How to Become a Licensed CPA in Kentucky

Kentucky has adopted the 150-credit rule for licensure, but they still only require a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 120 credits to actually sit for the exam. This type of rule is very common among all states. KY also does not require a written ethics exam in order to qualify for your license after you pass the exam.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.

Kentucky CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Kentucky, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Not required to be a US citizen
  • Not required to be a KY resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • KY does not participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

The education requirements to sit for the exam in Kentucky are pretty standard among 150-credit rule states. You basically have to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and minimum of 120 semester hours including the following:

Bachelor’s or Graduate Degree in Accounting including:

  • 27 credit hours in Accounting classes including financial accounting, auditing, and taxation
  • 12 credit hours in General Business courses like Management, Marketing, and Law

Since some accredited schools still use the quarter schedule instead of semesters, these numbers would just have to be converted into quarterly hours or units.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Kentucky is $873.08 including an initial one-time $150 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $192.03
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $192.03
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $172.51
REG – Regulation $172.51


The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.

Kentucky registration fees are a little different. There is a $30 initial fee that you will have to pay when you first sign up for the exam. Then you have to pay an extra $30 for each section you sign up for totally $150 if you sign up for them all at once.

IMPORTANT – Don’t get crazy and register for all the sections immediately. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bummer is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $30 for one section and vary depending on how many your sign up for at once, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

CPA License Requirements

You might be a little overwhelmed by the CPA exam process. It’s okay! You can make it. Registering for the test is only the first step in becoming a CPA in KY. After you pass the exam, there are a few administrative things you must do before you can truly call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.

Pass the Exam

You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.


Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.


Pay the license/certification fees with your application.

Ethics Exam

No Ethics exam is required.

Additional Education

Before you can get certified, you will need to finish your 150 credit hours if you haven’t done so before you took the exam. You’ll need:

150 college credit hours including:

  • 27 credit hours in Accounting courses
  • 12 credit hours in General Business courses

Work Experience Requirements

The Kentucky work experience rules are very similar to most other states. You must have:

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting experience in Public Accounting, Governmental Accounting, Private Industry under the supervision of a current CPA


1- year or 24 college credit hours of teaching experience at an accredited school.

More Exam Resources and Information

The application process, taking the exam, and organizing your paperwork to be sent in can be quite an involved, especially if you attended more than one college. Yes, the Kentucky state board will need proof of your education, so you’ll have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. This can be a pain. I know.

I think it’s always a good idea to contact the state board directly to see what they already have on file and more importantly what they need to complete your application.

For example, sometimes the state doesn’t receive your test scores from Prometrics. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. It’s important to contact them directly and confirm they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

Kentucky State Board of Accountancy

Kentucky CPA Application Forms

    • 332 West Broadway Suite 310
    • Louisville, KY 40202-2115


  • Phone: 502-595-3037
  • Fax: 502-595-4281


Kentucky Society of CPAs

NASBA – Kentucky