Introduction

More than 200 licensed CPA firms provide financial services to Maine’s 1.3 million residents and businesses. Although the per capita income is just over $39,000, Maine’s total gross state product as of 2010 was $52 billion. Work opportunities abound in the agricultural, industrial, tourism and shipbuilding industries.

A few of the larger companies headquartered in the state include L.L. Bean, Fairchild Semiconductor, IDEXX Laboratories and Hannaford Bros. Co. Major offices of two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (KPMG and Ernst & Young) can be found in Portland, the state’s largest city. Portland is also home to three of the highest grossing accounting firms in a six state area.

Maine at a glance

Population 1,330,089
Per Capita Income $39,481
Unemployment Rate 12.8%
Fortune 500 Companies
Licensed CPA Firms 204

Accounting Programs in Maine

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Maine, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Employment opportunities for accountants and auditors in Maine are projected to increase by 4.5% between 2012 and 2022. Although this is lower than national projections, CPAs can find work in the state’s metro areas. Major firms such as BerryDunn, Baker Newman & Noyes and Macdonald Page & Co. have headquarters in Portland and generated between $13 and $43.12 million in revenue last year.

Top-paying cities for accounting specialists include Lewiston-Auburn, Bangor, South Portland and Portland-Biddeford. Average salaries in these areas are as high as $61,236 annually. Of course, accounting salaries are highly contingent upon licensure status, work experience and expertise; average annual wages in this state can range from $35,550 to $126,200.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

4,250 Employees2012
4,440 Employees2022
Maine 4.3% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Maine Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $35,550
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $38,010
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $39,790
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $57,140
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $48,160
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $61,530
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $61,170
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $126,200
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $0
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $96,080
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME
    $68,700
  2. Bangor, ME
    $63,390
  3. Lewiston-Auburn ME
    $51,620
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Maine

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1BerryDunnPortland, ME$43
2Baker Newman & NoyesPortland, ME$27
3Macdonald Page & Co.South Portland, ME$13

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting today "Top 100 Firms"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Maine

Aspiring CPAs in the state of Maine must apply and register for the CPA Exam after completing the eligibility requirements listed below.

Several of the state’s colleges and universities have top passing rates including both first-time testers and returning testers. The length and complexity of the exam makes retesting common; many individuals may pass one or two sections but need to retake the remaining ones within 18 months of the initial test date.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Maine

CPA licensure in Maine eligibility is obtained once candidates have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Completed 150 hours with 15 hours in accounting, auditing and ethics
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree or be within 120 days of completing the degree
  • Complete 2 years of public accounting experience
  • Successfully complete the CPA Exam

Once certified, continuing education and peer reviews are very important to maintaining one’s license.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting15 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting, auditing & ethics (3 hours must be in accounting and 3 hours must be in auditing)
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A, or completion of B.A. within 120 days
Experience Requirements2 years of public accounting experience which must include the use of accounting or auditing skills including the issuance of reports on financial statement and at least one of the following: the provision of management advisory services, financial advisory services or consulting services, the preparation of tax returns, the furnishing of advice on tax matters
Ethics ExamNo

Successful candidates must complete 40 hours of continuing education annually in order for license renewal.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Maine

Total:$878
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $172
  • Business Environment & Concepts $172

Special Fees: A registration fee of $75 applies whether a candidate is applying take one, two, three or all four sections of the exam. An annual renewal fee of $75 applies in order to keep licenses active. The Board requires a license fee of $75, an application fee of $50, a criminal background check fee of $21, all totaling $146.

Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014

RankLogoSchool NameCandidatesPass RateAverage Score

Schools are ranked by pass rate unless otherwise noted. Results are comprised of scores from both first-time test takers and those returning to take the whole exam or specific sections of it again. Source: National State Boards of Accountancy

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Maine Society of CPAs (MECPA) is a nonprofit organization that maintains professional practice standards while also keeping Maine CPAs updated on the latest accounting regulations and procedures.

Nearly 1,000 members statewide are represented by MECPA, which provides continuing education, resources, advocacy and professional networking. Current and future CPAs may apply to be members, but those seeking licensure must contact the Maine Board of Accountancy.

The Board is a branch of the State of Maine’s Professional and Financial Regulation department. This regulatory body exams, certifies and registers applicants who qualify for public accounting practice. The Board may also suspend, refuse, revoke or renew permits.

Maine Board of Accountancy

Address

76 Northern Avenue
Gardiner, ME 04345

Phone Number

(207) 624-8605

Maine Society of CPAs (MECPA)

Address

153 U.S. Route 1, Ste 8
Scarborough, ME 04074

Phone Number

(207) 883-6090

Email

kvincent@mecpa.org