Welcome to the NH Board of Accountancy

*Frequently Asked Questions

 

 
Exam and Certification Requirements

Dear Exam Candidate or CPA Candidate:

Below are responses to frequently asked questions regarding the examination and certification process to become a CPA in the State of New Hampshire. These questions and answers are general in nature and are informational only. Each and every applicant for either exam or a certificate/license to practice as a Certified Public Accountant must meet in full all the laws and rules of the State of New Hampshire Board of Accountancy for examination and certification as a certified public accountant. This information is not intended to be all inclusive and you must apply for and be accepted to sit for the examination and must apply for and fulfill all the RSA’s contained in RSA 309-B and fulfill all the applicable Administrative Rules which outline and define the certification requirements in order to obtain a certificate to practice public accounting in the state of New Hampshire. In order to obtain all the information needed to become certified in the State of New Hampshire you will need to review both the statutory requirements and rule requirements (RSA 309-B and Ac 100-500).

The Uniform CPA exam is offered in a computerized (CBT) format. For applications for the CBT please visit the website www.nasba.org. You will click on Exams, then click on CPA Exam, then click on New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy offers the CPA exam; however the Board has contracted with National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) CPA Exam Services to approve and process the applications for the exam. NASBA will review and approve your education, process your application, send you the Notice to Schedule and will notify you of your grades. During the application process you may email CPA Exam Services at cpaes-nh@nasba.org with questions regarding the CPA exam. Upon completion of the CPA Exam and when you are ready to apply for certification you will then apply for the certificate and license to practice through the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy.

WE DO NOT REQUIRE RESIDENCY OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS FOR NON US CITIZENS.

YOUR EXAM GRADES DO NOT EXPIRE ONCE YOU PASS THE FULL EXAM PURSUANT TO RSA 309-B: 5 IV, and V.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONSULT THE NASBA CANDIDATE BULLETIN

 

**Frequently Asked Questions (revised October 23, 2013)

 

EXAMS

  • What Are The Current Requirements To Sit For The Exam?

  • Have a conferred bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college that is accredited;
    1. Either within the bachelor’s degree or earned outside the bachelor’s from a recognized university or college that is accredited, you must have a minimum of 120 credit hours;
    2. Have a minimum of 24 semester hours in business, of which 12 must be in accounting earned either within the bachelor’s degree or earned outside the bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college that is accredited.
    3. The Board does not allow or accept a three-year bachelor’s degree with professional qualification.
    4. The Board will accept the combination of a three-year bachelor’s degree and two-year master’s degree.

    All educational requirements must be met at the time of application. All educational transcript(s) and/or foreign evaluations are required to be submitted at the time of application.

    Ac 302.02  CPA Certificate Applicant Education.

    (3) For applicants who first sat for the exam on or after January 1, 2005, the applicant shall have had at least a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution accredited pursuant to (b) below and at least 120 semester hours of education with at least 24 semester hours in business, including at least 12 semester hours in accounting.

    (b)  An educational institution shall be considered by the board to be accredited if:

    (1)  Approved by a member of a regional or national accrediting agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education; or

    (2)  Approved by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools (AACSB).

    2014 Educational Requirements for Exam

    Ac 302.03 Educational Qualifications for CPA Examination

      Pursuant to RSA 309-B:5, III (c) on or after July 1, 2014 applicants for the CPA examination required pursuant to RSA 310-B:5 and Ac 303 shall have 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate degree conferred by a college or university accredited pursuant to Ac 302.02 (b). The degree shall include at least 30 semester hours of accounting courses which shall include coverage in financial accounting auditing, taxation, and management accounting and be supplemented by 24 semester hours of business courses other than accounting courses which includes, business law, business information systems, finance, professional ethics, business organizations, and economics.

    What this means is that you may sit for the exam with the bachelors degree, the 120 credits, the 30 credits in accounting and 24 credits in business. However, before certification can be awarded, you must have at least a baccalaureate degree that includes at least 120 hours pursuant to 302.02 (f) from an educational institution accredited pursuant to Ac 302.02 (b), and an additional 30 semester hours of education which shall meet the criteria in Ac 302.02.  The total required semester hours of education shall consist of not less than 30 hours in accounting and 24 hours in business courses accredited pursuant to 302.02(b).

 
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  • What  Kind of Education Verification Do I Need?

    Ac 301.02 (3) States that if your degree is from the United States an official transcript in accordance with 301.02 (3) (a) must be provided.

    Ac 301.02 (d) (3) States that if your degree/s were earned from a foreign country, you will need to have the degree or degrees evaluated by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. That evaluation must comply with 301.02 (d) (3) (b).

    You may find more information at http://www.nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/newhampshire/.

    The evaluation must be a course by course evaluation and break down the number of accounting and business courses.

    If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, you may contact CPA Exam Services and they offer a pre-evaluation service. Go to www.nasba.org, click on CPA Exam, click on the State of New Hampshire, click on first time application, then scroll down and choose Pre-Evaluation. This is not mandatory and is not required by the NH Board of Accountancy, but is a service offered by CPA Exam Services. The service has a minimal fee and they will pre-evaluate your education before the actual exam application process to ascertain if you qualify. The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy will not pre-evaluate your education.

    The fee will not be applied to the exam cost.

    If you have a foreign degree and it has been evaluated by an acceptable evaluation company, you will request that the evaluation company send  the evaluation to CPA Exam Services at NASBA in Tennessee. The address is on the bottom of the application for examination.

What Type of Courses are Acceptable for the Accounting Credits?
The basic courses that qualify for the accounting credits are those courses that contain accounting in the course title:

Samples:
(These are only a few samples and this list is not all inclusive. There are many additional courses, but this should give you some guidance)

Accounting I & II
Intermediate Accounting I & II
Advanced Accounting
Analyzing of Financial Statements
Auditing
Corporate Financial Reporting
Cost Accounting
Financial Management
Managerial Accounting
Management Accounting
Financial Accounting
Cost Accounting
Accounting Systems
Governmental Accounting
Partnership and Corporate Accounting
Taxation courses including Federal Taxation
(Federal Taxation is not a requirement)

 
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  • How Do I Apply For The Exam?
    The exam is computerized and you will arrange to sit for the exam through Prometric and may sit for the exam anytime the exam window is open and there is a seat available at the center you wish to use. You may physically sit anywhere in the United States that has an approved exam site. You may only sit once for each part in a two month window. Example: If you sit for BEC in January, you cannot sit for BEC in February of the same exam window.
    The exam is open: January & February
    April & May
    July & August
    October & November
    The exam is closed March, June, September and December for grading.

    In order to apply for the CPA Exam you must go to www.nasba.org and click on “Exams” and then choose the exam you wish to apply for.

    Choose the State of New Hampshire from the map or the drop down menu.
    Then choose whether you are a first time candidate or a re-exam candidate, if you are not sure click on both and review the descriptions of both and you should be able to determine which application to file.

    Either application will have instructions on how to apply and pay for the exam.

    Please be aware that each time you apply for the parts of the examination you are required to pay an application fee. However, you should only apply for those parts of the exam that you are prepared to sit for in a six month period, as once you are approved and you receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS), the NTS expires 6 months from the date it is issued.
 

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  • How Will I Know If I Have Been Approved To Sit?
    Once you have submitted your education, application and fees, your information will be reviewed by CPA Exam Services to ascertain if you meet the New Hampshire education requirements. Upon approval to sit, CPA Exam services will either mail or email you your “Notice To Schedule” (NTS). This document is extremely important and must be brought to the exam site with you or you will not be allowed to sit. Please read it and make sure your name is correct. If it is not then contact CPA Exam Services immediately to obtain a new NTS.
 

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  • How Do I Arrange To Sit?
    Upon receipt of your NTS you will have six months from the date of issuance of the NTS to sit for the exam part or parts you have applied for. You will contact Prometric and arrange for a seat at the exam site of your choice through the Prometric web site. You should ensure you give yourself time to sit for any parts you register for.

    If you do not sit within six months of the date on the NTS that NTS is invalid and cannot be used. If you have a hardship or medical situation that precluded you from sitting please contact CPA Exam Services immediately and request an extension. The extensions are given for hardship or medical reasons and are determined on a case by case basis and may require documentation.

    We strongly recommend that you read the Candidate Bulletin located at
    www.nasba.org under documents or publications and forms and take the candidate tutorial both located on the NASBA website, also you should visit http://www.thiswaytocpa.com/
 
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  • What Happens After I Sit?
    After you have completed the exam part/s you have scheduled for, your exam/s are electronically submitted to the grading service. The grading service then transmits your grades to CPA Exam Services who will post them on the NASBA web site. Your score is also either mailed to you hard copy or emailed to you based on your request.
 

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  • How Do I Pass The Computerized Exam?
    A candidate may sit for one part of the computerized exam at a time, or may choose to sit for two or three or four parts during a testing window, which is open every two months. If a candidate sits for the exam and passes a part/s then he or she has 18 months to complete the un-passed examination parts. The exam is open for two months, closes for one month, opens for two months, closes for one month, so on and so forth.

    Please review Ac 303.02 CPA Examination Required at the end of this document.

 

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  • How Do I Prepare For The Exam?
    This is a personal choice. There is no requirement for how you prepare for the exam. There are many different companies that offer preparatory courses and you will need to decide if you would benefit from taking one and which type of learning is best for you. If you are looking for preparatory courses you may want to use a search engine to obtain as many different choices as possible.
 

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  1. TRANSFERING OF EXAMINATION GRADES
    When ever you transfer examination grades from a state or jurisdiction other than New Hampshire, to New Hampshire, you must meet what the New Hampshire’s requirements were at the time you took the exam in the other state or jurisdiction.
  2. For transfer of grades please contact:
  3. cpaes-nh@nasba.org.
    1-800-CPA-EXAM  or
    1-615-880-4250

    For verification of licensure, please contact Kim Ware at:
 
CERTIFICATION

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  • What are the requirements for a CPA Certificate?

    Notice: The Board has modified Administrative Rules Ac 302.02 (a) (4) an Ac 304.03 (a) (4) to require 30 hours of Accounting effective 7/2/13. 
  • 309-B:5 Qualifications for a Certificate as a Certified Public Accountant. –

        I. The certificate of "certified public accountant'' shall be granted to persons of good character who meet the education, experience, and examination requirements of this section, who make application therefor pursuant to RSA 309-B:7, and who pay the fees prescribed by the board.
        II. Good character for purposes of this section means the lack of a history of dishonest or felonious acts.
        III. The education requirements for a certificate shall be as follows:
           (a) Until January 1, 2005, a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, with an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate.
           (b) After January 1, 2005 and until June 30, 2014, at least 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate; provided however, that candidates for a certificate may sit for the examination described in paragraph IV if they have at least 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate.
           (c) On or after July 1, 2014, at least 150 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board, the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate; provided however, that candidates for a certificate may sit for the examination described in paragraph IV if they have at least 120 semester hours of college education including a baccalaureate degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board the total educational program to include an accounting concentration or equivalent as determined by board rule to be appropriate. The applicant's degree shall include 30 semester hours of accounting courses. The accounting credits shall include coverage in financial accounting auditing, taxation, and management accounting. In addition, the degree shall include, or be supplemented by, 24 semester hours of business courses other than accounting courses. These business courses may include, but not be limited to, coverage in the areas of business law, business information systems, finance, professional ethics, business organizations, and economics.

    Ac 302.02  CPA Certificate Applicant Education.

              (a)  Each applicant submitting an application for certification as a CPA shall submit documents demonstrating compliance with the following education requirements in effect in New Hampshire at the time the applicant first sat for the exam as follows:

    (1)  For applicants who first sat for the exam prior to January 1, 1996, the applicant shall have had at least a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution accredited pursuant to (b) below;

    (2)  For applicants who first sat for the exam on or after January 1, 1996 but before January 1, 2005, the applicant shall have had at least a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution accredited pursuant to Ac 302.02(b) with at least 24 semester hours  in business, including at least 12 semester hours in accounting; and

    (3)  For applicants who first sat for the exam on or after January 1, 2005, the applicant shall have had at least a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution accredited pursuant to (b) below and at least 120 semester hours of education with at least 24 semester hours in business, including at least 12 semester hours in accounting.

    (4)  Applicants for certification on or after July 1, 2014, shall have at least a baccalaureate degree that includes at least 120 hours pursuant to 302.02 (f) from an educational institution accredited pursuant to Ac 302.02 (b), and an additional 30 semester hours of education which shall meet the criteria in Ac 302.02.  The total required semester hours of education shall consist of not less than 30 hours in accounting and 24 hours in business courses accredited pursuant to 302.02(b).

    RSA 309-B: 5 IX. The experience requirement shall consist of public accounting experience in providing one or more kinds of services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of reports on financial statements, or one or more kinds of management advisory, financial advisory, or consulting services, or the preparation of tax returns or the furnishing of advice on tax matters, or the equivalent, all of which was under the direction of a licensee in any state in practice as a certified public accountant or as a public accountant, or in any state in employment as a staff accountant by a certified public accountant or anyone practicing public accounting, or a combination of either of such types of experience and for the following periods of time:

    (a) Until June 30, 2014, 2 years for a candidate with a 4-year college degree, or the equivalent, and one year for a candidate holding a master's degree in accounting, taxation, finance, or business administration.

    (b) On or after July 1, 2014, one year.

    X. Experience obtained in the employment of a governmental agency for the periods of time provided in paragraph IX in the following areas shall be accepted by the board as qualifying experience under this section:

    (a) In auditing the tax returns or books and accounts of nongovernmental entities in 3 or more distinct lines of commercial or industrial business in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards under the direction of a licensee; or

    (b) In auditing the books and accounts or activities of 3 or more governmental agencies or distinct organizational units in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards under the direction of a licensee and reporting on their operations to a third party, to the Congress, or to a state legislature; or

    (c) In reviewing financial statements and supporting material covering the financial condition and operations of nongovernmental entities engaged in 3 or more distinct lines of commercial or industrial business under the direction of a licensee to determine the reliability and fairness of the financial reporting and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable government regulations for the protection of investors and consumers.  

    Ac 302.04  CPA Certificate Applicant Accounting Experience. 

              (a)  “Accounting or auditing skills" means the provision, under the direction of a CPA, or CA from Australia, CA, CPC or other equivalent foreign designation holder currently licensed in another jurisdiction, of:

    (1)  One or more of the following public accounting services, as specified by RSA 309-B:5, IX, namely:

    a.  Issuance of reports on financial statements;

    b.  Management advisory services;

    c.  Financial advisory services;

    d.  Consulting services;

    e.  Preparation of tax returns; or

    f.  Furnishing tax advice; or

    (2)  One or more of the following government accounting services, as specified by RSA 309-B:5, X(a) through (c), namely:

    a.  Auditing the tax returns or books and accounts of nongovernmental entities in 3 or more distinct lines of commercial or industrial business in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards;

    b.  Auditing the books and accounts or activities of 3 or more governmental agencies or distinct organizational units in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and reporting on their operations to a third party, to the Congress, or to a state legislature; or

    c.  Reviewing financial statements and supporting material covering the financial condition and operations of nongovernmental entities engaged in 3 or more distinct lines of commercial or industrial business under the direction of a licensee to determine the reliability and fairness of the financial reporting and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable government regulations for the protection of investors and consumers.

              (b)  Pursuant to RSA 309-B:5, IX, each applicant submitting an application for initial certification as a CPA shall meet the following general experience requirements:

    (1)  Such experience shall be earned prior to the date that the candidate applies for certification in New Hampshire.

    (2)  Compliance with one of the following:

    a.  A minimum of 2 years’ experience in accounting for an applicant with a baccalaureate degree; or

    b.  A minimum of one years’ experience in accounting for an applicant with a master’s degree in:

    1.  Accounting;

    2.  Taxation;

    3.  Finance; or

    4.  Business administration.

                              c.  A minimum of one year’s experience in accounting for an applicant on or after July 1, 2014 that meets the educational requirements of  Ac 302.02 (4)  and RSA 309-B-5.

              (c)  For full-time accounting employees, each year’s experience shall consist of 12 calendar months as an employee under the direction of a licensed CPA, CA, CPC or other equivalent foreign designation holder, and shall include at least 1,500 hours of service solely involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, as defined in Ac 302.04(a)(1)a. – f.

              (d)  For non-full time accounting employees, each year’s experience shall consist of 2,080 hours of accounting practice under the supervision of a licensed CPA, CA, CPC or other equivalent foreign designation holder, and shall include at least 1,500 hours of services solely involving accounting or auditing skills, as defined in Ac 302.04 (a)(1)a. – f.  For purposes of determining the amount of experience, the board shall accept only accounting and auditing services rendered in the 6 years immediately preceding the application if the applicant has a baccalaureate degree and 5 years immediately preceding the application if the applicant has a master’s degree. 

              (e)  For purposes of (c) and (d) above, no experience shall be counted being under the direction of a licensed CPA, CA, CPC or other equivalent foreign designation holder unless such licensee has the authority to review, direct and evaluate on a continuing basis the accounting activities of those who are under the licensee’s professional accounting control.

              (f)  The applicant shall demonstrate that the minimum required experience in accounting has been fulfilled by the applicant through the submission of a fully completed form NHBOA-3A as described in Ac 301.07 for public accounting experience, a fully completed form NHBOA-3B as described in Ac 301.08 for governmental accounting experience, or a combination of them.            

              (g)  The applicant shall arrange for the supervising CPA, CA, CPC or other equivalent foreign designation holder to provide documentation, such as working papers or audit programs, to the board or its representative for the purpose of determining the applicant’s compliance with the experience requirements set forth in RSA 309-B:5, IX and X, and this section.

              (h)  The board shall inspect, either by the board itself or by its representative, documentation relating to an applicant's claimed experience, in which case any licensee having custody of such documentation shall be requested to produce it either in writing or in person.

              (i)  Any New Hampshire licensee who has been requested to submit or make evidence of the applicant's experience available to the board or its representative but who has failed or refused to do so shall explain to the board either in writing or in person the basis for such refusal.  A non-New Hampshire licensee who so fails or refuses shall be requested by the board to explain, in writing, such failure or refusal.

              (j)  The failure or refusal of a New Hampshire CPA to provide full and correct information as required herein shall, pursuant to RSA 309-B:11, I, serve as a basis for disciplinary proceedings against the CPA.  The failure or refusal of a non-New Hampshire licensee to provide full and correct information as requested by the board shall be brought to the attention of the licensing body of the non-New Hampshire licensee.

              (k)  The board shall deny an application for certificate if the board finds that the applicant has not met the experience requirements set forth in RSA 309-B:5, IX or X, and this section.

     

       The text above is not all inclusive. For further infomation regarding the requirements please refer to the State Statue and Administrative Rules

 

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  • NEW HAMPSHIRE IS NOT A TWO TIER STATE
    What this means is that when you pass the CPA exam you are not awarded a certificate,  you only receive your grades, and verification that you have passed the CPA examination.

    In order to obtain an original certificate and license, as they are one in the same, you need:

    To have passed the Uniform CPA exam in accordance with RSA 309-B: 5 and the administrative rules; and

    Have obtained public accounting experience or governmental experience accordance with RSA 309: B:5, IX and or X and the Administrative Rules of the Board.

    For more information please review the Board's administrative rules

 
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**The following licensure presentation was presented to students at the University of New Hampshire on October 21, 2013. Please note, this presentation provides general information only. Please consult the Boards statutes and rules for the licensing and exam requirements.

Licensure Presentation - Please note, you must choose the read only button to open this document.

*These questions and answers are general in nature and are informational only.

Each and every applicant for either exam or a certificate must meet in full all the laws and rules of the State of New Hampshire. This information is not intended to be all inclusive nor is it all inclusive and you must apply for and be accepted to sit for the examination and must apply for and fulfill all the RSA’s contained in RSA 309-B and in the Administrative Rules which outline and define the certification requirements in order to obtain a certificate to practice public accounting in the state of New Hampshire. In order to obtain all the information needed to become certified in the State of New Hampshire you will need to review both the statutory requirements and rule requirements (RSA 309-B and Ac 100-500).

**The Joint Board makes no warranty, express or implied, as to whether this document is correct, complete, up-to-date, or as to any other relative fact. Independent verification of the contents is essential

 


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