Tennessee CPA requirements

Ready to start your CPA journey in Tennessee? First, you should check the Tennessee CPA requirements, because the Tennessee Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for Tennessee CPA and CPE requirements, but be sure to consult with Tennessee's Board of Accountancy for the most current information.

CPA Exam requirements in Tennessee

In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, the state requires candidates to meet certain CPA Exam requirements in Tennessee, including the following.

Minimum education requirement

All CPA Exam candidates in Tennessee must have a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. In order to sit for the CPA Exam in Tennessee, candidates are required to complete 120 semester hours in various course subjects, including:

  • 30 semester (45 quarter) hours of accounting including the elementary level
  • No more than 6 semester or 8 quarter hours may be internship programs.
  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours of accounting courses at the upper division level
  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in general business education in one or more of the following:
    • Algebra, calculus, statistics, probability
    • Business communication
    • Business law
    • Economics
    • Ethics
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Technology/information systems
    • Marketing

Tennessee CPA license requirements

In order to earn a certified public accountant license in Tennessee, applicants must meet the 150 semester hours requirement, as well as the following Tennessee CPA license requirements.

Minimum experience requirement

One year of experience shall consist of full or part-time employment that extends over a period of no less than one year and no more than three years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours of performance of services which may include industry, government, academia or public practice.

Tennessee CPA license renewals

Tennessee CPAs must renew their licenses every other two years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 31 biennially.

Tennessee CPA CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) hours must be completed In the two calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete no less than 80 hours of CPE credits that comply with Tennessee Board of Accountancy rules, during the two-year period preceding renewal, including:

  • All license holders shall complete at least 40 hours in technical fields of study.
  • All license holders shall complete a board-approved 2 hour state-specific ethics course designed to familiarize the licensee with accountancy law and rules as well as professional ethics.
  • License holders engaged in the attest function shall biennially complete at least 20 hours in the subject areas of attest and accounting theory and practice in fulfilling the above requirements.
  • License holders engaged to testify in a Tennessee court(s) as expert witnesses in areas of accounting, attest, management services or tax shall have completed, within the current or most recent renewal period, at least 20 hours in the subject area(s) (as noted in this paragraph) concerning such expert testimony.
  • Up to 24 CPE hours taken in excess of the 80 hour requirement for each two-year period may be applied to the requirement of the next succeeding two-year renewal cycle. License holders must submit certificates of completed CPE courses which will be used for carry forward as requested by the Board. Failure to do so will result in the disallowance of carry-forward hours.


Education, fees

Education, experience

CPE, renewals

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