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Becoming a CPA (N.D.) requires:

1. Good moral character

2. Passage of the Uniform CPA Examination, according to Board regulations and policies

3. Completion of Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course

4. Experience: One year of experience meeting relevant conditions (after December 31, 2000)

5. Providing details of accounting credentials

6. Payment of applicable fees

7. Education: At least 150 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree or their equivalent conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration of 24 semester credits or equivalent of accounting education (not to include principles or equivalent), plus 24 credits of other business courses or equivalent. There is a provision available for those holding 4 years of appropriate experience or 120 education credits as of 12/31/99, and passing the Exam by 12/31/04; for details, contact the Board office.

One quarter credit = 2/3 semester credit..

Information on Reciprocal Certificates and Substantial Equivalency is below.

Examination details
The CPA Exam can be written during a 60 day “window” -- the first two months of each quarter (e.g. April and May). An application packet can be obtained from the Board office or from the forms section of the website. All application materials are to be submitted in one package. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications 30 days in advance of their target writing date.

The four sections of the CPA Exam may be taken individually and in any order. An applicant shall retain conditional credit for any section passed, for 18 months after their test date. An applicant must pass all exam sections within a rolling 18 month period (starting the date they took the first section passed). An Exam section may not be retaken in the same 60 day testing window. If all Exam sections are not passed in the 18 month period, credit will expire for any section passed outside the 18 month period.

Exam grades transfer
Candidates who have passed all or parts of the CPA exam elsewhere may transfer those grades providing credit would have been given under our then-applicable requirements if the exam had been taken in this state.

Education details

Q. For the concentration, what counts as “accounting” and as “other business”?
A. The Accounting concentration may include classes with an accounting or tax rubric, or the term "accounting" or "tax" in their title.  "Financial Statement Analysis" also qualifies.  The other business concentration may include classes with a rubric of business, management, finance or marketing, or having one of these terms in their title.  Additional accounting classes also qualify.  3 credits of business law will be allowed under the accounting concentration and all other law classes that have business, management, finance or marketing in the rubric or title will be counted under "other business" .  Also, up to 3 economics credits will be applied under the "other business" concentration.

Q. Does a person have to finish all classes before writing the CPA exam?
A. No. The Board can allow you to write if it is satisfied you will complete your education within six months after your exam application date.

Foreign education
In order to write the exam as a North Dakota candidate, education completed at non-U.S. schools is to be evaluated for equivalency with U.S. standards. Obtain a course by course evaluation (at least for the concentration coursework).
As of June 1, 2015, the foreign education evaluation must be from one of two vendors: NASBA or FACS.

Reciprocal certificates
CPAs, who hold a certificate from another state may obtain a reciprocal CPA certificate, provided their state extends similar reciprocity to North Dakota CPAs. An applicant for a reciprocal certificate must have passed the examination with grades that would have been passing grades in North Dakota at the time, must meet all requirements for a certificate (at the time of application or at the time of issuance of the other state certificate), and pay the applicable fees. There is also provision for obtaining a ND certificate without meeting all these requirements, if the applicant (or the state which issued their certificate) has attained substantial equivalency.

Substantial equivalency
An individual whose principal place of business is not in this state shall have all the privileges of certificate holders and licensees of this state without the need to obtain a certificate or permit, if the individual holds a valid certificate as a CPA from a state that has attained substantial equivalency, or if the individual's CPA qualifications are deemed to meet substantial equivalency. Contact our office to pursue this option.

Reciprocal certificates for foreign accounting designations
North Dakota's accounting law makes provision for issuing certificates to holders of foreign accounting credentials under certain conditions. Contact the Board for details.

Other states' requirements
State requirements are found in a Digest of State Accountancy Laws … available by calling 888-777-7077; follow the prompts to the order department.
The requirements area also available at the Accounting Licensure Library.

For CPA Exam review programs contact mail@ndcpas.org or 701-775-7100. 

For CPA exam information, visit www.cpa-exam.org.