Accounting Degrees in Florida
The Florida economy is diverse — running the gamut from tourism to film and television production and aerospace to farming. Florida’s economy ranks in the top ten in many sectors and is expected to remain a top-performer well into the future.
Florida’s 4,400 CPA firms are an eclectic mix. Each of the “Big Four” international accounting firms — Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, and KPMG — maintain offices in the state that employ anywhere from 500-900 state licensed CPAs. Of course, regional firms are also thriving; more than a dozen firms headquartered in the state employ 200 or more CPAs.
Florida at a glance
|Per Capita Income||$40,344|
|Fortune 500 Companies||16|
|Licensed CPA Firms||4,408|
Accounting Programs in Florida
Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Florida, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.
- Degree Levels
Accounting Salaries and Employment
Projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate a sunny future for Florida’s nearly 80,000 accountants and auditors. In 2012, the agency predicted Florida’s economy will add 16,000 new CPA positions through 2022. This 20% growth rate is rarely seen in other positions or regions; the rapid growth is sure to be felt throughout the state.
State-wide, the average annual salary for accountants and auditors in Florida CPAs is $68,000, but urban centers in southern Florida tend to pay higher salaries. These cities include Naples, Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Miami. Accountants and auditors do make 38.5% more per year than their fellow Floridians, this difference is marginally larger than average salary gaps between accountants and all occupations nationally.
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Accounting Salaries by Specialty
Associate Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks
Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Tax Examiners and Collectors
Master's Degree Recommended
Accountants and Auditors
Personal Financial Advisors
Top-paying cities for accountants
- Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL$77,860
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL$72,360
- Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL$71,880
- Naples-Marco Island, FL$71,200
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL$71,050
Major firms headquartered in Florida
|Count||Firm||Location||2014 Revenue (in millions)|
|1||Daszkal Bolton||Boca Raton, FL||$16|
|2||Goldstein Schechter Koch||Coral Gables, FL||$15|
|3||The LBA Group||Jacksonville, FL||$14|
|4||Gerson Preston Robinson & Co.||Miami Beach, FL||$13|
|5||Averett Warmus Durkee||Orlando, FL||$12|
|6||Cross, Fernandez & Riley||Orlando, FL||$12|
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 Florida
Florida CPAs are required to meet national standards developed by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the AICPA. In addition to successfully passing all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam, candidates must meet all of these criteria:
- Complete 150 credit hours of post secondary education
- Complete 24 credit hours of upper level accounting education
- Complete 24 credit hours of general business education
- Posses a bachelor’s degree or higher
Candidate must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam within 18 months of their first attempt. Since not all candidates pass all four sections in either their first or a single attempt they are permitted to apply to retake sections individually or together.
Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Florida
The Florida Institute of CPAs along with the State Board of Accountancy has developed criteria that allows currently licensed CPAs from other states to apply for licensure in Florida if they:
- Are at least 19 years of age and of good moral character
- Have successfully passed the Uniform CPA Exam
- Meet all other current requirements for a Florida CPA
- Have at least four years of professional experience
The rules and regulations for licensure as a CPA in Florida are governed by the Florida Department of Professional Regulation Division of Certified Public Accounting. Eligibility requirements are detailed in the Florida Administrative Code and Florida Administrative Register. The Florida Board of Accountancy offers a Uniform CPA Examination Guide as a means of assisting candidates in the preparation for the exam.
Applicants who did not pass the entire exam on their initial attempt that apply for re-examination are subject to new registration fees based upon the number of sections they are taking.
- 4 Sections: $105
- 3 Sections: $ 90
- 2 Sections: $75
- 1 Section: $60
|Social Security # Requirement||Yes|
|Education Requirement for Licensure||150 hours (including B.A.)|
|Participates in International Programs||Yes|
|Hours in Accounting||36 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in upper level accounting to include the following: Taxation, Auditing, Financial, Cost/Managerial and Accounting Info Systems.|
|Exam Sitting Requirements||B.A. (120 hours)|
|Experience Requirements||1 year experience in public accounting, government, industry or academia.|
|Ethics Exam||No ethics exam|
In order for a CPA candidate to qualify for licensure in the State of Florida they must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident with a valid social security number. Applicants who do not have a social security number may request a waiver of this requirement from the State Board of Accountancy.Source: The American Institute of CPAs
CPA exam fees in Florida
- Application Fee $105
- Auditing & Attestation $192
- Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
- Regulation $173
- Business Environment & Concepts $173
Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014
|Rank||Logo||School Name||Candidates||Pass Rate||Average Score|
|1||University of Florida||153||72.9%||79.9|
|3||Florida State University||89||64.7%||75.8|
|4||University of Miami||100||64.6%||76.9|
|5||University of North Florida||23||62.2%||70.6|
|6||University of Central Florida||69||61.4%||75.2|
|7||Palm Beach Atlantic University||5||60%||70.8|
|8||University of West Florida||24||58.7%||74.6|
|9||Pensacola Christian College||11||56.3%||75.8|
|10||University of South Florida||78||54.2%||73|
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 purpose of the Florida State Board of Accountancy is to ensure that Florida CPAs maintain licensure and are qualified to serve the public. The Board thus designs and implements continuing professional education requirements, peer review models and investigates claims against the board or state-licensed CPAs or firms.
The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants is a professional membership organization providing members with representation, advocacy and continuing education services.
Florida Board of Accountancy
240 NW 76th Street Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607