By Susan Maphis, AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015
As of 2012, the Utah Department of Workforce Services projected an annual increase of 2.8 percent in the number of jobs available to accountants through the year 2022. This amounts to about 610 jobs annually, the majority of which are directly attributed to growth while a small portion are replacement jobs that result from normal retirement cycles.Utah’s CPAs are regulated by the Utah Board of Accountancy and must complete 150 semester hours of college-level education, earn a bachelor’s degree at minimum, pass both the Uniform CPA Exam and the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam, and fulfill one year of accounting experience prior to being licensed. Because a bachelor’s degree consists of around 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting serves as the most common way to earn the 30 additional credit hours required for a CPA license in Utah.
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy grants licenses to qualified candidates interested in becoming certified public accountants. To be eligible for licensure, CPA candidates are required to earn 150 semester hours of college credit and a bachelor’s degree before passing the Uniform CPA Exam and gaining a year of supervised experience.
The state’s Department of Workforce Services reported in May 2014 that the average entry-level salary among accountants in Utah was $39,800 per year. By mid-career, accountant salaries in Utah average $62,000 annually, while experienced accountants earned an average of $103,600 as of 2014.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the reporting arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, reports that in the Northern Utah nonmetropolitan area, accountants earned the highest annual salary, averaging $71,720 a year. The Ogden-Clearfield area was second, paying accountants $70,630 per year on average. In the Salt Lake City area, accountants earned an average of $70,480 annually, while accountants working in the Provo-Orem region earned 66,160 per year as of 2014.
Utah’s Supreme Court recently found in favor of the T-Mobile Corporation in a property tax dispute between the company and 15 Utah counties, which has been ongoing since 2003. Under this ruling, counties cannot tax T-Mobile on “goodwill” items listed on their balance sheet, as this indicates the purchase of another company for more than what the company’s tangible assets are worth, making the transaction exempt from standard taxation. The Court ruled that the goodwill items listed on the balance sheet are already taxed under Utah’s corporate income tax code because it subjects both tangible and intangible property to taxation.
Utah leaders have historically tended to be very hesitant about raising state taxes. However, in March 2015, the Utah legislature decided to increase the fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon. This new plan will increase the state’s transportation budget in order to expand and improve Utah’s already impressive public transit system. Utah has not adjusted the fuel tax since 1997, making the 2015 session a historical change in state legislature.