Accounting Degrees in Kentucky
Five Fortune 500 companies and 626 licensed CPA firms call the state of Kentucky home. All of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Ernst & Young) have offices located in downtown Louisville as well. More than 10,000 CPAs service the nearly four and a half million residents of the state.
A strongly agricultural state, Kentucky ranks 5th in the nation for goat farming, 8th in beef cattle farming and 14th in corn production. Additional industries include energy fuel production, medical care and research, auto manufacturing and coal and uranium production. All told, the economy generates approximately $163.3 billion in revenue, making Kentucky 28th in the nation for gross state product.
Kentucky at a glance
|Per Capita Income||$35,041|
|Fortune 500 Companies||5|
|Licensed CPA Firms||626|
Accounting Programs in Kentucky
Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Kentucky, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.
- Degree Levels
Accounting Salaries and Employment
The BLS projects a solid 10.2% growth in the number of positions for Kentucky’s accountants and auditors between 2012 and 2022, just 2.9% less than the projected national growth rate. This will result in a total of 11,130 potential jobs in the accounting field, ranging from bookkeeping and tax examining to budget analysts and financial managers.
The average annual wage for these positions also span a wide range, starting at $34,670 and going as high as $96,160. Top-paying cities for accountants, where salaries are typically between $50,000 and $70,000 are Lexington-Fayette, Owensboro, Elizabethtown, Louisville and Bowling Green. Located in Louisville and Lexington are two of major regional firms; Mountjoy Chilton Medley and Dean Dorton Allen Ford, respectively.
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
- Lexington-Fayette, KY$67,810
- Owensboro, KY$65,630
- Elizabethtown, KY$63,240
- Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN$61,880
- Bowling Green, KY$52,660
Major firms headquartered in Kentucky
|Count||Firm||Location||2014 Revenue (in millions)|
|1||Mountjoy Chilton Medley||Louisville, KY||$38|
|2||Dean Dorton Allen Ford||Lexington, KY||$22|
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 Kentucky
Individuals seeking to become a certified public accountant in Kentucky must file an initial application with the Kentucky Board of Accountancy prior to applying for the Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the www.cpa-exam.org website where they will find a tutorial, practice exam and The Candidate Bulletin.
Any who have already submitted an initial application and wish to sit for additional sections of the exam should complete the Re-Exam Application for the Uniform CPA Exam form. Those who have passed the exam as a candidate in another state should refer to the work experiment requirements and the computer-based exam guidelines.
Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Kentucky
To be eligible to sit for the CPA Exam in Kentucky, candidates must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a Social Security Number
- Hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a concentration in accounting (meaning 39 credits in business-related subjects and 27 credit hours of accounting courses)
- Meet the 150 credit hour education requirement
- Complete 1 year of experience in an accounting or auditing position
A score of at least 75 on each section is required to pass the exam, and each passing score is valid for 18 months from the end of the month the section was taken. All four sections must be passed within 18 months of the initial testing date.
|Social Security # Requirement||Yes|
|Education Requirement for Licensure||150 hours (including B.A.)|
|Participates in International Programs||No|
|Hours in Accounting||27 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting|
|Exam Sitting Requirements||B.A (120 hours)|
|Experience Requirements||1 year experience in an accounting or auditing position in public practice, academia, industry or government.|
|Ethics Exam||No ethics exam.|
Actively licensed CPAs from a jurisdiction outside of Kentucky may obtain mobility by reviewing the Licensing for Out-of-State CPAs page.Source: The American Institute of CPAs
CPA exam fees in Kentucky
- Application Fee $30
- Auditing & Attestation $30
- Financial Accounting & Reporting $30
- Regulation $30
- Business Environment & Concepts $30
Special Fees: Candidates must pay fees to AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric, which NASBA will collect on behalf of all three.
Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014
|Rank||Logo||School Name||Candidates||Pass Rate||Average Score|
|3||Kentucky Wesleyan College||12||63%||79.6|
|4||University of Kentucky||221||54%||73.6|
|5||Western Kentucky University||57||53.4%||74.8|
|6||University of Louisville||127||48.6%||71.3|
|8||Murray State University||56||45.9%||72.5|
|10||Northern Kentucky University||73||44.6%||70|
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 Kentucky Board of Accountancy is a state agency responsible for licensing and regulating CPAs and CPA firms in the state.
Upon certification, CPAs can apply for membership to the Society of CPAs, which is a non-profit statewide organization committed to serving its members by way of networking opportunities, providing health care and membership benefits, protecting the CPA reputation, legislative advocacy and providing access to information and tools.
Kentucky State Board of Accountancy
332 West Broadway Suite 310
Louisville, KY 40202