Introduction

Nearly 20 million people inhabit the state of New York, arguably the financial heart of the nation. The state is home to 47 Fortune 500 companies, offices of each of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young) and 3,697 independently licensed CPA firms. The New York Stock Exchange, the agricultural production of dairy products, cattle, vegetables, apples, and the industrial production of electrical equipment, printing and publishing, machinery, chemical products and scientific instruments all contribute to the state’s monolithic economy.

Per capita income in New York is $52,095, which is the 5th highest per capita income of any U.S. state and the 8th highest in the world. Total gross state product amounts to more than $963.5 billion, the only two states with higher production are California and Texas.

New York City is also the lone leading center of banking, communication and finance for the country. This financial hub is further strengthened by heavy manufacturing and agricultural sectors — there is no doubt that this is a choice environment for financial services specialists like accountants.

New York at a glance

Population 19,746,227
Per Capita Income $52,095
Unemployment Rate 5.7%
Fortune 500 Companies 47
Licensed CPA Firms 3,697

Accounting Programs in New York

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

New York state accountants and auditors can look forward to a striking 16% increase in employment opportunities over a 10 year span, a growth rate that represents the addition of 122,410 positions by 2022.

Major CPA firms headquartered in the state include CohnReznick, Marcum and EisnerAmper which each grossed over $250 million in revenues in 2014.

On average, New York accountants make more annually than their peers in other states. Depending on an one’s degree level, licensure and specialty, wages range from $41,410 to $175,020 annually. Top-paying cities include the New York-White Plains-New Jersey metropolitan area, Long Island, Nassau-Suffolk and Syracuse.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

105,530 Employees2012
122,410 Employees2022
New York 13.8% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

New York Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $41,410
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $43,860
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $58,080
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $74,310
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $64,970
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $89,850
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $75,750
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $136,000
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $135,620
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $175,020
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
    $96,740
  2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
    $93,160
  3. Nassau-Suffolk, NY
    $87,260
  4. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY
    $82,400
  5. Syracuse, NY
    $71,680
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in New York

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1CohnReznickNew York City, NY$508
2MarcumNew York City, NY$350
3EisnerAmperNew York City, NY$276
4Citrin Cooperman & Co.New York City, NY$143
5WeiserMazarsNew York City, NY$142
6BerdonNew York City, NY$101
7O’Connor DaviesNew York City, NY$99
8Marks PanethNew York City, NY$98
9Anchin, Block & AnchinNew York City, NY$93
10FriedmanNew York City, NY$72

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 New York

Aspiring CPAs in New York must sit for the uniform CPA exam administered by NASBA and meet the eligibility requirements listed below.

The CPA exam is made up of four sections that students must register for individually. Each section must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within 18 months of an initial test date. Since the exam is so complex, many students retake sections of the exam more than once before achieving an overall pass. Also listed below are schools ranked by their 2014 CPA pass rates, which include scores from first-time testers as well as scores from those retesting.

New York recognized mobility legislature, licensure by endorsement and requires peer reviews and quality reviews for CPA firms.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in New York

To be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in New York, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age
  • Be of good moral character
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Fulfill the 150 hour educational requirement OR have 15 years of public accounting experience acceptable to the Board
  • Participate in international programs
  • Complete 1 year of experience working in accounting fields

New York does not have a citizenship or residency requirement and does not require candidates to have a Social Security number or to take an ethics exam.

Age Requirement21
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementNo*
Education Requirement for Licensure(post-08/09) 150 hours (including B.A.) OR (pre-08/09) 120 hours (including bachelor's degree) OR Fifteen years of public accounting experience acceptable to the State Board for Public Accountancy may be substituted for education for the admission to the examination.
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in AccountingStudents should have a baccalaureate degree or higher that meets New York’s 150 semester hour education requirement OR a master’s degree in accounting from an AACSB accredited program OR 33 semester hours in accounting, 36 semester hours in general business, 1 ethics course, 1 communications course.
Exam Sitting RequirementsBachelor's degree (120 hours) including a course in each of the following: Financial accounting, Cost or management accounting, Taxation, and Audit and attestation.
Experience Requirements1 year experience gained in employment in a public accounting firm, government, private industry or an educational institution
Ethics ExamNo ethics exam

Candidates are advised to read The Candidate Bulletin before submitting applications online.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in New York

Total:$878
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $172
  • Business Environment & Concepts $172

Special Fees: A registration fee applies in addition to the application fee at the flat rate of $75 no matter how many sections a candidate is registering for at one time. The Board requires a licensure fee of $377.

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 New York State Board for Public Accountancy is a regulatory body that maintains professional and ethical standards of CPAs and CPA firms in New York State. It also provides accounting professionals the opportunity to update, renew, order or print any license. Consumers are able to search and verify licenses and digitally certify a license.

The Uniform CPA Exam that qualifies CPAs for licensure is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Once licensed, New York State CPAs can join the New York State Society of CPAs, which represents professional CPAs and strives to enhance and improve the success, ethical standards and professionalism of its members. Continuing education opportunities, peer review, advocacy, networking and other member benefits promote the constant quality of the accounting field in the state of New York.

New York State Board for Public Accountancy

Address

89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor East Mezzanine
Albany, NY 12234

Phone Number

(518) 474-3817

New York State Society of CPAs

Address

14 Wall Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10005

Phone Number

(212) 719-8300

Email

wpape@nysscpa.org