Introduction

Home to more than 27 million residents, Texas ranks second in the country in both population and GDP, behind only California. The state’s enormous economy (around $1.616 trillion) is fueled largely by the energy sector, with oil and natural gas the most significant contributors. Many of the state’s 50 Fortune 500 Companies are part of the oil and gas industry, including Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, and Valero. Agriculture and technology are also major aspects of the state economy. A massive economy coupled with several significant urban areas makes Texas one of the most desirable states for financial professionals, and the state employs more than 50,000 accountants and auditors, second only to California. The five largest finance firms in the Southwest are all found in Texas, mainly in major urban centers like Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Texas at a glance

Population 28,304,596
Per Capita Income $27,125
Unemployment Rate 3.8%
Fortune 500 Companies 51
Licensed CPA Firms 3,876

Accounting Programs in Texas

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Between 2012-2022, the BLS projects that the number of accounting and auditing positions added to payrolls in Texas will increase by over 25,000. This growth rate of 24% is basically unheard of in the financial services industry and is more than double the 13.1% growth projected nationally.

There is no shortage of major employers in Texas. More than a fifth of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds more of the Fortune 1,000 are headquartered in the state. Accountants and auditors in the state earn an average annual salary of $75,210, earnings that are slightly higher than national averages. Accountants and auditors are also among the largest and highest paid group of professionals in the state, out-earning the average working Texan by 40%.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

116,000 Employees2012
150,340 Employees2022
Texas 22.8% 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

Texas Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $41,060
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $43,820
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $50,870
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $72,920
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $57,450
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $81,330
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $81,190
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $111,640
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $151,170
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
    $89,270
  2. Midland
    $83,600
  3. Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division
    $83,080
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
    $82,970
  5. Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Division
    $82,480
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Texas

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1WeaverFort Worth, TX$95
2Whitley PennFort Worth, TX$72
3Briggs & Veselka Co.Houston, TX$26
4Montgomery Coscia GreilichPlano, TX$50
5PKF TexasHouston, TX$21
6Cain Watters & AssociatesPlano, TX$20
7Padgett, Stratemann & Co.San Antonio, TX$34
8Briggs & Veselka Co.Houston, TX$31

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 Texas

To become a CPA in Texas candidate must sit for the Uniform CPA Exam administered by NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) and pass all four sections with a score of 75% or higher. Candidates must also:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • Complete at least 150 total credit hours in post secondary education
  • Complete at least 30 credit hours of upper level accounting courses
  • Pass the Texas Board of Accountancy’s approved ethics course

Texas CPA candidates must also demonstrate that they are of good moral character by meeting the statutory requirements as defined by Section 901.253 of the Texas code. CPA candidates are also required to complete at 2,000 hours of documented experience as described in Section 901.256.

In 2007, Texas adopted the CPA Mobility Bill which is based on standards developed by the AICPA that allow CPAs from other states to transfer licensure to Texas.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Texas

The first step in determining whether or not a candidate is eligible for licensing as a Texas CPA is to complete an application of intent. The application must be completed before a candidate can apply to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination.

Applicants who have either been arrested or convicted of a crime must also complete a background statement before applying to take the CPA exam.

Age RequirementN/A
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
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 Requirements1 year of accounting experience
Ethics ExamAICPA Ethics Exam

Ensure that your undergraduate coursework satisfies California’s CPA licensure requirements by filling out this .

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Texas

Total:$872
  • Application Fee $40
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Candidates who did not successfully pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam on their first attempt have 18 months to apply for re-examination to complete this requirement.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Texas Board of Public Accountancy’s mission is to provide protection for the public by ensuring that CPAs are licensed and possess the necessary education, experience and skills to deliver competent service.

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants is a professional membership organization that provides members with continuing professional education opportunities as well as public and legislative advocacy.

Texas Board of Accountancy

Address

333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701

Phone Number

(512) 305-7800

Texas Society of CPAs

Address

14651 Dallas Pkwy Suite 700
Dallas, TX 75254

Phone Number

800-428-0272