Introduction

Mississippi is home to one of the country’s smaller economies, but the state also boasts a low cost of living, making it very accommodating for CPAs, who can still earn a proportionately high living wage. The state’s major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, fishing, and gambling. Accounting positions in the state are projected to increase slightly slower than the national average, but Mississippi still employs a sizeable number of accountants throughout the state: more than 5,400 across nearly 400 licensed firms. Two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms have offices located in Mississippi – KPMG in Jackson and Deloitte in Hattiesburg. The state is also home to the accounting and advisory firm Horne, which ranks as one of the largest in the South.

Mississippi at a glance

Population 2,989,000
Per Capita Income $21,036
Unemployment Rate 5.2%
Fortune 500 Companies
Licensed CPA Firms 396

Accounting Programs in Mississippi

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Mississippian accountants and auditors can look forward to a 9.6% percent rise in employment between 2012 and 2022, leading to approximately 5,580 potential employment opportunities. While this growth rate is somewhat slower than national averages, job opportunities are available in growing regional firms such as Horne, which produced $67.37 million in revenue last year.

Top-paying cities for accountants in Mississippi include Pascagoula, Jackson, Gulfport-Biloxi and Hattiesburg. Mississippi’s accountants typically earn between $34,030 and $86,990 annually.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

5,090 Employees2012
5,580 Employees2022
Mississippi 8.8% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Mississippi Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $34,030
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $34,320
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $36,000
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $61,310
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $47,390
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $56,030
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $61,110
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $69,460
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $0
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $86,990
$126,660
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Pascagoula, MS
    $59,350
  2. Gulfport-Biloxi, MS
    $57,240
  3. Jackson, MS
    $55,350
  4. Hattiesburg, MS
    $53,170
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Mississippi

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1HorneRidgeland, MS$80

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 and Regional Leaders"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Mississippi

The CPA Exam in the state of Mississippi is administered by the State Board of Accountancy. Those interested in sitting for the exam must fulfill the requirements listed below. The exam is comprised of four sections, all of which must be passed within an 18 month long period, however, it is common for students to retake individual sections of the exam until a passing score is acquired.

The list of Mississippi schools ranked by their CPA Pass Rates from 2014 below includes both first-time test-takers as well as those retaking the whole exam or portions of it. Mississippi endorses the transfer of credits to or from another State Board, as well as reciprocal licensure.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Mississippi

Eligibility for CPA licensure in Mississippi is contingent upon the following qualifications:

  • Candidates must be a resident of the state (even if tested by another jurisdiction)
  • Be of good moral character
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (including 150 hours)
  • Complete 24 graduate level semester hours in accounting
  • Complete 1 year of experience in accounting and/or auditing, not including academia
Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementYes
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsNo
Hours in Accounting24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in upper level or graduate level accounting (3 hours each must be in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, management/cost accounting and government/not-for-profit accounting)
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)
Experience Requirements1 year general experience of accounting and auditing skills, excluding academia.
Ethics ExamNo

Applicants must make the application for licensure within 5 years of passing the CPA exam.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Mississippi

Total:$922
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $193
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $193
  • Regulation $193
  • Business Environment & Concepts $193

Special Fees: A reexamination fee applies in addition to the application fee, and varies depending on the number of sections an individual is taking. The reexamination fee for all four sections is $135, for three sections is $115, for two sections is $95, for one section is $75. The transfer credit fee is $50.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy oversees the certification of CPAs and CPA firms in order to protect the financial consumers of the state. The Board is responsible for any necessary disciplinary actions, provides continuing education opportunities and administers the state CPA Exam. After passing the exam and receiving certification, CPAs may join the

Mississippi Society of CPAs, which offers its members state advocacy, continuing education, information, leadership, networking and resources.

Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy

Address

5 Old River Place Suite 104
Jackson, MS 39202

Phone Number

(601) 354-7320

Mississippi Society of CPAs

Address

306 Southampton Row
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Phone Number

(601) 856-4244

Email

jcoppenbargen@ms-cpa.org