The Northern Marianas Islands requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. There is no minimum age requirement, applicants do not have to be a U.S. resident, do not have to reside in the Northern Mariana Islands or hold 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 Northern Marianas Islands
The Accountancy Board of the Northern Mariana Islands is currently not accepting applications for the Uniform CPA Examination. Applicants who wish to sit for the exam must do so in one of the other U.S. states or jurisdictions by meeting their qualification requirements and foreign education verification requirements.
Application and test fees
Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to the state board of accountancy for the state in which they wish to apply to sit for the CPA exam.
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 anywhere from 90 days to one year, although most expire in six months. After expiration, candidates must submit a new application. The exam is available the first two months of each calendar quarter.
States require that first-time applicants submit an application fee plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are also required to pay a 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 National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
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 Northern Marianas Islands
After successfully passing all four sections of the exam, and obtaining the necessary work experience, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in the Northern Mariana Islands. Applicants must submit a licensure application to the NASBA along with a $330 fee.
Candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 150 hours of education.
One year of experience is required for licensing and shall consist of full- or part-time employment that occurs between one and three years. Acceptable experience includes employment in public accounting, industry, government and/or academia. Experience can consist of providing any type of services or advice using accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills.
Out-of-territory CPA licenses
The Northern Mariana Islands allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in the United States or other foreign countries to practice in the commonwealth as long as the issuing state or country has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal.
Disclaimer: Requirements for Northern Mariana Islands CPA test-takers and license applicants are subject to change. Check the NASBA website for recent revisions to The Northern Mariana Islands’ CPA requirements.
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