U.S. citizen, they must submit documentation that will determine their qualified alien status. US residents will need a social security number to sit for the CPA exam.
Georgia requires applicants to have obtained a bachelor’s or higher degree from a college or university requirement, as well as a 150-semester hour requirement. Candidates must also meet all the course requirements from a program that is recognized as license-qualifying by the New Yok State Accountancy board.
The mandatory course requirements are:
- Accounting courses – 30 semester hours above elementary level
- Business courses – 24 semester hours
The Georgia State Board of Accountancy calculates semester hours as follows:
- 1.5 x semester hours = quarter hours
- 2/3 x quarter hours = semester hours
Students who graduated from US-based institutions that were not either part of the New York State Registered Program or a Master’s graduate from an AACSB institution will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have your transcripts evaluated by the accrediting agencies listed below or by the New York accountancy board’s transcript evaluation body. You will need to submit this form
- You may have only partial recognition, in which case you can reapply for evaluation with a new transcript later to meet the 150 semester hour requirement.
Accountants who graduated from international institutions may apply to have their transcripts evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES.) If approved, they will be allowed to sit the CPA exam provided that they also meet all of the other requirements as well.
You will need one year’s worth of qualifying work experience in public accountancy before you can apply for CPA licensure. This amounts to at least 2,000 hours of work time. Qualifying experience in public accountancy entails employment as a Staff Accountant by a practicing CPA holding a current license to practice or a firm of such duly licensed accountants certified, registered or licensed to practice public accountancy in Georgia or by the duly constituted laws of any other sovereign state or country. This experience must be uninterrupted, aside from acceptable breaks such as illness, maternity leave, involuntary termination of employment, military leave or certain other factors.
Georgia does not require an Ethics exam.
How to Take the Georgia CPA Exam
Georgia outsources the CPA application process to NASBA’s CPA Examination Services (CPAES.) To apply, you will need to:
- Register with the CPAES at CPA Central
- Request that the Registrars of all the colleges and universities that you attended submit official copies of your transcripts directly to the CPAES either electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or physically to CPA Examination Services – GA, PO Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219
- Submit your international transcript evaluation if applicable
- Submit the online application through CPAES
- Submit a Testing Accommodations Request Form, if needed
- Pay the fees
|Initial Application Fee||$170.00|
|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|
|Registration fee ($85×4)||$340.00|
Fees are usually non-refundable, but it may be possible to claim a partial refund for license application fees under certain circumstances. Most exams can be rescheduled.
All registration and administrative tasks pertaining to the CPA exam itself are coordinated by NASBA. Links to the Georgia CPA services can be found here.
How to Apply for a CPA License in Georgia
The Georgia State Board of Accountancy outsources its licensing process to NASBA. To apply, you will need to:
- Create an account with NASBA’s MyCPALicense and submit the application form
- Successfully pass all for parts of the Uniform CPA Exam or pass the IQEX exam
- Submit proof of meeting the experience requirements
- Pay the $140.00 license fee
Prometric Testing Centers in state
A CPA who holds an out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent to that of Georgia’s may practice in Georgia without a Georgia CPA license provided that they fulfill these requirements:
- Holds a valid license to practice public accountancy in the other state
- Practices public accountancy in another state that is their principal place of business
- Meet the educational requirements for the state of Georgia
Reciprocal License Application
Georgia recognizes interstate reciprocity for those states that are considered to be substantially equivalent to the board’s specifications. They can apply for a reciprocal license provided that they meet the following requirements:
- Have passed the CPA exam in any state
- Holding a current license in a state where the CPA license is recognized as being substantially equivalent to Georgia’s
- Pay the $220.00 reciprocal license fee
International License Reciprocity:
Georgia accepts international licenses as being substantially equivalent upon the submission of their passing results from NASBA’s International Qualification Examination (IQEX.) This is examination is open to all professional associations that form part of the NABSA Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).
International professional associations that are currently accepted under the MRA are:
- CPA Australia
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
- CPA Canada (CPAC)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
Other International Licenses:
Licensees from non-MRA members associations will need to write the full CPA exam to receive licensure. They can apply to have their credentials evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES.) If the credentials are found to be substantially equivalent to the Georgia State Board of Accountancy’s requirements, they will be able to take the CPA exam. If not, then they will need to complete the outstanding requirements and be evaluated again.
NTS Validation Period
You will receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) once your application has been accepted. You will 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. However, you can reschedule your exam date during that time.
License Renewal Requirements
Georgia exempts license holders within their first year of licensure from continued professional education (CPE) requirements. From the second year, the CPE requirements will then be calculated at 40 CPE per year. From then on, they will be required to renew their license every two years by December 31st of every odd numbered year. They will also need to meet an 80-hour CPE requirement for that period.
These hours must be met as follows:
- If within first renewal period, 40 CPE hours, with 8 hours in
- Otherwise, 16 hours in Accounting and Auditing
- A minimum of 20 CPE hours must be earned each year
- There is no ethics requirement
Failure to meet these requirements prior to the conclusion of the renewal period will result in a $50 fine per CPE hour missing. The applicant will then have a four-month penalty window in which to fulfill their outstanding CE requirements, or the license will expire. Licensees older than 70 years of age are exempt from CPE requirements.
The submission date for the CPE requirements will be considered either the electronic submission date or the date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark. The specific guidelines for CPE approval are outlined in the Georgia State Board Statutes (20-11-.03(5).)
Renewal Fee: $100.00
Licenses that expire due to failure to renew may not be renewed, but the applicant may apply to have their CPA license reinstated. They will need to meet the following requirements:
- Submit proof of CPE equivalent to 40 CPE hours per year since the last renewal of the license. This cannot exceed 160 CPE
- At least 20% of these hours must be earned in Accounting and Auditing subjects
- At least 80 of the CE hours must have been completed during the 2-year period immediately preceding the date of application for reinstatement
- The applicant cannot have practiced public accountancy while unlicensed
- Paying the $300.00 application fee
Georgia State Board of Accountancy
- Address: 200 Piedmont Avenue SE
Suite 1604, West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9010
- Phone: (404) 463-0365
- Email: GSBA@sao.ga.gov
- Hours:08:00 – 17:00 ET
- Website: https://gsba.georgia.gov/