The Wyoming Department of Labor predicts a 15 percent increase in the number of accountants employed in the state during the ten-year period between 2012 and 2022. The Wyoming Board of Certified Public Accountants is charged with licensing CPAs in the state and regulating the practice. Effective January 1, 2012, in accordance with the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) all CPAs in the state must have 150 semester hours of college credit to include a bachelor’s degree at minimum. In addition, they must pass the Uniform CPA Exam and the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam, as well as complete one year of experience in public accounting, prior to licensure. While satisfying the experience requirement, many would-be CPAs in Wyoming also begin working to earn a master’s degree in accounting to earn the full 150 semester hours required for a CPA license, as bachelor’s programs typically consist of just 120 semester hours.
Although none of the “Big Four” CPA firms have offices in Wyoming, the nationally recognized McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP has an office in Cheyenne where CPAs provide contracted professional services that include everything from external auditing and attestation to management consultation.
In 2015, the Wyoming Department of Labor found that a few industry sectors known to be significant employers in the state were also responsible for supporting high-paying jobs in accounting. Among these were the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, public administration, and the mining industry.
Of course, accountants are vital to all of these industries from an operational perspective, but it is interesting to note that professional and business services, which is inclusive of CPAs and other accounting professionals, was counted among the top industries. Some of the biggest employers of accountants within this industry include financial giant Edward Jones and CUSO Financial Services, LP, both with locations in Cheyenne.
For every state and federal government agency that relies on tax dollars, there are specialized government accountants at work to manage allocated funds for payroll and operating costs. They are employed within the Secretary of State’s office, the State Auditor’s office, the State Treasury, and even the Federal Government’s Department of the Interior National Park Service for Yellowstone National Park.
Leisure and hospitality is big business in Wyoming. Managerial accountants are employed in the offices of hotel and resort companies like Snake River Lodge & Spa and Hilton Worldwide in Jackson, as well as world renowned Vail Resorts, Inc. in Jackson Hole.
The corporate office of fast food giant McDonald’s is located in Rock Springs and is recognized as one of the largest single employers of private management accountants in Wyoming. King Enterprises in Casper is a major player in the area’s construction industry and is also a significant employer of accountants.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services expects the number of jobs for accountants in Wyoming to increase by 14.5% between 2012 and 2022—generating 83 jobs a year on average.
The median salary for an accountant in Wyoming was $56,480 in 2015 according to the Department. Experienced professionals in the top 10% of this occupational category were likely to have CPA licenses, and earned an average of $100,289.
The average salary of accountants in Wyoming varied between the most highly populated counties in 2015:
Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Wyoming’s Urban and Rural Areas
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, general accountants and auditors in Casper had the highest median salary in 2014.
General accountants and auditors in the nonmetropolitan part of Southeastern Wyoming who were in the top 10% of this occupational category were likely to be licensed as CPAs, and enjoyed the highest average salary for this category statewide:
Wyoming is attractive to many who are relocating, especially retirees, because it does not have a personal state income tax. The state’s sales tax of four percent is charged on everything except prescriptions and food purchased for home consumption, and property taxes are set at a fractional assessment rate, applying to a fraction of the property’s full market value. Personal property that is held for personal use is exempt from taxation in Wyoming.