Hawaii CPA Requirements (Rules on Exam and Licensing)

Hawaii CPA requirementsHawaii’s education requirement is quite simple but license will only be issued to US citizens, US permanent residents or those who are “authorized to work in the United States without conditions or other encumbrances”.

By the way, if you are thinking about choosing Hawaii because of the tourist attraction, you may be happy to know that you can register in one state and take the exam in another. For example, I registered for Delaware and ended up taking the exam in Guam. Yes, this is entirely possible!

Hawaii CPA Requirements

1. Education Requirements to Sit for the Exam

  • Bachelor degree or above.
  • Accounting degree from school accepted by the Board: automatically qualified.
  • Non-accounting degree from school accepted by the Board: 18 semester hours of accounting courses in intermediate/advanced level.


  • Applicants are allowed to take the exam within 120 days from meeting the minimum educational requirements (defined by the printing of the NTS (i.e. the ticket) to sit for the exam.
  • Education earned at a community college or two-year degree granting institution is not acceptable unless transferred into a regionally accredited four-year institution.

2. Additional Hawaii CPA Requirements for License


  • 150 semester units from an accredited university or educational institution
  • Accounting courses: 24 semester units in intermediate/advanced level
  • Business courses: 24 semester units in intermediate/advanced level


  • 1,500 chargeable hours in auditing, OR
  •  2 years of other relevant experience including non-public accounting (but work nature should be substantially equivalent to that of public accounting)

Ethics Qualifications

  • 4 hours of CPE on ethics is required.

3. Hawaii CPA Requirements on Residency & Age

  • US citizenship not required is sit for the exam, but to obtain a license, the applicant must be a US citizen, a US national or those who are “authorized to work in the United States without conditions or other encumbrances”.
  • Hawaii residency not required
  • Minimum age: 18

4. Fees

  • First-timers: $774 + application fee.

*** Special note on NTS***

Please note that unlike most states, NTS approved by Hawaii State Board is valid for 9 months counting from the date of NTS issuance. For details, please refer to the CPA exam handbook below.

5. Continuing Education

CPE is required for license holders. Please click here for Hawaii CPA CPE requirements.

6. Useful Information

7. Contact

Hawaii Board of Accountancy
Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
PO Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801-3469

  • Email: accountancy@dcca.hawaii.gov, cpaes-hi@nasba.org
  • Phone: (808) 586-2696
  • Fax: (808) 586-2689

What if the Hawaii CPA Requirements don’t Work?

Check out these pages to learn about the educational and experience requirements, with my recommendation at the end of the posts:

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or visit my Facebook page.

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Joe Muyco says:

    I will be moving to Hawaii from Canada for a promotional opportunity with a work visa. Will I be able to obtain my license or will this be considered a “condition or other encumbrances”?

    Also, I am currently in the CPA program in Canada in the second module, will this have any transferability at all to the US CPA requirements?


    Joe M

  • Zubair says:

    Dear Stephanie,
    I am writing you this email because I could not find any place to ask you this question on Ipasscpaexam.com. Actually right now I am international CPA candidate but my immigration has already approved and I will be moving to USA in next year March or April on permanent residency on the sponsor of my wife. I have done 2 years Bachelor of commerce and two years of Master in accounting and finance from an online university from Pakistan which is accredited by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and has federal charter. The courses I have attended are mentioned below:-
    Year 1
    Islamic Studies
    Introduction to Business
    Principle of Accounting
    Statistic & Business Mathematics
    Economic Analysis & Policy

    Year 2
    Business Communication
    Business Law
    Industries in Pakistan
    Advanced Accounting
    Auditing / Computer & Business
    Pakistan Studies


    Semester 1
    Introduction to Computing
    Business Communication
    Financial Accounting
    Introduction to Business

    Semester 2
    Financial Management
    Financial Accounting II
    Cost & Management Accounting
    Business Mathematics & Statistics

    Semester 3
    Information Systems
    Advanced Financial Accounting
    Financial Statement Analysis
    Taxation Management
    Business & Labor Law

    Semester 4
    Fundamental of Auditing
    Corporate Finance
    Islamic Mode of Financing
    Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management
    SME Management
    Advanced Cost and Management Accounting

    I was planning to take CPA exam through Guam but it seems I will must have to take taxation management course in order to sit in Guam and Guam is also issuing inactive license so, my exam credit as an international candidate will not be expired. When I will get to USA I can get license but while searching I came across to Hawaii a two tier state which I have already confirmed with Hawaii board of accountancy.

    Hawaii only requires bachelor degree to sit for the exam and 150 hour for license. What I understood that if your bachelor degree is in accounting then you qualify automatically in Hawaii to write the exam and no need to take federal taxation exam as in case of Guam (correct me if I am wrong).

    Hawaii is also a two tier state which issues certificate first right after passing the exam (correct me If I am wrong).

    In this way, if I get my certificate from Hawaii then my exam credit as an international student will not be expired and I can make up for experience and 150 hours when I get to USA (correct me if I am wrong).

    Kindly guide me if what have I understood is right so, I will go for Hawaii as it seems that for writing the exam, Hawaii is very flexible.


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