By an AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015
The requirements for CPA licensure as set by the Arizona State Board of Accountancy consists of four major steps:
Arizona’s CPAs work for “Big Four” international CPA firms PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young, all of which have offices in Phoenix. National firms such as Clifton Gunderson in Phoenix also have a strong presence in the state.
Accountants in Arizona can expect tremendous employment growth in the coming years. In 2012, the United States Department of Labor found Arizona supporting 19,740 accountant and auditors jobs. By 2022, the federal government predicts closer to 24,270 accountants and auditors will find employment opportunities here.
This long-term occupational projection indicates a 23% employment growth change in this ten-year period, which is 10% higher than the national average for these professionals. As a result, accountants and auditors can look forward to approximately 1,040 annual job openings in Arizona. The best job prospects are most likely available in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area as this region employed 14,820 accountants as of 2014- the highest number by far of any area in the state. Additional geographic employment statistics for that year include:
As of May 2014, accountants employed throughout Arizona earned an average annual salary of $64,440 and an average hourly wage of $30.98. However, local employers tend to offer newly hired accountants salaries that reflect their level of experience. For instance, entry-level accountants received an average annual salary of $37,800, while more established accountants received an average mid-career salary of $58,300. The most experienced accountants were awarded a far greater average salary of $98,200.
Geographic placement of employment can largely influence how much money an accountant can expect to earn. Average salaries in Arizona’s main metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas are as follows (US Department of Labor, 2014):
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made many friends in the Arizona Society of CPAs by working on Arizona budget issues as a state legislator before being elected to the U.S. Congress. In a blog post following her attack, an Arizona CPA called Giffords a “friend of the Arizona Society of CPAs...she listened to us and asked us questions about business, taxes, and financial matters”.
Everyone in Arizona recognizes the traditional and iconic Kachina doll of the Hopi Indians of Arizona. Many years ago, the Arizona Society of CPAs adopted the Accountant Kachina as its logo. In the logo the traditional doll is depicted as holding an Indian tally rope to symbolize counting, and a quill pen meant to symbolize the careful and thoughtful nature of accountants.