North Carolina CPA Requirements

  • May 4
North Carolina CPA Requirements

North Carolina CPE Requirements for CPAs

Continuing professional education is a requirement for licensees of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, primarily because it helps to ensure their skills and knowledge are on par with industry standards. However, since each state is regulated by its own Board of Accountancy, different locations can have different requirements and limitations on the process. So, it’s important for individual licensees to know the state requirements for their location, otherwise, they could be penalized in their license recertification process.

Licensed CPAs in the state of North Carolina are required to renew their license each year, having completed 2,000 minutes of continuing professional education during that time period. The table below further details the primary recertification limitations and deadlines for members who live in North Carolina.

License Renewal DateCPE Reporting PeriodTotal CPE HoursSelf-Study Credit Limitations
June 30 annuallyJanuary 1 – December 31 annually2,000 minutesNone

Subject Area Requirements

Within each yearly recertification period, licensees must take at least 50 minutes of continuing professional education dealing with Professional Ethics from a registered NASBA sponsor. These minutes count toward the 2,000-minutes requirement for the year. There are no further subject area requirements.

Credit Limitations and Calculation

In North Carolina, CPAs who put together and present lessons or lectures in a formal setting can obtain up to 50% of their total required minutes for the year. However, CPE credit for instructing a college or university course is only granted so long as the material is above the level of basic accounting principles. For this method, credit obtained is equal to the presentation and preparation times combined. CPE credit for instructing a college course above the level of accounting principles shall be given based on the number of credit hours the college gives a student for successfully completing the course. Credit shall not be granted for repeated instances of instruction as long as the material remains the same.

CPAs who are active enrollees in a college or university course can claim CPE credit equal to 750 CPE minutes per semester hour and 500 CPE minutes per quarter hour. No credit will be given for an audited course.

CPE credit is obtainable for authorship, so long as the material in question is published and is instructional or educational in content. This method is limited to 25% of the total required minutes per recertification period.

Self-study CPE credit shall be given based on the number of minutes needed to complete the course as determined by the sponsor.

Partial credits are accepted by the Board in any amount.

Other Policies and Exemptions

A maximum of 1,000 minutes may be carried over from one reporting period to the subsequent reporting period. Carried minutes cannot be used to meet the ethics requirement.

A non-resident licensee may satisfy the annual CPE requirements in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed and currently reside or work. If there is no annual CPE requirement in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed and currently work or reside, they must meet North Carolina’s requirements.

A non-resident licensee whose primary office is located in North Carolina must meet the North Carolina ethics requirement. All other non-resident licensees may meet the ethics requirement by completing the ethics requirement in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed as a CPA and work or reside. If there is no ethics CPE requirement in the jurisdiction where they are licensed and currently work or reside, they must comply with the North Carolina ethics requirement.

CPAs in any of the following categories will automatically be excepted from AICPA license renewal requirements:

  • Retirees who do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who are currently unemployed and do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who have temporarily left the workforce and do not offer services to any third parties
  • Members who have formally listed their status as “inactive” and do not offer services to any third parties

Furthermore, waivers are available by request for CPAs on the following bases:

  • Health complications
  • Active-duty military service
  • Extreme natural disasters (according to North Carolina Board policies)
  • Other similar circumstances which could prevent members from completing CPE requirements

Additional CPE Resources for CPAs

Article written by Braden Norwood