Massachusetts CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements To Become a CPA

Massachusetts CPA Requirements

See what you need to become a CPA in Massachusetts.
Wondering how to become a CPA in Massachusetts? It is home to some of the world’s best universities and is surrounded by top academicians. However, there are several requirements that you need to fulfill in order to take the CPA Exam and obtain a license, and this guide will provide all the necessary information.

Semester Units

Year of Experience
In Application Fees
Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Semester Units


Year of Experience

In Application Fees
Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Massachusetts CPA Requirements

To get a CPA license in Massachusetts, you must pass all four sections of the CPA Exam while meeting education, work experience, and other requirements. The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy is the state body that works closely with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Massachusetts is a single-tier state, so you will receive your license upon fulfilling the requirements.

Social Security Requirements Yes
Age, Citizenship, and Residency Requirements
  • Minimum 18 years old
  • U.S. citizenship is not required
  • No need to be a resident of Massachusetts
Good Moral Character Yes
Education Requirements for Licensure 150 hours (including B.A.)
Pass the Exam Minimum score in each section - 75
Work Experience 1 year of experience, with no less than 2,000 hours of service
Ethics Exam Requirements No
International CPA Examination Program Yes
Social Security Number Requirement

The Division of Professional Licensure mandates you to share your social security number to ascertain compliance with the tax laws of the commonwealth.

Citizenship, Age, and Residency Requirements
  • You are not required to have U.S. citizenship to become a CPA in Massachusetts. However, you will need a social security number to obtain your license.
  • Must be 18 years or older during the time of CPA Exam application.
  • There is no residency requirement for applicants aspiring to obtain a Massachusetts CPA license.

Educational and Credit Hours Requirements

There are specific educational requirements candidates must meet. Note that the education required to sit for the CPA Exam and the education you need to get a CPA license are not the same.

To sit for the CPA Exam you need:

  • A bachelor's degree (120 hours of coursework) from a regionally accredited university.
  • 21 credits in accounting. Includes coverage of auditing, taxation, financial accounting, and management/cost accounting.
  • 9 credits in business courses that cover finance, business law, and information systems.

To obtain CPA licensure, candidates must have completed a total of 150 hours of coursework (which includes a bachelor's degree) plus one of the following options:

  • Case 1: Have a graduate degree in accounting from a college or university accredited by the Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). If the AACSB does not accredit your program, it must be approved by the board or an Educators Credential Committee.
  • Case 2: Have a graduate degree in accounting, business administration, or law from a regionally or nationally accredited college/university that includes at least 30 hours of accounting at the undergraduate level or 18 hours at the graduate level. The degree shall consist of or be supplemented by 24 hours of general business courses at the undergraduate level or 18 hours at the graduate level, or an equivalent combination.
  • Case 3: Hold a bachelor's degree from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of 30 hours of accounting courses that cover auditing, taxation, financial accounting, and management accounting. On this path, candidates also need 24 hours of general non-accounting business courses that include coverage of business law, finance, information systems, and at least one of the following: business organizations, economics, business communication, and/or professional ethics.
Pass the Exam

As a CPA candidate, you must score at least 75 in each of the exam’s four sections to pass and apply for CPA licensure in Massachusetts. Only one condition applies: you must pass all the exams within an 18-month window.

Work Experience Requirements

Work experience is critical to meeting the Massachusetts CPA requirements. Successful applicants are expected to have a minimum of one year of experience in public accounting that extends no more than three years and includes a minimum of 2,000 hours of experience. Alternatively, candidates can obtain experience in non-public accounting. These hours must extend for a period of at least three years but must not surpass a period of nine years.

Acceptable services Included:

  • Accounting attest
  • Compilation
  • Management advisory
  • Financial advisory
  • Tax
  • Consulting skills
CPA Ethical Exam Requirements

Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not mandate applicants to pass the CPA ethics exam to qualify for licensure.

The International CPA Examination Program

The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy participates in the international CPA Examination program and facilitates non-U.S. citizens in obtaining a CPA license in Massachusetts. If you have completed your education outside of the U.S., your credentials will be evaluated by NASBA to determine whether you can sit for the exam. Subsequently, you must pass all four CPA Exam sections and apply for Massachusetts CPA licensure.

The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy recognizes license applicants who are members of professional bodies with mutual recognition agreements, such as:

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • CPA Australia
  • CPA Canada (CPAC)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
  • Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos (IMCP)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
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Massachusetts CPA Exam & Licensing - Cost and Fees

Massachusetts has one of the highest application fees for the CPA Exam. As per the Massachusetts CPA requirements, the initial exam fee is $195, and each section fee is $238.15 paid to the state board and NASBA respectively.

Massachusetts CPA Exam Fees
Initial Application Fee $195.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $238.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $238.15
Regulation (REG) $238.15
Total $1,147.60

There is a re-examination fee if you fail an exam section or a multiple.

Massachusetts CPA Re-Exam Fees
Re-exam 1 Section $117
Re-exam 2 Sections $137
Re-exam 3 Sections $157
Re-exam 4 Sections $177

The Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy is responsible for issuing CPA licenses to candidates who have fulfilled the state requirements. The initial licensing fee is $175, whereas the reciprocity fee is $499.

Massachusetts CPA License Renewal Requirements

Per the Massachusetts CPA license requirements, an applicant must renew their license every two years via ePlace portal by paying a renewal fee of $161. The candidates must meet the state’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. Renewal notices will be mailed to license holders 60 days before the June 30 deadline.

Massachusetts CPA Continuing Education Requirements

Every CPA license holder is required to undergo continuing education to improve their skills. Hence, you must complete 80 hours biennially. It must include four hours of professional ethics, with no carryover from one cycle to another. Some of the programs considered are:

  • Professional Development Programs of national and state accounting organizations.
  • Technical sessions at national and state accounting conferences.
  • University or college courses.

Massachusetts CPA Exam: Exam Dates, Score Release, and Scheduling

The Massachusetts CPA Exam is held year-round and applicants can apply as per their preference. The CPA Exam is administered by CPA Examination Services (CPAES), a NASBA sub-division. Once you have met the Massachusetts CPA requirements, you can proceed with the application process. However, you must check the CPA Exam score release dates released biennially by the AICPA to know the target exam and score release dates. Let us go through the steps to understand the process better.

  1. Submission of the CPA Exam Application

    Having met the CPA exam requirements, you can submit your application via NASBA's online portal - CPA Central. You must fill out all the required information and submit all your educational transcripts to the board along with the application. The initial application fee is $195.

  2. Obtain Authorization to Test (ATT)

    Once your eligibility has been determined by the board, they will send an Authorization to Test (ATT), which authorizes you to take the CPA exam and helps you proceed toward scheduling your exam.

  3. Notice to Schedule (NTS)

    Notice to Schedule is an essential document to schedule your CPA exam. The document will be available to you after three to six weeks of the application. The document is required to enter the Prometric testing center on exam day, and you may want to have multiple copies of the same.

  4. Schedule Your Exam With Prometric

    The Prometric website is an interface to help you schedule your CPA exam with your NTS. It is highly recommended to schedule your exam at least six weeks before your desired exam date. The Prometric tool will allow you to choose your testing center and date.

  5. Pass the Exam

    You must score at least 75 in each section to pass the CPA exam. All the sections must be passed within 18 months of the passing of the first section. You can find the score release dates on the AICPA website.

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