A State By State Accounting Guide

Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Indiana

By an AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has published data projecting that during the ten-year period ending 2022 Indiana will see 810 job openings each year for accountants and auditors. This is due to both natural turnover and the creation of new jobs in response to market demands.

The Indiana Board of Accountancy grants two different licenses to those who work to become public accountants in the state: CPA certification requires at least a bachelor’s degree (150 semester hour minimum), successful completion of all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam and two years of supervised experience. Because a bachelor’s degree results in just 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting provides the ideal way to earn the additional credit hours required for a CPA license in Indiana. Accounting Practitioners (APs) have fewer practice privileges that do not include audit and attestation functions. APs must be at least 18 years old and pass a written exam on accounting theory administered by the Board. Both APs and CPAs must participate in a minimum of 120 hours of continuing professional education within each three-year renewal period.

Featured Undergraduate Program

*Accredited accounting programs are available in a flexible online format that puts an undergraduate degree in accounting well within reach. Prepare to earn your CPA license and develop the skills employers are looking for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Featured Graduate Program

*Qualifying for a CPA license requires a bachelor’s degree at minimum and a total of 150 semester hours of college credit to include coursework in accounting, business and ethics. Since bachelor’s programs typically result in just 120 semester hours of credit, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) maintains that earning a Master of Science in Accounting is the best way to achieve the full 150 semester hours you need to become licensed.

Indianapolis, the largest city in the state, the second largest in the Midwest, and the twelfth largest city in the country, is home to offices of all the “Big Four” accounting firms: KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. BKD, an internationally known accounting firm, also has offices in Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and Indianapolis. Blue & Co., a firm specializing in offering managerial accounting consultation and auditing services for the agribusiness, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing industries, has offices in Carmel, Bloomington, Columbus, Seymour, and Indianapolis.

Indiana Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9,040 accountants were employed in Indianapolis as of 2014, the highest concentration in the state. The next highest concentrations are found in cities that share borders with larger cities in other states. Greendale and Lawrenceburg, near Cincinnati, Ohio, had a combined total of 8,220 accountants. Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany; near Louisville, Kentucky, had some 4,600 accountants between them.

The highest annual mean wages do not necessarily correspond to the areas with the highest concentration of accountants. For example, Bloomington has the highest annual mean wage at $74,280, but only has some 490 accountants working there. Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area is the next highest paying with a mean salary of $71,300 as of 2014. Indianapolis ($70,030), Elkhart ($65,790), and Gary ($65,300) round out the top five best paying cities for accountants in the state.

Major Employers of Accountants in Indiana

The biggest industries in Indiana are also the biggest employers of accountants in the state. Most accountants here work for healthcare, banking, utility, and manufacturing companies as fund specialists, cost accountants, auditors, controllers, and managerial accountants.

The healthcare industry calls on cost accountants and benefits specialists familiar with insurance and government billing and payment systems. St. Vincent Health is Indiana’s largest healthcare employer and is a member of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit Catholic healthcare system in the US. Indiana University Health is a non-profit academic medical health center comprised of more than 20 facilities located throughout Indiana. Combined, these two non-profits have the unique distinction of being the largest employers of fund accounting specialists in the state. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, headquartered in Indianapolis, is recognized as a major employer of managerial accountants.

Several utility companies based in Indiana are also top employers of controllers, auditors, and corporate managerial accountants. These include Indiana Power & Light (IPL), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO); a holding company whose subsidiaries provide natural gas, electricity, and other services to a large portion of the eastern US; and Vectren, which is a gas and electricity supplier for customers in Indiana and Ohio.

Indiana’s other major companies and leading employers of accountants include the Indiana Rail Road and engine manufacturer Cummins, Inc., which is headquartered in Columbus. Companies that have significant facilities in Indiana, but that have corporate headquarters located out of state include household appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corporation, Toyota, and, United States Steel.

Indiana Accounting in the News

Indiana ended its 2015 fiscal year with a 210 million dollar surplus. While the number sounds positive, the implications of such a surplus can point to neglect of important state services. Indiana departments of health, transportation, child services, and many more all cut their budgets by millions in order to correct past budget shortages. However, Governor Mike Pence prides himself on the fact that Indiana is able to keep taxes low, believing that these budget cuts were made in order to prioritize the wellbeing of Indiana’s taxpayers. Governor Pence hopes that because of the budget surplus, he may be able to provide tax relief for Indiana businesses that are creating a high number of jobs.