Massachusetts CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Massachusetts CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Massachusetts CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates can choose between either of the following:

  • Public accounting – Full- or part-time experience that extends over a period of no less than a year and no more than three years, and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours of service.
  • Non-public accounting – Full- or part-time experience that extends over a period of no less than three years and no more than nine years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours of experience.

Summary of Massachusetts CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to Sit for CPA Exams120
Credit Hours in Accounting courses to sit for the CPA Exam21
Credit Hours in Business courses to sit for the CPA Exam9
Bachelor’s Required to Sit for CPA Exams?Yes
Credit Hours for CPA License150
Credit Hours in Accounting courses for the CPA license30
Credit Hours in Business courses for the CPA license24
Number of Character Reference Letters for CPA License3
Work Experience Required1 – 9 Years
Required CPE Hours each Biennial Period80

Massachusetts CPA Education Requirements

To complete 120 of the 150 credits for the CPA exam, obtain a bachelor’s degree that includes the following specific courses:

  • 21 semester hours of accounting courses including coverage in:
    • financial accounting,
    • auditing,
    • taxation,
    • management/cost accounting, and
  • 9 semester hours of business courses including coverage in:
    • business law that includes coverage of the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code,
    • finance,
    • information systems

The qualifications for obtaining a CPA license vary by state. The first requirement in obtaining your Massachusetts CPA license is that the applicant should have a bachelor’s degree from a national or regional accredited education institution and 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours. The applicant must also fulfill one of the following options:

  • Earned a graduate degree in accounting from a program at a nationally or regionally accredited college or university that is further accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Programs not accredited by AACSB must be approved by the Board or an Educators Credential Committee appointed by the Board.
  • Earned a graduate degree in accounting, business administration, or law from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of accounting courses at the undergraduate level
      • Or 18 semester hours (27 quarter hours) of accounting at the graduate level.
      • Should cover financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
    • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses (other than accounting courses) at the undergraduate level
      • or 18 semester hours (27 quarter hours) at the graduate level, or an equivalent combination thereof; or
  • Earned at least a bachelor’s degree from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of accounting courses
      • It should cover financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. In addition, the degree must include
    • 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses other than accounting courses.
      • Should cover areas of business law (must include coverage of the UCC), information systems, finance
      • At least one (1) of the areas of economics, business organizations, professional ethics, and/or business communication.

Course Requirements

Your Course Requirements for your Education: It is crucial that you know what course requirements are needed because if you don’t fulfill them, you will not be able to sit for the exam or even be a licensed CPA.

  • Online courses, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and pass/fail grades are acceptable when you receive credit for the courses at a regionally accredited college or university. These courses must appear on an official transcript.
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit will qualify toward the 150 semester hour rule when reflected on the transcript of a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Correspondence courses and/or commercial review courses are not acceptable.
  • CPA Review courses are acceptable if a regionally accredited college or university awards credits.
  • Internships in accounting subjects are accepted to meet accounting course electives; they cannot be accepted toward specific subject requirements.
  • Personal finance is not an acceptable course to meet the finance course requirement.

Foreign Education

If you received your education outside of the United States, Massachusetts requires some additional steps to ensure a license is permissible in the state. First, the International Evaluation Services (NIES) of NASBA or Center for Educational Documentation (CED) must write and submit an evaluation report for applicants who received their education outside of the United States.

IES sends your academic credentials to a review panel which then decides if your education should be classified as equivalent to that of accredited education in the United States.

Academic Credential Evaluation

Education Evaluation Requirements applying for a CPA license in Massachusetts are complex. Only licensed CPAs or students currently enrolled in a CPA program are eligible to sit for the examination. To practice as a licensed CPA, you will have to seek admission by examination. Applicants for qualification by examination must have their education evaluated by NASBA’s Licensing Service.

  • Fees
    • Initial: $175
    • Transfer of Grades: $100
    • Reciprocal: $499

Pass the Uniform CPA Examination

The “Uniform CPA Examination”, which is a 4-part exam, is developed by the AICPA – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by NASBA – the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

The Four CPA Exam Sections are:

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems) and its underlying business processes, risks and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPA, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Ethics

There is no ethics exam required to be eligible for the CPA license in Massachusetts. However, part of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirement is to attend 4 hours of board-approved ethics.

Examination Fees

Applicants taking the test for the first time must pay both the application fee and the examination fee on their first-time application. Re-examination applicants are required to pay the registration and examination fees at the same time during registration.

Application Fee$195.00
Registration Fees
1 Examination Section$117.00
2 Examination Sections$137.00
3 Examination Sections$157.00
4 Examination Sections$177.00
Examination Fees
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15

Take note that the exam fees are not refundable. Unless under extreme circumstances, then you can file an NTS extension or a partial refund of the fees for specific circumstances, and the applicant must fill up an Exception to Policy Form, which can be found over at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website for the Massachusetts Uniform CPA Examination.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

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