Introduction

West Virginia at a glance

Population 1,850,326
Per Capita Income $34,477
Unemployment Rate 66%
Fortune 500 Companies 0
Licensed CPA Firms 251

Accounting Programs in West Virginia

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

West Virginia has been making significant strides in the past few years by establishing itself as a region that is diversifying its business interests. It is becoming more active in the hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as automotive and education. Businesses such as these require close relationships with CPAs and other individuals with financial backgrounds, making the state a destination to consider.

Accounting salaries are currently slightly below the U.S. average for larger cities, but West Virginia is a good place for newly minted CPAs to gain experience. The market is less competitive and candidates have a number of small and industry-specific corporate firms to choose from.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

Employees2012
Employees2022
West Virginia 0% decrease
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

West Virginia Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$32,280
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$33,400
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$38,910
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$56,300
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$38,660
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$59,520
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$61,030
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$74,020
$99,920

Actuaries

$107,740
$107,740

Financial Managers

$85,410
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH
    $67,940
  2. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
    $64,940
  3. Wheeling, WV-OH
    $57,820
  4. Morgantown, WV
    $56,990
  5. Charleston, WV
    $55,280
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in West Virginia

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Brown, Edwards & Co.Bluefield, WV$25
2Arnett Foster ToothmanCharleston, WV$55,280

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 West Virginia

The requirements for working as a CPA in West Virginia are quite similar to most other states. You must, of course, pass a CPA exam and possess the minimum education requirements mandated by the state.

West Virginia maintains reciprocity with individuals who are licensed as CPAs in other states. Details can be viewed on West Virginia Board of Accountancy’s website. This state also allows out-of-state CPAs to legally provide accounting services to clients without opening a licensed office in the state.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in West Virginia

The process of CPA licensure in West Virginia is comparable to requirements in other states:

  • State residency status or reciprocal licensing approved
  • Educational requirements of 150 credits including a bachelor’s degree and 27 credit hours in accounting
  • One year of general experience in accounting
  • Successful completion of all four parts of the uniform CPA exam administered by the state
Age Requirement18
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementYes
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting27 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in specific accounting courses, excluding introductory accounting courses covering the principles of accounting components, including the minimum requirements of 6 hours in financial accounting or intermediate accounting, 6 hours in auditing or accounting information systems with a minimum of 3 hours in auditing, 3 hours in taxation, 3 hours in cost, managerial, governmental or not-for-profit accounting and 9 hours in accounting electives
Exam Sitting RequirementsBachelor's degree (120 hours)
Experience Requirements1 year general experience gained through the employment in private practice, government, industry, not-for-profit organization, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamNo ethics exam

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in West Virginia

Total:$892
  • Application Fee $170
  • Auditing & Attestation $190
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $190
  • Regulation $171
  • Business Environment & Concepts $171

West Virginia CPA testing windows are as follows: January/February, April/May, July/August, October/November

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

When considering working as a CPA in West Virginia, it is important to become familiar with two organizations. First is the West Virginia Board of Accountancy. Second is the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (WVSCPA).

Both organizations have Web sites that contain valuable information about the steps required to work as a CPA in the state, as well as advantages to being a member of the state’s professional organizations.

West Virginia Board of Accountancy

Address

405 Capitol Street, Suite 908
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone Number

304-558-3557

Email

wvboa@mail.wvnet.edu

West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants

Address

900 Lee Street East; Suite 1201
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone Number

304-342-5461