Rhode Island CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in Rhode Island? Your first step should always be to check the Rhode Island CPA requirements, because the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for Rhode Island CPA and CPE requirements.

Rhode Island CPA Exam requirements

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, the state requires candidates to meet certain Rhode Island CPA requirements, including:

  • Candidates must be a resident of Rhode Island, be regularly employed in Rhode Island, or have a place of business in Rhode Island.
  • Minimum education requirements, as detailed below.
Minimum education requirement

All CPA Exam candidates in Rhode Island must have a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. In order to meet the Rhode Island CPA requirements for the exam, candidates are required to complete 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours in various course subjects, including:

  • 24 semester hours in accounting
    • 6 semester hours in both fundamental accounting and intermediate financial accounting and reporting
    • 3 semester hours in each of the following:
      • Advanced financial accounting and reporting
      • Tax accounting
      • Auditing
  • 24 semester hours in business courses (other than accounting courses)
    • Must include 3 semester hours in both business law and economics

Rhode Island CPA license requirements

In order to earn a certified public accountant license in Rhode Island, applicants must meet the following requirements.

Minimum experience requirement
  • One year (minimum of 1,820 hours) experience required.
  • The applicant must demonstrate to the Board that they have obtained experience, verified and supervised by a licensee, consisting of providing any type of service or advice involving:
    • Accounting
    • Attestation
    • Management advisory
    • Financial advisory
    • Tax
    • Consulting skills
  • The applicant must also show to the satisfaction of the Board that experience obtained has included all of the following:
    • Understanding of the Code of Professional Conduct promulgated and adopted by the Board of Accountancy as demonstrated by a grade of 90 or above in the Professional Ethics, the AICPA’s Comprehensive Course;
    • Ability to assess the achievement of an entity’s objectives by demonstrating knowledge of various business organizations, understanding of the objectives and goals of business entities, ability to develop and analyze performance measures and critical success factors, and understanding of the economic and regulatory trends that affect an entity’s environment;
    • Experience in preparing work papers that include sufficient relevant data to support the analysis and conclusions required by the applicant’s work
    • Experience in the preparation and analysis of financial statements together with explanations and notes thereon;
    • Understanding transaction streams and information systems, including the ability to understand how individual transactions aggregate at the organizational level, to infer how transactions impact the organization as a whole, and to evaluate the integrity and reliability of various client information systems, including relevant computer aspects.
  • An applicant who has not achieved experience of the variety and diversity set forth above must bear the burden that the experience submitted is of sufficient quality and diversity that it fulfills the entry requirement objective as set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-3.1-5(a)(5).
  • The experience required under R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-3.1-5(a)(5) must consist solely of experience within activities generally performed by a licensee.
Ethics exam

Understanding of the Code of Professional Conduct promulgated and adopted by the Board of Accountancy as demonstrated by a grade of 90 or above in the Professional Ethics, the AICPA’s Comprehensive Course.

Rhode Island CPA license renewal

Rhode Island CPAs must renew their license every 3 years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 31 triennially.

Rhode Island CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) must be completed in the three calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete no less than 120 CPE credit hours that comply with the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy, during the three-year period preceding renewal. The maximum credit for self-study programs must not exceed 80 CPE hours for that three-year reporting period.

CPE subjects allowed:

  • Accounting and auditing (accounting, governmental accounting, auditing, and governmental auditing)
  • Technical business subjects, which includes:
    • Consulting services (administrative practice and the social environment of business)
    • Management (business law, finance, management advisory services)
    • Specialized knowledge and applications (computer science, economics, mathematics, production, specialized knowledge and applications and statistics)
  • Taxes
  • Personal development and marketing (communications, business management and organization, personal development, personnel/human resources and marketing)
  • Ethics (behavioral ethics and regulatory ethics)


Residency, degree, education, fees

Education, experience, CPE, renewals

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