South Dakota CPA Exam & License Requirements 2017

Practicing as a CPA in South Dakota will surely provide you with a career that is rewarding.

South DakotaIf you are thinking of becoming an accountant, you may know that there are a wide range of options available to you. There are countless certifications for accountants and every industry is clamoring for good professionals to audit their businesses and books. You can opt to work as a sole practitioner or with a huge Big-4 accounting firm. You could even work for the government or take a career in academia. No matter what, you will want to direct your energy toward becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Every state has its own criteria for licensure, so keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in South Dakota.

General Requirements

South Dakota, like nearly every other state, has four main areas for applicants to satisfy: education, CPA exam scores, an ethics test and experience. The state neither requires in-state residency for licensure, nor does it ask that you be a U.S. citizen, it even makes the Social Security number optional. You must also disclose certain items from your past, such as any criminal convictions or licensure revocations. To satisfy the education requirement, you will need a full 150 semester hours of work.

Academic Standards

South Dakota’s 150 semester-hour requirement for CPA licensure is not surprising, however they do have a number of specific details that you will need to provide. The first thing to take care of is ensuring that your college or university is accredited by a body recognized by the South Dakota Board of Accountancy. If it is not, your credits will not apply towards a license and you will need to retake courses. Ask your academic advisor to clarify this issue for you. The accrediting agencies the Board looks for are:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Any coursework taken outside of the U.S. should be evaluated by one of the following:

  • Academic & Credential Records, Evaluation & Verification Service
  • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
  • Foreign Academic Credentials Services, Inc.
  • International Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc.
  • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
  • World Education Services Inc.
  • A member of National Association of Credential Evaluation Services

Then, your transcripts need to reflect certain courses. You will need to satisfy these criteria:

24 semester hours in accounting, including these courses:

  • Intermediate/advanced accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Cost Accounting

24 semester hours in business-related courses that may include:

  • Business Law
  • Economics
  • Business Communications
  • Corporate Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management

CPA Examination

Once you are within at least 100 days of completing your education requirement, you can apply to sit for the CPA exam. Have all of your official transcripts sent to the board, including anapplication form. The board will review your application materials and when it approves your submission, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). After receipt of the NTS, you will have six months to schedule and sit for at least one part of the CPA exam. If not, you will need to pay a new fee and reschedule.

You can take the four parts of the examination in any order you wish, and as rapidly as you choose. However, note that up to half of all test takers will need to retake at least one part of the exam. Take your time and prepare diligently. The four parts of the test are:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Regulation (Ethics)
  • Business Environment and Concepts

You can take the test in a Prometric testing site in either Sioux Falls or Rapid City.

Ethics Examination

Once you pass the CPA exam, you might not want to think about more testing, but you will need to take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) Ethics Exam. You can order the 11-hour self-study course from the AICPA, which will come on a CD-ROM that includes all of the course materials you will need. When it’s time to test, you can refer to those materials at will. Though easier than the CPA exam, you still must pass with a minimum score of 90.

Experience

Finally, the experience portion will provide the capstone to your journey to the CPA license in South Dakota. The Board requires 2,000 hours of paid, professional experience, 375 of which must be in compilation, audit and review. Once complete, you will need to submit the Certificate of Experience form to the Board, including the signature of your supervising CPA.

Practicing as a CPA in South Dakota will surely provide you with a career that is rewarding. To ensure that you are up-to-date on all state regulations, visit the Board’s website: South Dakota Board of Accountancy.

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