Introduction

Utah’s lucky number must be 13 — the state is both 13th in the nation in terms of both size and per capita income. Utah’s largest industries have traditionally been mining, ranching, government services and tourism. However, the state’s technology sector has seen steady growth in recent years. Utah is also home to the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company, Huntsman Corporation, a chemical manufacturing company founded in 1970 by Utah native John Huntsman Sr.

Utah’s CPA population of more than 10,500 is employed in a variety of industries and government agencies. Many of the state’s accountants and auditors work for one of the 512 licensed CPA firms in the state. Represented among these firms are offices for each of the Big Four international CPA firms: Pricewaterhouse, Deloitte and Touche, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

Utah at a glance

Population 2,942,902
Per Capita Income $34,601
Unemployment Rate 3.4%
Fortune 500 Companies 1
Licensed CPA Firms 512

Accounting Programs in Utah

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Thanks rapid economic growth, the number of positions available to accountants and auditors in Utah is expected to climb an impressive 28.4% between 2012-2022. This rate is more than twice the 13.1% growth rate predicted nationwide. The average yearly salary for accountants and auditors in this state is $68,780, somewhat below the $73,670 average reported nationally. Still, accountants out-earn the average salary of workers statewide by more than $25,000 per year.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

10,570 Employees2012
13,570 Employees2022
Utah 22.1% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Utah Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$35,200
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$38,890
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$33,400
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$61,480
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$68,780
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$68,780
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$71,550
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$86,990
$99,920

Actuaries

$68,790
$107,740

Financial Managers

$108,610
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
    $70,630
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
    $70,480
  3. Provo-Orem, UT
    $66,160
  4. Logan, UT-ID
    $61,570
  5. St. George, UT
    $56,880
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Utah

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1TannerSalt Lake City, UT$14

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 Utah

To earn licensure in Utah, candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Exam which is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). They must also meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 150 credit hours of post secondary education
  • 24 credit hours of upper level accounting courses
  • 15 credit hours of graduate level accounting courses
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university

Utah offers a pre-evaluation service through the NASBA to assist candidates in identifying academic shortcomings before an application is submitted.

Utah participates in CPA mobility which enables CPAs with active licenses in other states to transfer their license to Utah.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Utah

Unlike many states, candidates for licensure as CPAs in Utah must be legal permanent residents of the United States with a valid social security number. Additional requirements fall mostly in line with NASBA’s guidelines.

Applicants who do not successfully complete all four sections of the CPA exam in the first sitting may apply for re-examination of one or more sections within 18 months of the date of their initial attempt. Incomplete sections of the exam may be taken one at a time or in combination. Registration fees for retakes are based on the number of sections to be retaken:

  • 1 section: $65
  • 2 sections: $80
  • 3 sections: $95
  • 4 sections: $110
Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in AccountingGraduate degree: 24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in upper division accounting courses and 15 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in graduate level accounting courses which must cover financial accounting, auditing, taxation and management accounting or combination of both. Bachelor's degree: 30 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours which includes 16 hours in upper division accounting courses and 8 hours in graduate level accounting courses which must cover financial accounting, auditing, taxation and management accounting.
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours (must complete education requirement prior to sitting for exam)
Experience Requirements1 year experience applying accounting and auditing skills and principles that are taught as part of the professional education
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure

The rules and regulations that govern CPA licensing in Utah are administered by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Regulations regarding licensing of CPAs are contained in the Certified Public Accounting Licensing Act.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Utah

Total:$875
  • Application Fee $145
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $173
  • Business Environment & Concepts $173

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 Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Board of Accountancy is responsible for the licensure, regulation and maintenance of professional standards for all certified accountants in the state.

The Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants serves as a professional membership organization for CPAs and provides members support through continuing education opportunities, leadership development and professional advocacy.

Utah Board of Accountancy

Address

160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone Number

(801) 530-6628

Utah Society of CPAs

Address

1240 E. 2100 South, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Phone Number

(801) 466-6206