Learn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Delaware
Delaware, often referred to as the small wonder or diamond state, offers exciting employment opportunities for Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
The state is home to some of the biggest finance, insurance, and real estate sectors in the country. It’s no wonder why DE is a good place to work for CPAs.
Delaware has several unique qualifications that you must meet in order to obtain your CPA license. Some of them are a bit confusing, but we will help you navigate through them.
Let’s examine each DE CPA requirement as well as the steps to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Delaware.
Basic Requirements For CPA Certification in Delaware
Becoming a certified public accountant is a pretty straight forward and easy process in Delaware. CPA candidates must first meet these basic requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant:
- A social security number
- A bachelor’s degree with 24 hours of accounting credits
- 1-year accounting experience
In contrast to other states, Delaware has no age limit requirement to pursue CPA certification. Additionally, there is no U.S citizen or Delaware resident requirement.
Delaware CPA Certification Education Requirements
Once the basic requirements are met, the next step entails attaining the required education requirements to be eligible to sit for a CPA exam. Just like other states, Delaware requires CPA candidates to attain 150 credit hours for CPA exam eligibility. The 150 credit hours must come with a concentration in accounting.
The 150 credit hours are split into 120 semester hours of undergraduate coursework, while the remaining 30 hours can be accrued later. Also, candidates must take a minimum of 24 hours in accounting coursework through an accredited CPA program.
Upon satisfying the CPA Board education requirements, candidates must send all their college transcripts to the Delaware Board for approval. At the time of application, CPA candidates must:
- Submit official transcripts from all schools attended
- Mail official transcript of the bachelor’s degree
International students must have their education credentials evaluated and certified by NASB International Evaluation Services. Likewise, they must submit a translated copy of each international transcript used for the evaluation.
If you are an international student, you should check with the Delaware State Board of Accountancy that your college credits meet the Delaware CPA requirements before you apply for the exam.
Delaware CPA Exam Requirements
Once all the education requirements are met and education credentials certified, you can apply for the CPA exam. The CPA exam is a four-section test that is applied for through the CPA examination services division of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
The four-part examination seeks to test candidates’ competency in financial accounting and reporting, auditing and attestation, and regulation and business environment and concepts. While applying for the CPA exam in Delaware, candidates must submit the following to the CPA Examination Services:
- All school and college transcripts
- Signed and notarized attestation form
- An accommodation form where necessary
- International evaluation form
After you are approved to sit for the exam, you will receive a NTS document from NASBA that allows you to schedule the exam sections that you applied for. The NTS is good for 6 months, so don’t apply for more sections than you can take in the next six months.
DE CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost to take the entire four-section CPA exam is $743 plus an additional $145 application fee. The re-examination fee varies depending on section one is re-siting. The exam fees are listed below
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $195.35
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $176.25
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $195.35
- Regulation (REG): $176.25
- Application Fee: $145
While paying CPA exam fees, CPA candidates are advised to only pay fees for section tests they intend to take within six months.
Delaware CPA License Requirements
Delaware CPA Licensure Process
Once you’ve passed the CPA exam, you will still need to complete a few requirements in order to become licensed. Here are the requirements for obtaining a CPA license in Delaware:
- Complete a bachelor degree program
- Pass the CPA Exam
- Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
- Fulfill the work experience requirements
- Submit all the required CPA license application paperwork
- Paying $100 CPA license application fee
It usually takes eight to 12 weeks for the Delaware State Board of Accountancy to go through a CPA license application. If approved, you can expect a CPA Certificate and permit to operate by mail.
AICPA Ethics Exam
In addition to the normal CPA exam, Delaware CPA candidates must take the AICPA ethics exam in order to become licensed. The ethics exam can only be taken after a candidate passes all the four CPA exam sections and pays a $149 application fee.
To take the CPA Ethics exam, candidates are advised to complete an 11-hour self-study course that often comes on a CD-ROM with a 40-item practice test. Although the Ethics exam is open-book and isn’t considered difficult, make sure you don’t blow it off. You need a score of 90% to pass.
Delaware CPA Work Experience
After passing the CPA exam and the Ethics exam, CPA candidates must complete 2,000 hours of work experience to receive the CPA license. The CPA work experience can come from either public practice, academia, private business, or government agency and must be accumulated within 10 years of passing the exam.
Delaware CPA board requires CPA candidates to gain work experience in consultation, taxation, financial advisory, management advisory, and accounting.
The supervisor must be a licensed CPA holder in the state or another state. Likewise, the supervisor must document the dates of employment and the duties performed.
Delaware CPA License Application & Renewal
Once you are granted a CPA license in the state of Delaware, you will need to maintain and renew it each year. All CPA licenses expire on June 30 of every odd year. You’ll be notified a few months before expiration to renew your license before it becomes invalid.
Keep in mind, it is illegal to practice in the state of Delaware with an expired license, so make sure you stay up to date with yours. There is no grace period allowed.
The renewal process is pretty straight forward. You simply log on to your DELPROS account and fill out the renewal form each year. You will need to pay the renewal fee of $100 and submit your CPE credits for that period. CPAs are required to perform 20 CPE credit hours each year and submit 40 CPE hours with your biannual CPA license renewal.
Delaware CPA CPE Requirements
Licensed CPA holders are required to attain a certain number of continuing professional education hours. Likewise, each CPA license holder must complete at least 40 hours of CPE in every two-year licensing period. The education hours are spread as follows:
- Accounting and auditing 8-hours
- Taxation 8 hours
- Specific ethics course 4 hours
- 20 additional hours in accounting auditing or taxation
Delaware CPA Salary
While CPA salaries vary depending on experience and where one is working, CPA license holders take over $56,000 a year in the diamond state. Salaries vary depending on employer size, location, certifications, and location of the business.
Certified and licensed CPA holders can work in various fields and companies across Delaware. The state offers high profile accounting, financial, management banking, and insurance working opportunities for CPA holders. License holders can work in public companies as well as nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, and government agencies
For instance, one can opt to work as a fund accountant tracking interest, yields financial reports, and manages the corporation’s financial transactions. One can also pursue a career as a cost accountant tasked with reviewing supply chain expenses budget preparation, inventory management, and profitability analysis
Additional Delaware CPA Resources
Here are a few additional resources that you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Delaware and become a certified public accountant in DE.