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If you plan on taking the CPA exam in Maryland anytime soon, now's the time you'll want to start paying attention.

Why? Because it's time to reveal the most frequent reasons why CPA exam applications in Maryland are delayed or denied.

Maryland's State Board of Public Accountancy compiled the list at the MACPA's request, and we're spreading the word in the hope of minimizing the number of incomplete applications the State Board receives. (Special thanks to State Board Administrative Officer Linda Rhew for compiling this list. Linda is responsible for reviewing each CPA exam application and verifying all of the documentation, so please, do her a favor: Get it right next time.)

Here we go — the most frequent reasons why CPA exam applications in Maryland are delayed or denied:

  • The applicant did not apply online using the online application. As of Oct. 1, 2011, the State Board no longer accepts paper applications.
  • The applicant did not read and follow the directions for submitting the application.
  • The applicant did not complete the application completely and accurately.
  • The applicant did not list all names he or she has used in the past and present.
  • The applicant did not list all transcripts on the online application.
  • The applicant did not have all official transcripts sent directly from all schools the applicant has attended. The State Board does not accept transfer credits; official transcripts from each school must be submitted.
  • The applicant did not did not request transcripts for other credits / exams taken, including AP, CLEP, DANTES ACE, and the like. These credits must also appear on a regionally accredited school's transcript, listed with title and credits granted for the exam. If they are listed in a lump sum, the State Board must receive a letter from the school explaining the course(s) for which the exams were accepted.
  • The applicant did not submit course descriptions and course syllabi, especially for courses taken from out-of-state schools. If the title of the course doesn’t match a title shown on the State Board's education requirements, the State Board must have the course description and / or syllabi from the catalog for the year in which the course was taken.
  • The applicant did not fill out the curriculum checklist completely or accurately.
  • The applicant did not have a course-by-course evaluation done for the purpose of taking the Uniform CPA exam in Maryland by a current NACES member of any and all foreign education.
  • Income tax not taken in the United States does not qualify for U.S. federal income tax.
  • The applicant did not take a three-semester-credit-hour course devoted entirely to ethics. Please note that a U.S. business law course, a law and ethics course, an auditing and ethics course, etc., do not meet the requirements for ethics.
  • The applicant did not receive a conferred bachelor’s degree.
  • The applicant filed an application before he or she has completed all of the requirements, which will result in a denial of the application.

And a few more reminders, straight from the State Board:

“It may take up to 90 days once all documents have been received before a review of your application can be completed. You will not be contacted by our office until your application has been reviewed. At this time, if you are approved you will receive an e-mail alerting you to this and it will indicate if you were approved for the exam only, or for both the exam and the licensure requirements. If you are denied, you will receive a letter explaining why you were denied and what your next steps in the process are. Applications are reviewed in the order in which the last required official documents are received.”

Piece o' cake, right?

Last piece of advice: Complete this course inventory worksheet before you start the online application process. Doing so will help you complete the online form quickly and accurately.

One more thing: Good luck.

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