Georgia State Board of Accountancy FAQsGSBA Contact Information
How do I contact the Georgia State Board of Accountancy (GSBA) office?
***PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CPA OR FIRM LICENSE NUMBER ON ALL CORRESPONDENCE AND/OR MESSAGES TO THE BOARD***
Georgia State Board of Accountancy
200 Piedmont Avenue SE
Suite 1604 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9010
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
***PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CPA OR FIRM LICENSE NUMBER ON ALL CORRESPONDENCE AND/OR MESSAGES TO THE BOARD***
Certification Requirements in Georgia
After passing the exam, and meeting the educational and work
experience requirements, you must submit a New Individual License
Application to the Board via NASBA. To apply for initial licensure,
please access the “GSBA Services” tab on this website and click “New
When and how do I apply for CPA certification in Georgia?
How do I apply to take the CPA Examination in Georgia?
The CPA Examination Services division of NASBA handles registration and administers the exam in Georgia. Examination applications and reexamination applications may be accessed via this GSBA website on the “GSBA Services” tab at http://sao.georgia.gov/gsba-services under “CPA Examination Services” links. Any further request for applications, questions, or concerns you may have pertaining to the CPA Examination must be answered by NASBA’s CPA Examination Service. You may reach them by calling 1-800-CPA-EXAM if calling within Georgia or (615) 880-4250 if outside of Georgia. Ask for the Georgia Coordinator.
For the most updated information, tutorials, sample test questions, and simulations on the computer-based examination, you may visit the AICPA’s website at: http://www.cpa-exam.org/.
Will my CPA examination grades expire?
What are the educational requirements for CPA certification in Georgia?
Per Board Rule 20-3-.08(1)(c), a qualified candidate must present to the board evidence that the candidate has received a baccalaureate degree or completed the requirements therefore, conferred by a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization recognized by the board, with a concentration in accounting or what the board determines to be the substantial equivalent of an accounting concentration, or with a non-accounting concentration supplemented by what the board determines to be the substantial equivalent of an accounting concentration, including related courses in other areas of business administration.
After January 1, 1998, any person who has not previously sat for the uniform written examination for the certificate of certified public accountant must have completed a total of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours of college education, including a baccalaureate degree awarded by a college or university accredited by either a national or regional accrediting organization recognized by the board. The total educational program shall include an undergraduate accounting concentration and related courses in other areas of business administration or the substantial equivalent of the foregoing. An applicant who has completed 45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours in accounting subjects above the elementary level and 35 quarter hours or 24 semester hours in general business subjects at a four year accredited college or university which offers a baccalaureate degree will be deemed to have satisfied the accounting concentration and related business course requirements.
There is not anyone here at the Board that evaluates education requirements for the purposes of taking the CPA Examination or for licensure. We do not provide you with academic advice; you should refer to the Academic Advisor at your college or university.
For an official evaluation of your education requirements to take the CPA Examination, you may complete an “Education Pre-Evaluation” on the NASBA website at http://nasba.org/licensure/nasbalicensing/georgia-2/, under “Forms” for a fee of $50.00. Otherwise, complete the application to take the Georgia CPA Examination. If you are not approved to take the CPA Examination, all fees will be returned to you with the exception of the application fee.
What are the work experience requirements for licensure in Georgia?
See O.C.G.A. 43-3-6 and Board Rule 20-3-.08. For applications received after June 30, 2009, applicants must have completed one year and 2,000 hours in public accounting; one year and 2,000 hours in business, industry, government or college teaching (teaching at a 4 year college or university in at least two different areas of accounting above the introductory or elementary level); or a combination of work experience in public accounting, business, industry, government or college teaching. Complete requirements are contained in the board’s rules on this website.
All work experience must have been supervised by a person who holds a live permit as a certified public accountant except for government or college teaching. In these two areas you must be supervised; however, the supervisor is not required to hold a CPA license. The experience must have been earned no earlier than one-year prior to application; the experience may have breaks in service of no longer than 1-year in duration.
Who can sign as my supervisor?
Per Board Rule 20-3-.08(b)(4)(c): supervision shall mean “the act of directing and inspecting the performance of.”
What if I took the CPA Exam in another state and/or I’m already licensed in another state, but I want to be licensed in Georgia? Does Georgia reciprocate licenses from other states?
Yes. In order to transfer your CPA Exam scores and/or licensure from another state, for the purposes of obtaining your initial or reciprocal license in Georgia, complete the AUTHORIZATION FOR INTERSTATE EXCHANGE OF EXAMINATION AND LICENSURE INFORMATION. This form is essential to the application you are filing with this Board and can be found on this GSBA website at the “GSBA Services” tab, “Other Services - Interstate and International Reciprocity Verifications.”
Before your application will be considered for approval, certain information must be verified by the Board of Accountancy where your examination credits were established. COMPLETE THE INITIAL PORTION OF THIS FORM, SIGN AND DATE THE FORM IN THE INDICATED APPLICANT AREA, AND FORWARD THE FORM TO THE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY WHERE STATUS, CREDITS AND/OR LICENSURE WERE ESTABLISHED. You are
advised to check with that Board before forwarding this form to determine if there are additional requirements and/or fees before such information will be released by that board. The completed form should be returned to you by the respective board so that you can then submit it to the GSBA with your Application for licensure in Georgia.
Maintaining CPA Licensure in Georgia
When does my license expire?
All individual CPA licenses expire on December 31 of each odd-numbered year. All Firm licenses expire on June 30 of each even-numbered year.
If my license expires, will I be required to re-take the CPA exam in order to be reinstated?
No. In order to reinstate your license, Individual license applicants must complete the APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF CPA LICENSE for reinstatement; CPA Firm license applicants must complete the APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM LICENSE. Both applications can be found online on this website at the “Forms Download” tab (http://sao.georgia.gov/forms-download).
Applicants for reinstatement must have completed the required number of continuing professional education hours, as detailed in the respective forms.
How can I get a verification of my Georgia exam scores, etc. required for licensure in another state?
Licensure requirements for other states may include requests for verification of CPA exam scores, a letter of good standing, a verification of licensure of a licensed CPA supervisor in Georgia, etc. Licensure verification requests required by other states for certification in that state must be submitted to the GSBA, along with a check or money order for $25.00 payable to Georgia State Board of Accountancy. The required verification form(s) must be retrieved from the website of the state requesting the verification. If there is no specific form to fill out, please send a detailed written request to GSBA using the Contact Information listed, above. Verification requests usually take a minimum of 10 business days to process.
How may I place my license in “Inactive” status?
Georgia only has “Active” or “Lapsed” statuses for licensees. If an individual or firm licensee does not renew his/her license to practice timely, the license will move to a “Lapsed” status (after the respective late renewal period ends).
How can I reactivate my license if it is in a “Lapsed” status?
After a license status has “Lapsed”, Individual license applicants must complete the APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF CPA LICENSE for reinstatement; CPA Firm license applicants must complete the APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM LICENSE. Both applications can be found online on this website at the “Forms Download” tab (http://sao.georgia.gov/forms-download). Applicants for reinstatement must have completed the required number of continuing professional education hours, as detailed in the respective forms. If you wish to surrender your Georgia license, you may submit that request in writing. This request can be faxed, emailed or mailed to the Board office using the GSBA Contact Information listed above.
What is the current deadline for renewing my CPA Firm License?
Due to the time which was necessary to transfer the board’s operations from the Secretary of State to the State Accounting Office, the Georgia State Board of Accountancy (GSBA) extended the CPA firm license renewal deadline from June 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014, for this current renewal period only. Firm licenses renewed during the extended renewal period will also expire on June 30, 2016. The Non-Refundable Renewal Fee remains $75.00 and there will be no late penalty assessments through December 31, 2014. A Public Accounting Firm which continues to practice with an expired license after December 31, 2014 may be subject to a fine and a public disciplinary action.
A Non-Refundable Late Renewal Fee of $325.00 ($75.00 Renewal Fee + $250.00 Late Fee) will be assessed for applications postmarked during the Late Renewal Period from January 1, 2015 through January 31, 2015. After January 31, 2015, Public Accounting Firms must reinstate their licenses by completing the Application for Reinstatement of Public Accountancy Firm License. You may obtain the reinstatement application form on this website at: http://sao.georgia.gov/forms-download. Please note that such reinstatement is at the discretion of the Board.
How do I know if my firm license has been renewed through June 30, 2016?
Firm licenses which were active through June 30, 2014 were automatically extended to December 31, 2014 (see above). GSBA is processing firm renewal applications received through December 31. As applications are processed and renewed, you will receive notification. The current status of your license can be verified at: http://www.cpaverify.org/. This site has been updated to include all firm licenses and will continue to be updated on a weekly basis until all renewal applications are processed.
Will there be a late penalty fee if my firm license is renewed after September 30, 2014?
A Non-Refundable Late Renewal Fee of $325.00 ($75.00 Renewal Fee + $250.00 Late Fee) will be assessed for applications postmarked during the Late Renewal Period from January 1, 2015 – January 31, 2015. After January 31, 2015, Public Accounting Firms must reinstate their licenses by completing the Application for Reinstatement of Public Accountancy Firm License. Please note that such reinstatement is at the discretion of the Board. Since the Board extended the firm license renewal period from June 30, 2014 – December 31, 2014, there were no late penalty assessments made during that six-month extension of the firm license renewal deadline.
How do I change my legal name and/or address of record on my Individual CPA license?
Individual Name Changes:
Name change requests must be submitted in writing and must include your name as it currently appears on the license record, your name as it should now appear on the license record, and your CPA license number (CPAxxxxxx). You must also attach a copy of the legal documentation for your name change (i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.) This written request can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Board office using the GSBA Contact Information listed, above. No fee is associated with this change unless a new pocket license card is requested.
Individual Address Changes:
Address change requests must be submitted in writing with your name as it currently appears on the license record, your license number, your old address and new address. This request can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Board office.
No fee is associated with this change unless a new pocket license card is requested.
How do I change my legal name and/or address of record on my Public Accounting Firm license?
Firm Name Changes:
If the legal and/or ownership structure of the firm changes, a new license/application is required for the new entity. This includes going from a PC to a LLC, adding a new partner or share owner to the name of the company, etc. A New Firm Application, located on this website at the “GSBA Services” tab (http://sao.georgia.gov/gsba-services), must be completed. A fee is associated with this request/application and it must be processed online, as noted. However, if the structure of the firm does not change, only a written request for the firm’s name change is required. The written request must be provided to the Board on company letterhead and includes the firm name as it currently appears on the license record, the firm name as it should now appear on the license record, and the license number of the firm (ACFxxxxxx.) This request can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Board office. No fee is associated with this change unless a new pocket license card is requested.
Firm Address Changes:
Address change requests must be submitted on company letterhead with the firm name as it currently appears on the license record, firm license number, old address and new address. This request can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Board office. No fee is associated with this change unless a new pocket license card is requested.
How do I Add/Remove Individual Licensees Associated with my Firm License?
If the structure of the firm does not change, then adding/ deleting licensees associated to the firm will require a written request on company letterhead. This request can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Board office. No fee is associated with
this change unless a new pocket card license is requested.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements
What are the CPE requirements for CPA licensure in Georgia?
No CPE is required during the first year of licensure. After the first renewal period, the CPE requirement is 80 hours every two years, 16 hours (20%) of which must be in auditing and accounting subjects. A minimum of 20 hours must be earned in each year. If licensed less than one year (licensed after July of the even-numbered year prior to the first renewal date), no CPE is required for your first license renewal. If licensed one year but less than two years prior to your first renewal date, 40 hours of CPE (20% in A&A) is required. If CPE requirements are not completed by the end of the renewal period, the license will expire and the licensee will be required to reinstate in order to bring the license back to an active status. Please note: Reinstatement is at the discretion of the Board. See Board Rule Chapter 20-11.
Licensees should retain documentation of CPE credits for five years. Proof of CPE credits is not submitted to the Board office unless audited by the Board.
A licensee who has reached the age of 70 is exempt from CPE requirements.
How do I know that the courses I am taking can be counted towards my CPE hours for license renewal?
The Georgia State Board of Accountancy does not pre-approve any providers or courses for continuing professional education. The responsibility for determining if the course meets the requirements of Board Rules Chapter 20-11 rests solely upon the provider and the licensee. Formal correspondence or other individual study programs may qualify provided they are developed and conducted by qualified persons, require registration, and provide evidence of satisfactory completion time. Credit shall be calculated on the basis of the average completion time. See Board Rule 20-11-.03(5). There is no limit on the number of self-study CPE hours you may take; all required CPE can be acquired through self-study.
License Verification – Individual or Firm
How can I prove my CPA license is “Active” with the State right now?
The current status of your license can be verified at the following website: www.CPAverify.org. The current status of both individual and firm licenses is available now on the website. Please ensure you click the appropriate radio button on the Search screen --“Individual” or “Firm” -- as part of your inquiry. The status of all licenses is updated on a weekly basis.
Why haven’t I gotten my paper license with wallet card from my recent Firm renewal?
A paper license with wallet card is no longer being issued, beginning with all recent Firm license renewals scheduled to expire on June 30, 2016. In its place, you will now receive an official, wallet-sized plastic license card. The Board voted to replace the paper license and wallet card with the new plastic license card due to a NASBA initiative to provide a uniform, secure license to all licensed CPAs and firms. Georgia has adopted this recommendation. You should receive your current License Card via mail by the end of 2014.
If you lose your new license card, you may order a replacement at www.NASBAstore.org for $25.00.
Can I still order an official Wall Certificate suitable for framing?
Yes. New State of Georgia CPA licensees can order an official 11”x 14” Wall Certificate suitable for framing for a cost of $50.00 at the following website: www.NASBAstore.org. Payment will be due and payable via the website, upon placing your order. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Questions and inquiries may be directed to the NASBA Store using the following contact information:
150 4th Avenue North, Suite 700
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: Toll Free Phone: 1-888-925-5237
Fax: (615) 880-4290
On-line Store: www.nasbastore.org
Investigations and Complaints
How can I file a complaint against a CPA or Public Accounting Firm in Georgia?
Complaints must be filed in writing, either using the On-Line or Mail-in Complaint Form. You may obtain a complete Explanation of the Complaint Process and relevant forms on the “GSBA Services” tab (http://sao.georgia.gov/gsba-services) of this website under “Complaint Process and Forms.”
Once I file a complaint, when can I expect a decision from the Board?
A complaint investigation can be a lengthy process and may take many months to complete. The Board makes every effort to pursue the matter as soon as possible; however, some cases take longer than others due to the technical nature and circumstances of the complaint. The commitment of the Board is that you, the complainant, will be notified when the case is concluded and informed of the Board’s recommendations and actions taken. Please see the E