The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but this process is made that much harder by each state also having its own set of requirements to fulfill so as to sit the exam. To simplify this process, we have compiled a detailed overview of what the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy requirements. This should prove helpful if you are planning to either sit for the CPA exam, transfer your existing credits or CPA license to Puerto Rico, or to maintain your existing Puerto Rico CPA license. As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.
Puerto Rico has a minimum age requirement of 21 to sit the CPA exam.
There is a requirement to either be a resident of Puerto Rico or have a place of business in Puerto Rico to sit the CPA exam.
There is no US citizenship requirement to sit the exam, however, you must submit statements of intention to become a citizen of the U.S. with your application.
Puerto Rico requires CPA exam applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a Board-recognized accrediting institution. They must also have acquired 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) of education at the time of applying for the exam. Additional education requirements are:
- Accounting (32 semester hours / 225 quarter)
- Accounting and General Business (32 semester hours / 225 quarter), including subjects such as:
- Business Law
- Information Systems
- Earned a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Credit earned at a regionally accredit community college or two-year degree granting institution is acceptable
- Correspondence, online courses and CLEP credits are recognized when they appear on the transcript of a regionally accredited college or university
Accountants who graduated from international institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). They will then notify the applicant whether their education was found to be substantially equivalent to that of the Puerto Rico State Board of Accountancy’s educational requirements. If not, they will be informed of which requirements need to be fulfilled. If they are found to be substantially equivalent, then the applicant can request the evaluation service to send an official copy of their evaluation to the NASBA CPA Examination Services (CPAES). The applicant must also request their educational institutions to send official, unopened copies of their transcripts to the NASBA CPA Examination Services (CPAES), along with certified translations of the documents where necessary.
CPA applicants need to acquire a year’s worth of experience before they are eligible to apply for licensure. This equates to 1,820 hours of work, which can be acquired in no less than one year and no more than three years prior to application for licensure. This experience must be supervised by a US CPA whose license is valid and in good standing with the board.
The Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy does not require an ethics exam for licensure.
How to Apply for the Puerto Rico CPA Exam
Puerto Rico outsources the CPA exam application process to NASBA. Therefore, in order to apply for the exam, you will need to:
- Create an account with CPA Central
- Request that the Registrar of each college or university that you attended submit official copies of your transcripts directly to the CPAES, either electronically to email@example.com or physically to CPA Examination Services – PR, PO Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219-8469
- Request official copies of your transcript evaluations to be sent directly to the CPAEs where applicable
- Submit a Testing Accommodations Request Form where applicable
- Pay the licensing fees
|Application fee: |
1 section – $210.00
2 sections – $210.00
3 sections – $210.00
4 sections – $210.00
|Auditing & Attestation (AUD)||$224.99|
|Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)||$224.99|
|Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)||$224.99|
|State exam registration fee (4 x $130):|
1 section – $130.00
2 sections – $130.00
3 sections – $130.00
4 sections – $130.00
|AICPA ethics exam course ($189.00 for members)||$245.00|
Fees are non-refundable. Most exams can be rescheduled.
Prometric testing centers in Puerto Rico
How to Apply for a Puerto Rico CPA License
Once you have passed all parts of your CPA exam with at least 75%, you will be eligible to apply for you CPA license. This is done through NASBA with the submission of this application form.
To qualify for licensure, you will also need to:
- Provide proof of passing all four parts of the CPA exam with at least 75% per section
- Submit permission for a criminal background check
- Must be 21
- Provide proof of residence letter stating desire to become a US citizen
- Submit your social security number
- Submissions of work experience verification form
- Submission of official copies of the original transcripts from the issuing college or university proving that the 150-semester hour requirement and education requirements have been met
- Submission of copies of name change documentation where relevant
- Applicant must obtain a certificate of membership with the Puerto Rico CPA Society
- Applicant must provide a Certificate of Compliance with ASUME
- NOTE: Failure to gain US citizenship within 6 years of licensure will result in the license being suspended
- Pay the $145.00 licensing fee to NASBA
Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders
A CPA who holds an out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent to that of Puerto Rico’s according to can practice in Puerto Rico without applying for a state CPA license on condition that:
- Their principal place of business is in the state of licensure
- Their license is valid and in good standing with the issuing board
- The individual will stop practicing in Puerto Rico should the license expire in the issuing state
Interstate License Reciprocity
Puerto Rico recognizes interstate reciprocity of CPA licenses from states or jurisdictions whose licensure is considered to be substantially equivalent to Puerto Rico’s. Other requirements include:
- The educational requirements of that license were equivalent to those of Puerto Rico’s at the time of the license’s issuance
- They have acquired at least five years of experience within the ten years prior to applying for reciprocity in Puerto Rico
- The issuing Board allows for similar reciprocity for holders of Puerto Rico’s license
The applicant will need to submit the application form and pay the fees. They will also need to stop practicing in Puerto Rico should their license expire in the issuing state or jurisdiction.
International License Reciprocity
Puerto Rico does not offer international license reciprocity. Hence, any license holder with a license that was issued in a foreign country or jurisdiction will need to follow the guidelines as stipulated under ‘Foreign Educations’ and then take the full CPA exam.
NTS Validation Period
You will receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) upon paying for your Payment Coupon. 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. Therefore, before trying to save money by applying for multiple exams at once, make sure that you will be able to study for them and schedule them in beforehand.
License Renewal Requirements
Puerto Rico CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses triennially by December 1st according to the year of initial issuance. Practicing CPAs will also be required to report 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during that period, whereas non-practicing CPAs will need to fulfill 90 hours.
The educational requirements are as follows:
- Accounting, Auditing and Taxation (40h), as either:
- Accounting and Auditing (28h) and Tax (12h)
- Accounting and Auditing (12h) and Tax (28h)
- Industry-specific subjects (30h)
- Ethics (3h)
- CPE must be reported between August 1st – July 31st triennially
Renewal fee: $180.00
Late Fee: $275.00
Other CPE Specifications
CPE hours are calculated as follows:
- Recognized CE sponsors:
- CPE sponsors listed under AICPA
- CPE sponsors listed under the Puerto Rico CPA Society
- Organization specifically authorized by the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy upon request
- Accredited college course will award 15 CPE per semester hour or 10 CPE hours per quarter hour
- Half credits are awarded after the first hour
- Instructing at a seminar will be calculated at 2 hours preparation for every 1-hour presentation. However, the presentation can only be counted once unless subsequent classes are substantially different to the first
- No more than 24 hours CPE may be accepted in communication, behavioral sciences, public relations and sales of securities. Subjects
- Self-study can count for no more than 60% of CPE (72 CPE)
- Business meetings cannot be included as CPE
- Self-study of up to 60 hours can be included
Inactive license holders:
Puerto Rico 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 needing to meet the full CPE requirements or pay the full renewal fee. 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. They will need to meet a CPE requirement of 90 CPE per triennial reporting period.
Expired license holders
Failure to renew the license or meet the CPE requirements will result in the license being suspended. The expired license holder will then need to meet the renewal requirements and to appeal to the board for reinstatement. This may result in a fine or other additional disciplinary actions.
Board of Examiners of Certified Public Accountants
- Address: Board of Examiners of Certified Public Accountants
Administración de Terrenos Building
Chardón Ave. #171 3er Floor
San Juan, PR 00918-0903
- Postal Address: Department of State
Assistant Secretary of Examination Boards
Board of Examiners of Certified Public Accountants
P.O. Box 9023271
San Juan, PR 00902-3271
- Phone: 629-203-1992
- Fax: 615-564-2128
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.estado.pr.gov/en/authorized-public-accountants/