The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but this process is complicated further by each state also having its own set of requirements to fulfill so as to sit the exam. To make this process easier, we have compiled a detailed overview of what the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana requirements. This should prove helpful if you are planning to either take the Louisiana CPA exam, transfer your existing credits or CPA license to Louisiana, or to maintain your existing Louisiana CPA license. As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Louisiana has a minimum age requirement of 18 to sit the CPA exam.

Residency

There are residency requirements in Louisiana. Applicants must be physically present continuously in Louisiana for a minimum of 120 days within the full year period preceding the date of the initial exam. Students are exempted provided that they return home during their school holidays.

Citizenship

Louisiana requires CPA exam applicants to have either US citizenship or legal resident status

Education

Louisiana requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university or college to sit the exam. They must have acquired at least 120 semester hours by the time of writing the exam. They are also required to meet the following course requirements:

  • Accounting (24 hours undergraduate or 21 hours graduate level), as a combination of either:
    • Undergraduate Semester Hours:
      • Intermediate Accounting (6 hours)
      • Cost Accounting (3 hours)
      • Income Tax (3 hours)
      • Auditing that is related to external reporting (3 hours)
      • 9 hours of accounting electives in either:
        • Advanced Financial Accounting
        • Not-for-Profit (or Govt,) Accounting/Auditing
        • Accounting Theory
    •  Graduate Semester Hours:
      • Intermediate Accounting (3 hours)
      • Cost Accounting (3 hours)
      • Income Tax – 3 hours
      • Auditing [related to external reporting] – 3 hours
      • 9 hours of accounting electives in either:
        • Advanced Financial Accounting
        • Not-for-Profit (or Govt,) Accounting/Auditing
        • Accounting Theory
    • Plus 6 semester hours in accounting above the basic and beyond the elementary/principles or introductory level
  • Business (24 hours,) including:
    • Business Law exclusively covering Uniform Commercial Code and forms of commercial transaction

Recognized accrediting bodies:

A college or university’s credits are recognized if it is accredited through one of the following institutions:

Credit Limitations

  • Duplicate courses will only be counted once
  • Introductory classes will only count towards the general semester hour requirement, no accountancy or business requirements
  • AP, ACT, CLEP, and college or departmental examination credit for courses required by the student’s degree program will be accepted as part of the general 150 semester hour requirement provided that they appear on the transcript of a regionally accredited institution.

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by either the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) or the Foreign Academic Credentials Service (FACS.) If approved, they will be allowed to sit the exam, provided that they meet the other requirements. Otherwise, they will be informed of which requirements need to be fulfilled.

Work Experience

Louisiana CPA applicants must acquire at least 2,000 hours of work experience within no less than one year and no more than three years of applying for their license. This experience must be certified by a licensed CPA from any state. Acceptable experience shall include employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice. The board shall look at such factors as the complexity and diversity of the work. The applicant may also include US military service that consists of completion of a program of occupational training, holding an occupational specialty, or performing a specialty that is at least substantially equivalent to all of the licensing requirements of the Board.

Ethics

The State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana does not require an ethics exam for licensure.

Exam Requirements

  • Be of good moral character as confirmed by personal references on the Reference Signature Form
  • Meet the college educational requirements at the time of filing an application
  • File the current application form by the due date
  • Pay application and exam fees

How to Apply for the Louisiana CPA Exam

The Louisiana CPA exam application is processed through NASBA’s CPA Examination Services. To apply for the exam, you must:

  • Register with CPA Central
  • Request that the Registrars of all the colleges and universities you attended submit official copies of your transcripts to NASBA, either electronically to etranscript@nasba.org or physically to Louisiana Coordinator, CPA Examination Services, PO Box 198469, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-846
  • Submit reference the reference signature form signed by three witnesses attesting to your moral character. They cannot be relatives, nor can more than one person testify from one household
  • Submit proof of residency to NASBA

Fees

Application fee$160.00
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)$226.15
State exam application fee (4 x $80)$320.00
Total$1,384.60

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

Locations

  • Prometric Test Centers in Louisiana in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, and Metairie (New Orleans)
  • Prometric Test Centers in neighboring states

Applying for CPA Licensure

Once you have passed all parts of your CPA exam with at least 75%, you will be eligible to apply for you CPA license directly from the state Board.

To do so, you will need to:

  • Meet the 150-semester hour requirement by December 31st of the fifth calendar year since passing the CPA exam
  • Meet the work experience requirements and submit the Experience Verification Form
  • Provide proof of being of good moral character with statements from at least three witnesses who are not related to the applicant
  • Submit the application form
  • Pay the $250.00 original certification application fee
  • Pay the $100.00 certification fee to the Louisiana Board

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

A CPA who holds an out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent to that of Louisiana’s can practice in Louisiana without requiring Louisiana CPA licensure on condition that:

  • They have a valid CPA license that is recognized as being substantially equivalent to that of Louisiana’s
  • The license is valid and in good standing with the issuing state
  • Their principal place of business is in the state of licensure
  • The individual will stop practicing in Maine should the license expire in the issuing state

Reciprocal Application

Interstate License Reciprocity

Louisiana recognizes interstate reciprocity of CPA licenses from states and jurisdictions that are considered to be of substantial equivalence to that of Louisiana’s CPA license. Additionally, they will also need to fulfill the following:

  • Meet the educational requirements stipulated above
  • Have passed all four parts of the Uniform CPA exam
  • Have acquired four full years of experience within the ten years prior to application, according to the parameters outlined above
  • If licensed for more than four years, they will need to have fulfilled the continuing education (CE) requirements detailed below
  • Pay the $120.00 Reciprocal certification application fee

International License Reciprocity:

Louisiana recognizes international license reciprocity to those international licenses viewed as substantially equivalent to that of the Louisiana’s. This includes those licenses under issuing body that form part of the NASBA/IQAB’s Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA.) They may also consider international licenses issued by bodies that are not under the MRA for reciprocity provided that:

  • The applicant met the foreign issuing body’s educational and experience requirements for licensure
  • Provide proof that the license is valid and in good standing with the issuing body
  • They must immediately report any disciplinary action taken by the issuing body, if it occurs

The board may also require that the candidate undergo an examination by NASBA or the AICPA, such as the International Qualification Examination (IQEX.)

NTS Validation Period

Once the exam has been paid for, NASBA will issue that applicant a Notice to Schedule. The applicant will then have nine months from the date of issuance to set or change the date for the exam. If they fail to do so, they will need to reapply and pay the application fee again.

License Renewal Requirements

Louisiana CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses annually by December 31st. However, the continued professional education (CPE) requirements of 80 hours are required biennially, with a minimum of 20 CPE hours required per year. Generally, these must be reported by December 31st, but the Board does allow for extensions in light of natural disasters and similar occurrences.

Other CPE Requirements:

  • Complete a Board-approved professional Ethics course
  • Accountants working in attestation must report at least 8 CPE hours in Accounting and Auditing hours annually

CPE Specifications:

  • Applicants have the following cap for the following CPE methods:
    • 10 hours – Published Materials, Books, etc.
    • 20 hours – Teacher, Speaker, Lecturer, etc.
    • 20 hours – Completion of Credentialing Exam
    • 20 hours – Personal Development, annually
  • Accredited college courses in accounting, business administration, and economics
  • Teaching day-to-day college courses is not recognized for CPE
  • Organized and recognized online courses are acceptable
  • Teaching at a seminar will be calculated at 2 hours preparation for every 1-hour presentation
  • Business meetings cannot be included as CPE
  • Self-study of up to 60 hours can be included

Further details can be found here.

Renewal Fee: $100.00

Inactive license holders

Louisiana CPA license holders can opt to change their license status to ‘inactive.’ This will allow them to maintain their license by paying the renewal fees, 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. In order to switch their license status back, they will need to apply for reinstatement and meet the license renewal requirements stipulated above.

Renewal fee: $30.00

Expired license holders

Failure to renew either an active or inactive license on time will result in the license expiring. You will then need to apply for reinstatement of your license, as well as pay the delinquency fee. In order to reactivate an expired license, you will need to submit an application form containing:

  • You license number
  • Proof of no criminal record
  • Proof of meeting any CPE or Ethics course requirements, depending on the license type, as outlined above
  • In addition to the above fees, a fee may be assessed against those certified public accountants who have received three suspensions within the previous six years
  • Fines may be waived according to the Board’s discretion according to special circumstances

Delinquent active license fine: If renewed in February: $200.00. An additional $50.00 will be added to the fee each month until $700.00 is reached in December.

Delinquent renewal fine: February – $60.00. An extra $15.00 will be added per month afterwards until it reaches $20.00 in December.

State Board

State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana