Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Maine involves meeting a set of rigorous standards, a response to a growing challenge in the accounting field. The CPA Journal points out a significant issue: the accounting community is facing a shortage of skilled labor, even as demand for accounting services increases.
This guide to Maine’s CPA Exam and License Requirements will outline the essential steps and qualifications needed for CPA licensure in the state. From educational requirements to the comprehensive examination process, and maintaining a CPA license, this article provides a clear and direct roadmap for those aiming to join Maine’s accounting profession. For aspiring accountants in Maine, understanding and fulfilling these requirements are key steps in contributing to and thriving in this vital and demanding field.
Maine CPA Exam and Licensure Snapshot
Embarking on the path to CPA licensure in Maine involves a series of essential steps, each playing a crucial role in achieving this professional goal. Here’s a breakdown of the process:
- Meet Education and Verified Work Requirements: Aspiring CPAs in Maine must first meet specific educational criteria, which typically includes completing 150 semester hours of college education with a concentration in accounting and business courses. Additionally, candidates need to accumulate the required work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
- Pass All Sections of the CPA Exam: The CPA Exam is known for its rigorous nature, covering a wide range of topics critical to the accounting profession. Enrolling in a top CPA review course can be beneficial, offering structured guidance and improving your chances of success on the exam.
- Submit All Required CPA License Application Paperwork: Candidates need to accurately complete and submit all necessary documents for their CPA license application in Maine.
- Pay the CPA License Application Fee: This fee is a standard part of the application process and varies by state.
Maine CPA License Requirements
To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:
- Minimum age: None
- U.S. Residency NOT Required
- State Residency NOT Required
To qualify for CPA licensure in Maine, candidates must meet specific educational criteria:
- Total Credit Hours: Candidates must complete 150 semester hours of college education, which is a standard requirement for CPA licensure.
- Specific Coursework Requirements: Within these 150 hours, candidates must complete at least 15 semester hours in a relevant accounting course, ensuring a well-rounded accounting education:
- Accreditation: The college or university attended must be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, ensuring the quality of the educational credentials.
These requirements are designed to provide CPA candidates in Maine with a comprehensive and relevant educational foundation in both accounting theory and practical application, preparing them for the complexities of the accounting profession.
Work Experience Requirements
For CPA licensure in Maine, candidates must fulfill specific work experience requirements in public accounting:
- Duration of Experience: Candidates need two years of public accounting work experience.
- Specific Hourly Requirements:
- Audit, Review, and Compilation: At least 400 hours must be dedicated to audit, review, and compilation services.
- Advisory Services: A minimum of 200 hours must be in advisory services.
- Supervision: The work experience must be supervised by a CPA or an equivalent professional. This includes chartered accountants from Canada, Australia, and other countries, but candidates should verify with the Maine State Board to ensure equivalency.
- Part-time Work: Part-time work is permissible. In Maine, 173 hours of part-time work is considered equivalent to one month of full-time employment.
These requirements ensure that CPA candidates in Maine acquire practical, hands-on experience in key areas of public accounting, under the guidance of qualified professionals.
In Maine, unlike in several other states, CPA candidates are not required to complete an ethics exam as part of their licensure process. While the ethics exam, typically provided by the AICPA, is a common requirement in many states, Maine has chosen not to include this as a mandatory step for CPA licensure. However, this does not diminish the importance of ethical practices in the profession. CPA candidates and licensees in Maine are still expected to uphold high standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior in their accounting practices. This emphasis is integrated into the educational and experiential requirements of Maine’s CPA licensure process.
Maine CPA Exam Fees
Pursuing CPA licensure in Maine involves various fees associated with the CPA exam process. It’s essential for candidates to understand these costs in order to effectively plan their licensure journey.
- Total Examination Fee: The cost for taking all four sections of the CPA exam in Maine is $1,379.20, with each section costing $344.80.
- Education Evaluation Application Fee: Candidates must initially pay an education evaluation application fee of $90. This fee assesses educational qualifications to verify eligibility for the CPA exam.
- Re-examination Fees: If candidates need to retake any exam sections, re-examination fees apply. These fees vary based on the number of sections reapplied for and can accumulate if multiple retakes are necessary.
CPA Exam Updates in Maine
Starting in January 2024, the CPA Exam in Maine will transition to a new Core + Discipline model under the CPA Evolution initiative. This model includes a mandatory core in accounting, auditing, and tax, plus a choice of one Discipline section in Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), or Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP). This change, a collaboration between NASBA and AICPA, reflects the evolving skills required in the accounting profession. For more information, visit EvolutionofCPA.org.
Under the new transition policy, candidates with credit for AUD, FAR, or REG in the current CPA Exam are exempt from these sections in the 2024 exam. Those with BEC credit won’t need to take any Discipline sections. However, if credits are lost after December 31, 2023, candidates must take the new corresponding sections. This policy ensures a smooth transition to the new exam format. Details on the transition are available at NASBA’s Transition Policy.
Expert Tips to Become a CPA in Maine
Aspiring CPAs in Maine should focus on gaining practical experience in diverse accounting areas, beyond just meeting the educational requirements. In today’s dynamic financial landscape, versatility in skills such as technology integration, analytical thinking, and ethical decision-making can set you apart. Engage in internships or part-time roles in different accounting sectors to build a robust foundation for your CPA journey.Bryce Welker, CPA Expert
Local Professional CPA Organizations and Networks
- Maine Society of CPAs: This is the state’s premier professional association for CPAs, accounting, and finance professionals. Members enjoy various benefits, including professional development and networking opportunities. Visit Maine Society of CPAs
- Find A CPA | MECPA: This interactive database from the Maine Society of CPAs helps businesses and consumers find a CPA firm for their specific needs. Find A CPA
Maine Exam Information and Resources
For more details, please contact:
Department of Prof. & Fin. Regulation
Office of Lic. & Reg.
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0035
Email: [email protected]
CPA candidates in Maine must complete 150 semester hours of college education, including at least 15 semester hours in accounting and business-related courses, with a minimum of 3 semester hours in auditing and attestation services. The college or university must be accredited.
Maine requires 2 years of public accounting work experience. This must include a minimum of 400 hours in audit, review, and compilation, and at least 200 hours in advisory services. The experience should be supervised by a licensed CPA or an equivalent professional.
No, Maine does not require an ethics exam for CPA licensure. Candidates, however, are expected to maintain high ethical standards in their professional conduct.
The total cost for taking all four sections of the CPA exam in Maine is $1,379.20, with each section costing $344.80. Additionally, there is an education evaluation application fee of $90.
Yes, international students can apply for CPA licensure in Maine. They must meet the same educational and examination requirements as U.S. candidates, including having their foreign credentials evaluated by an approved service.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades. As Seen On Forbes