New Hampshire requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. There is no minimum age requirement, and applicants do not have to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of New Hampshire. However, applicants must have a valid Social Security number. Individuals who meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.
Step 1: CPA exam in New Hampshire
Sitting for the CPA exam in New Hampshire requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and have 120 hours of credit, which includes coursework in accounting and related business courses.
Education requirements in New Hampshire
Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university that is recognized by the board and have 120 credit hours. The board does not accept a three-year bachelor’s degree in combination with professional qualification as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. The board will accept the combination of a three-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master’s degree.
The coursework includes:
- 30 semester hours in accounting, which must include:
- financial accounting
- management accounting
- 24 semester hours in business electives, which may include but are not limited to:
- business law
- business information systems
- professional ethics
- business organizations
Application and test fees
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) administers the exam. Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to NASBA, showing proof of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school.
The process to apply for the CPA exam starts with requesting and receiving authorization to take the test, followed by acknowledgement from the state and official notice to schedule (NTS) the exam. Once this process is completed, applicants can select a date to take the CPA exam. The NTS expires in six months, after which candidates must submit a new application. The exam is available the first two months of each calendar quarter.
State law requires that first-time applicants submit a $225 application fee plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are also required to pay a $150 registration fee in addition to exam fees.
In addition to the state’s application fee, there are substantial administrative costs that must be paid in advance to the NASBA.
The Uniform CPA Examination comprises four sections:
- Auditing and Attestation
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Business Environment and Concepts
Each section of the exam has a specified administration fee. Applicants may take one or more of the four required sections at a time. In addition to the administration fee for each section, CPA exam applicants are charged a separate fee for each testing session they take.
Taking, passing and retaking the CPA exam
The passing score for each of the four exam sections is 75. Applicants may take the sections individually and in any order, but are required to pass all four within a rolling 18-month period, which begins on the date the first examination section passed was taken.
Credit for any section passed shall be valid for 18 months from the actual date the examination section was taken. Examination credits expire by section, and applicants will lose credit for each section passed outside of the 18-month period.
Step 2: CPA license in New Hampshire
After successfully passing all four sections of the exam and obtaining 150 hours of education, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in New Hampshire. Applicants must submit a licensure application to New Hampshire along with a $150 application payable to Treasurer, State of New Hampshire.
Education in New Hampshire
The educational requirements for licensing changed on July 1, 2014. Candidates are now required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher with an accounting concentration and 150 hours of education. The 150 hours must include the coursework required to sit for the CPA exam.
Work experience in New Hampshire
The work experience required for licensing changed on July 1, 2014. Applicants must now obtain one year of experience through public accounting and governmental agencies.
Out-of-state CPA licenses
New Hampshire allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state as long as the issuing state has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal. New Hampshire also recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they meet the requirements of New Hampshire’s State Board of Public Accountancy and submit a Reciprocal Permit to Practice form.
Disclaimer: Requirements for New Hampshire CPA test-takers and license applicants are subject to change. Visit the state’s Board of Public Accountancy website to check for recent revisions to New Hampshire’s CPA requirements.
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