North Dakota CPA Requirements

How To Become a CPA in North Dakota: Step By Step Guide

north-dakota-cpa-exam-requirementsLearn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In North Dakota

North Dakota, often called the Peace Garden State, is known for its agriculture and breathe-taking countryside. Ranked #4 in infrastructure, ND has an attractive business climate and a booming energy sector.

North Dakota is an ideal state to start your CPA career. With a growing economy and increased demand for financial services, accountants are guaranteed to find exciting career opportunities.

Your first step to starting your accounting career is by completing the minimum qualifications. Let’s take a look at the ND CPA requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in North Dakota.

Minimum North Dakota CPA Requirements for Certification

Aspiring CPA candidates need to complete the following basic CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in North Dakota:

  • Must have a social security number
  • Complete Bachelor’s Degree (150 credit hours)
  • Minimum Age: not required
  • US Citizenship: not required
  • North Dakota Residency: not required

North Dakota has some of the least strict CPA qualifications of any state. Candidates are not required to be a US citizen, ND resident, or of minimum age. This makes ND a great state for international CPA candidates who are able to get a social security number.

North Dakota CPA Education Requirements

CPA candidates must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with at least 150 credit hours in order to qualify to take the CPA exam.

North Dakota does, however, allow students to apply for the exam as long as they are within 6 months from graduating and fulfilling the educational requirements.

The 150 semester hours must include both accounting courses and general business courses to meet the CPA qualifications.

Accounting Coursework

At least 24 credit hours in accounting courses must be complete including:

  • Advanced accounting
  • Auditing
  • Managerial accounting
  • Non-profit accounting
  • Government accounting
  • Taxation
  • IT auditing/computer forensics
  • Financial Analysis

General Business Coursework

You must also complete 24 credit hours in general business courses such as:

  • Management
  • Business Law
  • Business ethics
  • Marketing
  • Micro/macroeconomics
  • Human resources
  • Business communications and writing
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

If you are an international student applying for the exam, you should check with the ND State Board to see if your credits are approved to count towards the North Dakota CPA requirements. North Dakota recognizes NASBA’s IES and the Foreign Academic Credential Service as the only agencies that can verify foreign colleges’ credits.

Likewise, if you attended a college that isn’t approved by the Board, you may want to see if you can transfer before you graduate.

North Dakota CPA Exam Requirements

In North Dakota, you can sit for the CPA exam if you are within six months of completing your education requirements by paying an application fee of $120.

Remember, you will need 150 credit hours to take the exam. Thus, you can’t sit for the exam 6 months before you graduate from your bachelor’s program. You must be within 6 months from completing your 150 college credit hours.

Most students who choose to take the CPA exam before they graduate college typically use a CPA preparation course to help them study for their first CPA exam section. This is also common for candidates who have already graduated.

To apply for the exam, fill out the online CPA exam application form and send the following documents to the North Dakota State Board of Accountancy:

  • CPA application
  • Official college transcripts
  • Government issued ID
  • Social security number
  • Application fees

Once the board accepts your application, they will issue you with a Notice to Schedule (NTS) that approves you to schedule a CPA exam section within six months. You’ll need to pay the exam fees once you get your NTS.

ND CPA Exam Costs & Fees

The CPA exam costs $743.20 in North Dakota, not including the application fee or re-registration fees.

  • Application Fee: $120
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $195.35
  • Regulation (REG): $176.25
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $176.25
  • Audit and Attestation (AUD): $195.35
  • Other Fees: $60 reapplication

It’s important to note that the fees depend on the exam duration, which is why AUD and FAR cost more. It is advisable not to get ahead of yourself and try to do all parts at once, as the NIT will expire within six months if you don’t sit for the exam. This means you will have to re-register and pay a $60 reapplication fee.

You will also need to pass all four sections within an 18-month window.

North Dakota CPA License Requirements

The CPA exam is the first step in your journey to becoming a certified accountant in North Dakota. Once you pass the exam, you can apply for your license.

In order to qualify to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in North Dakota, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree (150 credit hours)
  • Pass the Uniform CPA Examination
  • Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Have one full-time accounting practice experience under licensed CPA’s supervision
  • Pay necessary certification/license fees

The North Dakota Board of Accountancy reviews CPA License applications once every month. In order to have your application reviewed, you will need to submit the following documentation:

  • License application
  • Transcripts
  • Evidence of work experience

Once your application is reviewed and approved, the State Board will issue you a CPA license number.

AICPA Ethics Exam

The North Dakota State Board requires all CPA candidates to pass the AICPA ethics exam. This is a take-home exam that can be completed online through the AICPA website. You will need a score of 90% or higher in order to pass.

Work Experience Requirements

The state board also requires you to complete at least one year of full-time working experience in an accounting environment such as academia, government, industry, or public accounting.

You have to gain your experience under a licensed CPA’s supervision. During practice, your focus areas should include:

  • Attestation, Accounting
  • Financial advisory
  • Management advisory
  • Consultancy
  • Tax preparation

North Dakota CPA License Application & Renewal

After you receive your CPA license, you will need to renew it each year. North Dakota allows you to fill out the CPA renewal application online through their website. You will just need to submit your annual CPE certificates and licensing fees to renew your license.

North Dakota, like most states, requires active CPAs to complete continuing professional education each year to keep their license current. This ensures that CPAs are actively learning current issues, emerging financial trends, and new developments in the law.

You will need to complete at least 120 hours of CPE and submit your CPE certificates with your license renewal application.

North Dakota CPA Salary

The average North Dakota CPA salary is $65,828 each year according to the ND Labor Bureau. The salaries in North Dakota vary greatly based on the location and industry with careers relating to the energy sector being the highest.

Being a CPA can be rewarding, but the path to becoming a certified accountant in North Dakota is not straightforward. Once you complete the first few steps of your CPA requirements, it will get easier and you will be well on your way to a great career path.

Additional North Dakota CPA Resources

Here are several excellent resources that you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in North Dakota and become a certified public accountant.