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Accounting Schools in New Mexico

There are numerous accounting schools in New Mexico from which students interested in pursuing an accounting degree can choose. This guide to accounting schools in New Mexico will help you find the information you need to make an informed choice in line with your career goals and interests. You may also find that as an alternative to traditional accounting programs, online accounting degree programs are a good fit for your educational and career needs.

Quick Facts:

  • There are 22 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in New Mexico.
  • 3 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Santa Fe University of Art and Design 48%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Northern New Mexico College 18%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Santa Fe University of Art and Design $27,2761
  • Lowest net price per year*: Navajo Technical College $2,3141
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for accounting programs in New Mexico*: $9,658-$28,8362
  • 1 School in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (79)
  • 2 Schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 200): University of New Mexico (179), New Mexico State University (189)
  • 3 Schools ranked in Forbes Top Colleges List (top 500): New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (350), University of New Mexico-Main Campus (380), New Mexico State University-Main Campus (422)

*For 4-year colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Continue reading below for further information about top accounting schools in New Mexico, popular accounting programs, and more.

Schools With the Highest 2013 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

1. New Mexico State University 68.9%
2. University of New Mexico 63.8%

There were 2 schools in New Mexico that had first-time CPA exam candidates (with an advanced degree). The pass rate for these schools ranged from 63.8% to 68.9%. This was higher than the national first-time pass rate of 54.6% for all candidates (bachelor’s and advanced degree). These statistics can help prospective students compare CPA degree programs. For extensive details see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Masters in Accounting Programs in New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University (Portales, NM)
Eastern New Mexico University offers a Master of Business Administration that can be earned entirely online to prepare students for the Uniform CPA exam and education requirements. The flexible schedule offered by the online degree is convenient for many students. The curriculum includes the study of skills competency and advances knowledge based on the foundation of an undergraduate degree. Two tracks for the degree are offered, a one-year completion track for full-time study and a two-year completion track for part-time study. The 30 credit hour program is based on an interdisciplinary core. Accounting related courses for the degree include Managerial Accounting, Topics in Finance, Managerial Research Analysis, and Managerial Finance. Students may also pursue independent study at the graduate level for elective credit. Eastern New Mexico University offers in-state tuition for non-resident graduate students taking six or fewer credit hours per semester. US News ranks Eastern New Mexico University as a Tier 2 school in Regional Universities (West).

New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)
New Mexico State University’s College of Business awards a Master of Accountancy that gives students the knowledge they need to compete in a changing regulatory environment and an increasingly complex financial landscape. The program requires 30 semester hours to complete and will qualify students with 120 semester hours in a bachelor’s program of study to meet most states’ requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. The 30 credit hour program consists of 18 credit hours in core accounting courses and 12 credit hours of electives. For the accounting core students may elect to take any accounting course numbered above 503, including Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation, Advanced Accounting Theory, Advanced Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders, and Financial Accounting Research. New Mexico State University is ranked #190 in National Universities by US News for its wide array of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and its offering of the only honors program in the state.

University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
The University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management offers the Anderson Masters of Accounting degree, a master’s program that encompasses 33 semester hours of study with an optional professional concentration for those who did not major in business as an undergraduate. The Anderson Masters of Accounting focuses on preparing students to pass the Uniform CPA exam and is offered on four tracks: Advanced Track, Information Assurance Track, or Tax Track for undergraduate accounting majors and the Professional Track for non-accounting undergraduate majors. Courses offered include Seminar in Personal Tax Planning, Assurance Services, Law for Accountants, and Seminar in International Accounting. Students have access to dedicated learning workspaces at the school such as the Financial Services Center and Information Assurance Lab and may join organizations such as the Finance Management Association or Graduate and Professional Association. US News ranks The University of New Mexico #181 in National Universities.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in New Mexico

Barraclough & Associates, P.C. is the largest accounting firm in Northern New Mexico, offering accounting and tax-related services to its clients. The firm offers a mentoring program to new staff and invites potential employees to apply for positions with the firm. Johnson, Miller & Co. is not only one of the largest accounting firms in New Mexico, but also one of the oldest, with over 70 years of experience. Johnson, Miller & Co has three locations in New Mexico and Texas. Atkinson & Co. uses its sterling reputation to provide top line service to clients across the Southwest, and is consistently hiring for audit, tax, and bookkeeping positions.

How to Become a CPA in New Mexico

The New Mexico Public Accountancy Board regulates licensed accountants and oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state. There are six main steps to complete in order to earn a New Mexico CPA license.

1. Complete a 150 semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
5. Complete a criminal background check.
6. Apply for a license.

1. Complete a 150 semester hour educational program of acceptable coursework in accounting.

Candidates for CPA licensure in New Mexico must complete at least 150 semester hours of college education that includes the award of a bachelor’s degree. The 150 semester hours must include a minimum of 30 semester hours in accounting and/or audit to qualify for a license. The 30 hours of accounting and/or audit may be completed at the undergraduate or graduate level, or a combination thereof. All required hours should be completed at an appropriately accredited institution of higher education.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

The New Mexico Public Accountancy Board requires that candidates for licensure earn at least one year of experience in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, and/or consulting. For the purposes of licensure, one year is counted as at least one calendar year and not more than three calendar years during which the candidate worked at least 2,000 hours. Experience may be gained through private or public practice, government, or academia, but all experience must be verified by a currently licensed CPA.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The Uniform CPA Exam is a requirement for CPA licensure in all 50 states. New Mexico candidates should apply to the exam through the NASBA website. Approved examinees will receive further instructions on scheduling and taking the exam. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18 month rolling period.

4. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The New Mexico Public Accountancy Board has selected the AICPA self-study ethics course and exam to fulfill ethics requirements for CPA licensure in the state. Candidates can order all course materials through the AICPA website.

5. Complete a criminal background check.

Prospective New Mexico CPAs must complete a criminal background check prior to submitting an application for a license. As paper fingerprint forms are no longer accepted, candidates must arrange to have their fingerprints taken through Cogent, which offers online registration for fingerprint background check scheduling.

6. Apply for a license.

Once all licensing requirements have been met, the final step is to submit the Application for a Certified Public Accountant Certificate. The application includes a work verification form as well as a checklist for requesting and submitting supporting documentation for the required exams and education.

New Mexico CPA licensees must renew their licenses on an annual basis. To renew, a CPA must complete 120 hours of continuing education for each three year rolling cycle, which begins on the last day of the licensee’s birth month. You can find additional information at the New Mexico Public Accountancy Board website.
(Source: New Mexico Public Accountancy Board)

New Mexico Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants in New Mexico make an average annual salary between $61,320 and $64,260. Albuquerque, New Mexico has the highest concentration of accountants in the state, and the average salary for accountants here is higher, at $65,150 annually. The demand for accountants is rising across the US, and about 190,700 accountant and auditor positions are expected to be added to the field by 2020. Those prepared to sit for licensure as a CPA will have many career opportunities in New Mexico.

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche: https://colleges.niche.com/search/t-traditional/sm2-accounting/st-nm/