A State By State Accounting Guide

5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Nevada

By an Accountingedu contributing writer
Updated July 2014

  1. Get your Education in Nevada
  2. Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Nevada
  3. Gain the Necessary Experience in Nevada
  4. Get your Nevada CPA License
  5. Continuing Education in Nevada

With Nevada recognized as the gambling capital of the world, gambling taxes account for the majority of the state’s overall tax revenue. This contributes to the fact that Nevada’s Certified Public Accountants are expected to meet high education standards consistent with those in other states, as well as experience requirements more stringent than those found in many other jurisdictions.  


1. Get Your Education

Featured Graduate Program

*Qualifying for a CPA license requires a bachelor’s degree at minimum and a total of 150 semester hours of college credit to include coursework in accounting, business and ethics. Since bachelor’s programs typically result in just 120 semester hours of credit, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) maintains that earning a Master of Science in Accounting is the best way to achieve the full 150 semester hours you need to become licensed.

a. Request information from Nevada’s universities offering programs in accounting. The Nevada State Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to possess a bachelor’s degree and at least 150 total semester hours of credit.

b. Verify that the Nevada State Board of Accountancy will accept your credits. The Board recognizes credits earned in the United States at schools accredited by regional accreditation organizations including:

If your degree is from a foreign country, your academic credentials must be evaluated by a foreign credentialing service approved by the Nevada state board. Foreign transcripts must list the U.S. semester hour equivalents for each course.

c. Enroll in the required courses. Your 150 semester hours of college education should include the following:

  • 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of accounting courses above the introductory level, which must break down as follows:
    • 9 semester hours of financial accounting
    • 3 semester hours of cost accounting
    • 3 semester hours of auditing
    • 3 semester hours of Federal income tax
    • 12 semester hours of Accounting Electives
  • 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours of undergraduate or graduate level business administration courses including:
    • Behavior of Organizations
    • Management
    • Business Finance
    • Marketing
    • Business Law
    • Oral Communication
    • Computers
    • Quantitative Applications in Business
    • Data Processing
    • Statistics
    • Economics
    • Communication
    • Ethics in Business
    • Legal & Social Environment
  • 3 semester hours of business law
  • CLEP, correspondence or online courses are acceptable if credits are earned through a regionally accredited institution.
  • Community college courses are acceptable if you receive credit for them at an accredited four-year institution.

2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam

After meeting the educational requirements set by the Nevada State Board of Accountancy you’re ready to apply for the Uniform CPA Exam.

a. You may apply online or download the CPA Exam Initial Application form to mail at the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. Along with your completed application you must include:

  • Official college transcripts (sent directly from your school to the Board)
  • A recent 2” x 2” passport-sized photo of yourself
  • Your preferred method of contact (email, fax or postal mail)
  • Complete the 150 hour checklist (attached to the application)
  • $100 application fee paid by check, money order or credit card (Checks are payable to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy)

Mail all of the above to: Nevada State Board of Accountancy 1325 Airmotive Way, Suite #220, Reno, NV 89502.

b. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will send you a payment coupon after your application has been approved and forwarded to NASBA. You must use this payment coupon to pay all examination fees directly to NASBA.

c. Once payment is received, NASBA will issue your Notice to Schedule (NTS) the exam.

d. Schedule your exam at Prometric’s website. Nevada currently has testing locations in Reno and Las Vegas.

e. Prepare for the examination and arrive on time at the test center on the scheduled date.

f. Exam scores will be mailed to you when tabulated.

Candidates requiring special testing accommodations must request a modification form from the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. Once you receive the form, complete it and return it to the state board. Contact the state board at (775) 786-0231 to request an American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation form.

For detailed information on the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.


3. Gain The Necessary Experience

After passing the Uniform CPA Exam, you must fulfill Nevada’s practical work experience requirements to become a licensed CPA.

a. Obtain qualifying experience required by The Nevada State Board of Accountancy. Choose one of the following options:

  • Option 1: 2 years (4,160 hours) of public accounting experience

    • The following skills must be used during your public accounting experience:
      • Preparing tax returns or giving tax advice
      • Advising/consulting clients about management matters
      • Finance
      • Auditing or accounting
    • This must include a minimum of 1000 hours of work in the attestation function, with 700 of these hours consisting of auditing (no more than 300 hours in reviews or full disclosure compilations)
    • If you have completed at least 600 hours of attestation, but less than the required 1,000 hours, you may complete the following 80 hours of Board-approved education offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to make up the balance of the 1000 hour attestation experience requirement. These hours must be distributed as follows:
      • 24 hours of Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level II
      • 24 hours of Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level III
      • 8 hours of Internal Control- the Auditor’s Responsibilities
      • 8 hours of Audits of Small Businesses
      • 16 hours of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Principles Board Review
    • A licensed CPA must verify your work and report it on the Public Accounting Experience form
    • You must also submit a certificate of attest experience to the Board, signed by your supervisor, including the number of hours in each attest area

  • Option 2: 4 years (8320 hours) of employment in governmental accounting and internal auditing work at an approved government agency’s internal audit department. Report this experience on the Non-Public Accounting Experience Form. You must also submit a certificate of the educational requirements below that you have completed to the Board, including the number of hours in each course area. Each A approved agencyies include also carries its own AICPA course educational requirements that you must complete as part of your experience, as noted below:
    • Internal Revenue Service
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level I
      • 8 credit hours in Designing Audit Programs for Small Business Engagements
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level II
      • 8 credit hours in Statements on Auditing Standards
      • 16 credit hours in Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Principles Board Review
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level III
      • 8 credit hours in Preparing Financial Statements
      • 8 credit hours in Standards for Compilation and Review Services
      • 16 credit hours in Financial Statement Disclosures
      • 8 credit hours in Internal Control: The Auditor’s Responsibilities
      • 8 credit hours in Audit Risk and Materiality
    • State Gaming Control Board
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level I
      • 8 credit hours in Designing Audit Programs for Small Business Engagements
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level II
      • 16 credit hours in Financial Accounting Standards Board – Accounting Principles Board Review
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level III
      • 8 credit hours in Preparing Financial Statements
      • 16 credit hours in Financial Statement Disclosures
    • State Legislative Counsel Bureau
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level I
      • 8 credit hours in Designing Audit Programs for Small Business Engagements
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants – Level II
      • 16 credit hours in FASB Accounting Principles Board Review
      • 24 credit hours in Professional Training for Public Accountants - Level III
      • 8 credit hours in Preparing Financial Statements
      • 16 credit hours in Financial Statement Disclosures
  • Option 3: 4 years (8320 hours) in governmental accounting and auditing or internal auditing work that is not supervised by a CPA. In this case you must request and Individual Review of your experience by the Board. Report this experience on the Non-Public Accounting Experience Form.
  • Work experience may NOT be combined among the three options above to fulfill the Board’s requirement

b. Before applying for certification, you must also fulfill the Nevada State Board of Accountancy’s ethics requirement:

  • Order self-study materials for “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course
  • Once you have completed the course and passed the exam, the AICPA will issue you a certificate of completion. Hold on to this document for submittal with your certification application.

4. Get Your Nevada CPA License

After completing the CPA exam and experience requirements, you may apply to become a CPA in Nevada. Use this checklist to ensure you have met all the requirements to apply.

a. Checklist

  • Verify 150 hours of education have been completed and you have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Verify education transcripts have been sent to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy
  • Verify all 4 sections of the Uniform CPA Examination have been passed
  • Verify completion of work in public accounting for two years with 1000 hours of attestation experience; or four years at a pre-approved program with a government agency performing internal audits; or have an individual review of your experience performed by the Board.
  • Have your employer complete and notarize the applicable Experience Form
b. Apply for CPA Licensure by Original Certification in Nevada
  • Download the Nevada Examinee CPA Certification Application Packet, if you passed the Uniform CPA Exam in a state other than Nevada, use the CPA Certification Application Packet.
  • (If you passed the Uniform CPA Exam in a state other than Nevada, use the same application. Request to have your exam scores sent by the state Board through which you originally scheduled the exam to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy. You must also have an official college transcript sent to the Board).
  • Along with your completed application, submit:
    • Application fee of $250 payable by check or money order to the Nevada State Board of Accountancy or by credit card form
    • Attach a 2” x 2” photograph of yourself
    • Certificate of Completion of the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam
    • Completed and notarized Experience Forms as applicable
    • Two completed fingerprint cards (which may be obtained at your local law enforcement agency)
    • Give a Moral Character Reference Form (included in application packet) to three people who know you well and can attest to your moral character (not a relative). The completed form may be sent by your reference directly to the Board or returned to you for submittal with your application
    • Send all of the above to: Nevada State Board of Accountancy, 1325 Airmotive Way, Suite 220, Reno, NV 89502

c. Wait to receive notification from the Board once all documents are approved and your CPA certificate is issued

Interstate Reciprocal License

If you hold a CPA license in another state, you may request a reciprocal license in Nevada. Download the Application for CPA Certification by Reciprocity Make sure to submit:

  • Documentation of 20 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits completed within the last 12 months for CPA’s who have been practicing in another state.
  • Submit the Authorization of Exchange of Information form (found within application packet) to the state Board that holds your license
  • Submit the Authorization of Exchange of Information form to the state Board where you passed the Uniform CPA Exam (found within application packet)
  • Attach a 2” x 2” photograph of yourself
  • Certificate of Completion of the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam
  • Two completed fingerprint cards (which may be obtained at your local law enforcement agency)
  • Give a Moral Character Reference Form (included in application packet) to three people who know you well and can attest to your moral character (not a relative). The completed form may be sent by your reference directly to the Board or returned to you for submittal with your application
  • Request that your college send official transcripts to the Board
  • Application fees applicable to reciprocity
  • Reciprocity candidates who do not plan to reside in Nevada must also establish a resident agent to accept correspondence
  • Mail all of the above to: Nevada State Board of Accountancy, 1325 Airmotive Way, Suite 220, Reno, NV 89502

International Reciprocal License

If you hold a CPA license in one of the following international jurisdictions, a passing score on the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) will satisfy Nevada’s examination requirement. However, you must still complete the state’s experience and education requirements:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • CPA Australia
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
  • Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
Contact the Nevada State Board of Accountancy at (775) 786-0231 for application instructions. If you hold an international license from a foreign jurisdiction not listed, you must go through Nevada’s standard CPA certification process.

5. Stay Current Through Continuing Professional Education in Nevada

After obtaining your CPA license, you will need to meet Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements every two years in order to renew it.

a. Complete 80 hours of CPE every two years

  • 20 CPE hours must be completed each year
  • 4 CPE hours in approved ethics courses must be completed every two years. A list of approved courses is posted on the Board’s website.

b. Enroll in approved subjects, including:

  • Auditing
  • Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Computer science
  • Management
  • Communication arts
  • Economics
  • Mathematics/statistics/probability/quantitative applications in business
  • Business law
  • Functional fields of business (such as finance, marketing, production, business management and organization, and personnel relations)
  • Specialized areas of industry (such as farming, real estate, film industry)
  • Administrative practice

c. Enroll in approved program formats, such as:

  • Independent study/self-study
  • National/state/local accounting organizations’ professional development programs
  • Technical sessions of meeting of national/state/local accounting organizations
  • University/college credit courses (one semester hour of credit = 15 CPE hours)
  • University/college noncredit courses (one semester hour of credit=one CPE hour)
  • Public accounting firm’s formal education programs
  • Other professional organizations’ professional development programs
  • Committee meetings designed as education programs
  • Breakfast/lunch/dinner meetings designed as education programs
  • Firm/staff meetings designed as education programs
  • Instructing, discussion leading, speaking (must be approved by the Board)
  • Writing books and articles (must be approved by the Board)

Find acceptable CPE programs through:

d. Report your CPE every two years when you renew your CPA license. Maintain documentation of your CPE for at least four years, including:

  • Sponsor
  • Location
  • Title/description of content
  • Dates attended
  • Credit hours claimed
  • Certificate of completion

Now that you're a CPA in Nevada

Congratulations! You are now licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Nevada! The next step to advance your career is joining the AICPA. Members are entitled to benefits such as conferences, publications and access to professional development opportunities. The Nevada Society of CPAs provides local opportunities to network with other CPAs as well as an online career center and continuing professional education opportunities.

Specialization will also provide additional options for career growth. Some of the disciplines you may want to consider are business valuation services, information technology specialization, tax, personal financial planning, or forensics.