CPA Certification Requirements
To become a CPA in Tennessee, candidates must obtain 150 semester hours of education and must earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. This must include 30 semester hours in accounting (24 of which must be in upper division courses) and 24 semester hours in business courses (12 of which must be in upper division courses). The candidate must then pass the Uniform CPA Examination, pass an ethics examination given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) with a score of 90% or better, and complete one year of experience in accounting acceptable to the Board.
Once both exams have been passed, the Board is notified and an application packet is sent to the candidate to apply for the Tennessee CPA certificate. The CPA applicant must have completed the TNSBA experience requirement prior to submitting an application for certification.
The experience requirements as outlined in T.C.A. Section 62-1-106(j) include:
To obtain a reciprocal CPA certificate in Tennessee a candidate must satisfy the following requirements:
Candidates who have obtained a baccalaureate degree but do not have 150 semester hours must have four (4) years of experience obtained after passing the CPA exam and within the 10 years preceding application for a Tennessee certificate. In addition these candidates must also provide proof of 80 hours of CPE completed within the last 24 months and proof of passing the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) ethics examination with a score of 90% or above. Alternatively the Board will accept proof of completion of an ethics exam from the original state of licensure. Ethics CPE required to meet continuing education requirements will not be accepted in lieu of an ethics examination. All documentation described above must be sent to TNSBA along with the Tennessee reciprocity application and appropriate fees.
Transfer of Grades: To obtain an original Tennessee CPA certificate via transferring CPA exam grades from another state, a candidate must satisfy the following requirements:
Foreign Credential Information
Individuals who have obtained education in a foreign country must have that education evaluated by one of the following foreign credential evaluation services approved by the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy prior to applying to sit for the CPA examination.
Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.(ACEI)
P O Box 6908
Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA
9461 Charleville Boulevard, Box 188
Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA
Center for Applied Research, Evaluation & Education/International Evaluation Service
Center for Applied Research, Evaluation & Education, Inc.
P O Box 18358
Phone: 714-237-9272, Fax: 714-237-9279
NASBA International Evaluation Services
P.O. Box 198727
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: 855-468-5382, Fax: 615-324-1268
CPA Examination Services (CPAES), a NASBA division, administers the Uniform CPA Examination in 31 jurisdictions. CPAES also administers the International Uniform CPA Qualification Examination (IQEX) to Canadian Chartered Accountants, Australian Chartered Accountants and Australian Certified Practicing Accountants seeking to qualify as a CPA in the United States.
Foreign Credentials from Canada, New Zealand and Australia are accepted by Tennessee under our Foreign Reciprocity Statute.
License Renewal Process
License renewal reminder postcards are mailed in late October to the mailing address of record for all CPAs/PAs whose licenses will expire the following December 31st. Licenses which end in even numbered digits expire in even numbered years and those which end in odd numbered digits expire in odd numbered years. Firm licenses expire December 31st of every year.
Licensees are required to complete all license renewal requirements prior to their December 31st license expiration dates.
Licenses which are not renewed timely are subject to monetary penalties and disciplinary action.