Frequently Asked Questions
What address should I use to send mail to you?
For standard delivery mail:
SC Board of Accountancy
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211
For FedEx or UPS:
SC Board of Accountancy
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, SC 29210
Who do I make my check out to?
Please make the check out to the SC Board of Accountancy.
- Will the Board of Accountancy send out any reminders for licensees who have not renewed?
During the renewal period, the Board sends out 3 to 5 reminder emails to licenses who have not yet renewed.
Licensees are responsible for updating their contact information with the Board. Current contact information on file with the Board is used to send reminders. If your information needs to be updated, click here.
- How do I renew my license?
Renewal is a two-step process:
- Complete the renewal form and pay your fees online
- Upload your completed CPE reporting form and any self-study certificates using the document submission link provided on page one of the reporting form.
- Can my firm have non-CPA owners?
Yes. Your firm can have non-CPA owners, but the majority of the firm's ownership (at least 51%) must be held by CPAs who are currently licensed in some state.
All owners must be active individual participants in the firm.
- Must my firm's designated resident manager be a CPA?
Firms with more than one office in South Carolina must have a designated resident manager for each office, and each designated resident manager must hold a South Carolina CPA license.
- What if my firm hires a CPA who is licensed in another state?
If you hire someone who is a CPA in another state to work in and/or from your South Carolina office, they must have a South Carolina CPA license before they can hold out as a CPA in South Carolina. (Be careful how you advertise. Remember, "holding out" means listing "CPA" after someone's name. Make sure you are not "holding out" for someone who is not yet licensed as a South Carolina CPA.)
- If I'm a sole proprietor or just do some work on the side, do I need to register a firm?
There are two circumstances that require a sole proprietor or someone working on the side to register a firm:
- If you have set up a firm, the name of which contains "CPA" or "Certified Public Accountant", you must register your firm;
- If you provide attest or compilation services, you must register your firm.
- What is the requirement for ethics CPE?
Two of the required 40 hours of CPE must be in ethics for each annual reporting period. Effective with calendar year 2022, the Board ceased requiring a specific South Carolina ethics course. Licensees may fulfill the annual two-hour requirement with any behavioral or regulatory ethics course(s) that meet(s) the requirements of Regulation 1-08.
- How do I report my ethics CPE which I took as self-study?
The annual CPE reporting form is currently being revised to accommodate reporting self-study ethics courses.
- What are the ethics CPE requirements for South Carolina CPAs whose principal place of business is not in South Carolina?
If you are a South Carolina licensee, but your principal place of business is outside of South Carolina, you may use the ethics course for that state - if that state requires an ethics course - to fulfill the South Carolina requirement. However, if you don't hold an active license in the state which is your principal place of business, you must comply with South Carolina's ethics requirement.
- How much CPE can I carry over each year?
Licensees may carry over up to 20 hours of CPE each year. However, licensees who are in Retired status may carry over only 10 hours (see Section 40-2-275).
- How long do I keep my CPE records?
Per Regulation 1-08(A)(3)(c) Licensees are responsible for accurate reporting of the appropriate number of CPE hours earned and should retain appropriate documentation in their files for five (5) years.
- Do webinars count as live CPE?
Webinars count as live CPE when they meet the requirements of the South Carolina regulations, in addition to meeting the following requirements:
- The webinar must be interactive. A good example of this is that the participants can ask the presenter questions and the presenter responds to the participants questions.
- Presenters must require participants to respond periodically to confirm that the participant is still viewing the webinar.
Static or passive rebroadcasts of webinars that are not interactive do not qualify for CPE credit.
- Do I need to send my peer review report to the Board?
Yes. A firm has thirty days from receipt of its final peer review report to provide a copy of the report to the Board.
- Where do I apply to take the CPA exam?
Apply to sit for the CPA exam at National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website at this link: http://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/southcarolina/
- How can I send my transcripts to you?
Transcripts must be sent directly to the Board by your college or university.
Email transcripts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail transcripts to: SC Board of Accountancy PO Box 11329 Columbia, SC 29211
- Do I need a license to practice accounting?
Section 40-2-30(A) states that "it is unlawful for a person to engage in the practice of accountancy as regulated by this Board without holding a valid license or registration or without qualifying for a practice privilege pursuant to Section 40-2-245."
Section 40-2-20 (23) states that the "'Practice of accounting' means:
- Issuing a report on financial statements of a person, firm, organization, or governmental unit or offering to render or rendering any attest or compilation service. This restriction does not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of that person's duties or prohibit the performance by a non-licensee of other services involving the use of accounting skills, including the preparation of tax returns, management advisory services, and the preparation of financial statements without the issuance of reports; or
- Using or assuming the title 'Certified Public Accountant' or the abbreviation 'CPA' or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a Certified public accountant."
- I'm already licensed as a CPA in another state. Do I need a South Carolina CPA license to practice accounting in South Carolina?
If your principal place of business is in South Carolina, you must obtain a South Carolina CPA license before you begin practicing or holding out in South Carolina.
- I'm already licensed in another state. How do I apply for a South Carolina CPA license?
You can be licensed in South Carolina by reciprocity.
Electronic application for reciprocal license