How to Become a CPA in New Mexico

The process of earning qualifications to be an accountant in New Mexico is similar to other states. For New Mexican accountants, becoming a CPA in the Land of Enchantment has never been more straightforward. The steps towards finally receiving your license are many, but they do not have to be difficult if you follow them carefully.

Get to Know New Mexico

New Mexico is not called the land of enchantment for no reason. Grab your sunglasses, and maybe a hat, because the Sandia state averages 280 days of sun per year. The sky seems to span towards infinity, all shades of pink from the Sandia (meaning watermelon) mountain range breaking through it make for a truly remarkable sight.

The state holds pockets of lore and interesting trivia. For example Roswell, New Mexico has 0ver 60 years worth of stories about aliens and spaceships that have been independently verified but the most skeptical of non-believers. You can travel to White Sands, New Mexico to step on pearly sand that stretches as far as the eye can see, in a dune field that is nearly 10,000 years old. Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital city is known for its historical and current art scene that draws visitors from all over the world, and its Spanish Pueblo Style architecture.

New Accounting in New Mexico’s Economy

Among other states in the nation, New Mexico’s economy has performed below the national average, though their major metropolitan hubs like Santa Fe and Albuquerque are surpassing the national medians for income and employment. The state works hard for their tax incentives, as they are constantly going after new business operations. Tax incentive programs are offered to filmmakers, customer service centers, airline industries, high tech manufacturing firms, and customer service centers. As a result of this, these industries are the fastest growing in this desert land.

Federal Government spending accounts for 25% of all of the states jobs. They fund many of the state’s largest employers including Sandia National Laboratories, situated in the Rio Grande Research Corridor. There are three airforce hubs in New Mexico, including Cannon, Kirtland, and Holloman. They are not the only military representation in the state. There is also Fort Bliss, which is an Army proving ground, and the White Sands Missile Range. The most crucial aspects New Mexico’s agricultural industries center around cattle ranching and dairy. Water is a hot commodity in this hot desert state, so farming gets to be a little bit tricky without sophistical irrigation systems. The most widely grown crop is hay, which is used to feed the cattle and exported around the region. A close second is cash crop is pecans.

The Best AACSB Accounting Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico has several colleges and universities scattered throughout the state. Two of these have earned and renewed the highly regarded AACSB accreditation at their business schools. The College of Business at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces is one of these. This business school offers programs in their Accounting and Informations Systems department such as the Bachelor/Master of Accountancy, or an MBA with a concentration in Accountancy and Information Systems. The other AACSB accredited school in the state is in the Robert O. Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. UNM is located in Albuquerque, the largest and most populous city. The Anderson School of Management is a well-regarded business school in the Southwest and around the country. For bachelor’s programs, they offer a Bachelor of Business Administration. For master’s degrees, students can choose from an MBA, MACCT, MS ISA, Executive MBA, or an MBA Educational Leadership.

There is no age requirement to sit for the CPA exam in New Mexico, nor is there a citizenship requirement or NM residency requirement. CPAs must provide a Social Security number in order to sit for the exam. They must also have earned 30 credits beyond their initial 120 obtained from their bachelor’s degree. This often comes from a graduate certificate or a business master’s degree program. After passing the exam with an average of 75% or better on all four sections, CPAs in New Mexico are required to work for one year, full-time in an accounting setting. This can be in the sectors of government, industry, academia or public practice. For Albuquerque residents, Kirkland Airforce Base and Sandia National Lab are great options for unpaid internships or temporary job opportunities.

Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Accountant?

It is evident that in the world of business, accountants, more than other professionals, have to be clear, concise, and pay close attention to detail. There is no “wing it” in the field of accounting, you either have the skills or you’ll be looking for a new career before long. If you’ve ever filed your taxes incorrectly due to a poor accountant or were given wrong financial advice by a CPA, you understand the importance of a dependable and reliable Accountant. The good ones are remembered and praised, the bad ones are unemployed.

Maintaining the CPA License in New Mexico

All Accountants must maintain their credentials. To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of New Mexico, one must meet the national minimums and also fulfill state-specific requirements. The New Mexico Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners’ website goes into depth about all of these requirements. They’ll have the most current information related to licensing renewal, requirements for continuing education, among other bits of information necessary to achieve and maintain an accounting license in New Mexico.

Basically, CPAs in New Mexico must pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam to be eligible for initial licensure. The AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of the AICPA professional code of conduct. They are the ones that organizations turn to file a complaint and also refer to for information on disciplinary action. After passing the CPA exam, most state boards, including New Mexico require the addition of an ethics exam in order to get fully certified as an accountant. This particular test is an open book exam that is taken either online or on paper, and there is no limit to the number of times you can attempt it. Students are generally required to pass the exam within two years of passing the CPA exam. This is not a test to stay up at night fretting about, as it is generally the last step to achieving the goal of becoming a certified public accountant, and this one is pretty easy.

CPE Requirements in NM

New Mexico CPAs are required to do 120 hours of CPE per three years, with a minimum of 20 per year. The license renewal date is the last day of the birth month of the CPA each year. The New Mexico Board of Accountancy requires 4 hours in ethics per CPE reporting period, and 96 hours in technical subjects such as audit, attestation, financial reporting, tax, management consulting, financial advisory or consulting, and other areas acceptable to the board. 24 hours of CPE sponsored by organizations other than a licensee’s firm or employer. Accounting instructors in New Mexico are limited to claiming 60 hours of CPE for time spent prepping, presenting and publishing educational material per reporting year. They can claim preparation for courses and presentations, as long as it is limited to two times the number of hours they claim for presentation. Repeat instruction is only accepted if the material is substantially changed. CPAs who are back in school, each semester hour equals 15 CPE hours.