Introduction

Tourism, oil and gas production and government spending contribute heavily to New Mexico’s economy, employing a labor force of 934,200 and generating a per capita income of $35,079. With over 2 million residents populating the state, unemployment is slightly higher than the national average at just over 6%. The state’s gross domestic product, however, is close to $80 billion.

As New Mexico’s financial system continues to develop and grow, opportunities for accountants to work with the 383 licensed CPA firms in the state – including two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (Deloitte & Touche and KPMG) – will continue to grow.

New Mexico at a glance

Population 2,085,572
Per Capita Income $35,079
Unemployment Rate 6.1%
Fortune 500 Companies
Licensed CPA Firms 383

Accounting Programs in New Mexico

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Employment opportunities for accountants and auditors in New Mexico is projected to grow 9% over the span of ten years, resulting in 6,520 potential positions by 2022. While this growth rate is slower than the national average percent change, CPAs can look forward to earning between $34,790 and $113,970 on average annually – earning potential depending heavily on degree level, licensure and specialty.

Prospective employers include REDW, located in Albuquerque, which generated $26.45 million in revenue last year. Other top-paying cities for accountants in New Mexico are Santa Fe, Farmington and Las Cruces.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

5,980 Employees2012
6,520 Employees2022
New Mexico 8.3% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

New Mexico Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$34,790
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$35,090
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$39,270
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$59,590
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$43,610
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$61,880
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$68,100
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$113,970
$99,920

Actuaries

$90,030
$107,740

Financial Managers

$98,960
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Albuquerque, NM
    $63,510
  2. Santa Fe, NM
    $58,460
  3. Farmington, NM
    $56,040
  4. Las Cruces, NM
    $55,960
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in New Mexico

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1REDWAlbuquerque, NM$26

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 New Mexico

CPA candidates in New Mexico must sit for the Uniform CPA Exam administered via computer by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Comprised of four sections that are taken individually, students must receive a passing score of 75 on each of these sections within 18 months of their initial test date.

Below is a list of schools ranked according to their CPA passing rates from 2014. Since the exam is complex in nature, many students have to take one or more sections more than once to earn a passing score. The pass rates by schools below include the scores of both first-timer testers and re-testers.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in New Mexico

Eligibility for CPA licensure in New Mexico is contingent upon candidates meeting the following criteria:

  • Complete the 150 hour educational requirement
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Participate in international programs
  • Complete 30 hours in accounting, auditing and auditing related courses
  • Complete 1 year of experience working in academia, government, industry or public practice
  • Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure

New Mexico recognizes the mobility provision, as well as grades/credit transfer and reciprocal licensure.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting30 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting, auditing and auditing related courses.
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. (120 hours)
Experience Requirements1 year experience in government, industry, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure

The AICPA ethics exam is a self-study exam, must be passed with a score of 90% or higher and can be ordered from the New Mexico Society of CPAs (505) 246-1699.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in New Mexico

Total:$890
  • Application Fee $160
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $173
  • Business Environment & Concepts $173

Special Fees: A registration fee applies in addition to the application fee, and is a flat rate of $85 no matter how many sections a student is registering for at one time.

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 New Mexico Public Accountancy Board issues licenses for CPAs and CPA firms to practice in the state of New Mexico. By setting professional and educational standards, the Board ensures a certain level of quality in financial services offered. The Board also investigates complaints, renews licenses, evaluates peer review reports from firms and applies disciplinary actions when necessary.

Before receiving a license from the Board, candidates must apply for and take the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Uniform CPA Exam in New Mexico state via a computer-based format.

The New Mexico Society of CPAs provides current and future CPAs with a wealth of resources, including scholarships, professional links, peer reviews, job postings and continuing professional education.

New Mexico Public Accountancy Board

Address

5200 Oakland NE Suite D
Albuquerque, NM 87113

Phone Number

(505) 222-9850

New Mexico Society of CPAs

Address

3400 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone Number

(505) 246-1699

Email

tasha@nmscpa.org