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Accounting Schools in Maine

Students interested in attending accounting schools in Maine have various highly regarded institutions from which to choose. The accounting schools in Maine can help you prepare for a rewarding career in various accounting roles, including but not limited to accountant, auditor, and financial planner. Some find that schools offering online and distance education programs are a fit for their current skills and career aspirations.

Quick Facts

  • There are 10 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Maine.1
  • 3 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, 59%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: University of Southern Maine, 36%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, $25,6941
  • Lowest net price per year*: University of Southern Maine, $11,3381
  • No schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017.
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.
  • No schools ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100).

*For four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Continue reading for more information and profiles of well-known accounting schools in Maine, as well as career information for prospective accounting graduates.

Schools with Highest 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. University of Southern Maine (78.6%)
  2. University of Maine (57.1%)
  3. Thomas College (43.5%)
  4. Husson University (22.9%)

There were four schools that had first-time CPA exam candidates with an advanced degree in Maine in 2015. The pass rate ranged from 22.9% to 78.6% for those schools. This compares to a 48.4% pass rate for all CPA exam candidates in the United States (bachelor’s and advanced degree) in 2015. While the first-time CPA exam pass rate can be a helpful metric when considering accounting programs, keep in mind that the percentage may be artificially high or low if there were a small number of candidates at a school. For a full breakdown of CPA exam performance, see the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Maine

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Thomas College (Waterville, ME)

Thomas College offers an Accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) Accounting program that can qualify graduates to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. The accelerated program can be completed in less than one year of full-time study. Class cohorts begin twice a year in August or January. Courses in the program include Advanced Fraud and Forensics, Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making, Capital Markets, and Advanced Regulations and Taxation. In addition to a challenging curriculum, students are prepared for the workforce through career service and development workshops and lectures by leaders in professional accounting. Students who are not able to commit to a full-time course load may be interested in Thomas College’s traditional Master of Business Administration program, which allows for part-time study. US News ranks Thomas College #142-#187 in US Regional Colleges (North). Thomas is a private university with a focus on business, technology, and education.

St. Joseph’s College (Standish, ME)

St. Joseph’s College offers an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree to train students for careers as public accountants. The program is designed for students who hold an undergraduate degree in business or have completed an equivalent program of study. The curriculum is interdisciplinary, combining study in accounting with courses in ethics and leadership in order to cultivate the skills students need for career advancement. An emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving is a hallmark of this master’s program, which includes courses such as Research for Accounting Professionals, Applied Corporate Financial Management, and Leadership and Relationship Management. All courses are scheduled for 10 weeks and are held online. A fast-track program based on course waivers is available for students who have taken designated undergraduate courses. US News ranks St. Joseph’s #142-#187 in Regional Universities (North) in recognition of its small class sizes, competitive student-faculty ratio, and focus on academics.

University of Maine (Orono, ME)

The University of Maine offers a flexible Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Accounting concentration that prepares students for careers in accounting and business. The 30-credit hour program focuses on theoretical and fundamental accounting knowledge as well as ethical decision making and global awareness. Core courses in the accounting concentration include Advanced Managerial Accounting, Tax Planning for Small Business Owners, and Accounting Theory & International Accounting. Throughout the program, students benefit from the guidance and instruction of experienced faculty who are regularly recognized for their research contributions and public service in economic development. Further experiential learning opportunities are offered through the school’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, and the $PIFFY student-run investment group. University of Maine is ranked #177 (tie) in National Universities by US News for its active student life and multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University of Maine is a more selective college, with small class sizes and experienced faculty.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Maine

Baker, Newman, Noyes Accountants & Advisors, a member of Baker Tilly International, has multiple locations in Maine and is regularly ranked as a fast-growing and top accounting firm on a national level. Berry Talbot Royer, Certified Public Accountants is a local accounting firm with an office in Falmouth. Its internship program gives interns the same training opportunities as are offered to full-time associates, and full-time employees are treated to a more relaxed atmosphere than is typically found at many other accounting firms. Wipfli MacPage is one of the largest New England accounting firms, with over 50 years of history. It frequently seeks college graduates with accounting degrees to join its team. BerryDunn actively recruits new accounting graduates from all of the accounting programs in the region, with recent grads from Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine engaging in their established program of training and mentorship.

How to Become a CPA in Maine

The Maine Board of Accountancy licenses Certified Public Accountants in the state. There are four main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Maine.

  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. Apply for a license.

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

Maine CPA candidates may sit for the Uniform CPA Exam after completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting that includes at least 15 hours of accounting, auditing, and ethics, but are only eligible for licensure after completing 150 hours of education. Qualifying accounting courses for licensure include:

  • Financial accounting and reporting for business organizations
  • Financial accounting and reporting for government and not-for-profit entities
  • Auditing and attestation services (at least three hours are required for licensure)
  • Managerial or cost accounting
  • Taxation
  • Fraud examination
  • Internal controls and risk assessment
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Accounting research and analysis
  • Tax research and analysis
  • Accounting information systems
  • Ethics relevant to the practice of public accounting

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Prospective Maine CPAs must accumulate at least two years of accounting experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. One year of experience is considered 2,080 work hours. The experience must be earned as an employee of a licensed public accounting firm and use accounting or auditing skills and involve the provision of management advisory services, financial advisory services, or consulting services, or the preparation of tax returns, or the furnishing of advice on tax matters.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

NASBA handles the application and testing process for Maine applicants to the Uniform CPA Exam. Registration for the exam is completed online through the NASBA website. All four sections of the exam must be passed within an 18-month rolling period, beginning on the date that the first section is passed.

4. Apply for a license.

CPA licenses are granted through the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation and applied for using the CPA Individual License Application. The application includes the Verification of Work Experience form, which should be completed by the applicant’s work experience supervisor.

After obtaining licensure, CPAs must complete 40 hours of continuing education per year. Continuing professional education must include at least four hours of ethics for each three-year period. You can find additional information at the Maine Board of Accountancy website.

Maine Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

0.6%

Accountants and Auditors in Maine from 2016-20262

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants in Maine earn an average salary of $67,980 per year.3 The metropolitan areas of Southwest Maine are where most accountants choose to settle, and also where salaries average on the high end of the range, at $75,420 per year.3 The demand for financial professionals is starting to level out in Maine, with positions projected to grow only 0.6% in the state through 2026, although metro areas like Portland may have a higher concentration of career opportunities.2

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 13-2011 Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm