Before applying for a CPA licensethrough NASBA’s Licensing Service, please familiarize yourself with this jurisdiction’s licensure requirements below.
To apply for a CPA license, you will be asked to create a user account upon your first usage of our licensing online application tool. Registering for a user account will allow you to obtain the required documents to submit with your licensure application, apply for the license, maintain current contact information and check the status of your license application.
Please allow up to six weeks from your file completion date (when application, fees and all additional required materials have been received) for your application to be processed and sent for board approval
The Colorado Board of Accountancy requires that all licensure eligible applications be reviewed and subsequently approved at their monthly board meeting. Please refer to the Board of Accountancy’s website for board meeting schedule and agenda. NOTE: Licensure eligible applications are sent three weeks prior to the board meeting date.
New Board of Accountancy Rules – Effective July 1, 2013
General Education Requirement
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited baccalaureate granting college.
- 150 semester hours of non-duplicative coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Specific Accounting Course Requirement
- 33 semester hours of non-duplicative accounting coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level with course grades of C (or equivalent) or greater, as follows:
- "Course grades of C (or equivalent) or greater" means that a grade must be a minimum of a 2.0 on a 0.0 to 4.0 grading scale. With regard to "pass/fail" or letter based ("A" thru "F") grading systems, the applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that a grade of "pass" or a letter grade is equivalent to a 2.0 or greater.
- All courses must be designated by an accounting program code or the Applicant must otherwise demonstrate that the coursework was in accounting;
- The 33 semester hours must include 27 semester hours of accounting courses, excluding introductory accounting courses, covering the subject areas below:
- Accounting Ethics
- Accounting Information Systems
- Accounting Research and Analysis
- Accounting Theory
- Auditing and Attestation Services
- Financial Accounting and Reporting of Business Organizations
- Financial Accounting and Reporting for Government and Not-for-Profit Entities
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Fraud Examination
- Internal Controls and Risk Assessment
- Managerial or Cost Accounting
- Tax Research and Analysis
- Other areas as approved by the Board
- Of the 27 semester hours required above, a total of 6 semester hours must be in auditing, which must include a 3 semester hour, or more, course concentrating on U.S. GAAS. "Concentrating on U.S. GAAS" means that any course content referencing non-U.S. standards is incidental to the course. The remaining semester hours may be in advanced auditing or a subset of basic auditing such as fraud or information technology auditing;
- Introductory accounting courses means courses such as principles of accounting, accounting and tax software courses, payroll accounting, and other basic accounting courses as determined by the Board. Such courses will not count towards the 27 hour requirement.
- The 27 hours required above must also include a 3 semester hour, or more, course concentrating on accounting ethics. The course content should include the following: the ethical responsibilities of accountants, both personal and professional; ethical dilemmas facing accountants; ethical theory; the various accounting codes of conduct and ethical guidance for accountants; and the application of ethical theory, codes of conduct, and professional standards. Courses focusing on general or business ethics will not be counted toward this requirement.
Specific Business Course Requirement
- 27 semester hours of non-duplicative coursework in business administration at the undergraduate or graduate level, which must include:
- At least 18 semester hours of courses above the introductory level in business administration, such as:
- Behavior of Organizations, Groups, and Persons
- Business Communications
- Business Ethics
- Business Law
- Computer Information Systems
- Legal and Social Environment of Business
- Quantitative Applications in Business
- Other areas as approved by the Board
- At least 3 of the 18 semester hours must be in business, technical, or accounting communications. The course content should include professional communication with internal or external stakeholders of an organization. The course should address oral and written skills such as: presentations, effective listening, rhetoric, digital literacy, corporate and organizational communications, and global communications. Deliverables could include items such as: memorandums, presentations, proposals, reports, audit programs, engagement summaries, business or financial plans, or tax planning proposals.
- Of the 27 semester hours, no more than 9 semester hours can be in any single subject area. But semester hours in excess of the 9-hour maximum may count toward the total 150 semester hour requirement.
- All coursework must address subject areas as provided above, but the coursework need not be taken within the business or accounting department.
Applicants who obtained their education outside the United States must:
- Have the educational credentials evaluated by one of the organizations listed below:
- Submit the international transcript(s) from each institution at which original credit toward the educational requirement has been earned.
- U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) Requirement:
- In order for NASBA to evaluate whether this requirement is met, please have your institution submit a Course Syllabus, Course Description and the title of the textbook to include the author, publisher used for the auditing course or a Letter directly from your institution to NASBA or your international evaluation service stating that your auditing course includes U.S. GAAS.
- The evaluation of the international transcript(s) must be a course-by-course listing.
- Completed original evaluations must be received by NASBA directly from the evaluation service. Photocopies are not acceptable.
Please Note: Education requirements must be met through academic coursework completed at an accredited institution. Professional training is not acceptable toward these requirements. Coursework completed as part of a Chartered Accountant program is considered professional training and is, therefore, not accepted toward the education requirements for a Colorado CPA license.
Professional Education Papers, Examinations and/or Membership in a Professional Association are not acceptable as coursework.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE CHANGED TO THE 150 HOUR REQUIREMENT PLUS THE ONE-YEAR OF WORK EXPERIENCE ON JULY 1, 2015.
There are two general requirements to apply for a CPA license in Colorado. You must have passed both the:
- Uniform CPA Exam or IQEX Exam
- AICPA Ethics Exam with a 90 percent or better within two years immediately preceding the date of application for licensure.
- Initial – $110
- Transfer of Grades – $185
- Reciprocal – $185
- Firm – $175
The experience requirements necessary to qualify for a CPA license in Colorado are listed below.
One (1) year of experience in ONE area (Public Accounting, Industry, Government or Academia):
- Must include a minimum of 1,800 qualifying hours which must have been obtained over a period of not less than one (1) year and not more than three (3) years.
- Must have been met within five (5) years preceding date of application.
- All qualifying hours must be verified by an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in good standing for the entire period verified. The verifier must attest to having direct and continuous knowledge of the work done by the Applicant and to having performed contemporaneous periodic review and evaluation of the Applicant’s work. The verifier cannot be a subordinate to or otherwise under the supervision or control of the Applicant.
- “Qualifying work hour(s)” means hours spent primarily applying the standards described in Rule 4.1.B. Holidays, vacations, and family/employee sick leave shall not be included as qualifying work hours. Clerical experience does not count toward qualifying work hours. Clerical experience includes, but is not limited to, mere data entry, mere mathematical calculations, mere account analysis of information already recorded, and merely recording information in the general ledger.
Click the following links to apply online:
To apply for a license in Colorado one must satisfy the following:
- Holds an active license from a substantially equivalent jurisdiction and/or possesses the requirements necessary for issuance of a certificate in Colorado.
- Attests to having completed all CPE required by the other state as of the application receipt date.
The Board may issue a Certificate to an individual holding an active certificate or designation from an organization that has entered into a MRA with the IQAB, provided the applicant has:
- Passed the Uniform CPA Examination or the International Qualifications Examination (IQEX).
- Meets the experience requirement mentioned above.
- Completed the AICPA ethics course and passed with a 90 percent or better within two years immediately preceding the date of application.
Note: Individuals who qualify under this rule may have their experience verified by an individual who holds an active certificate and/or designation from an approved IQAB country.
NON-MRA APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE SAME REQUIREMENTS AS INITIAL APPLICANTS.
To apply for a firm license in Colorado, a firm must submit the following to the Colorado state board:
- The organizing documents of the partnership, articles of incorporation or articles of organization of the limited liability company must contain provisions that comply with Section 12-2-117(3)(A-C) of Colorado’s Revised Statues
TIP: In the application, section G, item 10, parts A-D correspond with the above requirement. Make sure your organization adheres to the requirement and be sure to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for section G, item 10, parts A-D.
- A copy of the appropriate organizing or incorporation documents
- Description of services provided prior to the application’s filing
- Sample business cards and letterhead used prior to the application’s filing
- Description of events or promotional materials in which the organization is represented as a CPA firm
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Colorado State Board
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Frequently Asked Questions
AICPA Ethics Exam Application
Wall Certificate Order Form
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NASBA Licensing Services
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Nashville, TN 37219