Tennessee CPA Requirements (Rules on Exam and Licensing)

Tennessee CPA requirementsTennessee has a typical 150 credit hour requirement with a slightly strict rule on the number of accounting courses.

Having said that, the working experience is relatively flexible and one of our readers qualified with a general “finance” job instead of accounting. The CPA who will verify your experience does not need to be your supervisor which should also make it easier for applicants.

Tennessee CPA Requirements

A reader is kind enough to share his experience in the process:

Hi Stephanie, thought I’d pass along this info. I just became a fully licensed CPA in state of TN. I have NOT had any previous work experience in an accounting firm. My work experience has been in finance and according to the BOA most work experience that is “accounting related” like consultancy, tax, finance will suffice. I do have a masters in accounting but I don’t think that matters. All that was necessary was a Licensed Active CPA sign off that he/she swears I worked in the position/field I stated on the application. The BOA also said I did not have to be a TN resident. Rules to meet CPE requirements have a few hours that are TN specific, like TN tax & TN law, but beyond that everything is smooth sailing.”

1. Education Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam in TN

This reflects the latest change in March 2016:

  • Bachelor’s degree or above.
  • Accounting courses: 30 credit hours (at least 24 hours are from upper-division level).
  • Business courses:
    • 24 credit hours
    • Courses can include business law, algebra, calculus, statistics, probability, economics, finance, management, marketing, technology(computer)/information systems, ethics, business communications

Special note: educational requirements must be met when you send in the application.

2. Additional Tennessee CPA Requirements for the License


  • 150 credit hours of general higher education.


The good thing about TN is that the working experience is rather flexible. Here is the list of acceptable experience. You can google “T.C.A. Section 62-1-106(j)” for further details:

  • Providing services or advice using accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills.
  • Employment in industry, government, academia or public practice.
  • No fewer than 2,000 hours of experience earned in no less than 1 year or more than 3 years experience must have been accrued within the 10 years immediately preceding the application for certification.
  • Licensees who wish to sign reports on financial statements on behalf of a firm must provide 2 years of experience in the last ten years in compilations, reviews, and audits.

Ethics Qualifications

3. Tennessee CPA Requirements on Residency & Age

  • US citizenship not required
  • Tennessee residency not required
  • Social security requirement:
    • TN state board does not require a social security # for the TN CPA Exam.  The candidate would type nine zeroes (000 00 0000) when applying for the TN CPA Exam;
    • The board does require a social security # for licensing
  • Minimum age: none

4. CPA Exam Fees in Tennessee

  • Education Evaluation Application Fee: $90.00
  • Exam Section Application Fee: $344.80

5. Continuing Education

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

6. Other Useful Information

7. Contact

Tennessee State Board of Accountancy
500 James Robertson Parkway, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-1141

  • Email (exam questions): cpaes-tn@nasba.org
  • Email (licensing questions): Accountancy.Board@TN.Gov
  • Phone: (615) 741-2550; (888) 453-6150
  • Fax: (615) 532-8800

What if the Tennessee CPA Requirements Don’t Work for Me?

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 drop a note in the comment section, 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 I also passed all 4 sections of the CPA Exam on my first try. Additionally, I have led webinars, such as for the Institute of Management Accountants, authored featured articles on websites like Going Concern and AccountingWeb, and I'm also the CFO for the charity New Sight. Finally, I have created other accounting certification websites to help mentor non-CPA candidates. I have already mentored thousands of CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CFA candidates, and I can help you too!

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