In Louisiana, the path to becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) currently adheres to the long-standing requirement of 150 semester hours of education. Despite calls for reform led by experts like Dr. Sharon Lassar, who argue for more flexible pathways to licensure, Louisiana maintains this traditional model. Lassar’s advocacy, supported by research, suggests that the 150-hour rule may reduce the number of CPA candidates without significantly improving quality and presents it more as a time barrier than a measure of competence.
The proposed shift to a “bachelor’s degree plus two years’ experience” model aims to address the talent shortage and adapt to the rapidly evolving business world. However, changing the longstanding rule faces challenges due to the need for legislative updates across multiple jurisdictions and concerns about impacting cross-state practice rights.
For now, aspiring CPAs in Louisiana must meet these established requirements, including the 150 credit hours and a year of work experience, while staying informed about potential changes in the licensure process that may arise from ongoing debates within the accounting profession. This can be confusing. As one CPA candidate on Reddit explained:
“I’m also from Louisiana. I have 150 credit hours, but the additional 30 hours of courses are in music for me. I am able to sit for the exam (I took one and failed), but not sure about licensure, to be honest.”
In this article, our experts will explain each Louisiana CPA licensure requirement in detail so that you won’t have to question your licensure process.
Louisiana CPA Licensure Requirements
To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:
- Minimum age: None
- U.S. Residency NOT Required
- State Residency Required
- Bachelor’s degree or higher
- 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution
- Accounting Courses: 24 semester units in undergrad level, or 21 in graduate level. Please see Louisiana Education Requirements for more details
- Business Courses: 24-semester units, including 3 credit hours of commercial law
*Note: Click on the Pre-evaluation Services Form if interested
Other LA CPA License Requirements
- 1 year (2,000 hours) of experience under the supervision of a licensed US CPA.
- Part-time experience can be counted
- Experience must be gained within 4 years preceding the date of the license application
- No. Louisiana, unlike many other states, candidates can become a CPA without completing an ethics exam as part of the initial licensing process. However, as part of their Continuing Professional Education (CPE) obligations, Louisiana CPAs are required to complete a professional ethics course as specified by the state board.
Louisiana CPA Exam Fees
The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in Louisiana is $1,379.20 ($344.80 per section) plus the initial $90 education evaluation application fee. The re-examination registration fee varies depending on the number of sections you are signing up for.
**Important Note: You should not apply and pay for exam sections that will not be taken within six months because your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in Louisiana expires 6 months after issuance.
Additional CPA Requirements
- Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
- Complete verified accounting work experience
- Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork
- Pay the CPA license application fee
CT Exam Information and Resources
For more details, please contact:
601 Poydras Street, Suite 1770
New Orleans, LA 70130
Email: [email protected]
Now that you have started the CPA exam application process, your next step is to find a CPA review course that fits your budget, learning style, and schedule.
It can take several weeks for your application to be processed, so don’t waste that valuable time waiting to hear back from your state board. If you start studying now, you will get a nice jump start on the material and will be better prepared to pass your first CPA exam!
Louisiana CPA Licensure FAQs
Candidates must have 150 semester hours of college education, including a bachelor’s degree. The education should include specific accounting and business courses as outlined by the Louisiana State Board of Accountancy.
Yes, candidates must complete one year (2,000 hours) of work experience in accounting, which must be verified by a licensed CPA.
No, Louisiana does not have a residency requirement for CPA licensure. However, candidates must meet all educational and experience requirements set by the state.
In Louisiana, candidates for CPA licensure are not required to pass an ethics exam before obtaining their license, which is a deviation from the norm in most other states. Nevertheless, they are obligated to fulfill a professional ethics course as part of their Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements, as stipulated by the state board.
In Louisiana, the total fee for taking all four sections of the CPA exam is $1,379.20, with each section costing $344.80. Additionally, there is an initial application fee of $90 for education evaluation. The fee for re-examination registration varies based on how many sections you need to retake.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades. As Seen On Forbes