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NEW MEXICO CPA EXAM & LICENSE REQUIREMENTS 2021
Read on to learn how to become a CPA in New Mexico.
Accountants perform a wide range of duties and are found in careers as diverse as law enforcement and information technology. In fact, there are many different certifications that accountants can aspire to. However, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is the very pinnacle of achievement for an accountant. Every state has its own qualifications for its accountancy license, and New Mexico is no exception. Keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in New Mexico.
The New Mexico Public Accountancy Board has its own specific standards for CPAs, so it is important to make sure that you take time to study what is required before you embark on your path to completion. To start, the board has no requirements for U.S. citizenship, state residency or even age. You will need to have a minimum of 150 semester hours, including a bachelor’s degree. Those hours must also meet certain specifications. You will also need to pass an ethics examination and then spend one year working under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
The academic standards for New Mexico are rather straightforward. You will need a bachelor’s degree inclusive of 120 semester hours, to sit for the CPA examination. For your full license, the state requires a full 150 hours, which could include master’s-level coursework. You need to make sure that your program is fully accredited by an agency that the board recognizes. The Board recognizes three levels of accreditation agency:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools–Higher Learning Commission
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges–Commission for Senior Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools–Commission on Colleges
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
When you select your courses, make sure that you have 30 hours in accounting classes. Discuss this with your advisor so that you remain on track to achieve this goal. Remember that business-related courses may round out your education, but they are not required by the New Mexico Board.
When you are ready to submit your coursework to sit for the exam, you will need to send original transcripts to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s examination services office. Be mindful that you must send original sealed transcripts from every single institution where you took courses. Even if you transferred a single class from one institution to your alma mater, that must be accounted for with original documentation. Have hard copy transcripts sent to:
CPA Examination Services – NM
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219
You may also have original transcripts sent via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Not every institution is equipped for this service, but it may be handy and will save a little paper in the meantime.
Once you have submitted all of your work and qualify to sit for the CPA exam, you will receive a Notice to Schedule from the NASBA. Upon receipt of the notice, you will have six months to schedule and sit for one of the four parts of the examination. If you are unable to meet that deadline, you will need to reapply, including paying a new application fee. After you take the first test, you then have 18 months to take and pass the remaining sections.
The CPA examination is one of the most difficult professional exams in the United States. In fact, many applicants must retake all or parts of the test before they are qualified for the CPA license. Study hard and be as prepared as possible, perhaps focusing on one section at a time. The four parts of the test are as follows:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting–This part covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
- Auditing and Attestation–This section will test your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing as well as U.S. standards.
- Regulation–Your professional and legal responsibilities are covered in this test.
- Business Environment and Concepts–This portion of the exam covers general business concepts and international business. Your writing skills will come into play in this section.
After passing the CPA exam, you will have one more exam to pass prior to being fully licensed. The Ethics exam is not considered to be very difficult, but it must be taken seriously. You will order a CD-ROM from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that includes an 11-hour self-study course. When you take the open-book test, you will need to pass with a minimum score of 90.
The final requirement of the CPA process is your practical work experience. In New Mexico, you can work under any CPA whatsoever, no matter what state their license is from. You will need to demonstrate competency in any of the following skills or practice areas:
- Management Advisory
- Financial Advisory
- Preparation of financial reports and statements
- Business consulting
- Information Systems
Your supervising CPA will then need to complete and submit a Work Experience Verification Form to the board. If your supervisor is not licensed in New Mexico, he or she must remit the Interstate Notification of Verifying CPA’s License form.
For more information, and to find current information on reciprocity, renewals and continuing education, visit the New Mexico Board website:New Mexico Public Accountancy Board.