Introduction

With a population of around 1.3 million, Maine is one of the smallest U.S. states, and it's also home to one of the smaller economics in the country. Despite its size, the state boasts a robust economy based around agriculture, industry, shipbuilding, tourism, and outdoor recreation, and hundreds of CPA firms offer plenty of opportunities for auditors and accountants. Two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (KPMG and Ernst & Young) maintain offices in Portland, the state's largest city and business hub. Portland is also home to three of the highest grossing accounting firms in the New England area: BerryDunn, Baker Newman & Noyes, and Macpage.

Maine at a glance

Population 1,335,907
Per Capita Income $27,978
Unemployment Rate 3.3%
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

4,150 Employees2016
5,030 Employees2026
Maine 17.5% increase
1,397,700 Employees2016
1,537,600 Employees2026
United States 9.1% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Maine Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $38,510
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $39,320
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $42,070
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $63,030
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $53,960
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $67,980
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $66,720
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $134,380
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $113,770
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Portland-South Portland
    $75,420
  2. Bangor
    $65,330
  3. Lewiston-Auburn
    $65,060
  4. Northeast Maine nonmetropolitan area
    $64,000
  5. Southwest Maine nonmetropolitan area
    $58,760
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Maine

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1 BerryDunn Portland, ME $52
2 Baker Newman & Noyes Portland, ME $37
3 Macdonald 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 and Regional Leaders"

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 Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement No
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs Yes
Hours in Accounting 15 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 120 hours
Experience Requirements 2 years of public accounting experience
Ethics Exam N/A

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:$982
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

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.

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