Become a CPA

CPA License

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for my CPA license in Massachusetts after I pass the Exam and meet the education and experience requirement?

You will file an application with the MA Board of Public Accountancy, the licensing authority for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Several documents will be required to support your application, including character letters and experience letters from your employer(s). It will take time to gather this material so please review a copy of the application form and checklist (page 2) to help you to plan.

Can I apply online?

Yes, you are actually required to apply online by visiting the website of the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy.

What is the fee for an initial CPA license?

If you have never been licensed in any jurisdiction, the initial application fee is $175.

Will I need to include an Academic Evaluation for Certification Report (AECR)?

If you sat for the Exam before you met the 150-hour requirement, or you passed the Exam in a jurisdiction other than Massachusetts, you will need to apply for an AECR through NASBA ($100) to verify that you are "eligible" for a license.

How do I document my public accounting work experience?

When you apply for your license, you will need to include a letter that describes your experience and is attested to under the pains and penalties of perjury, and signed by a partner or shareholder. It should be written on the firm’s letterhead, addressed to the MA Board of Public Accountancy, dated within one year, and bear an original signature. The content must contain your exact dates of employment, indicate the completion of the 2,000 hours and state if you were a full or part-time employee. If you were part-time, you must also provide a detailed list of each week worked and the number of hours earned as verified by your employer.

How do I document my non-public work experience?

When you apply for your license, you will need to include a letter that describes your experience and is attested to, under the pains and penalties of perjury, and signed by a CPA supervisor. It should be written on company letterhead, addressed to the MA Board of Public Accountancy, dated within one year, and bear an original signature. The content must contain your exact dates of employment, indicate the completion of the 2,000 hours and state if you were a full or part-time employee. If you were part-time, you must also provide a detailed list of each week worked and the number of hours earned as verified by your employer.

If I passed the Exam as a Massachusetts candidate, do I have to apply for a MA CPA license if I intend to live and practice in another state?

No, you can transfer your CPA Exam scores to the state where you intend to relocate and apply for a license there. This service is provided by NASBA for a fee of $25.

Once I’m certified, do I have to do anything to maintain my initial certification?

Yes, every two years you will need to submit a license renewal application and fee to the Division of Public Licensure and provide evidence of completion of 80 hours (credits) of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) that includes four credits in professional ethics. For your initial renewal period, the number may be less than 80, depending on when your license was issued.

Month Of License Issuance Total Number Of CPEs Due At 1st Renewal
Jul/Aug/Sept 80 CPEs
Oct/Nov/Dec 70 CPEs
Jan/Feb/March 60 CPEs
Apr/May/Jun 50 CPEs

In addition, every CPA is required to adhere to a code of professional conduct that helps to maintain integrity and dignity in the profession. Finally, CPAs who sign off on financial statements (or their firms) are required to undergo a peer review every three years.

What if I move to another state after I am licensed in MA? Will my license transfer with me?

Reciprocity, or the recognition of your Massachusetts license in another state, is ultimately the decision of the licensing board in your new state. However, it is likely that if you meet the certification requirements for MA you will be able to obtain a license in another state. For more information, visit NASBA's website. Ultimately, you will need to contact your new state's Board of Public Accountancy.

Is there a professional accounting association that will help me advance my career?

Yes! The Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA), with approximately 11,000 members, will provide you with networking, professional development, and leadership opportunities. You can connect with your peers by serving on technical committees and attending social events. A good way to start is by joining the Young Professional Advisory Group.


Have More Questions?

If you are unable to find the answer to your question, please visit the website of the MA Board of Public Accountancy or contact the Board at 617-727-1806.