Accounting Degrees in California


California has the largest economy in the U.S. and in terms of growth, leads the nation in several sectors, including technology, biotech, agriculture, entertainment, manufacturing and tourism. The state s more than 150,000 accountants play a key role in keeping these state industries successful and competitive.

All of the Big Four international CPA firms have offices in California (Deloitte Touche, KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst Young). On its own, California is home to over 6,300 CPA offices and grants approximately [number] of new CPA licenses each year.

California at a glance

Per Capita Income

Fortune 500 Companies

Licensed CPA Firms

Accounting Programs in California

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in California, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of accounting jobs in California will rise by nearly 17% between 2012-22. That increase amounts to more than 25,000 new accounting jobs created each year in the Golden State.

California s anticipated rate of growth for CPAs outpaces the expected national average by almost 4%. With a mean annual income of $78,000, California CPAs are the highest paid in the nation.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

151,900 Employees 2012

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting Today. “Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders”

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in California

The rules for becoming a CPA in California are in a state of transition. There are currently three active sets of criteria two of which only apply to individuals who passed all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam prior to December 31st 2013. The third set of standards applies to all others but will only remain in effect until January, 2017 when a permanent set of standards that includes 10 credits of ethics education take effect.

When these changes in California’s CPA requirements take full effect in 2017 their licensing requirements will become the most rigorous in the United States.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in California

For now, California closely follows the same national standards as other states. Therefore candidates are required to complete 150 credit hours of postsecondary education and posses at least a bachelor s degree before they are eligible to sit for the CPA exam.

California s work experience requirements for licensure depend upon if and when the applicant passed the Uniform CPA Exam. The education requirements are available in the CPA Licensing Handbook.

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