Rhode Island CPA Requirements

How To Become a CPA in Rhode Island: Step By Step Guide

rhode-island-cpa-exam-requirementsLearn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Rhode Island

Rhode Island, often called The Ocean State, is the smallest US state in land mass and is known for its rich history and beautiful beaches. RI has a thriving financial sector that makes up almost 26.1% of the state’s GDP.

Thus, Rhode Island is a great state for CPAs to work and grow their careers. There are also numerous opportunities outside of the financial services including manufacturing industries.

The start of your accounting career in Rhode Island begins with completing the CPA qualifications. Let’s examine the RI CPA requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Rhode Island.


Minimum Rhode Island CPA Requirements for Certification

The Rhode Island Board Of Accountancy requires the aspiring accountant to meet these requirements before taking the CPA exam and applying for a certified public accountant license:

  • Must have a Social security number
  • Must be a Rhode Island resident
  • Must complete a bachelor’s degree with at least 150 credit hours
  • Minimum Age: not required
  • US Citizenship: not required

Rhode Island is unique in that they require you to be a state resident in order to take the CPA exam. They define this as maintaining a full time residence ini the state, being employed in the state, or having a business place in Rhode Island.


Rhode Island CPA Certification Education Requirements

CPA candidates must complete a baccalaureate degree (120 credit hours) focused on accounting from an accredited institution in order to qualify to take the CPA exam in Rhode Island.

Keep in mind, you can site for the exam with only 120 semester hours, but you will need to complete 150 credit hours to become licensed. Rhode Island offers three different ways to complete the education requirements.

Master’s Degree in Accounting:

The 150 credit hours of coursework must include 24 credit hours of accounting coursework including the following courses:

  • Auditing – 3 semester hours
  • Financial accounting and reporting – 3 semester hours
  • Tax accounting – 3 semester hours
  • Intermediate financial reporting and accounting – 6 semester hours
  • Fundamental accounting – 6 semester hours

Master’s Degree in Business:

A graduate degree in business must include at least 24 undergraduate accounting hours including:

  • 6 hours in both fundamental accounting
  • 6 hours in intermediate financial accounting and reporting
  • 3 hours of advanced financial accounting and reporting
  • 3 hours of tax accounting
  • 3 hours of auditing

Undergraduate degree:

A general bachelor’s degree must include 24 hours of accounting courses including:

  • 6 hours in fundamental accounting
  • 6 hours in intermediate financial accounting and reporting
  • 3 hours in advanced financial accounting and reporting
  • 3 hours in tax accounting and auditing

It must also include at least 24 semester hours of business courses like:

  • 3 hours in business law
  • 3 hours in economics

It’s important to note that the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy allows CPA exam courses given by an accredited institutions to count towards your overall CPA credit requirements, but it does not accept commercial courses.

The board also accepts community college, online courses, and College Level Examination Programs if the candidate transfers them to a four-year institution. It’s a good idea to submit your transcripts listing for coursework in progress to make sure they will be accepted by the board and meet all of the Rhode Island CPA Requirements.


Rhode Island CPA Exam Requirements

The Rhode Island State Board qualifies you to take the CPA exam if you have a bachelor’s degree (120 credit hours) with the required coursework.

You can apply for the CPA exam through the CPA Exam services website by submitting the following documents:

  • Full set of college transcripts
  • Proof of RI residency
  • Government ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Application fees

After they review and acceptance of your application, you will get a Notice to Schedule (NTS) that allows you to schedule a testing date with a Prometric testing center. Then, you can contact a Prometric site to schedule the exam. Candidates should note that they only have six months to sit for an exam section once a NTS has been issued.

CPA Exam in Rhode Island

There are four CPA exam sections, including Regulation, Financial Reporting and accounting, Attestation and Auditing, and Business Concepts. You can take more than one section during a testing window, but you will have to complete all four sections within 18 months after completing the first section.

RI CPA Exam Costs & Fees

The cost to take the CPA exam in Rhode Island $899.96, not including the registration fees. If you are applying for the exam for the first time, you should pay an application fee of $170 and an exam fee of $224.99 for each section.

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $224.99
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $224.99
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $224.99
  • Regulation (REG): $224.99
  • Application Fee: $170
  • Re-Examination Fee $85

For those retaking the exam, they have to pay a re-examination fee of $85 per section.


Rhode Island CPA License Requirements

After you have successfully passed the CPA and completed the 150 credit hours of education, you can apply for a CPA license in Rhode Island.

To qualify for a CPA license certification in the state of Rhode Island, CPA candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree with 150 credit hours
  • Pass the CPA exam
  • Pass the ethics test
  • Complete one year (1,820 hours) professional work experience
  • Pay application fees to the board

The Rhode Island Board of Accountancy accepts new CPA license applications through the e-licensing portal or paper forms available on its website.

Candidates should note that the board holds meetings periodically to review complete applications. Once it approves your application, you will receive a notification for your certified CPA designation.

AICPA Ethics Exam

Rhode Island requires CPA candidates to pass the AICPA ethics exam before they are eligible for licensure. Candidates must have score at least 90% on the exam to beginning their professional experience.

Work Experience Requirements

The board also requires candidates  to complete one year or 1820 hours of accounting experience under the supervision of a licensed accountant. You can earn your experience working in public practice, private industry, government, or education. The work experience requirement should include:

  • Preparing tax returns
  • Cost accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Financial statements preparation and analysis
  • Teaching in a college or university
  • Auditing

CPA candidates should demonstrate that they have met the required work experience, especially in financial statements preparation and analysis, preparing work papers, and understanding information systems and transaction streams.

Candidates should note that the Rhode Island Board should receive the supervised experience directly from the supervising CPA.


Rhode Island CPA License Application & Renewal

Once you are an active certified public accountant in Rhode Island, you will need to stay active by renewing your license each year. The CPA renewal application is quite easy and can be completed on the RI State Board website. You will need to fill out the application and submit your CPE credits for each license renewal.

After receiving your license, you have to maintain it by staying up to date in changing accounting, finance, and tax issues through educational courses. Rhode Island requires one complete 120 hours of Continued Professional Education (CPE) units every three years.

Rhode Island CPA Salary

The average Rhode Island CPA salary is $68,727 according the to RI Department of Labor Statistics. This average salary depends on several factors including position, experience, education, and location.


Additional Rhode Island CPA Resources

Here is a list of several resources to learn how to take the CPA exam in Rhode Island and become a certified public accountant.

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