Introduction

In spite of being home to two of the largest retail and food companies in the country — Walmart and Tyson Foods — Arkansas’s economy is ranked only 42nd in the nation in terms of gross state product. Fortunately, the economy is quickly diversifying, with transportation, healthcare and new technology firms leading the way.

Two of the Big Four international accounting and auditing firms, Ernst and Young and Deloitte & Touche, maintain offices in Arkansas. The state also supports 512 other licensed CPA firms and approximately 7,000 CPAs.

Arkansas at a glance

Population 2,966,369
Per Capita Income $34,723
Unemployment Rate 5.6%
Fortune 500 Companies 7
Licensed CPA Firms 514

Accounting Programs in Arkansas

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

From 2012 levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects Arkansas will add an additional 900 CPA positions by 2022. This nearly 12% increase is on pace with the anticipated national average growth rate for CPAs.

This estimated increase of almost 1,000 additional CPAs is expected to take their place largely in the growing manufacturing and distribution sectors. The mean annual wage of Arkansas CPAs is more than $62,000 per year which is nearly 40% higher than the overall statewide income average.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

7,650 Employees2012
8,550 Employees2022
Arkansas 10.5% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Arkansas Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $33,360
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $33,940
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $50,100
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $56,410
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $48,500
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $62,160
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $50,370
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $82,400
$99,920

Financial Managers

\ $107,650
$107,740
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway
    $66,210
  2. Fort Smith
    $62,960
  3. Pine Bluff
    $61,550
  4. Jonesboro
    $61,280
  5. Hot Springs
    $61,210
Source: OES Data Tool

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Arkansas

Licensing for Arkansas CPAs conforms with standards and requirements elsewhere in the country. Specific requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s level degree combined with an additional 30 credits of postsecondary coursework. In addition to the 150 credit hour and degree requirements CPA candidates must have at least 2,000 of work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Arkansas

An applicant for licensure as a CPA in the state of Arkansas must be over 18 and either US citizens or legal residents with a valid social security number. Candidates must also pass all four parts of the uniform CPA examination within a single 18 month period.

Arkansas along with a majority of other states has enacted CPA mobility legislation which enables CPAs who have been licensed in other states to transfer their license to Arkansas without have to submit to reexamination. Arkansas does require that CPAs relocating to the state have licenses that are in good standing in their former home state.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting30 upper-level hours in accounting or 20 graduate hours in accounting or a combination of both.
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)
Experience Requirements1 year experience through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamNo Ethics Exam

Arkansas’ CPA eligibility and licensing requirements are available online. The Arkansas Public Accountancy Act of 1975 has been updated and contains all of the state’s accounting regulations.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Arkansas

Total:$898
  • Application Fee $170
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $172
  • Business Environment & Concepts $172

Candidates who did not pass all four sections in their initial attempt may retake incomplete sections within 18 months. Candidates applying to retake sections are subject to fees.

Source: Arkansas State Board of Accountancy

Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014

RankLogoSchool NameCandidatesPass RateAverage Score

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 Arkansas State Board of Accountancy licenses and regulates Certified Public Accountants in the State of Arkansas.

The Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) is a professional membership organization whose goal is to serve its members and the public interest by supporting education and professional standards.

Arkansas Board of Accountancy

Address

101 East Capitol, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone Number

(501) 682-1520

Arkansas Society of CPAs

Address

11300 Executive Center Drive
Little Rock, AR 72211

Phone Number

(501) 664-8739