Louisiana CPA requirements
Wondering how to become a CPA in Louisiana? The first thing you’ll want to do on the road to becoming a CPA is to check the requirements for how to become a CPA in Louisiana, as the Louisiana board will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for Louisiana’s CPA licensure requirements and is current as of February 2021. Always consult with your state or jurisdiction’s board of accountancy for the most current information.
How to become a CPA in Louisiana
Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam and becoming a licensed CPA. In order to be eligible to become a Louisiana CPA, the state requires candidates to meet certain education and experience requirements.
Louisiana CPA education requirements
Before taking the CPA Exam in Louisiana, you must meet a set of education requirements. First, you need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. You must also have 150 semester hours, or 225 quarter hours, in accounting, including:
- 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in business courses other than accounting
- At least 3 semester (4 quarter) hours in commercial law as it affects accounting
- 24 semester(36 quarter) hours in upper-level accounting-related courses including:
- 6 semester (8 quarter) hours in intermediate accounting
- 3 semester (4 quarter) hours in cost accounting
- 3 semester (4 quarter) hours in income tax accounting
- 3 semester (4 quarter) hours in auditing
- 3 semester (4 quarter) hours in either advanced financial accounting, not-for-profit accounting or accounting theory
- 6 semester (8 quarter) hours in additional accounting courses above the introductory level
Accounting and business internships are not accepted toward the accounting or business requirements.
Under the 150 hour requirement, no more than six semester hours of accounting and business internships are acceptable.
Credit obtained from accredited junior, community or two-year colleges prior to, or concurrently with, the enrollment at a four-year institution, will be recognized to the extent it is recognized by the four-year institution and transferred to its official transcript as credit earned.
Louisiana reference requirements
As a first time applicant, you must submit reference signatures from three individuals that can attest to your moral character. References should be from CPAs or substantial and representative business or professional individuals. They should NOT be submitted by the following individuals:
- Current or former employer
- More than one member of a household
- Relative (by blood or marriage)
- Fellow student
- University or college instructor (unless they have had significant contact with you outside the classroom)
- Person with which you have a financial or business investment
Louisiana CPA experience requirements
Louisiana requires all CPA candidates to complete a designated amount of work experience. Qualifying experience must have been obtained in the four years immediately preceding the application for the CPA license.
One year of full time — or 2,000 hours of part time — qualifying work experience, obtained within the last four years, is the minimum.
The nature of the applicant’s job duties, and the complexity and diversity, are considered and must be confirmed by the employer(s). Part-time hours must be fully documented by time sheets and/or payroll records.
Licensed CPA(s) must provide letter(s) to the applicant (addressed to the State Board) explaining and verifying accounting-related work experience with the application.
Louisiana residency requirements
In order to be an eligible candidate for CPA licensure in Louisiana, you must have maintained continuous residency in Louisiana for 120 days within one year preceding the application date to take the examination.
All CPA license holders who are required to complete continuing professional education (CPE) shall complete a course in professional ethics as required by the board, the contents of which must have been pre-approved by the board. Becker has over 80 ethics on demand and webcast courses that you can choose from to meet the Louisiana ethics requirement.
CPA license renewals and CPE
Louisiana CPA licenses are renewed every two years. Each certificate holder shall complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPE annually, and at least 80 hours of CPE within a rolling two-year calendar period. Louisiana has CPE credit limits for certain types of courses:
- Accounting and auditing (A&A): CPAs practicing in attestation services during a calendar year must earn a minimum of 8 hours for that calendar year in A&A courses.
- Personal development: CPE credits pertaining to personal development cannot exceed 20 hours annually.
- Publishing articles, writing books: CPE credits cannot exceed 10 hours annually.
- Completion of board-approved exams: CPE credits cannot exceed 20 hours annually.
- Lecturing or speaking presentation: CPE credits cannot exceed 20 hours annually.
All licensees must complete a board-approved professional ethics course that complies with board rule §1301.A.2. It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that the correct board-approved professional ethics course is taken when required; other “ethics” courses will NOT meet the Board’s requirements.
You must earn and report at least 20 CPE hours each year. However, the total CPE earned for any rolling two-year period must equal 80 hours or more.
- Successfully complete the CPA exam
- Be of good moral character
- Be 18 years of age or more
- Pay the application fee of $100
- Execute an oath prescribed by the Board