CPA License and Exam Requirements In Puerto Rico

Updated: December 20, 2023 You’re our #1 priority.
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Embarking on the journey to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Puerto Rico is a unique and rewarding experience. Unlike many other jurisdictions, Puerto Rico offers a distinct pathway that balances rigorous academic requirements with a more flexible approach to work experience. This guide aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the process, enriched with firsthand insights and practical advice.

Puerto Rico CPA Exam Requirements

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:

The eligibility to sit for the CPA exam in Puerto Rico encompasses several key criteria:

  1. Citizenship and Residency: You must be a U.S. citizen and either reside, have a business, or be employed in Puerto Rico.
  2. Age Requirement: The minimum age to apply is 21 years.
  3. Legal and Ethical Standing: A Certificate of Good Conduct from the Police Department is necessary to prove that you have not been convicted of any serious crime. Additionally, compliance with ASUME (Administration for the Support of Minors) is required.
  4. Professional Affiliation: Obtaining a membership certificate from the Puerto Rico CPA Society is a crucial step, symbolizing your commitment to the profession’s ethical standards and community.

Education Requirements to Sit for Exam

In Puerto Rico, to be eligible for the CPA exam, candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with a total of 150 semester hours, maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.0. This educational framework includes 38 semester hours focused on accounting, covering essential accounting principles and practices. Additionally, 32 semester hours are dedicated to general business courses, encompassing subjects like management, finance, and business law. This combination ensures a comprehensive understanding of both specific accounting skills and a broader business perspective, essential for a successful career in accounting.

  • Bachelor’s Degree with 150 semester hours
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • 38 semester hours in accounting
  • 32 semester hours in general business courses

PR CPA License Requirements

Work Experience

For obtaining a CPA license in Puerto Rico, candidates must accumulate at least 1,820 hours of qualifying work experience. This experience does not require supervision by a CPA but must be verified by a CPA in good standing. The flexibility of the requirement allows for a minimum of three years of part-time experience, accommodating those who may be balancing work with other commitments.

  • Must include a minimum of 1,820 qualifying hours
  • Experience must be verified by a CPA in good standing. (Supervision is not required by a CPA)
  • A minimum of three (3) years part-time experience is acceptable.

Additional CPA Requirements

Besides work experience, other requirements for obtaining a CPA license in Puerto Rico typically include:

  1. Passing the CPA Exam: Successfully completing all four sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher is a fundamental requirement.
  2. Continuing Professional Education (CPE): After obtaining the CPA license, there may be a requirement for ongoing education, known as Continuing Professional Education, to keep the license active and stay updated with the evolving accounting standards and practices.
  3. Application Paperwork: Submitting all required application paperwork accurately and completely is essential. This includes providing proof of education, work experience, exam scores, and any other documentation the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy requires.
  4. Licensure Fee: Paying the CPA license application fee is a standard part of the process.
  5. Background Check: Some jurisdictions require a background check, including fingerprinting, to ensure the integrity and reliability of candidates.
  6. Compliance with State-Specific Rules: Each jurisdiction may have unique requirements, such as specific courses or seminars. It’s important to be aware of and comply with any such specific requirements set by the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy.

Exam Fees

CPA Exam Updates in Puerto Rico

Aspiring CPAs in Puerto Rico should be aware of the recent updates to the CPA exam, which are detailed at Evolution of the CPA Exam and NASBA’s Transition Policy.

These 2024 CPA exam updates include an increased focus on technology and analytical skills, reflecting the evolving role of technology in accounting. The exam now also tests a broader understanding of the business environment, emphasizing skills like strategic thinking. For candidates currently navigating the CPA exam process, understanding these changes and the transition policies is crucial for successful licensure.

CPA Expert Tips to Become a CPA in Puerto Rico

Focus on understanding the local business landscape and regulations. While the CPA exam has universal elements, Puerto Rico has distinct business practices and tax laws. Enhance your study regimen by diving into local case studies and tax scenarios specific to Puerto Rico. This not only prepares you for the exam but also gives you a competitive edge in your professional career within the region.

Bryce Welker, CPA Expert

Puerto Rico Exam Information and Resources

For those preparing to take the CPA exam or seeking licensure in Puerto Rico, a wealth of resources and support is available to guide you through the process. Candidates can access detailed information and frequently asked questions (FAQs) specifically tailored for Puerto Rico CPA Exam Candidates and those pursuing the CPA License. To obtain comprehensive and up-to-date information, or if you have specific queries that need personalized attention, the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy is your primary point of contact.

For more details, please contact:

Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy
Department of State
Assistant Secretary of Examining Boards
Board of Examiners of Certified Public Accountants
P.O. Box 9023271 San Juan, PR 00902-3271

Phone: 1-800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3936)
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]

What’s Next?

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!


What is the minimum GPA requirement for CPA exam eligibility in Puerto Rico?

Candidates must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their bachelor’s degree program.

Is work experience required before taking the CPA exam in Puerto Rico?

No, Puerto Rico offers flexibility by not requiring work experience prior to taking the exam.

Are there any specific residency requirements for CPA candidates in Puerto Rico?

Yes, candidates must be U.S. citizens and either reside, have a business, or be employed in Puerto Rico.

Can international students or non-residents apply for the CPA exam in Puerto Rico?

Yes, they can, but they must meet specific requirements like U.S. citizenship or legal residency, along with educational and exam prerequisites.

Are there unique continuing education requirements for CPAs in Puerto Rico compared to other jurisdictions?

Yes, CPAs in Puerto Rico must complete specific CPE hours every three years, focusing on Puerto Rican and general accounting and ethics topics, with requirements varying slightly from other U.S. jurisdictions.

Does Puerto Rico require passing an ethics exam for CPA licensure?

No, Puerto Rico does not require candidates to pass a separate ethics exam for CPA licensure. However, it’s essential for candidates to be aware of and comply with ethical standards in the accounting profession.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes,, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created 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