These are the requirements to either qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of New Jersey or to acquire a New Jersey CPA license. In addition to passing the CPA exam, which has a reputation for its difficulty, 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 Jersey State Board of Accountancy. CPA requirements vary by state, but here we will be covering the Garden State.

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.

Age

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

Residency

There are no residency requirements for the state of New Jersey.

Citizenship

New Jersey does not require US citizenship to take the exam, however you are required to have a valid social security number.

Exam Educational Requirements

New Jersey CPA candidates require a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution. They are also required to meet to have acquired at least 120 semester hours prior to sitting the exam.

These semester hours must include:

  • Accounting subjects (24 semester hours)
  • Business subjects (24 semester hours)

There is no specific Accounting or Business course (Levels) required; as long as they are not duplicate courses taken, they will only be counted once. These can be completed either as part of a degree program or outside of a degree program, provided that they are awarded through an institution that is accredited by either the AACSB, ACBSP, or any other national accreditation agency with standards that are substantially similar to the standards utilized by these institutions.

Accredited institutions:

The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy recognizes credits from a business school or college of business that has been granted accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or any other national accreditation agency with standards that are substantially similar to the standards utilized by the AACSB or the ACBSP.

Non-accredited institutions:

The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy will recognize an educational institution that has been granted accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New Jersey Commission on Higher Education or any other regional accrediting agency with standards that are substantially similar to the standards utilized by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission on Higher Education.

This means that they would accept online course credits and other alternative means of acquiring credits, provided that they are accredited through one of the above-mentioned bodies.

Alternate Requirements:

If you completed your bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, prior to July 1, 2000, you may qualify for these alternate requirements, provided that you met all of them prior to July 1, 2000:
These requirements are that:

  • You completed 60 semester hours in liberal arts subjects, such as: English, history, foreign languages, mathematics, general psychology, philosophy, biological sciences, physical sciences, economics, sociology, religion, government, political science, geography, fine arts and music; and
  • You completed a minimum of 60 semester hours in professional courses including:
    • at least 24 semester hours in accounting including municipal and government accounting
    • at least 6 semester hours in business law
    • at least 6 semester hours in finance
    • at least 6 semester hours in economics, and
    • at least 18 semester hours in related business subjects
  • Special concessions may also be made for military personnel who do not meet the requirements, but who received equivalent experience and education while in the military. They must also prove that they were honorably discharged. Concessions might also be made for people suffering from illnesses or other major considerations.

Foreign Educations

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.

Work Experience

There is work requirement of one year’s experience before you will qualify for licensure. This equates to at least 1,750 work hours per year. Part-time experience will be accepted if it is achieved within two consecutive years and equates to the full number of hours. The applicant can meet the work experience requirement either before or after taking the CPA exam.

Experience shall be considered intensive and diversified if experience is acquired in the areas of auditing or accounting. Such evidence shall take the form of a notarized affidavit on the employer’s letterhead indicating in detail the nature of the intensive and diversified experience in auditing or accounting.

Ethics

The New Jersey State Board of Accountancy requires the candidate to take the AICPA self-study Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure) and their corresponding exam. The applicant must achieve 90% or higher in order to apply for licensure. This can be done either before or after taking the CPA exam.

Background Check

  • Create an online account with NASBA’s CPAES
  • Request the registrar’s of the issuing bodies to send your official transcripts to the CPAES
  • Submit your work experience form
  • Submit a 2×2″ passport-style photograph of yourself
  • Submit the Criminal History Information Request Form
  • Supply a full record of all current and inactive licensures from any state or jurisdiction

Fees

Initial Application Fee$160.00
NASBA AUD Exam$226.15
NASBA FAR Exam$226.15
NASBA REG Exam$226.15
NASBA BEC Exam$226.15
Registration fee$80.00
Total$1,144.60

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

Locations

  • Prometric Testing Centers both in and out of state
  • Certain International Prometric testing centers. This should be confirmed with the Board

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 their accredited institutions sent to the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy
  • 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
  • Submit an Experience Verification Form
  • Pay $60.00 fee

License Reciprocity

Interstate License Reciprocity:

New Jersey recognizes interstate license reciprocity on condition that the following requirements are met:

  • The submissions of:
    • The month and year of the applicant’s successful completion of the Uniform CPA Examination
    • A list of all states or jurisdictions in which the applicant holds or has ever held a license to practice accountancy
    • All academic degrees held by the applicant, and
    • All experience and employment the applicant has obtained since being awarded his or her academic degree
  • Proof from the licensing jurisdiction that the applicant’s license is current
  • Paying the application fee and license endorsement fee

Practice Privilege

An out-of-state CPA license holder or holder of a foreign license of substantial equivalence according to NASBA’s National Qualification Appraisal Service (NQAS) whose principal pace of business is not in New Jersey can obtain a permit from the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy. They can also obtain a permit if they do not practice public accounting. In order to apply, they must have:

  • A current, valid license verified has substantially equivalent by NASBA
  • Works through a firm that is registered with the board for:
    • A financial statement audit or other engagement to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Auditing Standards (SAS)
    • An examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE)
    • An engagement to be performed in accordance with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Auditing Standards.
  • Practice privilege will be lost as soon as the CPA license expires in the issuing state

International License Reciprocity:

New Jersey will recognize license reciprocity for international license holders who have passed the NASBA’s International Qualification Exam (IQEX.)

NASBA has mutual recognition agreements (MRA) with a number of international licensing bodies. This allows these license holders to site the IQEX exam for CPA licensure in lieu of the full four-part CPA exam.

The institutions that form part of the MRA are:

Other foreign license holders:

License holders from non-equivalency jurisdictions will need to have their credentials evaluated by a state-recognized credentials evaluation service. Once approved, they will need to sit the CPA. However, in order to receive licensure in New Jersey, they will also need to meet the rest of the requirements outlined above.

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 6 months 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

New Jersey CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses every three years. They will be sent a notice of renewal within 60 days of the date of expiration. Licensees are expected to submit their renewal application within 30 days of their license expiration date, or their license will be suspended without a hearing.

Renewal applicants must submit:

  • Proof of fulfilling the 120 Continued Professional Education (CPE) requirements. These must include:
    • Board-approved ethics (4 hours)
    • At least 60 credit hours in the following technical subjects:
      • Auditing, review and compilation, including examination or review of internal and administrative controls, operations and government programs
      • Audit Theory and Philosophy
      • Generally Accepted Auditing Standards
      • Study And Evaluation of Internal Control
      • Substantive Audit Procedures
      • Audit Sampling
      • Reporting On Financial Statements
      • Review Services
      • Computer And Government Auditing
    • Qualifying subject matter will include courses covering pronouncements or, regulations issued by recognized authorities, such as the PCAOB, FASB, AICPA, SEC or other government agencies (state and Federal) dealing with auditing, financial reporting, or application of generally accepted accounting principles.
    • If involved in public accounting in the attest function in the areas of auditing, review and compilation, you will need to complete 24 credit hours in those subjects
    • The remaining 56 credits may comprise of course directly related to the with the administration of the licensees practice. This includes:
      • Courses that concentrate on the practice management areas, such as organizational structure, human resource management and other administrative matters
      • Courses which relate to a licensee’s personal skills such as speaking, leadership and managing people or organizations shall also be included in this category
      • Courses which relate to the development of a licensee’s practice or the marketing of services shall not be accepted towards satisfaction of continuing professional education requirements
  • A minimum of 20 credit hours must be fulfilled within each year if each triennial licensing period
  • The Board may, in its discretion, waive requirements for CPE on an individual basis for reasons of hardship, such as health, military service, or other due cause, upon written request by the licensee at least 60 days prior to the last day of the triennial renewal period then in effect.

Each license, whether Active or Inactive is valid from July 1st – June 30th. They may be renewed from March 1st onwards.

Inactive license holders

A license holder can register to have their license made inactive paid or inactive unpaid. In active paid license holders will be required to pay the inactive license fee every three years. They may neither practice as nor use the CPA title while listed as inactive. A holder of a license as a Public-School Accountant or Registered Municipal Accountant who chooses this option will also be required to elect ‘inactive’ status for their Public School Accountant and/or Registered Municipal Accountant license, as applicable.

They will then need to pay a renewal fee for their inactive license of $85.00 at the end of each three-year cycle.

In order to reactivate you license, you will need to:

  • Complete the 120 CPE credit requirement mentioned above
  • A board-recognized Ethics course (4 credit hours)
  • Pay the full license renewal fee if within the first year of the triennial licensing period, 2/3 if within the second year, and 1/3 if within the final year
  • Submit:
    • Length of time license was inactive
    • Employment history
    • Professional history
    • Any disciplinary history or action taken against the applicant’s license by any licensing board
    • Any professional or occupational license proceedings against the litigant from any state or jurisdiction
    • Any civil litigations against the applicant in regard to professional or occupational accounting practice
  • Applicants who have had their license suspended may appeal to have their license reinstated according to the above stipulations

Recognized CPE

  • 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
    • Discussions
    • Lectures given and taken (The maximum credit given for service as an instructor, lecturer, discussion leader, or speaker shall not exceed 60 credit hours for the triennial period)
    • Published works
  • College course credits shall be awarded as follows:
    • 15 credits of CPE credit for each semester or trimester credit earned or 10 credits of CPE credit for each credit earned in a quarter
    • Noncredit courses shall be awarded CPE at the rate of one credit for every 50 minutes of in-class participation
  • Credit will be awarded for correspondence programs, other individual study programs, and blended learning programs offered by sponsors who have been registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
  • Group internet-based programs will be accepted provided that:
    • The live instructor is present throughout
    • They employ learning methodologies that clearly define learning objectives, guide the participant through the learning process, and provide evidence of a participant’s satisfactory completion of the program
    • The program is recorded and archived

State Board

New Jersey State Board of Accountancy

Mailing Address

Executive Director
P.O. Box 45000
Newark, New Jersey 07101

  • Phone: (973) 504-6380
  • Toll Free: (866) 350-0017
  • Email: NJlicense@nasba.org
  • Website: njconsumeraffairs.gov/acc
  • Hours: Mon-Fri: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Resources: