Introduction

Delaware may be the smallest state in the union when it comes to geographic area, but it is home to more than 4,600 CPAs and almost 140 CPA firms. For such a small state, this may sound like a lot of CPAs, and it is. Due to advantageous tax structures in the state, a large number of firms of every size choose to headquarter themselves in Delaware. With so many interstate companies calling the state home, demand for financial services is high.

The state’s unique demographics underscore the state’s status as a financial hub — Delaware ranks 45th in terms of population yet boasts a per capita GDP of $62,683, the third highest in the nation.

Delaware at a glance

Population 935,614
Per Capita Income $41,940
Unemployment Rate 4.6%
Fortune 500 Companies 2
Licensed CPA Firms 139

Accounting Programs in Delaware

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS projects that the number of positions for accountants and auditors in Delaware will expand by nearly 10%; this is only slightly behind the 13.1% average growth expected nationwide. With these estimates, the state should add 460 additional CPA positions by the end of the decade.

While the financial services industry isn’t necessarily growing at the same clip as the rest of the country, Delaware’s accountants and auditors do make a higher average annual salary than their counterparts do nationally. At $74,280, these professionals earn a full 33% more on average in annual salary than the statewide average for all occupations.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

4,670 Employees2012
5,130 Employees2022
Delaware 9% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Delaware Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $41,170
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $43,340
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $39,880
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $68,350
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $62,760
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $74,280
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $70,700
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $98,250
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $107,740
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $156,640
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division
    $76,830
  2. Dover, DE
    $57,760
  3. Sussex County, DE
    $64,110
Source: OES Data Tool

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Delaware

In order to use the professional designation of CPA in the state of Delaware, individuals must obtain a CPA Certificate. A CPA certificate is earned by meeting the education, examination and experience requirements as set by the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation and the State Board of Accountancy.

Delaware CPA certification requirements are based on standards developed by the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and include:

  • At least 150 credits of post secondary education
  • At least 24 credits in each of the following; financial accounting, auditing and taxation
  • At least a bachelor’s degree
  • At least two years of qualified professional experience

Delaware’s CPA reciprocity rules conform with the AICPA CPA Mobility initiative. The initiative was developed by the AICPA in conjunction with the NASBA in order to enable CPAs to transfer valid licensing between states. The program requires mobility; applicants are actively licensed and meet their home state’s CPE requirements.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Delaware

Unlike most other states, Delaware makes a distinction between possessing a CPA certificate and a CPA Permit to Practice. Individuals may only work as a CPA if they have a applied for and been granted a permit to practice by the State Board of Accountancy.

In addition to passing all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam, Delaware requires that prospective CPAs take and pass the Ethics Exam administered by the AICPA. Delaware standards for a CPA Certificate and or Permit to Practice only apply to individuals who have applied to become CPAs since 2012. CPAs who had a certificate or permit to practice prior to 2012 or are licensed by another state do not have to meet the new standards as long as their current licenses are in good standing.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including Bachelor's degree).
Participates in International ProgramsNo
Hours in Accounting24 semester or equivalent quarter hours in accounting
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. (120 hours)
Experience Requirements1 year accounting experience as an employee of a firm engaged in public accountancy or as an accountant in government, industry, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Ethics exam for initial licensure.

The rules and regulations regarding a CPA Certificate and or Permit to Practice are adjudicated by the Delaware State Board of Accountancy under Title 24 Professions and Occupations.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Delaware

Total:$880
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $173
  • Business Environment & Concepts $173

Applicants who failed to pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam on their first attempt are subject to a re-examination fee of $75 each time they apply to retake one or more sections of the test.

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 Delaware Department of State Division of Professional Regulation’s State Board of Accountancy is responsible for issuing CPA Certificates and CPA Permits to Practice. The Board also provides disciplinary oversight and processes consumer complaints pertaining to Delaware CPAs. Neither the State Board of Accountancy nor any other state agency administers the Uniform CPA Exam.

The Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants (DECPA) exists as a professional membership organization dedicated to providing legislative and public advocacy on behalf of member CPAs and CPA firms.

Delaware Board of Accountancy

Address

861 Silver Lake Blvd Suite 203
Dover, DE 19904

Phone Number

(302) 744-4500

Delaware Society of CPAs

Address

3512 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 19810

Phone Number

(302) 478-7442