5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Virgin Islands
- Get your Education in Virgin Islands
- Take the Virgin Islands Uniform CPA Exam
- Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Virgin Islands
- Get your Virgin Islands CPA License
- Continuing Education in Virgin Islands
1. Get Your Education
a. Obtain information from online accounting programs available to residents of the Virgin Islands.
b. Verify that your degree granting institution is accredited by any one of the accrediting agencies listed on The US Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
You may also contact the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) office for recognition of your degree program. They can be contacted using one of the following numbers:
- St. Croix office- (340) 773-2226
- St. John office- (340) 693-8036
- St. Thomas office- (340) 774-3130
c. Make sure to take the right classes in accordance with Virgin Islands DLCA requirements. Prior to taking the CPA examinations and being granted licensure, you must satisfy one of the three requirement options of combined education and experience:
- A high school diploma followed by 6 years of accounting experience
- A bachelors degree in any concentration from a recognized college or university plus 3 years of accounting experience
- A degree in accounting from a recognized college or university and 2 years of work experience in accounting. The degree program is honored as having an accounting concentration if it included:
- At least 20 semester hours in accounting
- At least five semester hours of economics and finance
- At least five semester hours of business law
2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam
You are required to have been a resident of the Virgin Islands for at least 30 days prior to applying to take CPA licensure exams. In the Virgin Islands you are required you to pass the Uniform CPA exam as well as a local exam. All inquiries related to application, scheduling, payment and testing for the local exam must be directed to the DLCA directly by email (Nathalie.firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling one of the numbers listed below.
After meeting the education requirements, take the steps outlined below to apply to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam:
a. Go to the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) office nearest you to pick up the CPA Exam application. The applications are not yet available online. There are three DLCA office locations:
- Golden Rock Shopping Center
3000 Estate Golden Rock, Suite 9
St. Croix, VI 00820
Ph: (340) 773-2226
- Administrative Complex
St. John, VI 00830
Ph: (340) 693-8036
- Prop. & Procurement Bldg.
8201 Sub Base, Suite 1
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Ph: (340) 774-3130
The following items must be included in your application packet submitted to one of the offices above:
- A completed and certified (notarized) application
- Three recent passport sized 2×2 photographs
- One letter of favorable character testimony
- Favorable tax clearance letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue
- Check for the application fee of $150 made payable to the Virgin Islands DLCA
b. Wait to receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) the Uniform CPA Exam from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
c. Visit the Prometric website to schedule the exam and pay Prometric’s testing fee.
d. Prepare for your chosen exam sections and report to the exam site on time. You can take up to 4 exam sections at one time.
e. Wait for the results. The DLCA will notify you of your results directly.
f. Schedule the Virgin Islands DLCA exam, which is offered 3 times each year. You must contact your local DLCA office at one of the numbers above to schedule the exam and pay the exam fees, which total $100 USD.
For comprehensive information about the Uniform CPA Examination (not the local exam), click here.
3. Gain The Necessary Experience
After successfully completing all sections of the Uniform CPA exam and Virgin Islands DLCA exam, you are only a couple of steps away from obtaining your Virgin Islands DLCA issued CPA license:
a. Gain the required experience for licensing in governmental accounting as an auditor or internal revenue agent as follows:
- If you are a high school graduate, you need 6 years of public accounting experience.
- If you hold a college degree without a concentration in accounting, you need 3 years of public accounting experience.
- If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting as defined by at least 20 semester hours of accounting, at least five hours of business law and at least five hours of economics and finance, you need 2 years of public accounting experience.
b. Obtain two professional reference letters from individuals with knowledge of your work in the accounting field. Professional letters of reference are typically provided by coworkers and/or supervising CPAs.
4. Obtain Your Virgin Islands CPA License
Now you’re ready to apply for your Virgin Islands DLCA issued CPA license.
a. Check that you have taken the following steps up to this point:
- Completed education requirements – a high school diploma or a college degree
- Passed all 4 sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and the local Virgin Islands exam
- Completed the required years of public accounting experience based on your education
- Obtained one character testimony letter,
- Obtained two professional reference letters verifying your work experience
- Obtained a tax clearance letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue
b. Pick up the Virgin Islands CPA permit application from your local DLCA office. Send the completed application packet to:
Attention: Nathalie Hodge
Administrator, Boards and Commissions
V.I. Board of Certified Public Accountancy
Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs
Golden Rock Shopping Center, Suite #9
Christiansted, VI 00820-4311
c. When notified of having been granted CPA licensure, pay the $390 licensing fee directly to the board.
Virgin Islands CPA License by Inter-Jurisdictional and International Reciprocity
- If you are applying for a Virgin Islands CPA certificate by reciprocity, you need to provide proof of registration and licensure in another US state or jurisdiction along with the $390 fee. Reciprocity still requires 30 days of residency in the Virgin Islands.
- If you hold an accounting designation from a foreign country, the foreign country must have a national registration board of scope and standing as honored by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). These countries with CPA equivalent credentials currently honored are Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Hong Kong and New Zealand. License holders from other countries need to take the Uniform CPA and local exam to get licensed.
5. Keeping your License Current Through Renewals
Virgin Islands CPA license renews on an annual basis. As of July 2014, there is no requirement for continuing professional education in order to renew your CPA license. For license renewal, you need to submit:
- A completed and certified renewal application
- A favorable tax clearance letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue
- Required Fees – contact DLCA to determine the fees at the time of your renewal
Now that you’re a CPA in Virgin Islands
As a certified public accountant you may want to consider joining the AICPA, a professional organization that promotes the accounting profession on a legislative and public level, and that also provide networking, professional development and CPE opportunities.
At the jurisdictional level, the Virgin Islands Society of CPAs advocates for the interests of public accountants in the Virgin Islands and provides continuing professional education opportunities. To be a member, you must hold a valid CPA license and be a resident in the U.S. Virgin Islands.