How To Become a CPA in New Mexico: Step By Step Guide
New Mexico, often called the Land of Enchantment, is one of the South West mountain states. Best known for its views of desert landscapes and towering Rocky Mountains, NM is a great place to live.
New Mexico is also a perfect place to start your CPA career. With the federal government being the state’s biggest employer, NM has plenty of governmental accounting and auditing career paths to choose from.
The step towards your accounting career in New Mexico is meeting the state CPA qualifications. Let’s look at the NM CPA requirements that must be met to take the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in New Mexico.
Minimum New Mexico CPA Requirements for Certification
Future CPAs must complete the following minimum CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in New Mexico:
- Must be over 18 years old
- Must provide a Social Security number
- Must have an Undergraduate Degree with 150 total credit hours
- Minimum Age: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
- New Mexico Residency: not required
Like many other border states, New Mexico doesn’t require candidates to be US citizens. This makes NM an ideal state for international candidates to take the exam.
Also, New Mexico does not require CPA candidates to use a certified public accountant study guide to prepare for the exam; although, most candidates choose to use a CPA review course of some kind.
New Mexico CPA Certification Education Requirements
The New Mexico Public Accountancy Board requires all CPA candidates to complete at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. Only 120 credit hours is required to take the CPA exam, but candidates must complete 150 credit hours before they qualify for licensure.
There are several required classes that you must take in the 150 credit requirement.
You must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of accounting courses.
General Business Coursework
In addition to the accounting coursework, you will need to complete at least 3 credit hours of business law course work.
Always check with the state board for information on institutions meeting the state’s accreditation requirements. Not all colleges are accredited to the New Mexico standards, so it’s a good idea to make sure your education meets the New Mexico CPA requirements before you apply for the exam.
It is important to note that CPA candidates with foreign college/university degrees should have the National Association of Credential Evaluation Service (NACE) member agency certify their academic credential. The evaluation agency should submit all evaluations and foreign school transcripts to the CPA Examinations Services.
New Mexico CPA Exam Requirements
CPA candidates with an undergraduate degree in either accounting or business are eligible to sit for the CPA exam in New Mexico as long as they have accrued at least 120 college credit hours.
New Mexico lets candidates sit for the exam before they finish the 150 credit hour total. This is a good idea because it allows you to sit for the exam while your undergraduate education is still fresh in your mind. Then after you pass the exam, you can go back to finish up the required coursework.
To apply for the CPA exam in New Mexico, you will need to submit the following to the NM state board:
- Complete University transcripts
- Government issued ID
- Social Security Number
- Application fees
After your application is approved by the board, you will be issued a NTS and allowed to sign up for CPA exam testing date and pay the necessary fees.
NM CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The total cost to take the CPA exam in New Mexico is $993. This includes an initial application fee of $160.
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $208.40
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $208.40
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $208.40
- Regulation (REG): $208.40
- Application fees $160
On average, each section will cost $208. Those who want to take the CPA exam in New Mexico will have to pay the $993 for the whole exam, but if you want to take only a particular section, the fees will be adjusted accordingly.
New Mexico CPA License Requirements
After passing the CPA exam, you need to apply for your CPA license through the New Mexico State Board of Accountancy. Before you are eligible to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in NM, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:
- Compete an Undergraduate Degree with 150 semester hours
- Pass the Uniform CPA Exam
- Pass the AICPA Ethics Exam and get a Certificate of Completion
- Complete a 1-year work experience program
For verifying CPAs not licensed in New Mexico, one has to complete the Interstate Notification of CPA license form verification, which will be submitted to the State Board where they are licensed.
AICPA Ethics Exam
The AICPA Ethics exam is also another vital aspect in earning a CPA in New Mexico. The exam prepares CPA candidates for ethical issues that they might encounter in practice.
This open-book exam can be purchased directly from the AICPA. It’s administered online through the AICPA website. The exam isn’t difficult, but you will need to score a 95% in order to pass. This is one of the easiest CPA qualifications during your CPA license journey.
Work Experience Requirements
In order to qualify for CPA licensure in New Mexico you will need to complete a 1-year work experience program. Public or non-public accounting experience is acceptable, but both need to be completed under the supervision of a Certified Public Accountant in good standings.
Your work experience can include services such as:
- Tax or compilation
Keep in mind that your supervisors must be a CPA licensed in the state of New Mexico. Chartered accountants or CPAs from other states do not count and any work completed under them will not apply to your work experience CPA requirements.
New Mexico CPA License Application & Renewal
All certified public accountants in New Mexico must renew their licenses each year. The CPA license renewal process is straight forward and is typically completed through the NM State Board website.
All CPAs also have to complete 120 CPE hours every three years. Thus, licensed CPAs must complete at least 40 hours of CPE each year. This continuing education helps CPAs stay current on new laws, trends, and technology.
To renew your CPA license in NM, simply log in to your account, fill out the renewal forms, pay the fees, and submit your CPE credits.
New Mexico CPA Salary
The average New Mexico CPA salary is $76,676 per year according to the NM Department of Labor. This average varies based on location and work experience with the major cities of Santa Fe and Albuquerque having the highest earning CPAs.
New Mexico’s diverse economy is filled with opportunities for CPAs. From the thriving tourism and cattle industries to the governmental sectors, NM has plenty of career options for future accountants
Additional New Mexico CPA Resources
Here are some resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in New Mexico and become a certified public accountant.