Massachusetts CPA Exam
Massachusetts Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license entitles a professional to practice as a CPA in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Moreover, you must pass the CPA Exam and meet Massachusetts-specific education and experience requirements to attain the license.
Please note that Massachusetts is a one-tier state. There is no CPA certificate. Hence, the candidates can directly apply for the CPA licenseCPA LicenseA Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a US State Board-issued license that assures exceptional service standards in the accounting profession. The license can be awarded by any of the 55 US jurisdictions on passing the Uniform CPA Exam and fulfilling the state-specific education and experience requirements. after passing the CPA ExamCPA ExamA Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a US state board-issued license to practice the accounting profession and meeting the experience and other requirements.
The state also participates in the international administration of the CPA Exam program. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy (MBPA) is the license-issuing authority. Here are the Massachusetts license requirements in brief.
|Age||18 years or older|
|U.S. Citizenship||Not required|
|Social Security number (SSN)||Required|
|Education requirement for CPA Exam||A bachelor’s degree with 120 semester hours, including
|Education requirement for licensure||150 semester hours|
|Experience requirement for licensure||2000 hours of service
|Ethics exam||Not required|
Let’s take an in-depth look at Massachusetts CPA Exam and license requirements.
Table of Contents
- Education Requirements
- Exam Requirements
- Experience Requirement
- Character or Reference Letter
- CORI Form
- Licensing Fees
Massachusetts CPA Exam Requirements
The Uniform CPA Exam is an online series of tests developed to evaluate your expertise and skills as a newly licensed CPA. It includes four sections, each being four-hour long.
- Auditing & Attestation (AUD ExamAUD ExamThe Auditing and Attestation (AUD) CPA exam section tests your expertise in performing auditing, attestation, and other service engagements.)
- Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR ExamFAR ExamThe Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) CPA Exam section tests a candidate’s competency in understanding and applying financial accounting and reporting standards.)
- Business Environment & Concepts (BEC ExamBEC ExamThe BEC CPA Exam (Business Environment and Concepts) exam section evaluates your understanding of the general business environment and your duties and responsibilities as a CPA towards it. It assesses your ability to recognize and scrutinize situations related to Financial reporting, Financial statement audit and attestation and Tax preparation )
- Regulation (REG ExamREG ExamREG CPA Exam (Regulation) exam section tests a candidate’s competency in applying the concepts of federal taxation, business law, and ethics. It is a four-hour exam with 15 minutes break. )
The exam is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in conjunction with the state boards.
You must score at least 75 points on a scale of 0-99 in each section. In addition, you must pass all four CPA exam sectionsCPA Exam SectionsThe Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam comprises four sections, namely, Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). The unique content, structure, format, and scoring of the CPA exam earn it the title of one of the most challenging professional exams. within a rolling 18-month period starting from the date the first passed section is taken.
All the sections mentioned above include multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). Besides, MCQs and TBSs, BEC also has written communications tasks (WCTs).
Exam Eligibility Requirements
- 18 years or older
Bachelor’s Degree with 120 semester hours from a nationally or regionally accredited academic institution with,
- 21 semester hours of accounting courses in
- Financial accounting
- Management/cost accounting
- 9 semester hours of business courses in
- Business law (covering the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code)
- Information systems
Fulfill the education requirements either at the time of application or within 90 days of sitting for your first exam section. Also, attempt the section you applied for within six months (Notice-To-Schedule validity period).
Massachusetts CPA exam candidates must apply through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Kindly visit the NASBA website for the complete CPA application process.
First-time applicants must pay the application and examination fees at the time of application.
Re-examination candidates must pay the registration and examination fees at the time of registration.
|Exam sections||Exam Fees per section||Total Exam Fees (all sections)||Registration Fees||Total Fees|
|4 exam sections||$226.15||904.6||$177||$1081.6|
|3 exam sections||$226.15||678.45||$157||$835.45|
|2 exam sections||$226.15||452.3||$137||$589.3|
|1 exam section||$226.15||226.15||$117||$343.15|
Note that both application and exam fees are non-refundable. Also, you can’t withdraw from the exam or request an NTS extension. However, you may request a partial refund or NTS extension under extreme situations. For a partial refund, submit the Exception to Policy Form.
You must submit the following documents.
|Required Documents||Submitted to||Submitted by|
|Official school transcripts||CPAES (electronically)||Your school|
|International Evaluation report & foreign transcripts (if applicable)||CPAES||You or evaluation agency|
|Certificate of Enrollment (if applicable)||CPAES||You or your school|
|Testing Accommodations Request Form (if applicable)||CPAES||You|
International candidates can get their credentials evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) or the Centre for Educational Documentation (CED). Furthermore, candidates can use the NASBA Advisory Evaluation to identify any academic deficiencies in the transcripts before the final submission.
Finally, applicants who have passed the CPA Exam must file an application to the State Board with the required fees to obtain the CPA license.
Massachusetts CPA License Requirements
Fulfil these requirements to earn a Massachusetts license:
- Gain work experience in public accounting (1-3 years) or non-public accounting (3-9 years)
- Earn a bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours
- Pass the Uniform CPA Exam with at least 75 points
- Submit three character reference letters dated and addressed to the Board
- Submit Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form
CPA licensure applicants must be at least 18 years old with a valid SSN. However, they are not required to hold the U.S. citizenship or residency.
CPA licensure candidates must complete 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) from a nationally or regionally accredited institution. Know that the initial 120 credit hours are required to sit for the CPA Exam. Then, complete the additional 30 credit hours for licensure.
You may pick any of these three options to fulfil the educational requirements:
- Graduate degree in accounting from an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited institute.
A Baccalaureate degree in Accounting, Law, or Business Administration, including
- 30 undergraduate (18 graduate) semester hours in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
- 24 undergraduate (18 graduate) semester hours of business courses (excluding accounting courses)
A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institute, including
- 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of accounting courses covering financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting subjects
- 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of business courses with business law, information systems, and finance subjects. Besides, it must also cover at least one area of economics, business organizations, professional ethics, or business communication. However, it must exclude accounting courses.
You must pass the CPA Exam within the rolling 18-month period. Ensure to score at least 75 points in each of the four sections. Check out the above-mentioned CPA Exam Requirements section for further details.
Once you pass the CPA Exam, ensure to fulfil the experience requirements before submitting your licensure application. You must earn at least 2000 hours of work experience (full-time or part-time) in public accounting or non-public accounting. Here are the details.
|Public Accounting||Non-public Accounting|
|Minimum Period – 1 year|
Maximum Period – 3 years
|Minimum Period – 3 years|
Maximum Period – 9 years
Character or Reference Letter
Submit three-character or reference letters with your licensure application to the MBPA. They confirm your good character. It must be from your acquaintances (not relatives) like business associates, employers, or your employer’s clients.
Ensure that the letters are currently dated (within one year), and signatures are original.
A Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form lists criminal cases against you in the Massachusetts state court. Click here to avail of the CORI Form and enter your details. It includes your name, date and place of birth, SSN, ID number and address. The details must be verified by a Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) employee or notary.
Ensure to submit your licensure application to the MBPA along with the required fees, $175. In addition, reciprocal applicants licensed for over four years must apply with $499. If applicable, you must pay $100 for the transfer of grades.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
CPAs in Massachusetts must complete 80 CPE credit hours every two years. Moreover, they are required to earn at least four hours in Professional Ethics. Let’s see the details.
|CPE Reporting Period||July 1 – June 30 every two years|
|Required credits||80 hours every two years|
|Ethics||4 hours in professional ethics|
|1 Credit||50-100-minute activity (You may add up multiple events less than 50 minutes)|
|Credit Calculation||Instruction||1 Presentation Hour = 1 CPE hour + 2 CPE hours (Prep time)|
|Published Materials & Self-Study||Determined by Continuing Education (CE) Committee|
|University/College Credit||1 Semester hour = 15 CPE hours (Credit Courses)|
|1 Classroom hour = 1 CPE hour (Non-credit Courses)|
|Partial Credit||Accepted in 0.2 (minimum) or 0.5 increments|
Please note that Massachusetts accepts CPA CPECPA CPEAs a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you need to acquire Continuing Professional Education or CPE credits for sustaining your license. This ensures that you are actively involved in improving your know-how of the profession by engaging in learning activities. Credits for the programs offered by National Registry Sponsors. However, you can still take up a course in any other subject area, provided that it benefits your position as a public accountant.
Congratulations! Now, after passing the exam and attaining the license, you can finally call yourself a CPA in Massachusetts. Needlessly, the Bay State is a safe haven with a galore of opportunities for CPAs. So, make the most of them!
Always remember that your journey doesn’t end here. Hence, ensure your license renewal every two years. Also, keep a tab on MBPA, AICPA, and NASBA websites for any updates.
Massachusetts CPA Information and Resources
1. Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy
1000 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
- CPA Examination Services
- National Registry of CPE Sponsors
150 4th Avenue N. Suite 700 Nashville, TN 37219
3. Center for Educational Documentation
4. Massachusetts Society of CPAs
105 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111
5. Massachusetts Secretary of State
Toll-Free: 1-800-392-6090 (within Massachusetts only)
This has been a guide to Massachusetts CPA Exam & License Requirements. Here we discuss the CPA exam and license requirements in the U.S. state of Massachusetts along with its CPE requirements.
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