Maine CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in Maine? The first thing you'll want to do on the road to becoming a CPA is check the Maine CPA requirements, because the state will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for taking the CPA Exam and earning CPA licensure and is current as of May 2022. Always consult with Maine's Board of Accountancy for the most current information.

Maine CPA Exam requirements

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam and becoming a licensed CPA. In order to be eligible to take the CPA Exam in Maine, the state requires candidates to meet certain education requirements.

Eligibility for Examination

To qualify for the examination, you must:

  • Be of good character and reputation; and
  • Have earned at least a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university acceptable to the Board and completed at least 120 semester hours of college level education; and
  • Have completed 15 semester hours in one or more of the topics listed below. At least 3 semester hours must be earned in auditing and attestation services.
    • 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
    • taxation
    • 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

Note: You shall be required to meet the 150 semester hour educational requirement to obtain a CPA License in the State of Maine.

The baccalaureate degree and 120 semester hours must be complete within 120 days following the actual date you took your first test section, or scores will not be released and credit for any completed part of the examination will not be given. The basic courses in accounting and auditing must be complete at the time of application. All educational transcripts, Certificate of Enrollments, and/or foreign evaluations are required to be submitted to CPA Examination Services. You may submit official school transcripts, Certificate of Enrollments and/or foreign evaluations separately or included with the first-time application.

 

Maine CPA license requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for CPA licensure in Maine, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

Licensure - You must have completed at least 150 semester hours of education, including a minimum 4-year baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university acceptable to the board. 

You must have completed at least two years of experience under the direction of a CPA licensed by any state or territory of the U.S. or equivalent direction, or by a licensed professional CPA in another country. Work experience must be earned in the employment of a licensed public accounting firm.

Your work experience must include the use of accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of reports on financial statements, and at least one of the following: the provision of management advisory, financial advisory or consulting services, the preparation of tax returns, the furnishing of advice on tax matters or equivalent activities defined by the Board.

Successful completion of the CPA exam.

  • Pass all four sections of the CPA Exam
  • Complete two years of experience under the direction of a certified public accountant, which must include the use of accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of reports, and at least one of the following: 
    • The provision of management advisory services
    • Financial advisory or consulting services
    • The preparation of tax returns
    • The furnishing of advice on tax matters
    • Equivalent activities defined by the board

Maine CPA license renewals

Maine CPAs must have their license renewed annually. Effective January 1, 2020, Maine public accounting firm licenses will expire each September 30. Licenses may be renewed up to 60 days before they expire, and a renewal reminder will be sent by email in August.  A single expiration date does not change the responsibilities of those firms subject to peer review report certification and compliance.

Peer review due dates will remain unchanged until a licensed firm undergoes another three-year review period. For example, if a firm’s peer review report is due December 31, 2022, the next peer review report would be due September 30, 2025.

Individual license holders will continue to complete and report 40 hours of continuing education by September 30 each year.
 

Maine CPA CPE requirements\

At the time of your license renewal in September, you will be asked to verify the completion of your CPE. Sometime after September 30 each year, you may be chosen at random to provide additional certificates/documentation of your CPE.

  • CPE Reporting Cycle: The CPE requirement for the period October 1 through September 30 is 40 hours.
  • Ethics Requirement: All licensees must obtain at least 4 hours of CPE in professional ethics every 3 years. If you took a 4-hour ethics course in 2010, you will be required to complete another 4-hour ethics course in 2013.
  • Soft Courses: The credit for such programs may not exceed 50% (20 hours) of the required 40 hours of annual CPE. If you are carrying forward excess CPE, the 50% rule is applied based on the hours actually credited for the year, including the carryover. No waivers to this 50% "soft courses" maximum can be considered by the Board of Accountancy. "Soft" course subject matters include, for example:
    • Communication Arts
    • Mathematics, Statistics, Probability and Quantitative Applications in Business
    • Economics
    • Business, Securities and Administrative Law
    • Human Resources Policies
    • Computer Software Applications

AICPA CPE Requirements

Earn 120 hours every three years. (Report compliance on annual dues statement.) Retired, unemployed, members who have temporarily left the workplace, members who place their license on inactive status with the State Board of Accountancy AND do not hold themselves out as CPAs are exempt.
 

Sources:

Education, experience, CPE, renewals, Main Practice of Public Accountancy statues and laws

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