Introduction

More than 105,000 accountants and auditors along with almost 4,000 licensed CPA firms call the lone star state home. Texas’ 27 million residents and hundreds of thousands of businesses of every size and description are served by CPA firms of every size including multiple offices for each of the Big Four International Accounting firms (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Ernst & Young).

Energy, particularly oil and gas, may be the kings of the Texan economy but the king’s court is diverse. Texas boasts the second largest per capita GDP in the nation. In terms of total value, the state’s GDP alone can be compared with the gross domestic products of entire countries, like Canada and India. Unsurprisingly, this industrial giant is consistently ranked among investment firms as one of the most business-friendly states in the U.S.

Texas at a glance

Population 26,956,958
Per Capita Income $41,471
Unemployment Rate 4.2%
Fortune 500 Companies 103
Licensed CPA Firms 3,876

Accounting Programs in Texas

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Between 2012-2022, the BLS projects that the number of accounting and auditing positions added to payrolls in Texas will increase by over 25,000. This growth rate of 24% is basically unheard of in the financial services industry and is more than double the 13.1% growth projected nationally.

There is no shortage of major employers in Texas. More than a fifth of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds more of the Fortune 1,000 are headquartered in the state. Accountants and auditors in the state earn an average annual salary of $75,210, earnings that are slightly higher than national averages. Accountants and auditors are also among the largest and highest paid group of professionals in the state, out-earning the average working Texan by 40%.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

105,840 Employees2012
131,250 Employees2022
Texas 19.4% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Texas Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$37,240
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$39,480
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$50,580
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$65,660
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$56,780
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$75,210
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$73,900
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$102,760
$99,920

Actuaries

$110,290
$107,740

Financial Managers

$134,590
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Odessa, TX
    $87,220
  2. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
    $83,190
  3. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
    $77,760
  4. Midland, TX
    $77,340
  5. Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
    $76,470
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Texas

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1WeaverFort Worth, TX$83
2Whitley PennFort Worth, TX$59
3Montgomery Coscia GreilichPlano, TX$34
4Briggs & Veselka Co.Houston, TX$26
5PKF TexasHouston, TX$22
6Cain Watters & AssociatesPlano, TX$21
7Johnson Miller & Co. CPAsOdessa, TX$20
8PMB Helin DonovanAustin, TX$19
9Lane Gorman TrubittDallas, TX$19
10Maxwell Locke & RitterAustin, TX$18

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 Texas

To become a CPA in Texas candidate must sit for the Uniform CPA Exam administered by NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) and pass all four sections with a score of 75% or higher. Candidates must also:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • Complete at least 150 total credit hours in post secondary education
  • Complete at least 30 credit hours of upper level accounting courses
  • Pass the Texas Board of Accountancy’s approved ethics course

Texas CPA candidates must also demonstrate that they are of good moral character by meeting the statutory requirements as defined by Section 901.253 of the Texas code. CPA candidates are also required to complete at 2,000 hours of documented experience as described in Section 901.256.

In 2007, Texas adopted the CPA Mobility Bill which is based on standards developed by the AICPA that allow CPAs from other states to transfer licensure to Texas.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Texas

The first step in determining whether or not a candidate is eligible for licensing as a Texas CPA is to complete an application of intent. The application must be completed before a candidate can apply to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination.

Applicants who have either been arrested or convicted of a crime must also complete a background statement before applying to take the CPA exam.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting30 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours of accounting courses (15 hours requires physical attendance on campus; 2 credit hours required in accounting or taxation research and analysis)
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)
Experience Requirements1 year work experience defined as diversified non-routine accounting gained through client practice of public accountancy, industry, government, law firm, education or internship (which is a case-by-case approval). Self-employment is not acceptable unless approved by the Board.
Ethics ExamMust pass exam on Texas Rules of Professional Conduct

Ensure that your undergraduate coursework satisfies California’s CPA licensure requirements by filling out this .

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Texas

Total:$780
  • Application Fee $50
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $173
  • Business Environment & Concepts $173

Candidates who did not successfully pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam on their first attempt have 18 months to apply for re-examination to complete this requirement.

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 Texas Board of Public Accountancy’s mission is to provide protection for the public by ensuring that CPAs are licensed and possess the necessary education, experience and skills to deliver competent service.

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants is a professional membership organization that provides members with continuing professional education opportunities as well as public and legislative advocacy.

Texas Board of Accountancy

Address

333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701

Phone Number

(512) 305-7800

Texas Society of CPAs

Address

14651 Dallas Pkwy Suite 700
Dallas, TX 75254

Phone Number

800-428-0272