Like other states, Maryland also has an accountancy board that overlooks its public accountant licensure process. Aspiring CPAs in Maryland have to follow the process laid out by the board to get their license in the state. This process is similar to all other states. However, the requirements differ according to each state’s board of accountancy.

Like all other licensure processes, getting a CPA license also requires candidates to meet some prerequisites. With these, the respective boards ensure only suitable candidates get their professional license, and there is a standardized process for licensure. In Maryland, these prerequisites come in the form of educational, exam and experience requirements.

How to become a CPA in Maryland?

Aspiring CPAs in Maryland start their CPA license journey with formal education. This process is similar to all other states. They must go through a formal education period during which they have to meet some requirements. After that, they can sit for the state’s Uniform CPA Exam. Once they pass the exam, they must work in a practical work environment.

Each process in the above has its requirements. These requirements come from the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy. For all aspiring candidates, meeting all these requirements is mandatory to becoming a CPA in Maryland.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring CPAs in Maryland need to obtain the formal education necessary to learn the basics of accounting. This knowledge can help them pass their Uniform CPA Exam and during their practical experience period. However, the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy has some requirements for the education that candidates must meet. These are as below.

  • Aspiring CPAs must enroll in an accredited university or college in an accounting program. Those who have already enrolled or graduated must ensure the board will accept their credit hours.
  • During their educational period, candidates must complete 150 semester hours (or 225 quarter hours) of undergraduate-level education. They must also earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from the program. Similarly, education must include a specific number of hours from each of the two following groups.
    • Accounting and Ethics Education. Aspiring CPAs must include at least 30 undergraduate semester hours (or 45 undergraduate quarter hours) from this group. These must consist of the following compulsory courses.
      • 3 semester hours in auditing, managerial accounting or cost accounting
      • 3 semester hours in one of the following:
        • accounting ethics
        • business ethics
        • philosophy of ethics
      • 3 semester hours in cost accounting
      • 3 semester hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax
      • 9 semester hours in elective accounting courses
      • 9 semester hours in financial accounting
    • Business-Related Education. Aspiring CPAs must include at least 21 undergraduate semester hours (or 32 quarter credit hours) from this group. These must take courses in five of the following subject areas.
      • Business communication
      • Computer science/information systems
      • Corporation or business finance
      • Economics
      • Management
      • Marketing
      • Quantitative methods
      • Statistics
      • U.S. business law

Uniform CPA Exam

The next step for aspiring CPAs is to sit for the Maryland Uniform CPA Exam. This exam tests their knowledge of the fundamental accounting topics. Only those who have met the Maryland educational requirements set by the board can sit for the exam. Aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to sit for the exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register online with an application. They must also complete the Core Course Inventory Worksheet. This worksheet is useful in helping them fill out their applications.
  • They must submit the documents required from them. Applicants will receive a mail from the board detailing all the requirements. Usually, these include college transcripts, exam and application fees, and some additional documents.
  • They must schedule their exam once they receive their Notification to Schedule. Aspiring CPAs can do so through Prometric’s website. They have a choice between six locations in Maryland where they can sit for the exam.

Experience Requirements

The final step before getting a CPA license in Maryland is to gain practical work experience. Candidates must obtain at least one full year (or 2,000 hours) of practical experience in accounting. It must include paid employment and be documented and verified by a supervising licensed CPA. The experience must meet the following requirements.

  • It must be verified, endorsed and approved by a CPA with an active license.
  • It must occur within three years of candidates applying for the Maryland CPA license.
  • It must be within areas of academia, government, industry or public practice.
  • It must be under an employer that provides attest, consulting, financial advisory, management advisory or tax services.
  • It must cover the following competencies.
    • Communications and leadership skills
    • Critical thinking and strategic skills
    • Focus on the client, customer and market
    • Interpretation of converging information
    • Technological adeptness
  • Applicants must ask their supervising CPA to complete the Report of Practical Work Experience and a form. They must also verify the applicant’s work history and education information, along with other personal and work-related details.

Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Maryland.

  • Aspiring CPAs must start their journey with formal education. They must also meet the requirements of the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy.
  • They must sit for their Maryland Uniform CPA Exam and pass it.
  • They must then go through a practical experience period and meet the board’s requirements.
  • Lastly, they must apply for their Maryland CPA license.

References

  1. “Maryland Board of Public Accountancy” – https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cpa/
  2. “Licensing – Public Accountancy” – https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cpa/cpalic.shtml
  3. “Resources – Public Accountancy” – https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cpa/cpanews.shtml
  4. “Forms & Fees – Public Accountancy” – https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cpa/cpaaff.shtml
  5. “Maryland | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/maryland/