Aspiring CPAs in Massachusetts must obtain their license in the state before working as a CPA. The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy overlooks the licensure process in the state.

Aspiring CPAs must satisfy the board’s requirements to get their CPA license. The board classifies these requirements into three categories, education, exam and experience.

How to become a CPA in Massachusetts?

Aspiring CPA in Massachusetts must go through a formal education program before getting their CPA license. This education is mandatory and has some requirements from the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy.

Next, they must sit for the Massachusetts Uniform CPA Exam. The exam tests their knowledge of the accounting profession.

Lastly, they must also go through a practical work phase. During this step, applicants must satisfy the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy’s requirements. Once they complete all of the above three conditions, they can apply for their Massachusetts CPA license.

Educational Requirements

The first step for any state’s aspiring CPAs is to acquire formal education. This education is compulsory for learning the fundamentals of the accounting profession. Once aspiring CPAs get a hold of the basics, they can pass their Uniform CPA Exam. Similarly, it helps them get through the practical work experience phase.

During the formal education period, candidates must meet some requirements. These come from the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy and include the following.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register with an accredited university or college. Those who have already done so must confirm the board will accept their credits.
  • The goal of going through formal education is to complete 150 semester hours of college credit. Similarly, aspiring CPAs need to get a bachelor’s degree from their education.
  • Aspiring CPAs with education outside the US can also apply. However, they must get their transcripts evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Services or Center for Educational Documentation.
  • Similarly, those who have obtained education from an unaccredited college or university can also apply. However, their application is subject to an evaluation from the board.
  • For candidates going through college or university, it is crucial to satisfy the board’s educational requirements. During their 150 semester hours of college credit, they must go through one of the following four scenarios.
    • They must receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Their education must include the following.
      • 30 semester hours of undergraduate courses, which must include three semester hours in each of the following areas.
        • Auditing
        • Financial accounting
        • Management
        • Taxation
      • 24 semester hours of undergraduate business courses, with three semester hours in each of the following areas.
        • Business information systems
        • Business law
        • Finance
        • Professional ethics
      • Courses in business communication, business management of organization and economics can also fulfil the 24 semester hour requirements.
  • They must receive a bachelor’s degree with a business major from an accredited college. It must include the following.
    • 30 semester hours of accounting courses, which include the following.
      • Courses in the following areas.
        • Auditing
        • Financial Accounting
        • Management Accounting
        • Taxation
      • 24 semester hours in courses that are not accounting but related to business. These must include the following.
        • Business Law
        • Finance
        • Information Systems
        • One course in either Business Communication, Business Organizations, Economics or Professional Ethics
  • Receive an accounting graduate degree from an AASCB-accredited college.
  • Receive a degree in either accounting, business administration or law from an accredited institution. It must include the following.
    • 30 semester hours of undergraduate (or 18 semester hours of graduate) accounting courses or an equivalent combination of both. These courses must include the following.
      • Auditing
      • Financial Accounting
      • Management Accounting
      • Taxation
    • 24 undergraduate semester hours (or 18 graduate semester hours) in business courses excluding accounting or an equivalent combination of both

Uniform CPA Exam

The next step for aspiring CPAs in Massachusetts is to sit the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it. Candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree can sit for the exam. However, they need to have completed at least 120 semester hours of the total 150 semester hours requirements. They must also meet some specific requirements other than that.

Aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to sit for the Massachusetts Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must apply through the CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Similarly, they must submit any necessary documents with their application. These may include their transcript, their Certificate of Enrollment Form and the relevant application and exam fees.
  • Candidates must schedule their exam through Prometric’s website after receiving their Notification to Schedule. They have the option to choose between one of seven testing locations.

Experience Requirements

The last step for aspiring CPAs is to meet the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy’s experience requirements. Those with a graduate degree are exempt from experience requirements.

The board requires aspiring CPAs to complete one year (or 1,820 hours) of full-time public accounting experience. This experience must satisfy the following requirements.

  • It must include 1,000 hours of attest experience in the full disclosure of financial statements. Of these, only up to 300 hours should be in full disclosure compilations.
  • It must be attested to by a letter from a CPA partner. The partner must be of the firm where the applicant received their experience.
  • It must integrate the following competencies.
    • Attest
    • Full disclosure compilations
    • Public accounting report on full disclosure financial statements

Candidates must also ask their supervising CPA to send a letter verifying their employment, hours, dates and competencies on the firm’s letterhead.

Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Massachusetts.

  • Aspiring CPAs must start by obtaining formal education that meets the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy’s requirements.
  • They must then sit for their Massachusetts Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Then, they must meet the experience requirements set by the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy.
  • Lastly, they must apply for their Massachusetts CPA license.

References

  1. “Board of Public Accountancy” – https://www.mass.gov/orgs/board-of-public-accountancy
  2. “Public Accountancy Licensing” – https://www.mass.gov/public-accountancy-licensing
  3. “Massachusetts | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/licensure/nasbalicensing/massachusetts/