A State By State Accounting Guide

Steps to Becoming an Accountant in South Carolina

Accounting is listed by the South Carolina Department of Commerce as one of the ‘Hot Jobs’ in the state. Between the years 2012 and 2022, the number of jobs available to accountants in South Carolina is expected to grow by 12 percent, translating to more than 3,000 new accounting positions during that period.

In 2014, the top industries to employ accountants in South Carolina were leisure, technology, security, and investment and banking, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

The South Carolina Board of Accountancy licenses qualified candidates interested in becoming certified public accountants. Qualifications include completing 150 semester hours of formal education resulting in a bachelor’s degree at minimum, gaining a year of public accounting experience, and passing the Uniform CPA Exam.


With most bachelor’s programs consisting of just 120 semester hours of college credit, earning a master’s in accounting provides the additional credit hours in advanced accounting coursework required for CPA licensure in South Carolina.

Public accounting firms in South Carolina, such as “Big Four” CPA and professional services firm, Deloitte, which has locations in both Columbia and Greenville, as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers, with an office in Spartanburg, are the obvious choices for CPAs interested in providing external audit and management consultation services. CPAs also often establish independent practices or work for one of the many local or regional firms in the state. 


The headquarters of specialty nonprofit fund accounting software producer, Blackbaud, is located in Charleston and is a major local employer of cost and capital accountants, as well as fund accountants. Accountants also hold titles like financial control officer and budget analyst in which they work for industry giants like AREVA Federal Services, a nuclear engineering company that has a branch office in Aiken. These positions involve everything from mitigating risk and enhancing profits to adhering to federal compliance requirements.

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South Carolina Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

In South Carolina, businesses are growing, and that means the field of accounting is growing as well. Accounting was recently named as one of the top 50 fastest growing professional fields in the state, according to the South Carolina Department of Workforce and Labor Intelligence. That’s why South Carolina’s accountants and auditors hold nearly 8% of all jobs in the state, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Accountants in South Carolina earned an average salary of $59,240 in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The range of salaries in the state is broad, however. In metropolitan areas, salaries tend to be higher than the state average. Accountants in both Greenville and Sumter earn an average salary of just above $66,000 a year. Anderson-based accountants in the 90th earning percentile earned an average of $95,080 in 2014.

Robert Half, Inc. provides salary data for accounting positions throughout South Carolina. In 2015, forensic accountants in Charleston made an average salary of $85,095, while internal auditors who worked for large corporations in this city earned up to $98,812. Accountants who have CPA licenses typically earn much higher salaries. 

Controllers at small Greenville based firms earned between $72,514 and $96,990 in 2015, according to the Robert Half 2015 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance. CFOs in Columbia earned an average salary of $353,898 a year in 2015.

Accounting Salaries in South Carolina Cities and Non-Metro Areas

Salary ranges for accountants in South Carolina depend largely on location. Accountants working in urban settings tend to have a larger clientele, and make more money as a result.

The following table shows a full analysis of salary data for accountants and auditors in South Carolina as reported by US the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014.

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anderson SC
220
61890
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville SC
2320
59050
Columbia SC
3620
54960
Florence SC
570
56680
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley SC
2560
66960
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway SC
770
50900
Spartanburg SC
790
61950
Sumter SC
170
66490
Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
720
55600
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
700
61460
Pee Dee South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
200
61500
Lower Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
330
49700

Tax Preparer Salaries in South Dakota

The average salary for tax preparers in South Carolina was $31,230 in 2014. The numbers in urban areas tended to be higher, with Greenville showing salaries within the range of $36,240 to $57,570.

The following table shows a full analysis of salary data for tax preparers in South Carolina as reported by US the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014.

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anderson SC
Estimate not released
23490
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville SC
230
31870
Columbia SC
220
33430
Florence SC
70
27220
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley SC
180
36220
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway SC
60
27620
Spartanburg SC
60
31410
Sumter SC
50
27110
Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
110
20420
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area
Estimate not released
26180

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2014. Figures represent accumulated data for all areas of specialty within the field of accounting and auditing.

South Carolina Tax Laws in the News

South Carolina’s House of Representatives is hoping to attract online retailer, Amazon.com, to the state to open a distribution center in hopes that it will create 2,000 new jobs locally. To that end, they are proposing that Amazon.com receive a five-year exemption from collecting state sales tax on purchases made by residents of South Carolina. It is estimated by state legislators that the planned distribution center could bring $1.7 billion to the state over the next decade. The bill that allows the exemption has gone to Governor Nikki Haley’s office for her approval.



Another bill currently awaiting approval by the governor concerns a reduction of unemployment taxes that employers are obligated to pay, which contribute to unemployment benefits paid to laid off workers. The bill proposes an 18 percent tax cut for employers. It would reduce unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks and would render seasonal employees ineligible for unemployment benefits.