“Live Free or Die” is one of the most hardcore state mottos, and you will find a lot of people from Manchester on north who take it surprisingly seriously.
In part, that means being financially independent. The Granite State isn’t one of the richest in the nation but people here tend to hang on to what they make. New Hampshire has one of the best savings rates in the country, ranking second in the nation for retirement savings, with an average retirement account balance of nearly $500,000.
That savings doesn’t just happen by magic. And once New Hampshirites start building up that nest egg, they are smart enough to seek professional advice for growing it.
That’s where the state’s accounting professionals come in. The state Employment Security Department forecasts that accounting and auditing jobs will expand by 8.1 percent by 2028, a rate above the national average. Those CPAs will be kept plenty busy by both the state’s aging population and retirees who got word that it’s one of the top places to retire to in the country for having a low cost of living and high healthcare standards.
Of course, there’s plenty of work for CPAs outside of financial planning and individual tax preparation work, too. The state comes in at number 6 in the country on the Tax Foundation’s Top Ten Friendliest Tax Climate Index. There are plenty of local industries that take full advantage of that, and need accounting professionals to keep the books in line.
Follow the steps in this guide to learn exactly how to become a CPA in New Hampshire.
- Get your Education in New Hampshire
- Take the Uniform CPA Exam in New Hampshire
- Gain the Necessary Experience in New Hampshire
- Get your New Hampshire CPA License
- Continuing Education in New Hampshire
1. Get Your Education
a. Reach out to New Hampshire universities offering accounting programs. The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy requires all of its certified public accountants to hold a bachelor’s degree (at minimum) and 150 semester hours of college credit.
With the standard bachelor’s degree in accounting consisting of just 120 semester hours, going on to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s in accounting represents the most tried and tested way to get those 30 additional credits. Many of these programs are available entirely online. You can also find specialized five-year CPA track programs that offer a blended bachelor’s and master’s curriculum designed to give you the 150 semester hours you need to meet CPA requirements in New Hampshire.
b. Check to make sure the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy accepts your accounting credits. Accreditation of your program must be granted through:
- A regional or national accreditation organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (click here for a searchable database), or
- American Assembly of Collegiate Schools (AACSB)
- Any college credits earned through a non-accredited program must be evaluated before you will be allowed to take the Uniform CPA Exam. If you are not sure whether your credits are acceptable by the Board and/or the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA), you may contact CPA Exam Services at 800-CPA-EXAM to arrange a pre-evaluation. (The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy will not pre-evaluate your college credits).
- A three-year bachelor degree in combination with professional qualification will NOT be accepted in lieu of a U.S. bachelor degree
- A three-year bachelor degree will be accepted in combination with a two-year master degree
- If your credits were earned through a school in a foreign country, your transcripts must be evaluated by one of the following approved credential evaluation agencies (contact the agency directly for instructions):
c. Meet CPA degree and coursework requirements for licensure in New Hampshire. Between your bachelor’s and post-baccalaureate programs, your 150 hours of college credit must include:
- 30 semester hours in accounting courses, which must include:
- Management accounting
- Financial accounting
- 24 semester hours in business elective courses, other than accounting, such as (but not limited to):
- Business organizations
- Professional ethics
- Business information systems
- Business law
- CPA review courses are acceptable provided they are taken through an accredited program and you are awarded credit for them
- CLEP, distance learning and online courses are accepted provided they are taken through an accredited program and you are awarded credit for them
- Commercial review courses are not accepted by the Board
- Credit earned towards a Chartered Accountant credential will not be accepted by the Board
- The Board does not accept credentials from the Institute of Chartered Accountants
2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam
Once you have completed 120 semester hours of college credit and earned your bachelor’s degree with the 30 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours of business courses, you can then apply to take the Uniform CPA Examination. You’ll be required to complete the 30 additional hours to hit the 150 total before submitting your application to the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy.
a. Apply through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Register online. Mail all required documents (listed below) to:
CPA Examination Services
New Hampshire Coordinator
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219-8469.
You may reach them by phone at 800-CPA-EXAM.
b. Enclose the necessary documentation with your Uniform CPA Exam application.
- Official college transcript showing the number of semester hours of credit you have completed along with receipt of a bachelor’s degree (this may be sent by you in a sealed official envelope, or by your school)
- If you attended school outside of the U.S., your official International Evaluation (this may be sent by you or the credential evaluation agency)
- If you are requesting ADA accommodations for testing, send the completed ADA Accommodation Form
c. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will issue your Notification to Schedule (NTS) the Uniform CPA Exam by email.
d. Tests are given at Prometric sites in New Hampshire, which include Concord and Portsmouth.
e. Arrive at the Prometric center that you have chosen on examination day prepared to test.
f. Wait for the results. Your exam scores will be mailed to you once they are calculated.
If you need to coordinate special accommodations for testing or require more information, call the New Hampshire Coordinator of CPA Examination Services at 800-CPA-EXAM. For detailed information on the Uniform CPA Exam, click here.
3. Gain The Necessary Experience
The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy requires all CPA applicants to complete practical work experience requirements before a certificate or license is issued. Evidence of this work experience must be submitted to NASBA as part of the CPA licensure process.
a. The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy requires that all prospective CPAs fulfill one year of paid public or governmental accounting experience requirements. A supervising CPA must verify this experience. Your college or university’s career center can help you find appropriate work opportunities.
Competencies that must be encompassed within your work experience include a combination of these skills:
- Auditing, reviewing, and reporting financial statements
- Financial advisory services
- Audit procedures
- Management advisory services
- Preparing tax returns
- Providing tax advice (tax matters and tax returns)
- Consulting services
Responsibilities of the Verifying CPA
- Hold a current license to practice as a CPA in New Hampshire, the United States, or in one of the following jurisdictions:
- CPA or CA from Australia
- Chartered Accountant from Canada, New Zealand and/or Ireland
- Contadores Publicos Certificado (CPC) from Mexico
- Submit required verification information via NASBA’s Experience Verification Interest Form
- Enclose a copy of your driver’s license or passport showing your photo and signature
Responsibilities of the Applicant
- Choose a licensed, certified CPA from one of the above jurisdictions
- Provide the Experience Verification forms to your verifying CPA
- Enclose a copy of your driver’s license and passport showing your photo and signature
- As NASBA handles the licensing process for the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy, Mmail the completed forms and supporting documents to: NASBA Licensing Services, P.O. Box 198589, Nashville, TN 37219.
4. Get Your New Hampshire CPA License
After you have successfully passed the Uniform CPA Examination and satisfied the practical work experience prerequisite of the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy, you may apply for state CPA Certificate (New Hampshire’s term for a CPA license). Below is a checklist to verify that you are ready to apply:
- Once you have completed 120 semester hours with the required accounting and business concentration and a bachelor’s degree, apply through CPA Examination Services to take the Uniform CPA Exam.
- If you did not take the exam in New Hampshire, contact NASBA to begin the transfer of examination grades via email at email@example.com or phone at 1-800-CPA-EXAM.
- If you took the exam in New Hampshire, your transcripts were submitted with your exam packet so you do not need to re-submit.
- Fulfill New Hampshire’s practical work requirement of one year. Have your verifying CPA authenticate this employment via the Experience Verification Forms. Submit forms to the NASBA at the address listed in Step 3.
b. Apply online for your New Hampshire CPA License. This process starts at NASBA Licensing Services. If you have any further questions regarding the New Hampshire CPA licensure process, email NHlicense@nasba.org or call (866) 350-0017.
Interstate Reciprocal License
If you currently hold a CPA license from another state, you might be eligible for a New Hampshire reciprocal certificate. Education and experience requirements are the same for reciprocity applicants as they are for initial applicants. Begin the process online at NASBA Licensing Services.
International Reciprocal License
The International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB), made up of representatives from NASBA and the AICPA has recommended that reciprocity be granted to chartered accountants credentialed through the following international jurisdictions:
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
- New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
- Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
The New Hampshire Board of Accountancy accepts these IQAB recommendations. CPAs or chartered accountants from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico may take the International Qualification Exam (IQEX) in order to attain reciprocal licensure in New Hampshire. Apply here to take the International Uniform Certified Public Account Qualification Examination.
Additionally, all foreign CPA licensure applicants must meet these requirements:
- Hold a current foreign credential in good standing from an authority that regulates public accounting in that country
- The foreign authority must recognize New Hampshire CPA Certificates/Licenses
- The foreign credential must allow you to issue reports on financial statements
- The foreign credential must have been issued through meeting requirements of education, experience and examination
- The experience you have acquired must meet one of these requirements:
- Is substantially equivalent to New Hampshire’s experience requirements
- Equals four years of professional accounting experience in New Hampshire
- Equals a combination of five years of foreign and New Hampshire professional accounting experience
5. Stay Current Through Continuing Professional Education in New Hampshire
Under rules of the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy, every CPA in the state must fulfill continuing professional education (CPE) criteria in order to maintain licensure.
a. CPAs in New Hampshire must complete 120 hours of CPE in the three years preceding each license renewal. To maintain your New Hampshire CPA license, you must complete 20 hours of CPE every year.
- 60 hours of CPE may be carried over to the next triennial period
- 20 hours of CPE must be completed by June 30 of each year
- 4 hours of CPE in professional ethics must be completed every three years
- 50 minutes of class time will equal one CPE hour
b. Pursue CPE in the correct subjects and educational formats.
The following educational formats are acceptable for CPE credit:
- Authoring books, publication or articles
- Instructing, lecturing or presenting
The following subjects are acceptable for CPE credit:
- Governmental accounting
- Public accounting
- Governmental auditing
- Public auditing
- Social environment of business
- Administrative practices
- Business law
- Regulatory ethics
- Business organization and management
- Management advisory services
- Behavioral ethics
- Human resources
- Personal development
- Computer science
- Specialized knowledge and its application
c. Obtain CPE credits at one of the following qualified locations:
- National, state and local accounting organizations’ educational and professional development programs
- National, state and local accounting organizations’ technical sessions of meetings
- Credit and non-credit college and university courses
- Formal in-house educational programs at an accounting firm (on accounting subjects as well as general professional procedure and policy)
- Professional accounting and industry programs
- Professional accounting and trade societies’ educational program meetings
- Dinner, lunch or breakfast meetings if they are formal educational programs
d. Find CPE programs in New Hampshire through:
- New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants
- New Hampshire Tax and Accounting Professionals
- American Institute of CPAs
- New Hampshire colleges and universities
e. You should maintain records of your CPE credit for four years. This must include the program name, dates and hours of attendance, date you took the class, subject of the program, number of hours awarded, time spent in class, certificate of completion, and signature of the provider of the class or an authorized representative.
Now that you’re a CPA in New Hampshire
You’ve made it! You’ve become a licensed CPA in New Hampshire! Think about becoming a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). This national professional organization offers members continuing professional education programs, networking, professional development, professional guidance and discounts on accounting office supplies.
New Hampshire based local professional accounting societies to consider joining include the New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants and the New Hampshire Tax and Accounting Professionals.