South Dakota CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: December 20, 2023 You’re our #1 priority.
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Aspiring CPAs in South Dakota are stepping into a profession that is continually adapting to technological advancements and changing demands. As highlighted in The CPA Journal, the accounting field has evolved dramatically, with tools and techniques that were common 30 years ago now rarely seen.

This evolution underscores the importance of CPAs being ready and willing to adapt to a changing technological environment. South Dakota reflects this adaptability in its CPA licensure requirements, maintaining traditional educational standards while also being open to the evolving needs of the profession.

Steps to CPA Licensure in South Dakota

  • Meet education and verified work requirements.
  • Pass all sections of the CPA Exam by studying with a CPA review course.
  • Complete the AICPA Ethics Exam.
  • Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork.
  • Pay the CPA license application fee.

CPA License Specific Guidelines

  1. Age Requirement: No age requirement
  2. U.S. Residency: NOT required
  3. State Residency: NOT required

Education Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher with a degree in accounting
  2. 150 semester units from an accredited university
  3. Accounting courses: 24 semester hours
  4. Business courses: 24 semester hours

*Note: Candidates may sit 100 days prior to graduation

Work Experience

  • 2,000 hours of accounting experience completed within 3 years of passing the CPA exam
  • Experience must be certified by an active CPA licensee

Ethics Exam

  • Passing of the AICPA ethics exam is required
  • AICPA Ethics Exam course is priced at $299, with a discounted rate of $245 available exclusively for AICPA or CIMA members
  • Topics Covered: The exam focuses on the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, which outlines the ethical principles that CPAs must follow. Key topics include independence, integrity, objectivity, general standards, acts discreditable, and others related to ethical conduct in accounting. The exam also addresses real-world scenarios, requiring candidates to apply ethical principles to specific situations.

South Dakota CPA Exam and Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in South Dakota is $980.00. The re-examination registration fee is $30 per section.

**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 South Dakota expires 6 months after issuance.

South Dakota CPA Exam Changes

The CPA licensure process is undergoing significant changes under the CPA Evolution initiative, a joint effort by the NASBA transition policy and the AICPA. Starting in January 2024, the Uniform CPA Examination will adopt a new model, transitioning to a Core + Discipline structure. This model begins with a robust core in accounting, auditing, tax, and technology, which all candidates must complete. Subsequently, candidates will choose a Discipline section to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge in one of three areas: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), or Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).

As a CPA expert, I advise aspiring CPAs in South Dakota to immerse themselves in the state’s diverse industries and connect with local professional networks. This approach not only enriches your skillset but also opens doors to unique career opportunities.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Local CPA Organizations and Networks in South Dakota

CPAs in South Dakota can benefit greatly from joining local professional organizations and networks. These organizations offer resources such as continuing professional education (CPE), networking opportunities, and professional development seminars.

  1. South Dakota CPA Society (SDCPAS): The SDCPAS is a key resource for CPAs in the state, offering a range of benefits including CPE courses, networking events, and advocacy. The society also provides updates on state-specific accounting regulations and standards.
  2. American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) – South Dakota Chapter: While the AICPA is a national organization, its South Dakota chapter focuses on addressing the specific needs of CPAs in the state. The chapter organizes local events and provides resources tailored to the South Dakota accounting community. Visit their page for more details: AICPA – South Dakota Chapter.

By engaging with these organizations, CPAs in South Dakota can stay informed about industry trends, enhance their professional skills, and build a strong network within the local accounting community.

SD Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

South Dakota Board of Accountancy
301 East 14th Street, Suite 200
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 605-367-5770
Fax: 605-367-5773


When must an individual working for a licensed CPA firm obtain a certificate or permit to practice?

An individual employed by a licensed CPA firm must obtain a certificate within 90 days of meeting the experience requirement. Failing to apply within this period incurs a $50 additional fee

Is there a deadline for applying for a CPA certificate if not working for a licensed CPA firm?

Yes, applicants must apply for a certificate within three years of passing the CPA exam. After three years, the exam application expires and exam grades are nullified unless the applicant shows good cause for not applying within this period​.

What is the experience requirement for a CPA license in South Dakota?

The requirement is 2,000 hours of accounting experience completed between one and three years. For performing attest functions, the requirement includes 375 hours in compilations, audits, or reviews. Applicants must apply for a certificate and pass the AICPA ethics exam within 90 days of completing this requirement.

What are the CPE requirements for an active CPA certificate in South Dakota?

Holders of an active CPA certificate must comply with a 120-hour CPE requirement within a rolling three-year period, reporting a minimum of 20 hours per year.

If I hold a reciprocal license in South Dakota, must I maintain my license in the state where I was originally licensed?

While South Dakota does not require you to maintain your license in the state where reciprocity was granted, it is recommended to check with that state’s board for compliance with their regulations. Failing to maintain the license may result in fines and potential re-examination requirements.

Is an ethics exam required for CPA licensure in South Dakota?

Yes, passing the AICPA ethics exam is a requirement for CPA licensure in South Dakota.

Can I transfer my CPA license from another state to South Dakota?

Yes, South Dakota offers license reciprocity, but you must meet the state’s specific licensure requirements.

Are there any age or residency requirements for CPA licensure in South Dakota?

There are no specific age or residency requirements, but you must meet educational and experience prerequisites.

How often do I need to renew my CPA license in South Dakota?

CPA licenses in South Dakota must be renewed every three years, with compliance to CPE requirements.

What is the process for foreign-educated accountants to obtain a CPA license in South Dakota?

Foreign-educated accountants must get their credentials evaluated for equivalency and then follow the standard CPA licensure process in South Dakota, including the CPA exam and experience requirements.

Can I take the CPA exam in South Dakota if I completed my education in another state?

Yes, you can take the CPA exam in South Dakota with out-of-state education, but ensure your qualifications meet South Dakota’s CPA requirements, including a transcript review by the state board.

Are there any special considerations for military personnel or veterans seeking CPA licensure in South Dakota?

Military personnel and veterans may have access to special accommodations or expedited processes for CPA licensure in South Dakota. Contact the state board for specific military-related provisions.

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