South Carolina Board of Accountancy
Requirements for Licensing as a CPA
Section 40-2-35 of the South Carolina Law provides:
(A) The board shall grant a license to practice as a certified public accountant to persons who make application and demonstrate:
(1) at least one hundred fifty semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, with the total educational program including an accounting concentration or equivalent; and
(2) a passing score on a standardized test of accounting knowledge, skills, and abilities approved by the board and comparable to the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and
(3) a passing score on an examination in professional ethics as approved by the board and an affidavit by the candidate acknowledging that he or she has read the statute and regulations governing the practice of accountancy in South Carolina and subscribes both to the spirit and letter of the statute and regulations and agrees to observe them faithfully in the performance of his or her professional work; and
(4) appropriate experience, which may include:
(a) at least one year of accounting experience satisfactory to the board in public, governmental, or private employment under the direct supervision and review of a certified public accountant or public accountant licensed to practice accounting in some state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia; or
(b) at least five years' experience teaching accounting in a college or university recognized by the board; or
(c) any combination of experience determined by the board to be substantially equivalent to the foregoing; and
(5) evidence of good moral character, which means lack of a history of dishonest or felonious acts.
(B) To meet the educational requirement as part of the one hundred fifty semester hours of education, the applicant must demonstrate successful completion of:
(1) at least thirty-six semester hours of accounting in courses that are applicable to a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree and which cover financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing, of which at least twenty-four semester hours must be taught at the junior level or above; and
(2) at least thirty-six semester hours of business courses that are applicable to a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree and which may include macro and micro economics, finance, business law, management, computer science, marketing, and accounting hours not counted in item (1).
(C) The board shall accept a transcript from a college or university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or another regional accrediting association having the equivalent standards or an independent senior college in South Carolina certified by the State Department of Education for teacher training, and accounting and business programs accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or any other accrediting agency having equivalent standards. Official transcripts signed by the college or university registrar and bearing the college or university seal must be submitted to demonstrate education and degree requirements. Photocopies of transcripts must not be accepted.
Regulation 1-01 provides:
(A) Completed application for licensure shall be submitted on forms provided by the Board. All fees must accompany the application.
(B) In order for an application to be considered, it must be complete, and all questions must be answered.
(C) The Board shall accept any college or university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and any other accrediting association having the equivalent standards or any independent senior college in South Carolina certified by the State Department of Education for teaching training.
(D) Until the licensee candidate has completed twenty four (24) semester hours of acceptable accounting education as described in 40-2-35(D)(3)(a), the candidate cannot earn qualifying experience for licensure.
Effective November 1, 2006 the required Ethics course is "Professional Ethics: The AICPA's Comprehensive Course" with a passing grade of 90 or above. Anyone requesting licensure by examination must complete the course and have AICPA send a copy of the grade report to us. If you are applying for licensure by reciprocity and your original license was issued less than four years ago, you must take the ethics course.
If your original license was issued four or more years ago, you do not have to take the ethics course.
After the experience has been approved the applicant will be asked to complete either a Licensing Application After Examination form or a Certificate Application form which must be returned together with a check or money for a total of $100 ($20 for the Certificate and $80 for License Fee).