Introduction

Nebraska is known for being one of the larger agricultural producers in the United States, but diverse industries including insurance, telecommunications, information technology, and freight transport also drive its economy. The state is home to two Fortune 500 companies: Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational holding company led by Warren Buffett, and Union Pacific, which operates the largest railroad system in the country. Nebraska employs 139,000 accountants, and the number is expected to grow by more than 13% through 2026. Two of the largest financial firms in the Midwest, Lutz & Co. and Seim Johnson, are based in Nebraska, both in Omaha. Omaha and Lincoln generally offer the most lucrative employment opportunities to financial services specialists like accountants and auditors.

Nebraska at a glance

Population 1,920,076
Per Capita Income $27,446
Unemployment Rate 2.8%
Fortune 500 Companies 5
Licensed CPA Firms 327

Accounting Programs in Nebraska

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Three of the “Big Four” international CPA firms maintain offices in Omaha: Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young and KPMG. Individual CPAs and smaller firms are abundant in both Omaha and Lincoln.

Between 2012 and 2022 the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of positions for accountants and auditors in Nebraska to grow by 13.4%, a . According to these BLS estimates, the state will have over 11,000 accounting and auditing positions by 2022, making Nebraska an attractive choice for prospective and currently licensed CPAs.

Wages for for accounting specialists in Nebraska start at about $33,000 per year for bookkeeping and auditing clerks and top out at about $135,000 for financial managers.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

8,340 Employees2012
11,520 Employees2022
Nebraska 27.6% increase
1,397,700 Employees2012
1,537,600 Employees2022
United States 9.1% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Nebraska Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $36,410
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $40,590
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $31,640
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $58,120
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $58,590
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $66,140
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $63,630
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $92,340
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $117,670
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Grand Island
    $75,340
  2. Omaha-Council Bluffs
    $68,160
  3. Central Nebraska nonmetropolitan area
    $66,780
  4. Lincoln
    $61,860
  5. Northeast Nebraska nonmetropolitan area
    $59,430
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Nebraska

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Lutz &Co.Omaha, NE$29
2Seim JohnsonOmaha, NE$16

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 Nebraska

To become a CPA in the state of Nebraska, you must first become a resident of the state. Once residency is established, you must find employment with one of the registered firms within the state, or apply to the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy to establish your own practice.

The rules and regulations for CPAs new to Nebraska are relatively stable at the moment. The state’s Board of Public Accountancy website is a comprehensive resource that should be used by CPAs contemplating a move to Nebraska. The site lists all rules and regulations for accounting practices, as well as annual procedural updates. Moreover, all necessary steps to becoming licensed in the state are clearly laid out and easy to follow.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Nebraska

Once residency and credentials are verified, candidates must take the CPA exam. The exam is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, and differs from state to state.

Nebraska suggests all CPA candidates take the exam tutorial before embarking on the actual exam, even if candidates have prior education and experience. The state works closely with CPA Examination Services (CPAES), a division of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), to ensure that candidates are fully prepared to take the exam and become licensed. All pertinent information is present, along with easily accessible links, on the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy’s site.

Age RequirementN/A
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementYes
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for LicensureBachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting30 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours
Experience Requirements2 years of public accounting experience, 3 years of auditing experience, or 3.5 years of experience as a special agent or IRS agent
Ethics ExamAICPA Ethics Exam

Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions must be sent directly to the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. Foreign candidates’ transcripts will be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. candidate requirements.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Nebraska

Total:$997
  • Application Fee $165
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

There is a $75.00 registration fee for each of the above listed exam sections.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy is the state agency that oversees licensure and registration of accountants working within the state. The agency’s Web site is a valuable resource for information about becoming a licensed accountant in the state, as well as educational requirements and testing. The board is also responsible for dealing with accountants and firms that fail to adhere to the state’s legal guidelines.

The Nebraska Society of CPAs maintains professional standards, encourages continuing education among its members, and ensures that all members represent their profession with the utmost in knowledge and performance.

Contact information for both organizations is listed below.

Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy

Address

1526 K Street, Suite 410
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone Number

(402) 471-3595

Nebraska Society of CPAs

Address

635 South 14th Street, Suite 330
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone Number

(402) 476-8482

Email

[email protected]