new york cpa requirements

Accounting is a great profession to go into, with stable job opportunities and high earning power. If you live in New York, you’ll need to meet the state’s unique set of requirements to practice accounting.

There are a few crucial steps that you can’t overlook if you want to become a CPA in the state of New York. You will have to get the right education, pass the CPA exam, and obtain a license. 

The New York State Education Department oversees public accountancy requirements and licensing. Your eligibility and competency will be scrutinized. 

Here’s a rundown of all the information you’ll need to check every box on your way to becoming an accountant in the state of New York.

New York CPA exam requirements

new york cpa exam requirements

There are a few state-specific New York CPA requirements. If you’re wondering how to become a CPA in NY, you’ll need to carefully review these criteria.

To become a CPA in New York, you must:

  1. Take the right college courses and meet all education requirements.
  2. Align with the state’s age and residency requirements.
  3. Submit all of your info and have your eligibility verified.
  4. Apply and pay for the exam.
  5. Study hard.
  6. Take the CPA exam, passing with a score of 75 or higher.
  7. Meet all of the work experience requirements to obtain a license.

Let’s dive deeper into all of these essential steps.

New York CPA education requirements

The New York State Board of Accountancy operates within the state education department (SED). They set New York CPA education requirements, which are relatively stringent compared to many other US states.

There are lofty and specific requirements you must meet in college and graduate courses even to be eligible to take the CPA exam. In the state of New York, these requirements include completion of:

  • An accounting program that is registered as licensure-qualifying by the SED
  • An accounting program from an accredited body, accepted by the SED
  • An accounting degree from any school in the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Master’s degree in accounting from an accredited or AACSB school
  • 15 years of public accounting experience that is approved by the State Board for Public Accountancy

If you meet the 15 years of practice criteria, you will reach out directly to the New York State Boards of Accountancy to follow that path.

Check with the New York State Education Department to search for institutes or colleges that are accepted.

All of the above requirements should meet the 150 semester hours required to take the CPA exam. 

In addition to the nature of the institution you attended and the degree you received, your coursework must also align with state standards.

Your bachelors and master’s level work must include:

  1. 33 semester hours in accounting in courses such as:
  • Financial accounting and reporting
  • Taxation
  • Fraud examination
  • Accounting information systems
  • Internal controls and risk assessment
  • Cost and managerial accounting
  • Auditing and attestation services
  1. 36 semester hours in general business electives
  • Business statistics
  • Business law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative methods
  • Information technology and systems

Other mandatory components of your curriculum and courses must include accounting communications, ethics, and accounting research.

Note, in the state of New York, there is an alternate pathway that you may be grandfathered into if you completed your education before August 1, 2009. This option may only require you to have completed 120 semester hours of relevant credits. 

You will have to reach out to the state education department to pursue this.

Age and residency requirements

In New York, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of the state to be eligible to take the CPA exam. The age requirement in the state of New York to take the CPA exam is 21.

New York CPA exam fees

There are standard fees that you will have to pay in order to take the CPA exam in New York. You will pay an application fee and then pay a fee for each of the four sections of the test.

The CPA exam cost in New York includes:

  • Application fee: $126
  • Auditing and Attestation: $208.40
  • Business Environment and Concepts: $208.40
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting: $208.40
  • Regulation: $208.40

If you have to retake the exam, the second time registration fee is $75.

New York CPA exam schedule

There are four times a year that you can take the CPA exam in any state. You will take the test in a Prometric testing location. Your application process will guide you into the specifics of how to choose your exam location. As far as scheduling, here are the available windows for testing each year:

  1. January 1-March 10
  2. April 1-June 10
  3. July 1-September 10
  4. October 1-December 10

New York CPA license requirements

ny cpa license requirements

After you have passed the CPA exam, you will follow the New York CPA license requirements. You will need to perform verifiable work experience, apply for and get a license, and then renew your license regularly. Here is more information on each of those three steps. 

CPA experience requirements New York

In the state of New York, you need one year of full-time experience to meet the CPA experience requirements. This can be done two ways:

  • 35-40 hours in a five-day work week
  • Equivalent part-time work, with no fewer than 20 hours/week

To fulfill this requirement while only working part-time, every two weeks will count as one week of full-time work. This would take two years.

You will use specific forms, filled out by qualifying employers, to certify that you have met this requirement.

After your work experience is complete, you can apply for your CPA license. There is a $377 fee that must be paid in order to obtain a license to practice public accounting in the state of New York.

New York CPA license renewal

To keep a valid and current license, you must complete ongoing continuing education. Your options are:

  • Courses, either for credit or non-credit, at a university or college
  • Professional development programs, as approved by the department
  • Organized educational or technical programs, as approved by the department

You renew your license every three years and have to verify 120 hours of continuing education within that time. The renewal fee is $300.

New York CPA ethics requirement

In New York, you do not have to take the AICPA ethics exam in order to become an accountant. However, continuing education must include four hours of professional ethics education or training.

Transfer CPA license to New York

New York offers reciprocity for CPA licenses. If you are licensed in a different state, you can get licensure by endorsement. You are eligible for this if you have completed four years of accepted work experience within the last 10 years. 

People who have practiced as accountants internationally can apply for licensure in New York. They must pass the International Qualification Exam and meet all education and experience requirements.

More useful links

useful links

Here are some more resources that can help you meet all of the New York CPA requirements.

New York Education Info on Public Accountancy

New York Board of Accountancy’s Licensing Information

CPA Exam Qualifications Quick Tips

NASBA New York CPA Exam Info


NASBA New York State Online CPA Application

Contact Information for the New York State Board of Accountancy

New York State Board for Public Accountancy
State Education Department
Division of Professional Licensing Services

89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Fl.
East Mezzanine
Albany, NY 12234-1000

Phone: 518-474-3817 x160
Fax: 518-474-6375