Introduction

One of the fastest-growing states in the nation by population, Oregon is also the site of significant economic growth, boasting the 25th-highest GDP in the country. Oregon’s unique economy is primarily based around agriculture, forestry and fisheries, tourism, and technology (the Portland metropolitan area is often referred to as “Silicon Forest” for its high concentration of tech companies). Portland is also the headquarters of Nike, one of the two Fortune 500 companies that operate in the state. While California dominates the West Coast’s finance industry, all the “Big Four” finance firms maintain offices in Oregon, and the state is also home to three of the region’s major firms: AKT, based in Salem, and Perkins & Co. and Geffen Mesher & Co., both based in Portland.

Oregon at a glance

Population 4,142,776
Per Capita Income $27,646
Unemployment Rate 3.8%
Fortune 500 Companies 2
Licensed CPA Firms 793

Accounting Programs in Oregon

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Oregon state accountants and auditors can look forward to a striking 16.9% increase in employment opportunities over a 10 year span, a growth rate that represents the addition of 13,620 positions by 2022. Major CPA firms headquartered in the state include AKT CPAs and Perkins & Co., which each grossed over $20 million in revenues in 2014.

On average, Oregon accountants make more annually than their peers in other states. Depending on an one’s degree level, licensure and specialty, wages range from $37,910 to $105,370 annually. Top-paying cities include the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area, Bend, Salem, the Eugene-Springfield area and Medford.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

12,200 Employees2012
15,340 Employees2022
Oregon 20.5% 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

Oregon Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $40,530
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $45,230
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $46,660
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $67,660
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $57,230
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $68,780
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $73,570
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $114,150
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $118,400
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Salem
    $71,680
  2. Albany
    $70,750
  3. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro
    $70,350
  4. Central Oregon nonmetropolitan area
    $68,110
  5. Medford
    $67,030
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Oregon

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1AKTSalem, OR$46
2Perkins & Co.Portland, OR$22
3Geffen Mesher & Co.Portland, OR$19

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 Oregon

Aspiring CPAs in Oregon must sit for the uniform CPA exam administered by NASBA and meet the eligibility requirements listed below.

The CPA exam is made up of four sections that students must register for individually. Each section must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within 18 months of an initial test date. Once a student receives Authorization To Test (ATT), candidates must take the authorized section within six months of the Notice to Schedule date.

Due to the exam’s complex nature, many students retake sections of the exam more than once before achieving an overall pass. Also listed below are schools ranked by their 2014 CPA pass rates, which include scores from first-time testers as well as scores from those retesting.

Oregon allows international testing to candidates in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates who wish to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Oregon

To be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Oregon, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Fulfill the 150 hour educational requirement
  • Participate in international programs
  • Complete 24 semester hours in accounting courses
  • Complete 24 semester hours in business courses
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree
  • Complete 1 year of work experience
  • Must take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure or an exam on the Code of Professional Ethics offered by the Oregon Society of CPAs

All application material must be received within 3 months from the date of submission.

Age RequirementN/A
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for LicensureBachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements150 hours
Experience Requirements1 year of accounting experience
Ethics ExamAICPA Ethics Exam

Candidates are strongly encouraged to review the AICPA Website’s tutorial that elaborates on the revised version of the exam’s format and navigation functions.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Oregon

Total:$994
  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $211
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $211
  • Regulation $211
  • Business Environment & Concepts $211

Special Fees: A $50 re-examination application fee applies for each portion of the exam being retaken. (If a candidate fails one section of the exam they can pay to re-register for just that portion of the exam. All sections must be passed within 18 months of candidate’s first test date.)

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Oregon State Board of Accountancy is a regulatory body responsible for licensing and certifying CPAs and public accountants of the state. The Board also maintains professional competence and ethical standards of CPAs and CPA firms in Oregon. It provides accounting professionals the opportunity to update, renew, order or print any license and provides consumers the ability to search and verify licenses and digitally certify a license.

Once certified, CPAs may join the Oregon of Society CPAS, an association that actively strives to maintain high professional and educational standards among its members while providing advocacy, community networking and valuable information related to the field of accounting. Future CPAs can also be members under an affiliate status.

Oregon State Board of Accountancy

Address

3218 Pringle Road S.E., #110
Salem, OR 97302

Phone Number

(503) 378-4181

Oregon Society of CPAs

Address

10206 SW Laurel St.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Phone Number

(503) 641-7200 ext. 3

Email

[email protected]