5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Idaho

Idaho isn’t always on the national radar when it comes to business and finance. But if you’re from here, you might not be that surprised to learn that the state ranks 5th on the U.S. News and World Report list of Top States for Business. Even more notable is the fact that it holds the number one spot for the highest business formation rate in the country.

And Idaho also has some cutting-edge accounting practices catering to all those new startups. In the newsletter of the Idaho Society of Certified Public Accountants (ISCPA), you’ll find discussions of cryptocurrency considerations for non-profits alongside more traditional CPA fare like small business tax deductions and fraud prevention standards.

It’s a great place for newly minted CPAs to set up shop, and the word is out: the state’s Department of Labor estimates a nearly 12 percent increase in the number of accounting and auditing jobs opening up in the ten-year period leading up to 2028.

The steps in this guide will show you exactly how to become a CPA in Idaho.

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

1. Get Your Education – Meeting CPA Degree Requirements in Idaho

a. Request information from schools in Idaho offering programs in accounting. You are required to have a bachelor’s degree at minimum and 150 semester hours of college credit that includes a specific blend of accounting and business courses.

With the standard bachelor’s degree in accounting consisting of just 120 semester hours, going on to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s in accounting is the most tried and tested way to get the 30 additional semester hours you need to become a CPA in Idaho. Many of these programs are available entirely online. You can also find specialized five-year CPA track programs that combine a bachelor’s and master’s curriculum to give you the 150 semester hours you need to meet CPA requirements in Idaho.

b. The Idaho State Board of Accountancy recognizes all applicable post-secondary credits and degrees earned through schools that meet accreditation and approval standards set by any one of these three organizations:

  • The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities or any other regional accrediting association having the equivalent standards (applicable to all six regional accreditation agencies in the U.S.)
  • The Idaho State Department of Education (applicable if your institution is an independent Idaho senior college certified for teacher training)
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or any other accrediting agency having equivalent standards (applicable to schools of accounting or business housed in accredited universities)

c. Verify that you meet age and residency requirements. The Idaho State Board of Accountancy requires all CPA candidates to be 18 years of age and to be either current or past residents of Idaho, or otherwise intend to immediately become residents.

If you are applying as an Idaho candidate but have completed studies outside the U.S. you must have your foreign academic credentials evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. The evaluation must show a course by course breakdown of business, accounting and general education courses. This evaluation should be sent to:

Idaho State Board of Accountancy
Attn: Sandy Bly
PO Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-0002

e. Satisfy Idaho’s CPA degree and curriculum requirements:

In order to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Idaho, you must have a bachelor’s degree  (120 semester hours) with a minimum of 30 semester hours in business administration subjects. 20 of those 30 hours should be in accounting subjects. If you have quarter hours or a combination of quarter and semester hours, you can convert the quarter hours into semester hours by multiplying them by .665. For example, 36 quarter hours would convert to 36 x .665 = 24 equivalent semester hours for this purpose.

In order to obtain an Idaho CPA license, you must complete a total of 150 semester/225 quarter hours of college credit, which can be accomplished in one of three ways:

Sponsored Content
        • Scenario 1: After earning your bachelor’s, complete a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting from an accredited accounting program
        • Scenario 2: After earning your bachelor’s degree, complete a graduate degree from an accredited business program that includes:
              • 24 semester credit hours in accounting at the undergraduate level, or 15 semester hours at the graduate level
                • These hours must include coursework in management, accounting, taxation, auditing and financial accounting
        • Scenario 3: Complete a 5-year CPA track accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program from an accredited business school that includes the following courses:
                • Earn 24 semester credit hours in accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level including financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting subjects; and
                • Earn at least 24 semester credit hours in business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level


2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam

After completing the educational requirements for a bachelor’s degree including 30 semester hours of business courses (20 in accounting), you’re eligible to take the Uniform CPA examination.

a. Verify that you are of the good moral character. Complete the Non-Criminal Justice Criminal History Records Check Request form.

b. Verify that you are a first-time Idaho exam applicant. If so, fill out the Initial Application for Uniform CPA Examination. Include a 2”x 2” photograph with the completed application packet.

c. Send application, $100 application fee and official transcripts to ISBA at:

Idaho State Board of Accountancy
Attn: Sandy Bly
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0002

Make check or money order payable to Idaho State Board of Accountancy.

d. Verify whether you’re an Idaho re-examination candidate. This is the case if at your most recent sitting; you took the Uniform CPA exam as an Idaho candidate.

As a re-exam candidate, you can submit the Re-Examination Application along with a $50 fee to the ISBA address given above.

Note: For ADA modification consideration, you must obtain a Request for ADA Modification Form. Your requested accommodation(s) will be considered and you will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision.

e. Wait for the approval of your application. When your application is approved by ISBA, they will send an Authorization to Test (ATT) to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). You’ll receive a NASBA payment coupon for the sections you indicated on your initial application. Use the coupon and a credit card to pay the NASBA fee and schedule the examination within 3 months of ATT date.

f. Wait to receive the Notice to Schedule (NTS) by your chosen method of notification. If you chose email, your NTS will be sent from [email protected]. It is a good idea to include this email address in your address book. If you have not received your NTS within 15 business days of submitting the payment invoice, you should contact NASBA at 1-866-MY-NASBA (866-696-2722).

g. Schedule the exam when you have received your NTS, and pay Prometric fees at www.prometric.com/CPA/default.htm. You need to schedule the exam before the NTS expires in 6 months.

h. Arrive at the testing facility prepared for the chosen CPA exam section(s).

i. Wait for the results. The passing score for each section is 75. You must pass all four sections of the exam in a rolling 18 month period to be eligible for licensure. NASBA sends the scores to ISBA and ISBA will review, process, approve and mail the scores to you.

For detailed information on what to expect from the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.

3. Gain The Necessary Experience

After passing all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination in a rolling 18 month period, you are only a few steps away from obtaining your Idaho CPA license.

a. Obtain the required experience. As an Idaho candidate, your experience must satisfy the following criteria:

  • One year of work experience in a type of service or advice involving the use of accounting, auditing/attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax advice, or consulting.
  • One year work experience is defined as at least 2000 hours of work over a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36 months.
  • Work experience must be verified by a certified or licensed CPA who was licensed in either Idaho or a state or territory of the United States at the time the experience was obtained.
  • The experience must be gained through employment in government, industry, academia, or public practice.
  • The experience has to be earned within the last 10 years preceding the application for licensure.
  • The experience must be verified by a CPA or licensed public accountant

The supervising CPA will verify that the candidate rendered the services and demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the current standards maintained within the CPA profession. The verifying CPA should keep the supporting documentation of your experience for a minimum of 30 days after you obtain your license.

b. Fill out the Verification of Employment and Experience form. The completed form should be sent to:

Idaho State Board of Accountancy (ISBA)
PO Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-000

c. Finally, complete the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) ethics course. You must attach notification from the AICPA that you have successfully passed the Professional Ethics course. You must also notify the AICPA to submit your score to ISBA.

4. Obtain Your Idaho CPA License

Now you’re ready to apply for your Idaho state CPA license. This is a checklist of things you should have done up to this point:

a. Checklist:

  • Completed the educational requirements to sit for the CPA examination. The requirement is a bachelor’s degree with 30 semester hours in business courses including 20 semester hours of accounting courses.
  • Passed the Uniform CPA Exam with a grade of 75 on all sections of the exam in a rolling 18 month period
  • Completed the educational requirement for Idaho CPA licensure. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree or higher with 150 semester/225 quarter hours of education, with 24 semester hours of accounting courses at upper division or graduate level and 24 semester hours of business courses at undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Obtained the required one year of experience verified by a licensed CPA. Submitted the Verification of Employment and Experience form including verification from the licensed CPA to ISBA.
  • Completed the AICPA ethics course and had AICPA submit the scores to the Idaho State Board of Accountancy (ISBA)

b. Fill out the Application for License. Submit the application and the $120 non-refundable fee to the ISBA address on the application. If you have not submitted the Verification of Employment and Experience form, you can submit it with this application as well.

c. Wait to hear from the Idaho State Board of Accountancy. ISBA will notify you of any missing documents in your application, if applicable. If the application is complete, ISBA will issue the license to you. ISBA issues licenses on a continual basis throughout the year.

Applying for Licensure by Reciprocity

If you’re a reciprocity candidate and meet the following criteria, you can use the Experience and Employment Summary For Reciprocity Applicants form to apply for Idaho licensure:

  • You have at least four years of experience, and
  • Your experience was obtained after original licensure, and
  • Your experience was obtained within ten years of filing this application

If you do not meet these experience criteria and want to apply for Idaho licensure, you’re considered a transfer of grades candidate.

Transfer of Grade Candidates

If you have taken and passed the CPA exam section(s) from another state, you can transfer the exam section credit to Idaho using the CPA License By Reciprocity or Transfer of Grades Application. In this case, you would need to have the transcripts submitted directly to ISBA. If you are applying for licensure based on transfer of grades, you need to pay a $175 application fee in addition to initial license fee.

International Candidates

As an international candidate, you need to take the following steps to obtain your Idaho CPA license:

  1. Pass the International Uniform Certified Public Accountant Qualification Examination (IQEX). For information about IQEX exam, visit NASBA’s International Qualification Examination page or call NASBA at 615-880-4250.
  2. Complete the International Reciprocity License Application including verification that the experience requirements have been met.
  3. Submit verification that your current foreign license is active, without disciplinary proceedings and in good standing.
  4. Complete the AICPA’s Professional Ethics for CPAs course with a grade of 90% or better.

5. Stay Current Through Continuing Professional Education in Idaho

Idaho CPA licenses renew annually. As an Idaho CPA, you need to comply with the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements as given here.

CPE Requirements for first renewals

  • Pay the $120 license renewal fee
  • Complete 2 CPE ethics hours in the year you obtain your license
  • Complete at least 30 hours of CPE of total CPE

CPE Requirements for subsequent renewals

  • Pay the $120 license renewal fee.
  • The CPE reporting year is from January 1st through December 31st and the CPE should be reported to ISBA before January 31st of the new year.
  • The requirement is 80 CPE credits every two years. The minimum number of credits you can complete in a year is 30 and the maximum is 50. You may report more than 50 credits but you would not be given credit for more than 50 CPE credits in a year.
  • 4 CPE credits every two years must be in ethics courses
  • If you do not meet the renewal requirements by January 31st of the renewal year, you would need to pay an additional penalty of $100 in February and $50 for each additional month up to a maximum of $300 in June. Additionally, you need to obtain 1.5 times the number of credits that were due. For example, if you reported 20 credits by January 31st, obtain an extension and report your credits on April 30th, you would pay $200 ($100 + $50 x 2) in penalty and report 15 CPE credits (10 due credits x 1.5).

The interactive CPE reporting page can be accessed here. For questions not answered on the interactive CPE reporting page, you can call the Idaho State Board of Accountancy at 208-334-2490.

Now that you’re a CPA in Idaho

Congratulations! You are now a licensed Idaho CPA! You can be part of the join the most profitable private business sector in the United States!

You’ll benefit from joining organizations that advocate for the public accounting profession, while providing professional development, networking and continuing professional education (CPE) opportunities. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is one of the biggest national organizations providing these kinds of opportunities and connections.

At the state level, the Idaho Institute of CPAs provides CPE opportunities, promotes professional standards and creates public awareness about the profession.

Sponsored Content