Home2023 CPA Requirements by StateDelaware


Delaware is a two-tier state in which you may apply for either a CPA permit or a certificate.

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A career in accountancy is one that can take you all over the world. Every company, corporation and government agency needs an accountant to help them operate with maximum efficiency. In particular, they seek out Certified Public Accountants (CPA), who are considered the top professionals in their field. Your job and salary prospects will increase when you add a CPA license to your accountancy practice. It is not easy to achieve, and each state has its own requirements for the license, but with a little hard work it is possible. If you wish to practice accountancy you will want to continue reading to discover how to become a CPA in Delaware.

General Requirements

Delaware’s Board of Accountancy does not require that you be a state resident to receive their CPA license, and don’t necessarily need to be a citizen of the United States. The state will ask for a Social Security number, but if you have never been issued an SSN, you may file a form that requests an exemption from this requirement. Additionally, there is no age requirement or restriction to become a CPA in Delaware.

Two-Tier State

Delaware is a two-tier state in which you may apply for either a CPA permit or a certificate. The permit allows you to practice accountancy in Delaware and sign binding documents as a permitted professional. The certificate, on the other hand, does not allow you to practice accountancy, but you may use the designation on business cards or other documents, provided that the words “not in public practice” appear next to your CPA title. The requirements for both the permit and certificate are virtually the same, but the certificate does not require work experience or continuing education credits. All applicants for the permit receive a CPA certificate prior to the culmination of the process.

Like most states, each applicant for a Delaware permit must satisfy four general areas of an application, including education, examination, experience and ethics.

Standards for Education

The education requirements of the Delaware Board are fairly straightforward and they generally align with other states. They require 120 semester hours of undergraduate coursework resulting in a bachelor’s degree to qualify to sit for the CPA exam. You will also need to complete 30 hours later—for a total of 150 semester hours—to qualify for the full state permit. Keep in mind that your college or university must be regionally accredited. You must also take a minimum of 24 credit hours in accounting, covering the following areas:

  • Financial Accountancy
  • Auditing
  • Taxation

Strive to take as many upper level courses as your institution offers in these areas. You may take courses from any online or community college that you like, provided they are fully accredited.

Once you have satisfied the board’s education requirements, you will need to have all transcripts sent to the Delaware Board to start your application. Even if you transferred credits, you will need the official transcripts from each fully-accredited institution. Note that commercial CPA review courses cannot be counted towards the education requirement, nor can CLEPs or correspondence courses. You may wish to review Delaware’s requirements with your advisor to ensure that your transcripts will satisfy the basics of the application process. If you have concerns, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy will review your transcripts against the Delaware requirements for a $50 fee.

CPA Examination

After you have completed the education requirement, you can begin to prepare for the CPA exam. This is one of the hardest professional exams in the United States. Frequently, applicants need to retake some or all of the four portions of the exam. The four portions of the test are as follows:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Regulation
  • Business Environment and Concepts

When you apply for the exam, you will need to complete and submit these four requirements to the CPA Examination Services (CPAES):

  • Submittal of all transcripts
  • Signed and notarized attestation form
  • ADA accommodation form, if necessary
  • International Evaluation form sent from the evaluation agency to the CPAES

Ethics Exam

Following the CPA exam you’ll take another test, the Ethics exam. This test is provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA.) You will first complete an 11-hour self-study course in ethics that often comes on a CD-ROM that includes a 40-item practice test. When you are ready you can sit for the exam, which is open-book and not considered terribly difficult. However, you must pass the test with a score of 90, so be prepared.


Once you have passed all four portions of the CPA exam and the Ethics test, you will need experience to receive your permit. This experience must come through a position in a public practice, academia, private business or governmental agency. However, the state does allow you to work as a sole practitioner and document your own experience. The board’s guidelines require that you gain experience in the following areas:

  • Consultation
  • Taxation
  • Financial advisory
  • Management advisory
  • Attest
  • Accounting

Your supervisor must be a permitted CPA in Delaware or another state, and you must document your dates of employment as well as the duties you performed. If you performed multiple duties, keep track of the time you spent completing each. Your supervisor will be required to attest to your professionalism, competency and ethical character.