What is the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES)?

Complete Guide to NASBA International Evaluation Services

what-is-nasba-international-evaluation-services-neisThe application process for international candidates to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in the United States can be complicated.

Since foreign educational institutions and colleges often offer different classes and credit hour measurements, you will most likely have to get your educational credentials evaluated. This is where the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) comes into play.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what NIES is, its role in the CPA licensure process, and why it is a crucial component for international candidates.

Understanding NIES

What is the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES)?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) established the International Evaluation Services to assist individuals who have completed their education outside the United States in navigating the U.S. CPA licensure process.

NIES evaluates educational credentials from around the world to determine if they are equivalent to the U.S. educational standards.

Why is NIES Necessary?

For international candidates aspiring to become CPAs in the U.S., the NIES serves as a bridge, translating their educational qualifications into terms that are understandable and comparable to U.S. standards.

Each state board of accountancy in the U.S. has specific educational requirements for CPA candidates, and NIES helps in ensuring that international candidates meet these requirements.

The NIES Evaluation Process

How Does it Work?

The evaluation process begins when an international candidate submits their educational transcripts and other necessary documents to NIES. The service then reviews these documents meticulously, comparing the international education to U.S. standards, and provides a detailed report.

What Does it Evaluate?

NIES evaluates various aspects of an individual’s educational background, including the authenticity of the documents, the level of the degree obtained, the content of the coursework, and the total number of credit hours.

The objective is to ensure that the international education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting, which is a common requirement for CPA licensure.

Timeline and Reporting

The evaluation process takes time, typically around 12 weeks, though this can vary depending on the complexity of the evaluation and the completeness of the documentation provided.

Once the evaluation is complete, NIES provides a report to the candidate and, if requested, directly to the state board of accountancy. This report is a critical component of the CPA licensure application.

Is the NASBA International Evaluation Services required?

NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) is not mandatory for all CPA candidates, but it is required for those who completed their education outside the United States. This service ensures that international educational credentials are properly assessed and translated to U.S. standards, which is crucial for meeting state-specific CPA licensure requirements.

By using NIES, candidates ensure a standardized evaluation process, reducing the risk of discrepancies and misunderstandings. It is an essential step for international CPA candidates to validate their educational qualifications and move forward in the licensure process.

Should I get my transcripts evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services?

If you are an international CPA candidate or received your education outside of the U.S., it is highly recommended to get your transcripts evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services. NIES specializes in understanding the complexity of international education systems and translates your academic achievements into U.S. standards, which is crucial for meeting CPA licensure requirements.

Utilizing their services ensures a comprehensive and accurate evaluation, providing clarity and confidence in your CPA journey. It is a strategic step to facilitate your licensure process and ensure that you meet all necessary educational criteria.

How do I apply for NASBA International Evaluation?

To apply for NASBA International Evaluation, you need to visit the official NASBA website and navigate to the International Evaluation Services section. Here, you will find detailed instructions and a list of required documents, which typically include your transcripts, diploma, and a completed application form.

Once you have gathered all necessary documents, submit them to NIES along with the applicable fees. After submission, the evaluation process will commence, and you can expect to receive your evaluation report within the estimated timeframe provided by NIES.

Is the NIES recognized by all States?

No, currently the New York Board of Accountancy does not recognize NIES. CPA candidates in New York are required to use the New York evaluation services.

Almost every other state allows candidates to use the NIES, but it’s always good practice to check with your state board before you apply to NIES.

Importance of NIES in Your CPA Journey

Facilitating Licensure By translating international educational credentials into U.S. standards, NIES plays a crucial role in facilitating the licensure process for international CPA candidates. It ensures that candidates and state boards have a clear and accurate understanding of the candidate’s educational background, making the licensure process smoother.

Time and Resource Saving Navigating the U.S. CPA licensure process can be daunting, especially for international candidates unfamiliar with U.S. educational standards. NIES saves candidates time and resources by providing expert evaluation services, guiding them through the process, and helping avoid potential roadblocks.

Building Confidence Understanding that your educational credentials meet the requirements of U.S. state boards builds confidence and provides clarity in your CPA journey. NIES provides this assurance, ensuring that you can focus on preparing for the CPA Exam and fulfilling other licensure requirements.


The NASBA International Evaluation Services is an indispensable tool for international CPA candidates, serving as a bridge between different educational systems and U.S. CPA licensure requirements. By providing comprehensive evaluation services, NIES ensures that candidates’ educational backgrounds are accurately represented, understood, and comparable to U.S. standards.

This, in turn, facilitates a smoother licensure process, saves time and resources, and provides candidates with the confidence needed to succeed in their CPA journey. Embrace this resource, provide complete and accurate documentation, and take one confident step closer to achieving your CPA dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NIES only for CPA candidates who studied outside of the U.S.?

Yes, NASBA International Evaluation Services is specifically designed to evaluate the educational credentials of individuals who have completed their education outside the United States.

How long does the NIES evaluation process take?

The evaluation process typically takes around 12 weeks, but this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the evaluation and the completeness of the documentation provided.

Can NIES send my evaluation report directly to the state board of accountancy?

Yes, upon request, NIES can send the evaluation report directly to the state board of accountancy.

Is NIES the only option for international credential evaluation for CPA candidates?

While NIES is a prominent option due to its affiliation with NASBA, there are other credential evaluation services available. However, it is crucial to ensure that the service you choose is accepted by the specific state board of accountancy to which you are applying