Louisiana is known as a producer of agricultural products such as seafood, cotton, and soybeans, but the state's unique economy also thrives on manufacturing and industry, including paper products, petroleum and coal, and transportation equipment. Given its distinct geography and the presence of New Orleans, tourism, hospitality, and the film industry are another major contributor Louisiana's GDP. The state ranks as one of the larger economies in the south, with more than 11,000 accountants and auditors and over 1,000 licensed CPA firms. All four of the largest international CPA firms have offices in Louisiana, three of which (Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young) are found in New Orleans, the largest city and financial center.

Louisiana at a glance

Population 4,684,333
Per Capita Income $24,800
Unemployment Rate 5%
Fortune 500 Companies 2
Licensed CPA Firms 1,006

Accounting Programs in Louisiana

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Louisianian accountants can look forward to a 17% increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022; one of the largest percent increases in the nation, and 4% higher than national averages.

Job-seeking accountants can pursue employment with Postlethwaite & Netterville located in Baton Rouge, which garnered $47.07 million in revenue last year. Other major firms headquartered in Louisiana, including LaPorte in Metairie and Heard, McElroy & Vestal in Shreveport respectively reported revenues of $21.42 million and $16.40 million in 2014.

Accountants working in the top-paying Louisianian cities can expect to earn an average of $64,432 annually. In fact, average annual wages can range from $34,690 to a whopping $111,230, contingent upon experience, education level and area of expertise.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

10,380 Employees2016
13,470 Employees2026
Louisiana 22.9% increase
1,397,700 Employees2016
1,537,600 Employees2026
United States 9.1% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Louisiana Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $36,750

Payroll Clerks

\ $39,260

Credit Counselors

\ $36,290

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $63,280

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $51,630

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $65,930

Budget Analysts

\ $67,210

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $93,600

Financial Managers

\ $102,060
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. New Orleans-Metairie
  2. Houma-Thibodaux
  3. Lafayette
  4. Baton Rouge
  5. Northeast Louisiana nonmetropolitan area
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Louisiana

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1 Postlethwaite & Netterville Baton Rouge, LA $53
2 LaPorte Metairie, LA $23
3 Heard, McElroy & Vestal Shreveport, LA $17

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 Louisiana

Once a student meets all of the eligibility qualifications listed below, he or she may apply to take the CPA Exam. A person who resides in a state other than Louisiana may apply as a Louisiana candidate to the Board to take the exam so long as they fulfill the requirement of 120 days of continuous residency during the year preceding the initial exam.

Unsuccessful candidates may apply to take the CPA Exam again; this procedure is quite common. The 2014 CPA Exam Pass Rates ranked below include the scores of both first-time test takers and students returning to attempt the entire exam or portions of it again. All sections of the exam must be completed within 18 months of the initial test start date; 75 is considered a passing score for each section of the exam.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Louisiana

In order to be eligible for CPA licensure in Louisiana, candidates must meet the requirements below before applying to sit for the CPA Exam:

  • Have U.S. citizenship
  • Be a resident of the state of Louisiana
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Demonstrate good moral character through character references
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Must participate in international programs
  • Complete the 150 hour educational requirement, 24 of which must be in accounting courses
  • Acquire 1 year of experience working in academia, government, industry or public practice

Accounting programs at Louisiana universities are typically designed to enable students to meet the 150 hour educational requirement to sit for the uniform CPA exam in Louisiana.

Age Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement Yes
Residency Requirement Yes
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs Yes
Hours in Accounting 24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 150 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam N/A

Candidates are permitted to take each section of the exam up to four times a year. Source: The American Institute of CPAs

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Louisiana

  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Special Fees: A registration fee of $75 applies whether a candidate is taking four, three, two or one section at a time. A transfer of CPA grades application has a fee of $125. A CPA certificate license application fee is $100. Source: Kentucky NASBA and State Board of CPAs in Louisiana

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The State Board of CPAs of Louisiana is a state agency designed to administer and enforce the Louisiana Accountancy Act by advising CPAs on compliance with state accountancy laws and regulations. This agency also provides CPA exam preparation materials, consumer information resources and educational and licensing guides.

The Society of Louisiana CPAs, on the other hand, is a nonprofit professional association that provides licensed and potential CPAs with career tools and benefits, including peer review, membership discounts and networking opportunities.

State Board of CPAs of Louisiana


601 Poydras Street Suite 70130
New Orleans, LA 70139

Phone Number

(504) 566-1244

Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants


2400 Veterans Blvd. Suite 500
Kenner, LA 70062

Phone Number

(504) 904-1125