New Mexico CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: January 5, 2024 You’re our #1 priority.
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The finance and accounting industry’s valuation stands at a robust $675.14 billion and is on an upward trajectory toward an impressive $938.38 billion by 2031. The role of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) has never been more pivotal.

New Mexico, with its unique blend of cultural heritage and economic diversity, offers a challenging yet rewarding path for aspiring CPAs. This comprehensive guide delves into the specifics of acquiring CPA licensure in the Land of Enchantment, detailing the 150-credit hour educational prerequisite, the nuances of requisite work experience, and the critical steps to certification. It’s an essential read for those ready to navigate the flourishing landscape of accounting in New Mexico and carve a niche in an industry that’s not just surviving but thriving, even in times of global economic shifts.

Steps to Get a New Mexico CPA License

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, students must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:

  1. Minimum age: 18
  2. U.S. Residency NOT Required; however, if you completed courses at a campus located outside the U.S. for a school located in the U.S., the official transcript must be issued by the registrar from the U.S. campus. Transcripts issued by the registrar for the campus located outside the U.S. will not be accepted.
  3. State Residency NOT Required

New Mexico CPA License Requirements

Education Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher
  2. 30 semester units of accounting courses, 3 of which can come from a Business Law course

For CPA licensure, commercial CPA review courses and finance courses cannot replace accounting courses. Only original transcripts from regionally accredited institutions are valid; photocopies or transcripts issued to students are not accepted. Education from regionally accredited community colleges or two-year institutions is acceptable. Additionally, correspondence courses, pass/fail grades, and CLEP credits are valid if they are credited by a regionally accredited university and documented on an official transcript.

Work Experience

  • 1 year of public or non-public accounting experience supervised and verified by an actively licensed United States CPA
  • Chartered accountants from outside the US are not eligible for verification

Ethics Exam

  • Passing the AICPA ethics exam
  • Cost of the exam is $320 or a discount at $249 for AICPA or CIMA members.

Additional CPA Requirements

  1. Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
  2. Complete verified accounting work experience
  3. Pass AICPA Ethics Exam
  4. Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork
  5. Pay the CPA license application fee

New Mexico CPA Exam Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in New Mexico is $1,379.20 ($344.80 per section) plus the initial $90 education evaluation fee. The re-examination registration fee varies depending on the number of sections you are signing up for.

**Important Note: You should not apply and pay for exam sections that will not be taken within six months because your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in New Mexico expires 6 months after issuance.

CPA Exam Evolution in New Mexico

The CPA landscape in New Mexico is gearing up for a significant shift in 2024, driven by the CPA Evolution Initiative. This initiative marks a pivotal change in the CPA exam structure, introducing a Core-Plus-Discipline model. This new format, effective from January 10, 2024, will replace the traditional Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section with three distinct Discipline sections. CPA candidates in New Mexico will need to pass one of these Discipline exams in addition to the three Core Exams, aligning their skills more closely with the evolving demands of the accounting profession.

As New Mexico transitions to this innovative exam structure, CPA candidates should focus on adapting their preparation strategies to meet the requirements of the new model. The Discipline sections are designed to test specialized knowledge and skills, reflecting the diverse and dynamic nature of modern accounting. The testing windows for these sections will be limited to one month each quarter, making strategic planning and timely preparation more crucial than ever.

The CPA Evolution initiative is a response to the rapidly changing business landscape, ensuring that CPAs are equipped with relevant skills and knowledge. For New Mexico, this change represents an opportunity to enhance the quality and relevance of the CPA profession. Candidates are encouraged to stay informed about these changes and utilize the resources provided by the New Mexico Public Board of Accountancy and other professional bodies to navigate this transition successfully.

Expert Tips to Become a CPA in New Mexico

One key tip for aspiring CPAs in the state is to immerse yourself in the unique business environment of New Mexico. This includes understanding the local industries, such as energy, technology, and tourism, which are integral to the state’s economy. Familiarize yourself with the specific accounting and regulatory nuances relevant to these sectors. This specialized knowledge not only prepares you for the CPA exam but also gives you a competitive edge in the job market.

Another crucial piece of advice is to leverage the resources offered by local professional organizations, like the New Mexico Society of CPAs. These organizations provide invaluable networking opportunities, mentorship, and continuous learning platforms. Engaging with these groups can offer insights into the latest industry trends and regulatory changes specific to New Mexico.

Additionally, staying updated with the CPA Evolution initiative and adapting your study strategy to the new exam format will be essential in 2024 and beyond. Remember, becoming a CPA is more than passing an exam; it’s about integrating yourself into the fabric of the state’s vibrant business community.

Local Professional CPA Organizations and Networks

The New Mexico Society of CPAs is a prominent organization dedicated to supporting CPAs in the state. It offers a range of resources, including continuing education, networking opportunities, and professional development. This organization plays a crucial role in fostering a community of accounting professionals committed to excellence and ethical standards in the field.

Additionally, the New Mexico Board of Public Accountancy serves as a regulatory body, ensuring the highest standards of practice and ethics are maintained in the accounting profession across the state. This board is instrumental in licensing and regulating CPAs and CPA firms in New Mexico.

NM Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

5500 San Antonio Dr. NE, Suite A
Albuquerque, NM  87109
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 505-222-9850
Fax: 505-222-9845

What’s Next?

Now that you have started the CPA exam application process, your next step is to find the right CPA review course that best fits your budget, learning style, and schedule.

It can take several weeks for your application to be processed, so don’t waste that valuable time waiting to hear back from your state board.  If you start studying now, you will get a nice jump start on the material and will be better prepared to pass your CPA exam!


Is work experience required for CPA licensure in New Mexico?

Yes, New Mexico requires relevant accounting work experience, supervised by a licensed CPA.

Do I need to pass an ethics exam for CPA licensure in New Mexico?

Yes, passing an ethics exam, like the AICPA ethics exam, is a requirement.

How much does it cost to take the CPA exam in New Mexico?

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in New Mexico is $1,379.20 ($344.80 per section) plus the initial $90 education evaluation fee.

Can I transfer my CPA licensure to New Mexico?

Licensure can be transferred, but you may need to meet specific reciprocity requirements of New Mexico.

Are there any continuing education requirements for CPAs in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, CPAs are required to complete 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every three years, with a minimum of 20 hours per year. Additionally, CPAs must complete 4 hours of ethics-related CPE within this three-year period.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes,, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created 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