The practice of accounting is an important one with varied requirements for certification and expectations depending upon which state you live in. Maine is no exception, and has their own set of standards for reaching the highest level of accounting licensure, the CPA.
Maine Education Requirements
Find and enroll in an accredited university
First, you’ll need to find and enroll in an accounting program at an accredited college or university. The Maine Board of Accountancy only accepts degrees from schools that are accredited by an accrediting agency in good standing with the Council of Postsecondary Accreditation. If you’ve already enrolled in a program, confirm that it’s accredited by one of these agencies.
If your educational institute is outside of the United States, you will need to send your transcripts to the Foreign Academic Credential Service FACS). The Maine Board of Accountancy will then evaluate the results and determine if you meet the state education requirements.
Other important information to note when selecting an institution:
- CPA review courses are not acceptable.
- Credits earned at a regionally accredited community college or two-year degree granting institutions are acceptable.
- Correspondence and online degrees are acceptable, as long as the university is accredited.
- Credits by examination are acceptable.
If you have questions regarding the standing of your current institution or one you’re considering applying to, contact the board.
Complete your course requirements
You will want to start with obtaining your AA Accounting Associate degree, but CPA applicants must earn, at minimum, a 4-year baccalaureate or higher degree in accounting. The program must consist of at least 150 semester hours, 3 hours of which must be in auditing and attestation services. Additionally, 15 hours must consist of one or more of the following topic areas:
- Financial accounting and reporting for business organizations
- Financial accounting and reporting for government and not-for-profit entities
- Auditing and attestation services
- Managerial or cost accounting
- Fraud examination
- Internal controls and risk assessment
- Financial statement analysis
- Accounting research and analysis
- Tax research and analysis
- Accounting information systems
- Ethics relevant to the practice of public accounting
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Maine Exam Requirements
Complete your exam requirements
In order to qualify to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination, you must complete at least 120 semester hours of the 150 hour requirement, including the basic courses in accounting and auditing, as well as 15 semester hours in one or more of the topic areas mentioned above. You’ll also be required to attain your 4-year baccalaureate or higher degree within 120 days following your first examination. Failing to graduate within this time period will mean no credit will be given for the examination and you’ll be unable to request your exam scores.
Apply to take the Uniform CPA Examination
You can apply to take the Uniform CPA Examination online via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Application requirements include:
- Application fee of $150.
- Examination fee of $208.40 for each section you intend to take: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and/or Regulation. You can apply for as many examination sections as you want.
- Official school transcripts from all schools listed on your application. These must be sent directly from your school to CPAES.
- Three reference letters submitted by you or your references, which may not include anyone related to you. Additionally, only one letter may be written by an employer or educator who knows you solely through work or school.
- Notarization form.
- Photo form.
- Certification of Enrollment, if still enrolled, submitted by you or your institution. This may not be necessary if courses in progress are listed on your official transcript(s). Final transcripts signifying the completion of your program must be submitted to CPAES within 120 days of your first examination.
- International Evaluation, if education was received outside of the United States. This must be sent directly from your evaluation agency.
- Testing Accommodation Request Form, if applicable, submitted by you.
- Supporting legal documents (if applicable for background check purposes).
Keep in mind that application and/or examination fees are not refundable. Under extreme circumstances, however, you may request a testing extension or a partial refund for examination fees using an Exception to Policy Form.
You should receive an email once your materials have been received. If you fail to submit any required documentation with 45 days, your application will be marked incomplete. On average, it will take between two and four weeks for your application to be processed from that point.
Schedule and take your Uniform CPA Examination
Once the NASBA determines you’re eligible, you’ll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). Your NTS will instruct you on how to schedule your exam date via Prometric. Be advised that Prometric does charge exam service fees.
Your exam responses will be sent to AICPA to be tabulated. You should then receive the results via postal mail.
Maine Work Experience Requirements
Complete your work experience requirements
To qualify for a CPA license in Maine, you are required to work professionally under the direct supervision of a certified public accountant for two years. The CPA can be licensed in any state or territory, as well as board-approved countries. Employment must be at a licensed public accounting firm, unless a nonpublic accounting position is deemed equivalent by the Maine Board of Accountancy. During this time, you should gain experience in accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of reports and, at minimum, one of the following:
- The provision of management advisory
- Financial advisory or consulting services
- Preparation of tax returns
- The furnishing of advice on tax matters
Submit proof of work experience
Your work experience must be confirmed by a licensed CPA. Make sure you use the appropriate verification form for either CPAs licensed in Maine or CPAs licensed in another location.
Applying for Your Maine CPA License
Check that you have met all requirements
In order to apply for a CPA license, you must meet the following requirements:
- Score of at least 75% within an 18 month rolling period on all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination
- Successful completion of the 150 semester hours including,
at minimum, a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution
- Two years of professional work experience,
verified by a licensed CPA
Submit the CPA license application
You can apply for your initial CPA license online or by downloading the application and sending it to the following address:
Maine Board of Accountancy
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
A total fee of $76 must also be included. This can be paid online, via check made payable to “Maine State Treasurer,” or by including your credit card information on your printed application.
Maine Continuing Education Requirements (CPE)
Complete your CPE requirements
Your CPA license in Maine will expire on September 30 of each year. In order to maintain your license, you need to meet the state’s CPE requirements, which consist of 40 hours of continuing education annually. Qualifying programs include:
Acceptable subject matter includes:
- Accounting, Auditing, and Ethics
- Specialized Accounting Areas of Industry
- Administration Practices
- Management Services
The following subjects are acceptable, but must not exceed 50% of your total hours:
- Communication Arts
- Mathematics, Statistics, Probability, and Quantitative Applications in Business
- Business, Securities, and Administration Law
- Human Resources Policies
- Computer Software Applications