Home to 10 Fortune 500 companies, Missouri boasts a diverse economy that offers an abundance of employment opportunities for accountants and auditors. Two Federal Reserve Banks, as well as corporate giant Monsanto, are based in Missouri, along with strong industries including food processing, aerospace, equipment manufacturing, chemical production, agriculture, and printing/publishing. All the “Big Four” international CPA firms operate in Missouri, and the state is also home to some of the largest independent financial firms in the Midwest, including BKD, RubinBrown, and Brown Smith Wallace. While CPA jobs in Missouri are projected to grow slightly slower than average through 2026, the state still employs an above average number of accountants and auditors: more than 24,000 total.

Missouri at a glance

Population 6,113,532
Per Capita Income $26,126
Unemployment Rate 3.2%
Fortune 500 Companies 10
Licensed CPA Firms 928

Accounting Programs in Missouri

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Missourian accountants and auditors can look forward to a 12.7% increase in employment between 2012 and 2022, generating 29,130 potential positions. Burgeoning regional firms, like BKD, RubinBrown, Brown Smith Wallace, Anders and Mueller Prost will be contributing to this job pool.

Missouri's accountants can also expect to earn anywhere between $36,090 and $121,360 annually in the state's growing economy, depending on their degree level, speciality and licensure. Top-paying cities for accountants include St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and Joplin.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

25,130 Employees2016
29,530 Employees2026
Missouri 14.9% 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

Missouri Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $37,800

Payroll Clerks

\ $39,250

Credit Counselors

\ $53,070

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $65,100

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $45,030

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $70,180

Budget Analysts

\ $71,670

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $89,710

Financial Managers

\ $134,210
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. St. Louis
  2. Kansas City
  3. St. Joseph
  4. Columbia
  5. Southwest Missouri nonmetropolitan area
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Missouri

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1 BKD Springfield, MO $496
2 RubinBrown St. Louis, MO $78
3 Brown Smith Wallace St. Louis, MO $39
4 Anders St. Louis, MO $28
5 MarksNelson Kansas City, MO $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 Missouri

Aspiring CPAs of Missouri sit for the Uniform CPA Exam administered by NASBA and AICPA and must meet the eligibility requirements listed below. Several of the colleges and universities in the state have accounting programs with top passing rates.

The list below of Missouri schools ranked by their CPA Pass Rates from 2014 includes both first time testers and candidates returning to attempt the exam again, retaking the whole exam or portions of it – a common event due to the complexity level of the exam.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Missouri

Missouri offers an optional pre-evaluation service to help students determine if they meet the educational requirements before applying for the exam.

Eligibility requirements for CPA licensure in Missouri include the following:

  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age
  • Be a resident of the state, be employed in Missouri, or have a place of business within the state
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Fulfill the 150 hour education requirement or be within 60 days of fulfilling the requirement
  • Complete 33 semester hours in accounting, 18 of which must be upper level
  • Complete 27 semester hours in general business
  • Complete 1 year of experience in accounting, and 1 additional year of experience in attest work if the candidate wishes to sign reports or supervise attest services
  • Complete a written exam on professional ethics approved by the Missouri Board
Age Requirement 21
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement Yes
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs Yes
Hours in Accounting 33 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 150 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam Written professional ethics exam acceptable to state board

First year candidates of the CPA exam may read this article to help prepare themselves.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Missouri

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

Special Fees: A registration fee applies in addition to the application fee. The registration fee is a flat rate of $75, no matter the number of sections an individual is registering for.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Missouri State Board of Accountancy is a state agency responsible for examining, certifying, licensing and regulating CPAs and public accounting firms. Funded by fees from CPA candidates and licensees, the Board administers the CPA exam for Missouri state. Upon licensure, CPAs are eligible to join the Missouri Society of CPAs.

The MSCPA is a professional development organization comprised of 8,000 members in working in public practice, industry, government, and education fields. The MSCPA is dedicated to the betterment of its members by providing continuing professional education, networking events, governmental advocacy, up-to-date news and information, student-centered initiatives and resource access.

Missouri State Board of Accountancy


P.O. Box 613
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone Number

(573) 751-1102

Missouri Society of CPAs


P.O. Box 419042
St. Louis, MO 63141

Phone Number

(314) 392-5835