South Dakota CPA Requirements

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

south-dakota-cpa-exam-requirementsLearn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In South Dakota

South Dakota, nicknamed The Mount Rushmore State, is known for its thriving oil and gas industry. Being ranked #2 for fiscal stability, SD offers a friendly business climate that has attacked many top companies in recent years.

South Dakota is an awesome state to begin your CPA career because multiple sections from manufacturing to tourism are exploding causing an increased demand for professional and financial services from accountants.

To start your accounting career in South Dakota, you will need to complete the minimum qualifications. Let’s take a look at the SD CPA requirements that you’ll need to complete to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in South Dakota.


Minimum South Dakota CPA Requirements for Certification

Aspiring CPAs must complete these minimum CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in South Dakota:

  • Social Security Number not required for the exam
  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 150 credit hours of coursework
  • Complete 24 undergraduate or graduate semester hours in accounting
  • Minimum Age: not required
  • US Citizenship: not required
  • South Dakota Residency: not required

Unlike many other states, South Dakota does not require CPA candidates to be a US citizen, SD resident, or have a minimum age. What’s even more unusual is that South Dakota does not require a Social Security number to take the CPA exam, but candidates must have one to apply for licensure.

This makes South Dakota a great state for international CPA candidates to take the exam. They can take it without a social security number, pass the exam, and become licensed in a different state that doesn’t require one.


South Dakota CPA Certification Education Requirements

CPA candidates must meet several basic education requirements before they are eligible to sit for the CPA exam in South Dakota.

The SD Board of Accountancy requires candidates complete a bachelor’s CPA degree (120 credit hours) to sit for the CPA exam. Candidates must complete an additional 25 credit hours (150 credit hours in total) in order to being licensed.

These 150 college credit hours must include the following areas of study.

Accounting Coursework

You need to complete 24 credit hours in graduate or undergraduate accounting in elementary accounting principles, or its equivalents, a course in:

  • Taxation
  • Cost accounting
  • Advanced accounting
  • Auditing

General Business Coursework

You must also complete 24 semester hours in business-related courses including:

  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Corporate finance
  • Business communications
  • Management
  • Marketing

The SDBOA emphasizes courses from accredited institutions. Therefore, you should make sure that the university you are considering has an accredited CPA degree program that meet all of the South Dakota CPA requirements.

On the other hand, if you earned your coursework in a foreign institution, your work should be evaluated by one of the approved SDBOA agencies.

The SDBOA accepts courses taken online or a two-year college, provided they are from an accredited institution. Also, if you attended an institution that is not accredited, the board can accept your credits provided you are later accepted to a graduate program in an accredited institution.

If the candidate completes 15 semester hours from an accredited institution with nine accounting semester hours after obtaining a degree, SDBAO can accept the unaccredited undergraduate program as completing their CPA education requirements.


South Dakota CPA Exam Requirements

Unlike other states, South Dakota allows CPA candidates to sit for the CPA exam if they are less than 100 days from graduating and completing their education requirements. Thus, if you are in the last semester of your senior year of college, you will be able to apply to take the CPA exam.

Candidates will need to complete the CPA exam application form through the South Dakota Board of Accountancy website and submit the following documents:

  • College transcripts
  • Government Issued ID
  • Application fees

The SDBOA will review your application, and if approved, they will send you a Notice to Schedule. After receiving the NTS, you will have six months to schedule to take the first part of the CPA exam. If you fail to sit the examination in that period, you will have to pay another fee to reschedule.

CPA Exam in South Dakota

There are four sections of the CPA exam in South Dakota and you can take them in any order you prefer. You can schedule to sit the CPA exam through Prometric at any testing site. It’s a good idea to use a study guide to get some CPA exam practice in before you take the exam. The multiple choice questions can be tricky and every bit of practice helps.

Although you can take all four sections at once, it is advisable not to register for them altogether because if you don’t sit for a section during the 6 month period, you will need to re-register for it and pay an extra fee. From the time you take the first part, you will have 18 months to complete all the parts.

SD CPA Exam Costs & Fees

The cost to take the CPA exam in South Dakota is 892.20 including an initial application fee of $30.

  • Application fee: $30 for every exam fee
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $225.35
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $206.25
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $225.35
  • Regulation (REG): $206.25
  • Special fees: $30 re-application for each section re-taken

Keep in mind that you will need to pay a $30 application fee with each CPA exam section you register for.


South Dakota CPA License Requirements

After completing your education and passing the CPA exam, you can apply for your CPA license in South Dakota. To become a licensed certified public accountant in South Dakota, you meet the following requirements set fourth by the SD State Board:

  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree program with at least 150 credit hours
  • Pass the CPA exam within an 18-month period
  • Submit Submit Social Security Number
  • Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Complete 1-year work experience Program
  • Pay license/certification fees

You download the application for a license from the board’s website.

For those licensed in different states equivalent to South Dakota but who want an SD license, the South Dakota Board will issue a reciprocal license. You will submit your application, and once SDBOA verifies it with your state of licensure, it can issue you a license. Licenses from Virgin Island are not an equivalent to an SD license and do not meet the CPA requirements.

AICPA Ethics Exam

After passing the CPA exam, you will have to take a professional ethics exam offered by the AICPA. You must take the ethics exam with at least 90 days remaining on your work experience program.

Work Experience Requirements

SDBOA also requires the candidate to complete 2,000 hours of accounting work experience under the supervision of a certified CPA in South Dakota.

This work experience program must also include at least 375 hours of audit and compilation work experience.

The CPA experience must be obtained between one and three years, and the work can be completed through public accounting, private industry, government, or academia work.


South Dakota CPA License Application & Renewal

Each year active CPAs must renew their licenses in South Dakota. The CPA license renewal application is simple and can be easily completed online. All you have to do is log onto your South Dakota State Board of Accountancy account and click the renew license form.

Filling this CPA renewal application form out will take several minutes and it will require you to upload a few different documents including:

  • Completed CPA renewal application
  • CPE certificates (120 hours)
  • CPA license renewal fees

Once you submit the required documents, the board will review your application and grant your license renewal upon approval.

South Dakota CPA Salary

The average South Dakota CPA salary is $59,781 according to the SD Department of Labor. This average varies based on location, industry, and experience.

South Dakota is a great place for CPAs to work. There are tons of opportunities in the oil, gas, tourism, and financial services industries. That, along with the natural landscape and low cost of living, makes South Dakota a perfect state to start your CPA career.


Additional South Dakota CPA Resources

Here are several resources to help you learn how to take the CPA exam in South Dakota and become a certified public accountant.

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