The Accountancy Licensing Library

Massachusetts


Massachusetts offers the following types of accounting licenses and privileges. Click on the tabs above to learn more about the requirements and procedures for each type of license.

Original License/Certificate to Practice as a CPA


Initial License

Original License. Certificate to Practice as a Certified Public Accountant. Applicants who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination for the State of Massachusetts or another jurisdiction and are not licensed to practice public accounting in any jurisdiction may apply for an Initial License in Massachusetts.


MILITARY BENEFITS The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) offers licensing benefits to active duty military, relocated military spouses, and veterans pursuant to the Veterans’ Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources Act (VALOR Act) and the VALOR Act II.


Click Initial Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Reciprocal License/International Reciprocity


Reciprocal License

Reciprocal License. Certificate to Practice as a Certified Public Accountant. An applicant having a valid unrevoked license to practice as a CPA from any jurisdiction and (1) planning to relocate to Massachusetts or (2) who physically enters the geographic boundaries of Massachusetts and holds themselves out to the public as a CPA or CPA firm, must apply for a Reciprocal License.


Canadian Chartered Accountants may also apply for reciprocity as long as they have passed the International Uniform CPA Qualification Examination (IQEX) and meet experience requirements.


MILITARY BENEFITS The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) offers licensing benefits to active duty military, relocated military spouses, and veterans pursuant to the Veterans’ Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources Act (VALOR Act) and the VALOR Act II.


Click Reciprocal Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Practice Privilege


Practice Privilege / Mobility / Interstate Practice

Practice Privilege.

Massachusetts offers practice privileges for out-of-state CPAs. The requirements for practice privileges as set forth in the law are described below for informational purposes only. Please note: Additional rulemaking may be required for full implementation of mobility. Individuals and firms seeking to exercise practice privileges in Massachusetts should contact the Massachusetts Board.


The information below is a summary of the mobility legislation and may be modified by rulemaking. Also, please view the Advisory Opinion published by the Massachusetts Board.


Effective July 1, 2010, an individual whose principal place of business is not in Massachusetts shall be qualified to engage in the practice of certified public accountancy in Massachusetts, if the individual:

  • Holds a valid license as a CPA issued by another U.S. state or territory that the NQAS of NASBA has verified to be in substantial equivalence with the CPA licensure requirements of the Uniform Accountancy Act, if such U.S. state or territory has adopted and implemented a 150-hour educational requirement as a qualification for initial licensure as a CPA; OR
  • Holds a valid license as a CPA issued by another U.S. state or territory and obtains from the NQAS (CredentialNet) of NASBA verification that the individual's CPA qualifications are substantially equivalent to the CPA licensure requirements of the Uniform Accountancy Act.
    • Please Note: An individual who has passed the Uniform CPA Examination and holds a valid license issued by any other U.S. state or territory prior to January 1, 2012, shall be exempt from the education requirements of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 112, § 87A 1/2(e).


Practice privileges extend to professional services offered or rendered in Massachusetts, whether in person or by mail, telephone, or electronic means, and no notice or other submission must be provided by any such individual.


Consent to Jurisdiction

An individual licensee of another U.S. state or territory who is exercising this privilege and the CPA firm that employs such individual, if any, as a condition of the grant of this privilege, hereby simultaneously consents:

  • To the personal and subject matter jurisdiction of any duly authorized court of Massachusetts, and the disciplinary authority of the Massachusetts Board;
  • To comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the Massachusetts Board;
  • To agree to cease offering or rendering professional services in Massachusetts personally and as an agent of a firm, if the certificate from the state of the person's principal place of business is no longer valid, or if the certificate or license from the state of the firm's principal place of business is no longer valid; and
  • To the appointment of the state board that issued the individual's or the CPA firm's license as the agent upon which process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Board.


Firm Mobility

  • The 2020 “Act Modernizing Public Accountancy” (effective January 2021) permits individuals and firms that are not licensed by the Board to practice in Massachusetts without obtaining a Massachusetts license, so long as the person or firm maintains a valid license issued by a state in which licensing qualification requirements for Certified Public Accountants are substantially equivalent to Massachusetts and the person or firm does not have a principal place of business in Massachusetts.


    All states have been deemed “substantially equivalent” and the 2020 Modernizing Act removed the last barrier to “mobility” for individual licensees of other states to practice in Massachusetts without obtaining a Massachusetts license, so long as their principal place of business is not Massachusetts.


  • Out-of-state firms for which mobile individuals are working may also provide accountancy services without obtaining a Massachusetts license if they do not have a physical office or principal place of business in Massachusetts and maintain a valid license in another state. A mobile individual CPA may act as an agent of an out-of-state firm that is not licensed in Massachusetts. Both the individual CPA and the firm are deemed to accept the jurisdiction of the Board and the Massachusetts courts, and they must cease practicing in Massachusetts if they no longer hold a valid out of state license. Firms that have a physical office or principal place of business in Massachusetts must be licensed by the Board.


  • The Board encourages the public to report to the Board any violations of law or the Board’s regulations by any individual CPA or CPA firm practicing in Massachusetts.


Click Practice Privilege in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Firm Registration


Firm Registration

CPA Firm License. Permit to Practice Public Accountancy. Any firm or office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accounting in the state of Massachusetts must register with the Massachusetts State Board. There are five (5) types of firm registrations offered by Massachusetts. All five (5) types of firms are required to register their company with the Corporations Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Click Firm Registration in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Relinquish a License


Relinquish a License

License Relinquishment: Any individual CPA licensed in Massachusetts who no longer wishes to hold said license/permit to practice may voluntarily request to be unlicensed by the Massachusetts Board.


Click Relinquish a License in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.