New York CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in New York? The first thing you’ll want to do is to check the New York CPA requirements, as the New York Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for New York state CPA and CPE requirements in order to sit as well as obtain your license.

New York CPA Exam requirements

Minimum education requirements

If you did not apply for licensure prior to August 1, 2009, or if you completed your education after August 1, 2009 and want to sit before completing 150 semester hours, you must meet each of the following:

  • 120 semester hours of college level education, 
  • Financial accounting, at the upper division and beyond introductory level,
  • Cost or management accounting,
  • Taxation,
  • Audit and attestation, at the upper division.


New York CPA licensure requirements

In order to receive your license you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Must present themselves to be of good moral character.
  • Experience requirements.
  • Minimum education requirements, as detailed below.
Education requirements

If you applied for licensure or completed your education after August 1, 2009 and have completed 150 semester hours, you must meet one of the following:

1.    Completed a registered 150 program approved by NYSED (CPA Examination Services reviews education. Complete Registered Program Form), or

2.    Completed a master’s degree with a major in accounting from a school accredited in accounting by AACSB (CPA Examination Services reviews education), or

3.    Completed a bachelor’s or higher degree and a minimum of 150 semester (225 quarter) hours in college level education to include the following:

  • 33 semester (49.5 quarter) hours in accounting to include each of the following:
  • Financial accounting, at the upper division and beyond introductory level,
  • Cost accounting,
  • Taxation,
  • Audit and attestation, at the upper division,
  • Accounting research, and
  • 36 semester (54 quarter) hours in general business.
  • Note: The following two subjects: Communications and Ethics and Responsibilities, are required and may come from accounting or business.

Experience requirements

In order to become a certified public accountant in New York, applicants must meet the following New York CPA experience requirements: 

  • At least one year of acceptable full-time experience (for the 150-hour education pathway), OR at least two years of acceptable full-time experience (for the 120-hour education pathway).
  • Acceptable experience may be earned in a public accounting firm, government, private industry or an educational institution.
  • Experience can be in one of the following service areas:
    • Accounting 
    • Attestation
    • Compilation
    • Management advisory
    • Financial advisory
    • Taxation
    • Consulting skills.
  • Experience must be gained under the supervision of a US certified public accountant who is properly licensed and registered or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction of their principal place of business.

CPA license renewals

New York CPAs must renew their license every three years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 21 triennially. 

New York CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) hours must be completed in the three calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete either 24 or 40 hours of CPE credits within each calendar year of the reporting period. CPE credits in New York must comply with New York Board of Accountancy rules, including:

  • 24 CPE credits must be earned if continuing education is concentrated in one of the recognized subject areas
  • 40 CPE credits must be earned if continuing education is in any combination of recognized subject areas. A detailed list of recognized subject areas can be found at the NYS Office of the Professions.
  • 4 contact hours of acceptable professional ethics must be completed during every three calendar years. Becker has an extensive catalog of ethics courses with topics including the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, rules governing professional conduct as well as the process, procedures and governing bodies responsible for enforcing the rules applicable to public accountants.



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CPE, renewals

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