Accounting Degrees in Alabama
Alabama’s nearly 5 million residents and businesses are served by more than 6,700 CPAs in public practice, private industry, higher education and government. The state’s largest employer is the United States military which collectively employs almost 40,000 Alabamians.
Private industry in the state is an eclectic mix of high tech, Marshall Space Flight Center and Boeing, manufacturing, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz as well as service, education and healthcare. Alabama’s five largest accounting firms employ more than 500 CPAs. Each of the Big Four international accounting firms maintain at least one office in the state.
Alabama at a glance
|Per Capita Income||$35,625|
|Fortune 500 Companies||1|
|Licensed CPA Firms||766|
Accounting Programs in Alabama
Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Alabama, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.
- Degree Levels
Accounting Salaries and Employment
The annual mean wage for accountants and auditors in Alabama is $66,000 which is 40% higher then the statewide annual mean income. The Department of Labor predicts an 11% increase in demand for CPAs through the year 2022. This equates to an net increase in the number of CPA positions of more than 735.
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Accounting Salaries by Specialty
Associate Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks
Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks
Master's Degree Recommended
Accountants and Auditors
Personal Financial Advisors
Top-paying cities for accountants
Major firms headquartered in Alabama
|Count||Firm||Location||2014 Revenue (in millions)|
|1||Carr, Riggs & Ingram||Enterprise, AL||$161|
|2||Warren Averett||Birmingham, AL||$122|
|3||Jackson Thornton & Co.||Montgomery, AL||$26|
|4||Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith||Birmingham, AL||$16|
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"
Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Alabama
CPA who sat for and passed the CPA exam prior to 1994 are not required to meet the current higher standards for postsecondary education. Licensing is administered by the Alabama State Board of Accountancy.
In order to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam candidates’ postsecondary education credits must meet the requirements set out by the state board of accountancy. Education credit requirements can be found in the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy Administrative Code chapter 30-X-4 page 4-4.
Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Alabama
In order to become a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Alabama candidates must meet the following criteria:
- U.S. Citizen or legal resident
- Completed 150 semester hours of college and earned at least a bachelor’s degree
- Pass the state board of accountancy CPA exam
Alabama will grant reciprocal license certificates to individuals who have met the all of the requirements of another state including having passed the CPA exam. CPAs wishing to relocate to Alabama must also have within the past 10 years at least four years of out of state experience as a CPA.
|Social Security # Requirement||Yes|
|Education Requirement for Licensure||150 hours (including bachelor's degree)|
|Participates in International Programs||No|
|Hours in Accounting||33 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting (excluding introductory hours) at the upper division undergraduate and/or graduate level which includes: 9 hours in financial accounting, 6 hours in auditing, 6 hours in taxation, 3 hours management accounting, 3 hours in governmental and not-for-profit accounting, 6 hours in accounting electives and 3 hours in business law concentrating primarily on the Uniform Commercial Code.|
|Exam Sitting Requirements||150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)|
|Experience Requirements||1-year in public accounting or, 2-years in industry, business, government, or college teaching.|
|Ethics Exam||Must pass AICPA Ethics Exam for initial licensure|
Source: The American Institute of CPAs
CPA exam fees in Alabama
- Application Fee $100
- Auditing & Attestation $215
- Financial Accounting & Reporting $215
- Regulation $185
- Business Environment & Concepts $185
Candidates must pass all four parts of the CPA exam within a single rolling 18 month period. Individuals who pass at least two parts of the exam and fail one or more do not have to retake the parts that they passed unless the eligibility period has passed. A special re-examination fee of $50 is required for each part the candidate is re-taking.
Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014
|Rank||Logo||School Name||Candidates||Pass Rate||Average Score|
|2||University of North Alabama||34||61%||75.3|
|4||University of Alabama||309||57%||73.8|
|5||Birmingham Southern College||17||55.6%||70.7|
|6||University of Alabama - Huntsville||30||52.2%||73.3|
|8||Spring Hill College||12||51.7%||73.7|
|9||University of West Alabama||7||50%||69.3|
|10||University of Alabama - Birmingham||116||48.3%||71.5|
Schools are ranked by pass rate unless otherwise noted. Results are comprised of scores from both first-time test takers and those returning to take the whole exam or specific sections of it again. Source: National State Boards of Accountancy
Certifying and Professional Organizations
The Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants ASCPA is the professional membership organization that represents CPAs in the state. The Society represents CPAs engaged in public practice as well as private industry and government service. Alternately, the Alabama State Board of Accountancy is responsible for licensing, maintaining codes of standards and ethics and administering disciplinary actions when required.
Alabama State Board of Accountancy
PO Box 300375
Montgomery, AL 36130-0375
Alabama Society of CPAs Education Foundation
1041 Longfield Court
Montgomery, AL 36117