Accounting Degrees in Rhode Island
The smallest U.S. state by size and one of the smallest by population, Rhode Island is unsurprisingly home to one of the country’s smallest economies, with a GDP of around $57.4 billion. The state economy is based around health services, tourism, and manufacturing, and four Fortune 500 companies are based there, including CVS Health, Textron, and United Natural Foods. Despite its size, Rhode Island is home to a higher concentration of accountants and auditors than the national average, and they earn a mean annual wage of $77,410—also higher than the national average. Two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms, KPMG and Ernst & Young, have offices in the capital city of Providence. Rhode Island is also home to two of the region’s largest firms: KLR, in Providence, and DiSanto Priest & Co., in Warwick.
Rhode Island at a glance
|Per Capita Income||$30,830|
|Fortune 500 Companies||4|
|Licensed CPA Firms||215|
Accounting Programs in Rhode Island
Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Rhode Island, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.
- Degree Levels
Accounting Salaries and Employment
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimate the annual income of Rhode Island CPAs to be $77,180. Rhode Island accountants and auditors earn 4.5% more than the national average for their counterparts. They earn $32,000 more per year the statewide per capita average. The state’s five largest accounting firms led by Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co with 90 CPAs and a total staff of more than 160 employ 250 CPAs.
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Accounting Salaries by Specialty
Associate Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks
Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Tax Examiners and Collectors
Master's Degree Recommended
Accountants and Auditors
Personal Financial Advisors
Top-paying cities for accountants
- Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA$77,100
Major firms headquartered in Rhode Island
|Count||Firm||Location||2014 Revenue (in millions)|
|1||Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co.||Providence, RI||$39|
|2||DiSanto Priest & Co.||Warwick, RI||$10|
Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting Today, "Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders"
Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Rhode Island
Licensing requirements for Rhode Island CPAs follow standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). These standards include:
- 150 credit hours of postsecondary education
- A bachelor’s degree or higher
- Professional or volunteer experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA
Rhode Island statutes regarding the transfer of CPA licenses from other states conform with the CPA mobility guidelines developed by the NASBA and the AICPA. These guidelines allow CPAs that are currently licensed by states other than Rhode Island to become licensed by Rhode Island after they meet the residency requirement or have a place of business in the state. CPAs relocating to Rhode Island are eligible for licensure reciprocity even if their license was issued before adoption of national standards.
Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Rhode Island
In order to become licensed as a CPA in Rhode Island candidates must successfully complete all four parts of the uniform CPA exam. The exam is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
Applicants that are unable to attain a passing grade (75%) for each section on their first attempt may apply to retake one or more parts of the exam. Candidates who wish to apply for re-examination must do so within 18 months of their first attempt. Any currently licensed CPA that would like to relocate to or work in Rhode Island as a CPA my request to have their license transferred.
|Social Security # Requirement||Yes|
|Education Requirement for Licensure||150 hours (including bachelor's degree)|
|Participates in International Programs||Yes|
|Hours in Accounting||Graduate degree with concentration in accounting: accredited in business-24 semester or equivalent quarter hours in undergraduate accounting or 15 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in graduate accounting or a combination thereof. Bachelor's degree or higher with 24 semester credits or equivalent quarter hours in undergraduate or graduate level accounting.|
|Exam Sitting Requirements||Bachelor's degree or above (120 hours)|
|Experience Requirements||1 year experience gained through employment in public practice, government, industry, education or a combination thereof.|
|Ethics Exam||Must pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure|
Licensing requirements for Rhode Island CPAs is done by the Rhode Island the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Board of Accountancy. Regulations regarding CPA exam requirements, education requirements and professional experience are all available on the department’s website.Source: The American Institute of CPAs
CPA exam fees in Rhode Island
- Application Fee $150
- Auditing & Attestation $208
- Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
- Regulation $208
- Business Environment & Concepts $208
Candidates seeking to re-take one or more sections of the Uniform CPA Examination must remit a $75 registration fee along with their request.
Certifying and Professional Organizations
The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Board of Accountancy is responsible for licensing and regulating CPAs practicing in the state. The board governs the conduct of CPAs to ensure that the public welfare is protected. The board has the authority to suspend or revoke licenses and other forms of professional discipline.
The Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants is a professional membership organization that advocate for CPAs working in the state. The RISCPA also provides continuing education resources and networking opportunities for its members.
Rhode Island Board of Accountancy
1511 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920