How To Become a CPA in Maine: Step By Step Guide
Maine, often called the Pine Tree State, is known for its expansive coastline and lobster fishing industry that generates more than $300 million in revenues annually.
Maine is also an excellent place to start your accounting career in either public or private accounting. Ranked #14 for natural environment, ME is a great place to live.
The first step to starting your career as an accountant in Maine is to finish the minimum qualifications. Let’s review each of the ME CPA requirements, so you can take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Maine.
Minimum Maine CPA Requirements for Certification
Prospective CPA candidates must complete each of the following essential requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Maine:
- Show proof of social security number
- Have a bachelor’s degree (120 credits)
- Accrue at least 2-years accounting work experience
- Minimum Age: not required
- Maine residency: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
Unlike in other states, Maine does not have a U.S citizen or state residency requirement to become a certified public accountant. The state also does not have an age requirement to take the exam.
These basic requirements make Maine fairly accessible for international candidates as long as they are able to get approval for a US social security number.
Maine CPA Certification Education Requirements
Maine requires CPA candidates to have a bachelors’ degree totaling 120 college credit hours to apply and sit the Uniform CPA exam.
In addition to the 120 college hours accrued in the bachelors’ degree program, candidates must take additional 30 semester hours to total of 150 credit hours in order to become licensed.
Of the 150 credit hours of coursework, candidates must complete at least 15 semester hours of accounting courses including:
- 3 credits of accounting
- 3 credits of auditing
- 3 credits of ethics
- Tax research and analysis
- Financial statement analysis
- Fraud investigation
- Cost accounting
As you can see, the Maine CPA education requirements are far more lenient than other states. Other states have much more detailed CPA coursework requirements.
Lenient as they, you should verify with Maine State Board that your education credits and degree program meet the Maine CPA requirements before you plan to sit for the exam.
This way you aren’t going to be blindsided if one or two of your credits don’t count and you have to retake a course or two.
Maine CPA Exam Requirements
Aspiring CPAs who have finished at least 120 hours of the 150-hour CPA requirements can apply for the Uniform CPA exam.
Candidates still in college can also apply for the CPA exam if they are 120-days from graduating. This means that you can get a jump start on the exam if you want to take a section of it while you are in your senior year of college.
NASBA determines whether candidates are eligible to sit for the CPA exam, so you’ll need to send your application and transcripts to NASBA. If you are approved, they will issue you ‘Notification to Schedule’ form that allows you to schedule your first exam section.
CPA candidates who completed 150-semester hours can submit their college transcripts for evaluation by CPAES.
Once the Notice to Schedule is issued, paying the necessary exam and application fees must be allowed to sit for any CPA exam.
ME CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The cost to take the four CPA exam sections in Maine is $743. The CPA exam fees for each section are listed below:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $195.35
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $176.25
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $195.35
- Regulation (REG): $176.25
- Application Fee: $145
Besides the section fees, you must pay an initial $145 application fee.
While applying and scheduling a CPA exam, it is essential only to schedule an exam you intend to take within six months of receiving your Notice to Schedule. After that, your NTS will expire and you will need to pay a re-application fee to get issued a new NTS.
Maine CPA License Requirements
The CPA licensure process is the easiest as it only involves the filling of documents. CPA Candidates are required to meet following requirements in order to get their CPA license in Maine:
- A pass in the Uniform CPA examination
- 150 semester hours of college education
- Complete two-year practical work experience
- Payment for a CPA license fee
A CPA license is issued once the board sits and determines that all the qualifications have been met. Once issued, one can start operating as a certified public accountant.
There is no ethics exam requirement in Maine, so you don’t need to worry about taking an additional test.
Work Experience Requirements
Upon taking the uniform CPA exam, it is also important to comply with the Maine Board of Accountancy work experience requirement. The board requires those pursuing a CPA license to fulfill at least two years of full time paid public accounting experience. The work experience must include
- 400-hours in review compilation
- 200-hours in advisory services
The work experience should include preparing and auditing financial statements review procedures, consulting services, and tax returns. Also, Maine does allow CPA candidates to count teaching certain CPA certification classes towards the professional work experience requirements for CPA licensure. Check with the state board for specifics.
Likewise, the work experiences must be supervised by a licensed CPA in Maine or another jurisdiction.
Maine CPA License Application & Renewal
Maine requires licensed CPAs to renew their certificates annually. The license renewal process can either be completed online or through the mail by submitting your renewal application forms, fees, and CPE certificates to the ME State Board.
Those renewing their licenses must have completed at least 40 hours of Continued Professional Education.
Maine CPA Salary
The average Maine CPA salary is $49,483, depending on the accountant’s level of education and professional work experience. CPAs who work in the Portland area can earn as much as $78,000.
Maine offers some of the best employment opportunities for Certified Public Accountants. CPA License holders can pursue careers as forensic accountants, managerial accountants, or Investment accountants. Likewise, the state boasts of one of the highest salaries for certified accountants.
Steps to Become a CPA in Maine
Here are the steps to become a certified public accountant in Maine:
- Get an education in the state
- Take and pass the uniform CPA exam
- Gain the necessary work experience
- Apply for the Maine CPA License
- Continue accounting education
Additional Maine CPA Resources
Here are some useful resources that show how to take the CPA exam in Maine and become a certified public accountant.