New Hampshire is the newest state to adopt the 150 credit hour rule. As of July 1, 2014, candidates will be required to complete a minimum of 150 college semester hours in order to obtain a CPA license. NH is however keeping the bachelor’s degree and 120-credit hour rule in order to sit for the exam. This is good news for some applicants. Also, some accounting course requirements have changed as of July 2014.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
New Hampshire CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in New Hampshire, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.
- No minimum age limit
- Not Required to be a US citizen
- Not Required to be a NH resident
- Valid Social Security Number Required
- NH does participate in the International Examination Program
Educational Requirements to Sit
The new rules that take effect in July 2014 are more strict than the prior guidelines. New Hampshire is following the general trend of most states that are requiring a bachelor’s degree with 120 credit hours to sit for the exam as long as certain accounting and business courses have been taken. Here’s what you will need to do:
Bachelor’s Degree or higher (at least 120 semester hours) including:
- 30 credit hours of upper level Accounting including auditing, financial and managerial accounting, and taxation.
- 24 credit hours of General Business courses including: Management, Finance, Business Law, and Economics
These course work requirements are much more stringent than the previous 24 and 12 rules that were in place before. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t taken the exam yet. All states have been going to rules like this. It’s only a matter of time before everyone will have to complete 150 hours in order to sit.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in New Hampshire is $949.08 including an initial one-time $220 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.
|AUD – Audit||$192.03|
|FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting||$192.03|
|BEC – Business Environment and Concepts||$172.51|
|REG – Regulation||$172.51|
The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.
IMPORTANT – Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bummer is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $140 and varied depending on how many you register for, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.
New Hampshire’s registration and re-registration fees are some of the highest in the country. Keep this in mind when you are signing up. There is no need to pay for re-registration fees if you plan well enough. Here is the breakdown for the registration fees you will have to pay. As you can see, registering more exams at once will save you some money.
- 1 section $140.00
- 2 sections $155.00
- 3 sections $170.00
- 4 sections $185.00
CPA License Requirements
The CPA exam process can be overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t been through it before. It’s okay! You will make it. Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in NH. After you pass the exam, you will have to do a few simple things before you can legally call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.
Pass the Exam
You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.
Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.
Pay the license/certification fees with your application.
There is no ethics exam requirement.
If you haven’t completed all of your 150 college credits, you will need to after you pass the exam. Candidates usually accomplish this by either adding another major on to their undergraduate or starting a master’s program.
Work Experience Requirements
New Hampshire has also updated their work experience requirements. Now there is only one rule for both bachelor and master’s degree holders. Here’s what you need to do:
1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting and auditing skills in Public Accounting or Governmental Agencies supervised and verified by a CPA in good standing.
Unfortunately, NH did not put a provision in for accountants working private industry or academia. You will need either public accounting or governmental accounting experience.
More Exam Resources and Information
The entire process from gathering your paperwork, applying to sit, studying, and sitting for the exam is pretty involved. I know. It can be even worse if you transferred to multiple colleges during your academic career. Most applicants don’t think about. Yes, the New Hampshire state board needs proof of all of your education. You will have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. Sometimes this can be difficult and time-consuming depending on your colleges.
It is always a good idea to contact the state board during the application process. You can find out what they have on file and what they need to approve your application. Nothing is worse than finding out they need something after the fact.
For instance, states don’t always receive your test scores from Prometrics. Things can get lost or forgotten about. It happens. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice! Directly contacting the board is the fastest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- 78 Regional Drive Bldg. Two
- Concord, NH 03301
- Phone: 603-271-3286
- Fax: 603-271-8702
Time to Get Busy!
OK. So you have all the information to get signed up for the exam. Now you need to find a study guide that will work for you. Depending on how you learn, your overall time frame goals, and budget, picking the right CPA review course can be tricky. Don’t waste any time though. Jump into it right away.
Generally, state boards take anywhere from one to three months to review and approve your application. You can spend this time to choose your first CPA exam section and study to pass the CPA exam your first try.