Delaware CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: November 30, 2023 You’re our #1 priority.
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In a historic move that reflects the evolving nature of the accounting profession and the challenges faced by aspiring CPAs, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recently announced a significant amendment to the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Model Rules for the Uniform CPA Examination.

This change, as NASBA President and CEO Ken L. Bishop highlights, offers ‘more flexibility to those seeking licensure as a CPA‘ by extending the conditional credit period from 18 to 30 months. This decision, made amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and shifting professional demands, marks a pivotal moment for CPA candidates, including those in Delaware.

In this article, we delve into the specific requirements and nuances of the Delaware CPA Exam and License process, aligning with the latest guidelines and providing a comprehensive roadmap for aspiring CPAs in the state.

Steps to Deleware CPA Licensure

  • Meet education and verified work requirements.
  • Pass all sections of the CPA Exam (consider a CPA review course for assistance).
  • Complete the AICPA Ethics Exam.
  • Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork.
  • Pay the CPA license application fee.

Choosing a CPA Review Course is a crucial step in the South Dakota CPA licensure process, primarily because of the challenging nature of the CPA exam. Statistics show that a significant number of candidates, nearly 50%, may not pass on their first attempt. A tailored review course helps bridge the gap between your existing knowledge and what the exam demands, aligning with your budget, learning style, and schedule.

While your application is being processed – a phase that could take several weeks – engaging with a review course ensures that this time is productively spent in preparation. Starting early not only provides a solid foundation in the material but significantly increases your chances of passing your first CPA exam, setting a positive tone for your CPA journey.

Deleware CPA Licensure Specific Guidelines

  1. Minimum age: None
  2. U.S. Residency NOT required.
  3. State Residency NOT required

Education Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher
  2. To sit for the CPA exam, candidates must complete 120 semester hours of undergraduate coursework, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. To qualify for the full state permit, an additional 30 semester hours are required, totaling 150 semester hours. The college or university attended must be regionally accredited​.
  3. Candidates must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in accounting

Work Experience Requirements

o fulfill the work experience requirement for CPA licensure, candidates must complete a minimum of one year of accounting experience, equating to at least 2,000 hours. This experience can be obtained in various settings, including both public accounting firms and non-public accounting roles in industry, government, or academia.

Key Aspects of the Work Experience Requirement:

  1. Nature of Work: The experience should encompass a range of accounting tasks and responsibilities. This may include, but is not limited to, tasks such as auditing, financial reporting, tax preparation and planning, management advisory services, and other functions relevant to the practice of public accounting or the accounting profession.
  2. Supervision: The experience must be under the supervision of a licensed CPA. The supervising CPA should actively hold a valid and current CPA license in the United States. This requirement ensures that the experience is guided and evaluated by a professional who is qualified and recognized in the field.
  3. Verification: The supervising CPA is responsible for verifying the candidate’s work experience. This involves confirming the duration, nature, and extent of the work performed. The supervisor’s verification serves as a testament to the candidate’s exposure to and competence in key areas of accounting practice.
  4. Time Frame for Accumulation: The work experience must be accumulated within the 10 years immediately preceding the application for CPA licensure. This stipulation ensures that the experience is relevant and recent, reflecting the current practices and standards in the accounting profession.
  5. Documenting Experience: Candidates are required to document their work experience accurately, providing details such as the nature of work, duration, and the supervising CPA’s contact information and license number. This documentation is typically submitted as part of the licensure application process.
  6. Flexibility in Experience Setting: Recognizing the diversity of the accounting field, the requirement allows for experience in various environments. Whether in a public accounting firm, a corporate setting, a non-profit organization, government, or educational institutions, the experience should be substantive and relevant to the practice of accounting.

In summary, the work experience requirement is designed to ensure that CPA candidates have practical, hands-on experience in accounting under the mentorship of an established professional. This requirement not only reinforces the knowledge gained through academic studies but also prepares candidates for the multifaceted and dynamic nature of the accounting profession.”

*Please check Delaware CPA Requirements for more details

Ethics Course and Exam for Delaware CPA Licensure

In Delaware, CPA candidates are required to pass the AICPA ethics exam as a crucial step in their licensure process. This exam underscores the importance of ethical conduct and professionalism in the accounting field.

Course and Exam Details

  • Cost:  AICPA ethics exam course is priced at $299, with a discounted rate of $245 available for AICPA members.
  • Exam Focus: The exam primarily concentrates on the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. It tests candidates on vital ethical principles such as independence, integrity, objectivity, general standards, and acts discreditable. The exam also includes real-world scenarios to assess the application of these principles in practical situations.

Study Resources

  • Ethics Course: The AICPA offers a comprehensive self-study course, including a textbook and practice questions, which are instrumental in preparing for the exam.
  • Additional Resources: Various educational platforms and CPA review companies offer additional study aids like online courses, webinars, and seminars to augment learning.

Preparation Tips

  1. Comprehend the Code: Gain a deep understanding of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Knowing the rationale behind the rules is crucial for applying them effectively.
  2. Practical Application: Practice applying ethical principles in hypothetical scenarios through case studies or similar exam questions.
  3. Consistent Study Schedule: Set a regular study routine to ensure consistent progress and retention of ethical standards.
  4. Leverage All Resources: Utilize all available study materials, including AICPA’s official course materials, online forums, and supplementary readings for broader insights into professional ethics.
  5. Practice Exams: Regularly take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the exam’s format and question types, and to identify areas for further study.

By diligently following these guidelines and effectively using the provided resources, candidates can thoroughly prepare for the AICPA Ethics Exam and solidify their understanding of the ethical standards central to the accounting profession.

Delaware CPA Exam Fees

In Delaware, the journey to becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) involves various fees associated with the CPA examination process. Understanding these costs is crucial for candidates as they plan their path to licensure.

  1. Total Examination Fee: The total cost for taking all four sections of the CPA exam in Delaware is $1,379.20. This fee is divided equally among the four sections, amounting to $344.80 per section.
  2. Education Evaluation Application Fee: Initially, candidates must pay an education evaluation application fee of $90. This fee is for the assessment of educational qualifications to ensure that candidates meet the necessary academic requirements for taking the CPA exam.
  3. Re-examination Fees: If a candidate needs to retake any sections of the CPA exam, a re-examination registration fee applies. This fee varies depending on the number of sections a candidate is re-applying for. It’s important to note that these fees can add up, especially if multiple retakes are required.

CPA Exam Transformation Under the CPA Evolution Initiative

Significant revisions are being made to the CPA exam, particularly affecting the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section, as part of the ongoing CPA Evolution initiative. This initiative is set to introduce a new exam structure effective January 10, 2024. In this new format, the existing BEC section will be replaced by three distinct Discipline sections, complementing the Core-Plus-Discipline model. Candidates will be required to pass one of these Discipline exams in addition to the three Core Exams.

For candidates currently preparing for the CPA Exam or those planning to commence their studies before the end of 2023, a strategic focus on passing the BEC Exam is advisable. Successfully passing the BEC Exam by December 15, 2023 – the final testing date of the year – will grant an exemption from one of the new Discipline sections set to be introduced in 2024. It should be noted that the opportunity to take these new Discipline sections will be limited to one month per quarter in 2024.

Awareness of crucial dates is essential for CPA candidates, particularly concerning the BEC Exam in 2023. NASBA has outlined specific application and testing dates for the BEC section, including the deadlines applicable to jurisdictions outside the purview of CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Additionally, first-time international candidates using NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) should complete their international evaluation report by August 4, 2023.

These updates are a key component of the CPA Evolution project, which aims to align the CPA licensure model with the dynamic and evolving business landscape. By revising the CPA Exam to encompass a broader range of skills and knowledge areas, the CPA Evolution is ensuring that new CPAs are well-equipped for the contemporary demands of the accounting profession.

DE Exam Information and Resources

DE CPA Exam Candidates

Delaware CPA License FAQ

Delaware CPA Examination

For more details, please contact:
Delaware State Board of Accountancy (forms)

Cannon Building, Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover, DE 19904
Email: [email protected][email protected]
Phone: 302-739-4522
Fax: 302-739-2711

Comparing CPA Requirements in Delaware to Other States

Comparing CPA licensure requirements between Delaware and its neighboring states such as Maryland and Pennsylvania reveals both similarities and slight variations. Like Delaware, Maryland also mandates the 150 credit hour requirement for CPA licensure, including passing the Uniform CPA Examination and acquiring 1 year of work experience. However, Maryland uniquely insists on a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field with specified accounting credits. Pennsylvania’s requirements closely align with Delaware’s, following the 150 credit hour rule and the Uniform CPA Examination, with the primary difference being in the specific accounting credit hours required as part of the education.

On the other hand, when Delaware’s CPA requirements are compared to states with distinct requirements like California and Texas, notable differences emerge. California, while adhering to the 150 credit hour rule, offers varied pathways for meeting educational requirements and includes a unique ethics exam. Texas is known for its stringent requirements, demanding not only the standard 150 credit hours and the Uniform CPA Examination but also a specific ethics course within the education requirement and a strict one-year work experience mandate under a licensed CPA. These variations highlight that while the core pillars of CPA licensure – education, examination, and experience – remain consistent across states, the specifics can vary significantly, making some states’ requirements more complex than others.

Career Opportunities for CPAs in Delaware

CPAs in Delaware have a broad range of career opportunities. They can work in various roles such as internal auditors, controllers, cost and capital accountants, managerial accountants, financial analysts, and business management consultants. Significant accounting employers in Delaware include professional services and advisory firms like the Siegfried Group, LLP, large corporations like DuPont, and financial institutions such as BlackRock, Inc., JP Morgan Chase, and INGDirect Bank​​.

Regarding salary, the average base salary for a certified public accountant in Delaware is $83,520 per year, which is slightly below the national average​​. This variation in salary often reflects the state’s cost of living and the demand for accounting professionals in specific industries.

Deleware CPA Licensure FAQs

When am I allowed to use the CPA title in Delaware?

In Delaware, you can use the CPA title after meeting all the requirements for licensure, which includes passing the CPA exam, completing the required work experience, and any additional state-specific requirements. The title “CPA” can only be used by those who have been officially licensed as CPAs in the state.

Does Delaware have a 150-hour rule for CPA licensure?

Yes, Delaware adheres to the 150-hour rule for CPA licensure. This rule requires CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college education, including a specified number of hours in accounting and business courses, before they can be licensed as CPAs.

How can I get my foreign college transcripts evaluated for CPA licensure in Delaware?

For foreign college transcripts to be evaluated in Delaware, you must submit them to a recognized credential evaluation service. These services assess the academic credentials from institutions outside the United States and equate them to U.S. educational standards. The Delaware Board of Accountancy can provide a list of accepted evaluation services or recommend specific organizations, such as FACS or NIES, for this purpose.

What does substantial equivalency mean in the context of CPA licensure in Delaware?

Substantial equivalency is a concept in CPA licensure that allows CPAs licensed in one jurisdiction to practice in another without having to obtain a full license in the second jurisdiction. In Delaware, if a CPA’s education, examination, and experience meet or exceed the standards set by the Uniform Accountancy Act, they may be eligible to practice in Delaware under substantial equivalency.

What is the process for transferring a CPA license from another state to Delaware?

To transfer a CPA license to Delaware, the typical process involves applying for reciprocity. This includes verifying your original licensure, ensuring you meet Delaware’s education and experience requirements, and possibly completing additional exams or coursework.

What are the continuing education requirements for CPAs in Delaware?

In Delaware, CPAs are required to complete 80 hours of approved continuing professional education (CPE) during each full licensure renewal period, which runs from July 1 to June 30 in odd-numbered years. Additionally, a minimum of 20 hours must be completed in each year of the licensure period.

What accommodations are available for disabled CPA candidates in Delaware?

The Delaware Board of Accountancy offers various accommodations for CPA exam candidates with disabilities. These accommodations might include additional time, alternative testing formats, or accessible testing locations. Appropriate documentation is required to receive these accommodations.

What are the implications of a lapsed CPA license in Delaware and the reinstatement process?

If your CPA license lapses in Delaware, you may face penalties and are not allowed to practice as a CPA. To reinstate your license, you’ll need to complete any missed continuing education, pay a reinstatement fee, and possibly fulfill additional conditions as determined by the Delaware Board of Accountancy.