These are the requirements to qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Kentucky and gain a Kentucky CPA license (KyCPA). CPA requirements vary by state but here we will only be covering the Bluegrass State. On top of passing the CPA exam, which is by no means easy, you must also meet certain requirements, such as age and residency. We have listed all the relevant Kentucky CPA requirements, as well as the contact information for the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy. We suggest you double check any information with the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

At least 18 years of age.

Residency

There is no residency requirement for Kentucky.

Citizenship

There are no citizenship requirements for CPAs in Kentucky, but they are required to have a social security number.

U.S. citizen, legal resident of the US, or an employee who is working in an accounting position in a public accounting firm, company or institution of postsecondary education located outside the United States, but which has an office or campus within the US.

Education

Candidates require 150 credit hours and a bachelor’s degree or higher from a college or university that is recognized by the board. 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 Kentucky State Board of Accountancy website.

  1. Accounting: 27 semester hours
  2. Business: 12 semester hours
  3. Ethics: 4-credit course (required every 2 years)

All credits must come from accredited colleges. Chartered Institute Exam credits will not be recognized.

Foreign Education

Foreign students can have their credentials evaluated by either NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc (NACES). If they are found to be substantially equivalent, the applicant will be able to sit the CPA exam. Otherwise, they will need to meet the outstanding requirements and then resubmit them to their evaluation service.

Work Experience

The Applicant must have either one year of full-time non-routine accounting work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. For the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy, ‘one year’ is the equivalent of 2,000 hours of work. This cannot be completed in less than 12 months and must be within 5 years either before or after you passed your last exam. 

Ethics

Kentucky does not require applicants to take an ethics exam.

Background Check

  • Submit your original college transcripts
  • Submit your Certificate of Experience
  • Submit Application 
  • Review criminal record (where applicable)
  • Review professional license and denial of examination privileges by other states

Fees

Application of Intent$30
Exam Application Fee$120 ($30 per section)
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) Exam$209.99
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam$209.99
Regulation (REG) Exam$209.99
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam$209.99
Total$989.96

Application for reciprocal license fee is $100.00.

The Eligibility Application Fee will need to be paid again with each re-attempt.

All fees are non-refundable. 

Locations

  • Prometric Testing Centers both in and out of state
  • Online Uniform CPA Examination

Residency

CPAs in Kentucky are required to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

Applying for Exam from Out-of-State

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

This incidental license enables licensed CPAs from other states to provide accounting services to Kentucky-based clients without holding a KyCPA license provided that:

  • They are not employed by an office located in Kentucky
  • They have an active CPA license in good standing from another state
  • That state has licensing requirements that are equivalent to those stipulated by the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy

If these apply, you may practice in Kentucky without notifying the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy.

Reciprocal Application

This application only applies if you wish to work for a Kentucky-based CPA firm, offer your own services as a CPA or to open your own firm in Kentucky. CPA license holders or those with international accountancy degrees that are recognized by the NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) can apply for reciprocity in Kentucky. This will allow them to work in Kentucky without a Kentucky CPA license. To qualify, you will need:

The eligible document options are:

  • Proof of public accounting errors and omissions insurance
  • A letter from an attorney, client, or certified public accountant that has knowledge of the applicant’s practice
  • Copies of firm license applications
  • Copies of personal tax returns
  • Certified copies of the experience requirement document from the licensing jurisdiction from where you hold a valid, active license.

NTS Validation Period

Once your exam application has been processed and approved, you will receive a Notice to Schedule. This will allow you to apply for an exam date for a specific exam. However, it is only valid for a period of 6 months in Kentucky. So, make sure that you will be ready to write the exam within that time frame, or you will need to pay the fee again when it expires. 

State Board

Kentucky State Board of Accountancy

  • Address: 332 West Broadway, Suite 310 Louisville, KY 40202
  • Phone: (502) 595-3037
  • Fax: (502) 595-4500
  • Email: cpa@ky.gov
  • Websitehttps://cpa.ky.gov/
  • Hours: Monday – Friday / 8:30 am – 4:30 pm