How To Become a CPA in Maryland: Step By Step Guide
Maryland, often called the Old Line State, is rich in culture being a major historic trading port. The state is best known as the birthplace of the U.S national anthem and source of blue crabs.
Maryland is an extraordinary state to start your career in public accounting. Ranked #6 in healthcare, MD offers a variety of different career opportunities for CPAs.
To begin your professional career as a CPA in Maryland, you’ll first need to fulfill the minimum qualifications. Let’s check out the MD CPA requirements as well as the steps to sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Maryland.
Minimum Maryland CPA Requirements for Certification
Future CPA hopefuls have to fulfill the following minimum requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Maryland:
- Be at least 18 years
- Have a social security number
- Have a bachelor’s degree (120 credits)
- Show proof of 1-year work experience
- Maryland residency: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
Aspiring CPAs in Maryland do not need to be U.S citizens or state residents. This makes Maryland an optional state for international CPA candidates as long as they are able to get a social security number.
Maryland CPA Certification Education Requirements
Unlike other states, Maryland has very specific education requirements that certified public accountant candidates must meet.
Candidates are able to sit for the exam in Maryland after they complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting with only 120 semester hours. They will, however, need to complete 150 credit hours of classes in order to be eligible for CPA licensure.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, candidates must show proof of
Group 1: 30-hours in accounting and ethics
- 9-hours of financial accounting coursework
- 9-hours of accounting electives coursework
- 3 hours of cost accounting coursework
- 3-hours of auditing coursework
- 3-hours of Taxation coursework
- 3-hours business or Ethics coursework
Group Two: Business Related Coursework
21-hours from any or all of the following
- Computer science
- Corporate finance
- Business law
Contact the MD State Board to verify that your colleges courses meet the minimum Maryland CPA requirements, as all education credentials should be from an accredited institution. The institution must be accredited by any of the accrediting agencies in the U.S.
Your educational credits may also include CPA designation courses as long as they are completed through an approved college or university program.
Maryland CPA Exam Requirements
Once you’ve completed the 120 credit hours of college classes along with your bachelor’s degree, you will be eligible to apply for and schedule the Uniform CPA exam.
Similarly, you must send the education CPA exam requirements to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for verification.
Verification and approval of academic credentials are the first step to applying and scheduling the rigorous four-part CPA exam.
CPA candidates are advised to only apply for CPA exam they intend to take within six months, or else one will have to pay an additional application fee.
MD CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The total cost of taking the CPA exam in Maryland are $895 plus an initial application fee of $60.
The exam fees are split as follows.
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $249
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $198
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $237
- Regulation (REG): $211
- Application Fee: $155
Maryland CPA License Requirements
The licensing process for CPA’s in Maryland begins with downloading and filling the licensure application form from the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. In addition to filing the form, candidates must satisfy the following requirements.
- Complete education requirements of 150 semester hours in an accredited institution
- Take and pass the Uniform CPA exam
- Take and Pass the Ethics exam
- Complete 2,000 hours of work experience in accounting
- Pay the CPA license application fee
Upon submitting the required credentials, the Maryland Board of Public accountancy will sit to review everything. Once approved, candidates receive instructions via email on how to apply for the initial Maryland CPA license.
Maryland CPA Ethics Exam
In addition to the uniform CPA exam, Maryland also requires aspiring CPA’s to take the Ethics exam. Unlike the CPA exam, the ethics exam is not rigorous and is normally open-book. However, one must pass with a minimum score of 90%.
Work Experience Requirements
After taking and passing the uniform CPA exam and the ethics exam, the next step is accruing the necessary accounting work experience for Maryland CPA license eligibility. The state requires candidates to accrue at least 2,000 hours of practical accounting experience.
The experience can be accrued within areas of government academia, public, or private sector. Likewise, it must occur within three years of applying and taking the CPA exam. Besides, it must be accrued under the supervision of a CPA license holder in the state.
Some of the skill sets to be covered as part of the work experience requirement includes communications and leadership skills and technological adeptness. Similarly, candidates must provide financial advisory, management advisory, and consulting.
Maryland CPA License Application & Renewal
The State of Maryland requires licensed CPAs to renew their licenses every two years. The CPA renewal process can be completed through the MD State Board website. You will simply need to submit the following:
- CPA renewal forms
- License renewal fees
- Proof of CPE credits
Maryland CPE Requirements
Maryland requires all licensed CPAs to remain current by completing the continuing professional education every two years.
Maryland CPA Salary
Maryland is home to some of the highest salaries for licensed CPAs in the country. The average Maryland CPA salary is $81,920 and can vary depending on an individual’s education level and years of professional experience.
Being one of the states with the wealthiest households in the U.S, demand for Licensed CPAs is always high in Maryland. For instance, CPAs can work as staff accountants tasked with preparing financial statements and maintaining companies or business accounts.
Likewise, the state also plays host to ten of the country’s largest accounting firms, explaining the expected 10% growth in CPAs through 2026.
Licensed CPAs can also operate as project accountants overseeing various projects’ financial aspects, including managing overall costs. Licensed CPAs can also operate as investment accountants responsible for maintaining and overseeing client’s investments.
Steps to Become a CPA in Maryland
Becoming a certified public accountant in Maryland is a simple five-step process that entails:
- Getting an education in the state
- Taking the Uniform CPA exam
- Applying for A CPA License
- Continuing education in the state
Additional Maryland CPA Resources
Here are several resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Maryland and become a certified public accountant.