Requirements for Licensure

  • PASS ALL FOUR PARTS OF CPA EXAMINATION within a rolling 18-month period.
  • ONE YEAR OF WORK EXPERIENCE:  Work experience must be verified by a licensed CPA.
    The work experience must commence after completion of 120 semester or 180 quarter hours from an accredited college or university with a concentration in accounting and business courses.
  • TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS: 150 semester or 225 quarter hours.
  • TOTAL UPPER DIVISION ACCOUNTING HOURS: 30 semester or 45 quarter hours to include coverage in  auditing, and cost accounting, and three (3) semester or four (4) quarter hours of financial accounting and three (3) semester or four (4) quarter hours of taxation both of which must be based on USA accounting standards.
  • TOTAL GENERAL BUSINESS HOURS: 36 semester or 54 quarter hours to include three (3) semester or four (4) quarter hours of business law based on USA Law.
  • Note:  The requirements listed above include the120 semester or 180 quarter hours required to sit for the CPA exam.

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 and complete the application process within three years of receiving notification from NASBA of passing the last part of the CPA exam. If an applicant fails to complete the licensure application process within this three year period, their CPA examination grades will expire and the applicant may reapply for licensure by endorsement, pursuant to Section 473.308(7) (a), F.S.

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 or 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.

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

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 352.333.2508