A State By State Accounting Guide

Steps to Becoming an Accountant in New Hampshire

By Susan Maphis, AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015

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Accounting and auditing are among the top occupations in New Hampshire, and are expected to show very favorable job growth between 2012 and 2022, as indicated by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. This was determined by ranking the professions that are expected to have the most job openings each year during the current ten-year period ending 2022. The Department of Labor projects that there will be some 193 job openings in accountancy each year during this period, which represents a total increase of 13.5 percent between 2012 and 2022.

A bachelor’s degree at minimum with 150 semester hours of college credit, one year of supervised experience, and passing scores on all parts of the Uniform CPA exam are the standard requirements for a CPA license, which expands practice privileges to include auditing and attestation services. This also creates opportunities to work with some of the world’s biggest CPA firms, among which is U.S. based “Big Four” firm, Ernst & Young, which has offices in Manchester. Local and regional accounting firms throughout New Hampshire, such as Advisory Business Services, Inc in Amherst and Feeley & Driscoll in Nashua, employ CPAs who provide business consultation, estate planning, and tax services. 

Because a bachelor’s degree consists of just 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting serves as the most common way to earn the 30 additional credit hours required for a CPA license in New Hampshire. 

Featured Undergraduate Program

*Accredited accounting programs are available in a flexible online format that puts an undergraduate degree in accounting well within reach. Prepare to earn your CPA license and develop the skills employers are looking for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Featured Graduate Program

*Qualifying for a CPA license requires a bachelor’s degree at minimum and a total of 150 semester hours of college credit to include coursework in accounting, business and ethics. Since bachelor’s programs typically result in just 120 semester hours of credit, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) maintains that earning a Master of Science in Accounting is the best way to achieve the full 150 semester hours you need to become licensed.

Many multinational corporations call New Hampshire home and are among the state’s leading employers of corporate managerial accountants, financial controllers, internal auditors, and cost and capital accountants. The corporate headquarters of outdoor equipment outfitters, Timberland, are located in Stratham, and Eastern Mountain Sports has headquarters in Nashua. C&S Wholesale Grocers in Keene and the former Fortune 500 Company, Fisher Scientific International located in Hampton, are also major employers of accountants in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published information in May 2014 showing there to be 4,420 accountants and auditors working in New Hampshire, not including those considered to be self-employed.

As of 2014, accountants employed in the Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, MA-NH area earned an average annual salary of around $76,000. Those in the 90th percentile in this area earned around $112,000 annually. In the Nashua area, accountants earned a mean wage of $70,810 annually, while those earning within the top 90th percentile brought home $104,510 annually. In the Portsmouth, NH-ME area, accountants earned an average of $70,870 annually, while the top 10% earned $113,330. In Manchester the average accounting salary was $72,220 per year, with the top 10% bringing home $111,790. Accountants working in the Haverhill, North Andover, Amesbury, MA-NH area earned the highest average salary in the state at $81,490. Those in the 90th percentile here earned $130,270. 

New Hampshire Accountancy and Tax Laws in the News

With no general sales tax or personal income tax, New Hampshire has attracted many new residents. However, the lack of these types of taxes has forced the state to compensate by raising property taxes to some of the highest levels in the country. A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston notes that the lower levels of spending on public programs due to the lower poverty rate in New Hampshire has allowed the state to avoid establishing a personal income tax or sales tax. 

The New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have recently made news in New Hampshire for participating in the “Feed the Pig” campaign. Targeted at New Hampshire residents ages 25 to 34, this program was created as part of a larger financial literacy campaign designed to provide strategies and raise public awareness around the importance of building a strong financial future through personal savings and debt avoidance.