Becoming a Certified Public Accountant always requires diligence and attention to detail, and in Maryland it is no different. Strict education, course, exam and licensure requirements make earning your CPA quite a distinction.
CPA Education Requirements
Verify institution is approved
First, confirm that the institution you’re attending, or planning to attend, provides a board-approved accounting curriculum. The Maryland Board of Public Accountancy recognizes baccalaureate or higher diplomas in accounting (or its substantial equivalent) from schools that are members of the following associations:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and Programs
- American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
If you received your degree outside of the United States, your academic credentials must be evaluated to determine whether they fulfill Maryland’s CPA requirements. The only acceptable evaluation service is NASBA International Evaluation Service (NIES).
Sign up for the right courses
All CPA candidates in Maryland must earn a baccalaureate or higher degree with a concentration in accounting. While your student advisor can provide assistance in class selection, it’s important to verify you’ve signed up for the right courses. You’re must complete a total of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours of coursework that includes the following:
Group I – Accounting and Ethics Education;
Consists of at least 30 undergraduate semester hours or 45 quarter hours in accounting and ethics. The following courses are required:
- 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours in auditing
- 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours in cost accounting or managerial accounting
- 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours in U.S. federal income tax and ethics
- 9 semester hours or 13.5 quarter hours in financial accounting
- 9 semester hours or 13.5 quarter hours in elective accounting courses
Group II – Business-Related Education
Consists of at least 21 semester hours or 31.5 quarter hours in five of the following subjects:
- Corporation or Business Finance
- U.S. Business Law
- Business Communication
- Quantitative Methods
- Computer Science / Information Systems
It’s important to note that College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST, and Military CLEP or DANTES credits can satisfy educational requirements, so long as the credits appear on your official transcripts.
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Uniform CPA Exam Requirements
Prep your application materials
Applicants who intend to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination must apply online through Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation website. Before submitting your Uniform CPA Examination Qualification Review Application, however, you should prepare by:
- Reading the application instructions thoroughly.
- Comparing your completed accounting courses to those accepted by the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. Do this by utilizing the provided Chart of Subject Matter. While course titles may not match, the qualifying course descriptions should be similar.
- Completing the core course inventory worksheet. While this is not required, the form is designed to help you complete the online application quicker and more accurately, as it follows the same format.
The Uniform CPA Examination Qualification Review Application requires you to report any relevant coursework to qualify for both the Uniform CPA Examination and a Maryland CPA license. Maryland’s application system is simple and you can complete it at your own pace. You’ll also be able to check the status of your application and change your contact information after submission.
There is a $67 application fee. Make sure to print the confirmation page after submission. While you will be emailed a receipt for the transaction, these are the only receipts you’ll receive.
It’s important to remember that it can take up to 90 days for the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy to evaluate your application. This time varies depending on application completeness, proper documentation, and the number of other applicants.
Once you’ve been approved to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). Your NTS will list the sections of the examination you’re approved to take and will instruct you to schedule your exam date via Prometric. Be advised that Prometric does charge exam service fees.
Testing sites include:
Keep the following tips in mind when scheduling your exam:
- Verify that your name is spelled correctly when your NIT arrives.
- Schedule your test date as early as possible and have several backup dates in mind as alternatives.
- Contact the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy at (410) 230 6258 if you require special testing accommodations.
- You can reprint your NTS on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website.
Take the exam
Each section of the Uniform CPA Examination takes four hours to complete. Ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for each section. Also, remember to bring your NIT to your testing center, as it’s required for admittance. You’ll also need two forms of identification, one of which must contain a recent photo.
Wait for results
Once you’ve completed the Uniform CPA Examination, NASBA will send your final grades to the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. You’ll then receive an email notifying you when your scores become available online.
Work Experience Requirements
Secure a professional position
To qualify for a CPA license in Maryland, you are required to work professionally in a government, academic, public practice, or industry position for at least one year (2,000 hours). You’ll need to complete this requirement within three years of applying for licensure. Your experience must be supervised by a current CPA and needs to include accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting.
As proof of your work experience, you will need to submit a Report of Practical Work Experience (RPE). You are responsible for completing sections I and III, while your supervising CPA and endorser should complete section II. The form must then be sent to the following address:
Maryland Board of Public Accountancy
500 North Calvert Street – Third Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3651
Maryland CPA Application Process
Meet CPA license requirements
In order to apply for a CPA license in Maryland, you must meet the following requirements:
- Bachelorette degree or higher in accounting and the successful completion of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours
- Passing score on all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination (at least 75% within an 18 month rolling period)
- Completed RPE form verifying one year of professional work experience under a licensed CPA
- Passing score on the Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course. Your course completion certificate should be emailed to the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy.
Once you’ve completed all of the above-mentioned requirements, the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy will meet to review your file. Once approved, you’ll receive instructions via mail on how to apply for your initial Maryland CPA license. The Board meets once a month to review application and you’ll be notified via email once the final decision is made.
Continuing Education CPA Requirements
Take the right courses
In order to maintain your CPA license in Maryland, continuing education (CE) courses are required. Within each two-year renewal period, you must:
- Complete 80 CE hours on any of 23 subjects, including four hours in professional ethics
- Report CE hours during the license renewal process
Accountant Career Salaries in Maryland by Occupation
Maryland may be a small state, but its accountants are among the top earners in their profession. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Maryland accountants had the fourth highest salaries in the nation. Though the state's growth rate trails the national average, their 8.5% rate translates into 1,033 new accounting jobs per year. Salaries are also on the rise. In 2015, the median salary for accountants was $72,951. In 2017, the BLS showed that accountants were claiming a mean salary of $80,930, with the top 10 percent taking home $124,320 in pre-bonus earnings. With stunning numbers like this, and a fantastic geographical location, Maryland is a perfect state for an accountancy career to flourish.
|City||Annual Median Wage|
|St. Marys County Maryland non-metropolitan||$81,270|
|Garrett County Maryland non-metropolitan area||$61,220|
|Annual Mean Wage||10th Percentile||25th percentile||50th percentile||75th percentile||90th percentile|