Introduction

Known for its seafood, petroleum, gas and coal production, Louisiana’s gross product in 2010 was the 25th largest in the country at $213.6 billion. Tourism and hospitality alone bring approximately $5.2 billion into the state per year.

All four of the largest international CPA firms have offices in Louisiana, three of which (Deloitte & Touche, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Ernst & Young) are located in New Orleans, the state’s largest city and metropolitan area. Two Fortune 500 companies and over 1,000 licensed CPA firms maintain headquarters in the state.

Louisiana at a glance

Population 4,649,676
Per Capita Income $39,413
Unemployment Rate 6.6%
Fortune 500 Companies 2
Licensed CPA Firms 1,006

Accounting Programs in Louisiana

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Louisianian accountants can look forward to a 17% increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022; one of the largest percent increases in the nation, and 4% higher than national averages.

Job-seeking accountants can pursue employment with Postlethwaite & Netterville located in Baton Rouge, which garnered $47.07 million in revenue last year. Other major firms headquartered in Louisiana, including LaPorte in Metairie and Heard, McElroy & Vestal in Shreveport respectively reported revenues of $21.42 million and $16.40 million in 2014.

Accountants working in the top-paying Louisianian cities can expect to earn an average of $64,432 annually. In fact, average annual wages can range from $34,690 to a whopping $111,230, contingent upon experience, education level and area of expertise.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

13,790 Employees2012
16,130 Employees2022
Louisiana 14.5% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Louisiana Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$34,690
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$34,750
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$33,680
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$59,060
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$49,040
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$62,990
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$62,940
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$85,530
$99,920

Actuaries

$111,230
$107,740

Financial Managers

$98,440
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Lafayette
    $66,660
  2. Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux
    $64,450
  3. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner
    $64,370
  4. Shreveport-Bossier City
    $64,060
  5. Baton Rouge
    $62,620
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Louisiana

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Postlethwaite & NettervilleBaton Rouge, LA$47
2LaPorteMetairie, LA$21
3Heard, McElroy & VestalShreveport, LA$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 Louisiana

Once a student meets all of the eligibility qualifications listed below, he or she may apply to take the CPA Exam. A person who resides in a state other than Louisiana may apply as a Louisiana candidate to the Board to take the exam so long as they fulfill the requirement of 120 days of continuous residency during the year preceding the initial exam.

Unsuccessful candidates may apply to take the CPA Exam again; this procedure is quite common. The 2014 CPA Exam Pass Rates ranked below include the scores of both first-time test takers and students returning to attempt the entire exam or portions of it again. All sections of the exam must be completed within 18 months of the initial test start date; 75 is considered a passing score for each section of the exam.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Louisiana

In order to be eligible for CPA licensure in Louisiana, candidates must meet the requirements below before applying to sit for the CPA Exam:

  • Have U.S. citizenship
  • Be a resident of the state of Louisiana
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Demonstrate good moral character through character references
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Must participate in international programs
  • Complete the 150 hour educational requirement, 24 of which must be in accounting courses
  • Acquire 1 year of experience working in academia, government, industry or public practice

Accounting programs at Louisiana universities are typically designed to enable students to meet the 150 hour educational requirement to sit for the uniform CPA exam in Louisiana.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementYes
Residency RequirementYes
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)
Experience Requirements1 year experience in government, industry, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamNo ethics exam

Candidates are permitted to take each section of the exam up to four times a year. Source: The American Institute of CPAs

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Louisiana

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

Special Fees: A registration fee of $75 applies whether a candidate is taking four, three, two or one section at a time. A transfer of CPA grades application has a fee of $125. A CPA certificate license application fee is $100. Source: Kentucky NASBA and State Board of CPAs in Louisiana

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 State Board of CPAs of Louisiana is a state agency designed to administer and enforce the Louisiana Accountancy Act by advising CPAs on compliance with state accountancy laws and regulations. This agency also provides CPA exam preparation materials, consumer information resources and educational and licensing guides.

The Society of Louisiana CPAs, on the other hand, is a nonprofit professional association that provides licensed and potential CPAs with career tools and benefits, including peer review, membership discounts and networking opportunities.

State Board of CPAs of Louisiana

Address

601 Poydras Street Suite 70130
New Orleans, LA 70139

Phone Number

(504) 566-1244

Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants

Address

2400 Veterans Blvd. Suite 500
Kenner, LA 70062

Phone Number

(504) 904-1125

Email

alupo@lcpa.org