Requirements for Licensure

  • PASS ALL FOUR PARTS OF CPA EXAMINATION: with at least a 75% within 18 month rolling period.
  • ONE YEAR WORK EXPERIENCE:  Must be verified by a licensed CPA (This experience can be obtained prior to the application, while sitting for the exam or after all four parts of the exam has been passed. However, requirements to sit for the exam must be met before work experience commences.)
  • TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS: 150 semester or 225 quarter hours
  • TOTAL UPPER DIVISION ACCOUNTING HOURS:  30 semester or 45 quarter hours to include the following:  Taxation, Auditing, Financial, and Cost/Managerial.
  • TOTAL UPPER DIVISION GENERAL BUSINESS HOURS:  36 semester or 54 quarter hours to include the following:  three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours of business law.

Other important information:  These requirements include the requirements to sit for the CPA exam under the 120 semester or 180 quarter hour rule.

Work Experience Rule

Individuals who sat for the CPA examination prior to 1984 must evidence one year of public, academia, or industry accounting experience or one year of employment by a unit of federal, state or local government in a position which required the use of accounting skills verified by a licensed certified public accountant or approved chartered accountant.

In 2008 the Florida legislature expanded the work experience requirement to include all applicants for CPA licensure regardless of when the individual sat for the CPA examination.  In addition to experience obtain in the public accounting and government, the 2008 legislative change also allows experience obtained in industry and academia.

Two-Tier States

Two-tier states are defined as states that issue a certificate for successful completion of the AICPA Uniform CPA examination and a license to practice once licensure requirements are met.  Applicants who have certificates, but not a license, from states such as Alabama and Illinois must apply as transfer of credit applicants. Applicants who transfer exam credit must meet the new rule educational requirements. Regardless of the length of time the applicant has held the certificate, if the AICPA Uniform CPA exam was passed two or more years prior to application in Florida, then the applicant must complete CPE as explained above. Furthermore, the certificate must be active in order to complete the transfer of credit.

Original Licensure

Applicants must apply for licensure within three years of receiving notification from NASBA of passing the last part of the CPA exam. If an applicant does not apply for licensure within this three year period, CPA examination grades expire and the applicant must reapply and retake the CPA examination. Furthermore, applicants will be required to meet the education requirements in effect at the time of the new application.

To successfully obtain an original license a candidate must

  • Submit CPA Original Licensure application and $50.00 non refundable fee within three years of receipt
  • *Evidence one year of acceptable work experience.
  • Submit official transcripts evidencing completion of a baccalaureate degree, plus an additional 30 semester hours/45 quarter hours of education in excess of the baccalaureate degree to include six (6) semester/eight (8) quarter hours of upper division accounting and 12 semester/18 quarter hours of upper division general business courses.

*Work experience shall include any type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, all of which must be verified by a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state or territory of the United States. This experience is acceptable if it was gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice and constituted a substantial part of the applicant’s duties.

The experience must either average at least twenty (20) hours a week over no more than one hundred and four (104) weeks or average no more than forty (40) hours a week over no more than fifty-two (52) weeks. Reasonable vacation time and sick leave or other required absences may be permitted. A certified public accountant shall certify that the applicant rendered such services as are customarily performed by full-time, regularly employed staff employees for a minimum of 2,000 hours gained over a period of not less than fifty-two (52) or more than one hundred and four (104) weeks. The sequence of the experience is considered immaterial, that is, whether the experience was secured before or after taking the examination, or partly before the examination and partly after the examination, provided the two periods combined equal at least one year.

Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Veloria A. Kelly, Director

Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 352.333.2508