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​Certified Public Accountant

Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements

Bachelor's Degree

1 Examination

1,600 Hours of Experience

80 Hours of Continuing Education (when renewing license)

65.00 Initial Fee

100.00 Renewal Fee

An accountant certified by a state examining board as having fulfilled the requirements of state law to be a public accountant. Public Accounting is the practice to perform accounting skills, including, but not limited to, management advisory or consulting services, business valuations, financial planning, preparation of tax returns or furnishing of advice on tax matters by a person holding out as a certified public accountant, public accountant or firm

Degree Requirement: 

Bachelor's Degree - A candidate to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification examination shall have graduated with a baccalaureate or higher degree  from a college or university accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or a college or university approved by the board, and completed a total of 150 semester credits of post-secondary education, including at least a total of 24 semester credits of accounting and auditing, business law, economics, technology, finance or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board and an additional 12 semester credits in accounting and auditing subjects or tax subjects of a content satisfactory to the board, not necessarily as part of the individual's undergraduate or graduate work.  

Alternatively, a candidate can sit for the examination with a bachelor's degree with 120 semester credits if 24 of those 120 semester credit hours are obtained in accounting and auditing, business law, economics, technology, finance, or tax subjects. However, to apply to be licensed as a CPA, a candidate must have obtained the additional 30 semester credit hours for a total of 150 semester credit hours. 

Examination Requirement:

1 ExaminationCandidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination.  Candidates should contact the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA) to schedule the Uniform CPA examination.


12 months and 1,600 HoursA candidate for CPA certification shall have completed at least at least 12 full months with no less than 1,600 hours of qualifying experience during the 60- month period immediately preceding the date of application. This includes providing any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills which were gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.

Continuing Education (when renewing license): 

80 HoursA regular or reciprocal applicant for an initial license shall have completed 80 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours, in the subject areas relating to CPE subject areas; relevance to professional competence, during the 2-year  period preceding the filing date of the application. A licensee is not required to complete continuing education during the biennium in which the licensee is first licensed. 

Initial Licensing Fee: 


Licensure Renewal Fee: 

$100.00Biennial renewal of license.

Licensure by Reciprocity:

Certificates Issued by Domestic Reciprocity & Licensure by Act 41: Reciprocity - Without requiring the examination otherwise required under the licensing act, the board may issue a certificate of certified public accountant to a holder of a certificate of certified public accountant in full force and effect issued by any other state following passage of an examination if the applicant shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board.

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction.

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