Rhode Island CPA Exam Requirements 2022: 4 Critical Guides

Rhode Island CPA Exam Requirements

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Rhode Island CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in Rhode Island, we’ve summarized the Rhode Island CPA exam requirements so that you’ll know the exact steps to become a licensed CPA in the Ocean State.

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Summary of Rhode Island CPA Requirements

Residency, Regularly employed or have a place of business in Rhode Island required?Yes
Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam150
Credit Hours in Accounting to sit for the CPA Exam24
Credit Hours in Business to sit for the CPA Exam24
Bachelor’s Required to sit for the CPA Exam?Yes
Credit Hours to receive a CPA License150
Ethics ExamYes
Work Experience1 Year
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years120

Eligibility for Rhode Island CPA Exam Requirements

Education, the CPA exam, ethics, and experience are all required for CPAs in Rhode Island, as they are in most states. The state also demands that:

  • You must have a Social Security number in order to apply for the CPA exam.
  • You must be a resident of the state. To satisfy that;
  • You are either a regular employee or own a business in Rhode Island. However;
  • There are no requirements for either U.S. citizenship or age.

Educational Requirements

The very first Rhode Island CPA exam requirement is the Rhode Island CPA educational requirements. For your license, you will need a minimum of 150 semester hours of study, however, you can sit for the CPA exam after completing 120 hours and obtaining a bachelor’s degree. You should meet one or more of the following conditions as part of the 150 semester hours of education:

Option 1

  • A graduate degree with a focus in accounting program certified in accounting accredited by a Board-recognized certifying institution.

Option 2

  • A graduate degree from a business program accredited by a Board-recognized accrediting agency with at least 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level or a graduate level which includes 15 semester hours, or an equivalent combination thereof.Accounting courses must cover at least one of the following topics:
    • 6 semester hours in fundamental accounting and intermediate financial accounting and reporting,
    • 3 semester hours in advanced financial accounting and reporting, tax accounting and auditing.

Option 3

  • A baccalaureate degree or higher degree from an institution accredited by a Board-recognized accrediting agency with at least 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level or a graduate level which includes 24 semester hours in business courses.Accounting courses must cover at least one of the following topics:
    • 6 semester hours in fundamental accounting and intermediate financial accounting and reporting,
    • 3 semester hours in advanced financial accounting and reporting, tax accounting and auditing.
    Business courses must cover at least 3 semester hours in:
    • Business law
    • Economics

CPA Examination Services requires all educational transcripts and/or international evaluations. You may send official school transcripts and/or foreign evaluations individually or as part of your initial application.

Submitting Transcripts

If, at the time of application, you have completed the following educational requirements:

  • Each school you attended must provide you with an authentic transcript. Transfer credits are not accepted; instead, a transcript from each institution must be submitted.
  • The official transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office must include the official seal.
  • Your official transcript must include your degree.
  • Official transcripts can be forwarded either electronically directly to the institution or through etranscript@nasba.org if an email address is needed.
  • You can also submit your sealed official transcripts to CPA Examination Services.
  • Photocopies of transcripts will not be accepted since they are not official.

If you completed your study at a university or college outside of the United States, an official transcript will be issued by a registrar from a university or college in the United States.

Credentials Evaluation

If you finished your educational requirements at a university or college outside of the United States, you must:

  • get your qualifications reviewed by:
  • request a form of service from the evaluation service agency,
  • provide a translated copy of each international transcript utilized in the review.
  • request the agency to review an equivalence summary indicating the similar academic degrees you possess in the United States.

At the time of application, CPAES must receive completed original evaluations directly from the evaluation service. Photocopies are not acceptable.

For each individual evaluation from the evaluation service, a copy of the foreign transcript must be provided with the report delivered to NASBA. Without these documents, the application will be considered incomplete, and progress will be halted until transcripts are delivered.

Rhode Island Uniform CPA Examination

You may apply through CPAES for the uniform CPA exam if you are eligible as a first-time candidate. It is also recommended that you read The Candidate Bulletin before submitting online applications.

Submit your initial application for the CPA exam at:

  • CPA Examination Services,
    Rhode Island Coordinator
    P.O. Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219-8469

After your application has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive a Notice to Plan (NTS) allowing you to schedule a testing date with a Prometric testing center to sit for the exam.

The exam can then be scheduled by contacting a Prometric facility. Candidates should keep in mind that they may apply for one or more sections of the test at the same time and after an NTS is granted, they only have six months to take an exam segment.

Uniform CPA Exam Components

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) created the examination, and the items were designed in part by working CPAs to reflect current accounting issues.

Since the exam is pretty difficult, find other test takers to study with or look for a review course online or in your area. The four CPA exam sections to pass are:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – This section discusses financial reporting frameworks from industry specialists. Candidates are asked to compare assertions based on various reporting standards.
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – This section evaluates your understanding of international auditing standards as well as US standards.
  • Regulation (REG) – This test covers the ethical section as well as your professional and legal responsibilities.
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – This section focuses on broad business concepts as well as international business. Many parts of the test require written communication abilities.

Rhode Island CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Rhode Island CPA exam cost consists of three main fees: an initial exam application fee of $170, a registration fee that depends on the number of exams taken and the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections.

Rhode Island does not charge a fee for the Initial Practice Unit application or its renewal application.

First-time applicants are required to pay both the application fee and examination fee when submitting their application.

Re-examination candidates will have to pay the registration fee and examination fee upon registration.

Application Fee$170.00
Re-Examination Registration Fee$85.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$905.00

Please be reminded that examination costs are non-refundable.

CPA Examination Credit

You may take the requisite test portions in any sequence, but you must pass all four components of the examination within a rolling 18-month period beginning on the day the first examination section was passed.

Any section credit earned will be valid for 18 months from the date the examination sections were taken. Sectional examination credit expires. You will lose credit for any portions completed after the 18-month timeframe has expired and will have to retake those sections.

Rhode Island CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the Rhode Island CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates should complete a course from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) titled Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure). This is a self-study course and an exam will be administered after finishing the course. A candidate must pass with a score of 90% or higher.

You can take the exam online or by mail using a paper form. If you take the online version, you’ll have three chances to pass the exam.

Rhode Island CPA Experience Requirements

To meet the Rhode Island CPA experience requirements, a one-year with a minimum of 1,820 hours of experience is required. The candidates must demonstrate to the board that they have obtained experience, verified and supervised by a licensee, consisting of providing any type of service or advice involving accounting, attestation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, and consulting skills.

The state has specific standards for each of these forms of broad experience:

  • Academic
  • Governmental
  • Public Accountancy
  • Industry

Rhode Island CPA License Requirements

You’ll be eligible to apply for your CPA license after passing the CPA exam and satisfying all of the academic and work experience requirements outlined above.

The application procedure in Rhode Island is rather simple. You must complete and submit the following forms in order to obtain your CPA license:

  • One year of experience (minimum of 1,820 hours) is necessary.
  • The applicant must show the Board that they have received experience that has been validated and overseen by a licensee, which includes providing any form of service or advise involving:
    • Accounting
    • Attestation
    • Management advisory
    • Financial advisory
    • Tax
    • Consulting skills
  • An applicant who lacks the above-mentioned variety and diversity of experience must carry the burden of demonstrating that the experience submitted is of sufficient quality and diversity to meet the admission requirement.

CPA License Renewal

Once you become an active certified public accountant in Rhode Island, you must maintain your status by renewing your license each year. The CPA renewal application is simple to complete and may be found on the RI State Board website. Each license renewal will necessitate the completion of an application and the submission of CPE credits.

After getting your license, you must keep it current by enrolling in educational courses that keep you up to date on progressing accounting, finance, and tax issues. Every three years, Rhode Island mandates 120 hours of Continued Professional Education (CPE).

(CPE) Continuing Professional Education Requirements

CPE must be completed within the three calendar years before the year in which the license is to be renewed. During the three-year period preceding renewal, all CPAs must complete at least 120 CPE credit hours in accordance with the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy.

For the three-year reporting period, the maximum credit for self-study programs cannot exceed 80 CPE hours.

CPE required subjects are:

  • Accounting and auditing (accounting, governmental accounting, auditing, and governmental auditing)
  • Technical business subjects, which includes:
    • Consulting services (administrative practice and the social environment of business)
    • Management (business law, finance, management advisory services)
    • Specialized knowledge and applications (computer science, economics, mathematics, production, specialized knowledge and applications and statistics)
  • Taxes
  • Personal development and marketing (communications, business management and organization, personal development, personnel/human resources and marketing)
  • Ethics (behavioral ethics and regulatory ethics)

Rhode Island CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Rhode Island’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.

What Are the Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam in Rhode Island?

To sit for the CPA exam in Rhode Island, you must be a resident, regularly employed, or have a place of business in Rhode Island, and must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution with 120 semester hours.

24 semester hours in accounting and completed not less than 24 semester hours in business courses both at the undergraduate or graduate level. The accounting courses must include at least: six semester hours in both fundamental accounting and intermediate financial accounting and reporting and not less than three semester hours in each of the following: advanced financial accounting and reporting, tax accounting and auditing. The business courses must include not less than three semester hours in both business law and economics.

How Long Does it Take to Become a CPA in Rhode Island?

You will need to attain the full 150 semester hours required nationwide. This is roughly five years of education, then one year to take and pass the CPA exam, and then one year to meet the experience requirement. That makes a total of 6-7 years to get your CPA license. Once you have met all the requirements and have submitted your application to receive your CPA license from the State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, if approved you will receive your license in the mail within 3-4 weeks.

How Much Does It Cost to Take the CPA Exam in Rhode Island?

The total cost of the CPA exam for an aspiring CPA in Rhode Island is $1,074.60, this is considering that you pass all exams on the first try. The breakdown of the cost is $170 for the application fee and $904.60 exam fee for all four sections of the exam ($226.15 per section).

How Many CPAs are in Rhode Island?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as per the May 2021 data, there are currently around 5,910 accountants in Rhode Island with an annual salary of $88,350.

Do CPA Scores Expire in Rhode Island?

Regardless of the state, once a CPA candidate passes their first CPA exam section, they then have 18 months to pass the remaining three CPA exam sections to complete the Uniform CPA Examination. Once a CPA candidate has passed the Uniform CPA Examination, their scores never expire in Rhode Island.

How Many Accounting Credits Do You Need to Sit for the CPA License in Rhode Island?

You must complete at least 24 semester hours in accounting and completed not less than 24 semester hours in business courses both at the undergraduate or graduate level. The accounting courses must include at least: six semester hours in both fundamental accounting and intermediate financial accounting and reporting and not less than three semester hours in each of the following: advanced financial accounting and reporting, tax accounting and auditing. The business courses must include not less than three semester hours in both business law and economics.

Does Rhode Island Require an Ethics Exam for the CPA?

Yes, the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy requires all candidates applying for the CPA license must complete at least 8 hours in length the AICPA ethics examination or its equivalent. With a minimum score of 90% to pass the test.

You can get the AICPA Ethics Exam here.

How Do I Get my CPA License in Rhode Island?

Before you can apply for your license, you must make sure that you meet all the requirements. In Rhode Island, applicant CPAs must have a minimum of one year or 1,820 hours of experience gained under a licensed CPA. Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam and complete the Rhode Island Application questions.

If you meet all the requirements. You can apply for your CPA license through the e-Licensing portal.

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