Mississippi is home to one of the country's smaller economies, but the state also boasts a low cost of living, making it very accommodating for CPAs, who can still earn a proportionately high living wage. The state's major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, fishing, and gambling. Accounting positions in the state are projected to increase slightly slower than the national average, but Mississippi still employs a sizeable number of accountants throughout the state: more than 5,200 across nearly 400 licensed firms. Two of the “Big Four” international CPA firms have offices located in Mississippi – KPMG in Jackson and Deloitte in Hattiesburg. The state is also home to the accounting and advisory firm Horne, which ranks as one of the largest in the South.

Mississippi at a glance

Population 2,984,100
Per Capita Income $21,036
Unemployment Rate 4.8%
Fortune 500 Companies
Licensed CPA Firms 396

Accounting Programs in Mississippi

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Mississippian accountants and auditors can look forward to a 9.6% percent rise in employment between 2012 and 2022, leading to approximately 5,580 potential employment opportunities. While this growth rate is somewhat slower than national averages, job opportunities are available in growing regional firms such as Horne, which produced $67.37 million in revenue last year.

Top-paying cities for accountants in Mississippi include Pascagoula, Jackson, Gulfport-Biloxi and Hattiesburg. Mississippi's accountants typically earn between $34,030 and $86,990 annually.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

5,450 Employees2016
6,700 Employees2026
Mississippi 18.7% 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

Mississippi Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $36,430

Payroll Clerks

\ $38,070

Credit Counselors

\ $43,180

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $61,340

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $45,110

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $59,960

Budget Analysts

\ $61,710

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $100,280

Financial Managers

\ $103,300
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
  2. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula
  3. Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
  4. Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
  5. Hattiesburg
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Mississippi

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1 Horne Ridgeland, MS $80

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 Mississippi

The CPA Exam in the state of Mississippi is administered by the State Board of Accountancy. Those interested in sitting for the exam must fulfill the requirements listed below. The exam is comprised of four sections, all of which must be passed within an 18 month long period, however, it is common for students to retake individual sections of the exam until a passing score is acquired.

The list of Mississippi schools ranked by their CPA Pass Rates from 2014 below includes both first-time test-takers as well as those retaking the whole exam or portions of it. Mississippi endorses the transfer of credits to or from another State Board, as well as reciprocal licensure.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Mississippi

Eligibility for CPA licensure in Mississippi is contingent upon the following qualifications:

  • Candidates must be a resident of the state (even if tested by another jurisdiction)
  • Be of good moral character
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (including 150 hours)
  • Complete 24 graduate level semester hours in accounting
  • Complete 1 year of experience in accounting and/or auditing, not including academia
Age Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement Yes
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs No
Hours in Accounting 24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 150 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam N/A

Applicants must make the application for licensure within 5 years of passing the CPA exam.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Mississippi

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

Special Fees: A reexamination fee applies in addition to the application fee, and varies depending on the number of sections an individual is taking. The reexamination fee for all four sections is $135, for three sections is $115, for two sections is $95, for one section is $75. The transfer credit fee is $50.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy oversees the certification of CPAs and CPA firms in order to protect the financial consumers of the state. The Board is responsible for any necessary disciplinary actions, provides continuing education opportunities and administers the state CPA Exam. After passing the exam and receiving certification, CPAs may join the

Mississippi Society of CPAs, which offers its members state advocacy, continuing education, information, leadership, networking and resources.

Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy


5 Old River Place Suite 104
Jackson, MS 39202

Phone Number

(601) 354-7320

Mississippi Society of CPAs


306 Southampton Row
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Phone Number

(601) 856-4244