Yesterday I received a letter from the Division of Professional Licensure of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On June 15th the State Board of Public Accountancy granted me my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.
This little journey began in 1980 - 26 years ago. In the fall of 1980 I was a senior at Bentley College. While I had no strong intention of going into public accounting, I decided to take advantage of the newly acquired knowledge and sit for the uniform CPA exam in May 1981. Therefore in the fall of 1980 I started attending a CPA review course with several fellow Bentley students. I passed two parts of the CPA exam in May 1980 and passed the remaining two parts in November 1980. The rules at the time required that I obtain 2 or 3 years of public accounting experience. During college I worked part-time for Jim Mills, CPA. Unfortunately the part-time experience did not meet the experience requirement and I never entered public accounting on a full-time basis.
Earlier this year someone mentioned that they could obtain a CPA license with simply a master's degree. This provoked my curiosity and I investigated the current rules. I discovered that on October 13, 2000 the rules were changed. It was now possible to obtain a CPA license if you pass the CPA exam, have a bachelor's of science degree in accountancy and a master's degree, such as a MBA (the exact requirements are available from your state board of public accountancy). I met the revised qualifications. The license does come with a "non-reporting" restriction. This means that I cannot issue reports on financial statements in my practice of public accounting. I am authorized to use the CPA designation and practice all other aspects of public accounting, namely management advisory services and taxation. This meets my particular needs. The restriction can be removed by obtaining the necessary experience or CPE hours.
I must admit that at times I felt like a second class accountant even though I was a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and had the privilege of being a full-time faculty member of the Accountancy department at Bentley College. Now, after 26 years, I can now proudly say that I'm a CPA.