These are the requirements to either qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the territory of Hawaii or to acquire a Hawaii CPA license. CPA requirements vary by state but here we will solely cover The Aloha State. In addition to passing the CPA exam, which has a reputation for being extremely challenging, you must also meet the course credit, educational and work requirements.
In order to make this process easier for you to navigate, we have listed all of the relevant information below, as well as the contact information for the New Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy. We recommended confirming all information with the board to ensure that you qualify, and that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.
Hawaii has a minimum age requirement of 18 to sit the CPA exam.
There are no residency requirements for the state of Hawaii.
Hawaii requires either US citizenship, US national, or alien authorized status and the submission of a valid social security number.
Exam Educational Requirements
Hawaii CPA candidates require a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited four-year University or college. They are also required to meet to have acquired at least 120 semester hours prior to sitting the exam. This must include at least 18 semester hours (27 quarter hours) of higher-level accounting subjects. However, if an applicant is less than 120 days away from graduation, they may sit the exam on condition that they provide the Board evidence of this.
Regardless, you will need to acquire 150 total semester hours (225 quarter hours) in order to apply for licensure. This MUST include:
- 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in Accounting courses, including courses in:
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- 18 semester (27 quarter) hours of which must be upper level or graduate level accounting courses
24 semester (36 quarter) hours in accounting or non-accounting business- related upper level or graduate level courses
Foreign students can have their credentials evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). If they are found to be substantially equivalent, they will be able to sit the CPA exam. However, they will also need to meet Hawaii’s age, residency, citizenship and experience requirements.
One of the following two work experience requirements must be met must be met before the applicant can apply for CPA licensure:
- 1,500 chargeable hours in a full-time auditing position of at least 35 hours of more per week, or
- Two years of professional work in any combination of public accounting practice, private industry, government, or education of at least 35 hours of more per week
The Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy does not require the completion of an ethics course or exam for licensure.
How to Apply for the Hawaii CPA Exam
The Hawaii Board of accountancy as outsourced the exam application process to NASBA’s CPA Examination Service (CPAES.) To apply you will need to:
- Register with CPA Central
- Request issuing bodies to send your official transcripts to the CPAES directly from their Registrar’s office
- Submit the online application form
- Pay the fees
|Initial Application Fee
|Auditing & Attestation (AUD) Exam (NASBA)
|Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam (NASBA)
|Regulation (REG) Exam (NASBA)
|Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam (NASBA)
|Registration fee ($85.00 x 4)
All fees are non-refundable, but the exams can be rescheduled.
Read more: How Much Does the CPA Exam Cost?
The Prometric Testing Center in Honolulu
Initial License Requirements
When submitting their application for their initial license, the applicant must:
- Have the sealed, official transcripts proving 150 semester hours of education from the Registrar’s office of their accredited institutions sent to the Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy. This can either be sent by the Registrar or as ‘Issued to Student’ provided that the transcripts remain sealed.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or higher with an accounting concentration
- Pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA exam within an 18-month timespan and submit the results to the board and submit proof to the Board
- Submit the application form
- The applicant must submit Certificate of Competence form from someone that they are not related to so as to show that the applicant is of good moral character
- Submit an Experience Verification Form
- Pay $147.00 fee (staff member pays $61.00)
Interstate License Reciprocity
Hawaii does not recognize interstate reciprocity. Therefore, anyone wishing to practice as a CPA in Hawaii will need to write the full Hawaii CPA exam.
Hawaii does not allow for practice privilege for out-of-state license holders. However, applicants can apply for an Individual Temporary Permit to Practice (TPTP.) This permit is only valid for 90 days, and is granted on the following conditions:
- The applicant is at least 18 years old
- Their interstate of foreign license is considered to be substantially equivalent to that of Hawaii’s
- Their license must be valid and in good standing with the issuing Board
- Their primary place of business must be in the issuing state
- The applicant needs to apply at least 60 days prior to practicing in Hawaii
- They must submit the application form and pay the fees
International License Reciprocity:
Hawaii does not offer license reciprocity to foreign license holders regardless of the issuing body. Therefore, all foreign license holders will need to have their educations evaluated by the NIES, and if approved, they will then need to sit the full CPA exam for Hawaii.
NTS Validation Period
After your application is accepted and you have paid the exam fee, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS.) You will then have 120 days in which to schedule the exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to pay the fee again. Therefore, make sure that you are able to take the exams within that time frame before registering.
License Renewal Requirements
Active license holders
Hawaii CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses every odd year by December 31st. A renewal notification is sent to the license holder’s last known address 1½ months prior to the expiration date. Part of this process includes meeting Hawaii’s 80 continued professional education (CPE) requirements during that time. License holders who are renewing their license for the first time may apply to fulfill CPE at a prorated calculation of 10 CPE per quarter. The only specific stipulation is that 4 hours must be dedicated to ethics. They will also need to pay an application fee, renewal fee and compliance resolution fund fee with total $127.00. Any licensee who fails to renew their license will automatically have their status changed to ‘expired.’
Inactive license holders
A license holder can register to have their license made inactive for a $12.00 Inactivation fee. It can be either paid or inactive unpaid. Inactive paid license holders will be required to pay the inactive license fee two three years.
Expired license holders will not be permitted to practice as a CPA until they have made up for their outstanding CPE, applied for their status to be changed back to ‘active’ and paid any fees or fines.
In order to reactivate you license, you will need to:
- Meet the 80 CPE credit requirements mentioned above (and any outstanding CPE you might owe due to expiration)
- Fulfill 4 hours of ethics CPE
- Submit the relevant application form
- Pay the associated fees
- Lecture preparation time cannot count towards CPE
- Published books and articles on qualifying subject matter can earn a maximum of 20 CPE towards the biennial requirements. One credit hour shall be given for each 50-minute period or a half-credit for each 25 minutes, credit hours can be earned through accredited:
- Courses featured on NASBA’s National Registry are recognized, as are many other sponsors
- College course credits shall be award 15 CPE credits for each semester credit
- Up to 40 hours of excess CPE can be carried over towards the next reporting period
Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy
- Mailing Address: Board of Public Accountancy; DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch; P.O. Box 3469; Honolulu, HI 96801
- Phone: (808) 586-2694
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/accountancy/
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 08:00-16:30 CT