A State By State Accounting Guide
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Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Connecticut

With a license from the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy, CPA candidates who have earned bachelor’s degrees at minimum, gained a year of experience and passed the Uniform CPA Exam get to hold the rare distinction that comes with earning the CPA credential. A CPA license also brings the unique opportunity to work for industry giants like “Big Four” international accounting and professional services firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, all four of which have offices in Stamford and Hartford.
 With most bachelor’s programs consisting of just 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting can provide the additional credit hours necessary to qualify for a CPA license in Connecticut.

Those interested in becoming non-certified public accountants in Connecticut aren’t required to be licensed or registered and can still work in many different capacities in almost every industry in the state. Many serve as accounting and auditing clerks or budget analysts in settings as diverse as the administrative offices of Greenwich Hospital, which has a location in Wilton and the offices of local consulting and staffing company, McIntyre Group located in Meriden. 

CPAs and others with accounting backgrounds interested in offering investment planning services either operate independent practices or find work with investment firms. Global commodities firm Louis Dreyfus and Hartford Investment Management, located in the city for which it was named, both retain accountants with the restrained discipline necessary to be effective investment advisers.

Well-trained and properly credentialed government accountants are found at every level of state and federal government. Some work for federal agencies like the Department of Defense in Groton, as liaisons with private defense contractors like DRS Defense Solutions in Danbury or even in local government where they serve in the Connecticut Comptroller’s Office. The work performed by accountants employed by nonprofits like Save the Children, which has offices in Westport, is similar to that of government accountants, as they often specialize in fund accountancy with respect to money sourced from either tax revenue of donations.

Job Growth and Salary Expectations for Accountants in Connecticut

Accounting is a promising profession in Connecticut according to the state’s Department of Labor, which in 2014 designated it as a field with strong demand.  In addition to high salaries, the field is expected to see rapid job growth with an expected increase of 11.4% in the number of jobs between 2012 and 2022.  This should generate 663 new jobs for accountants over the ten-year period of their analysis.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area had the tenth highest concentration of accounting jobs in the country in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This metropolitan area also had the tenth highest salaries for accountants of any such area in the country that year.

Accountants with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services were very aggressive in fighting tax fraud during the 2015 tax season and saved the taxpayers more than $14 million in fraudulent claims as of April 17.  In Connecticut, as in the rest of the country, the 2015 tax season saw a big increase in attempted tax fraud targeting income tax refunds. 

Salaries for Connecticut’s Accountants, CPAs and CFOs

The Connecticut Department of Labor reported that the median salary for an accountant in the state was $71,636 in 2014.  Experienced professionals in the 90th percentile earned an average of $113,973 that year. 

According to the 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide, accountants with five or more years of experience in the financial services industry earned the following salaries in New Haven and Stamford:

  • New Haven: $82,133 - $103,865
  • Stamford: $92,355 - $116,590

Forensic accountants in Hartford earned between $83,298 and $129,898 a year.  Controllers at large financial services companies in Hartford had salaries within the range of $176,498 and $224,845.

Accountants with CPA licenses in the corporate word, including Chief Financial Officers, earned the highest salaries in the accounting field.  CFOs at high-revenue corporate accounting firms in New Haven earned salaries between $326,300 and $482,983.

Salaries for Accountants and Auditors Throughout Connecticut

A 2014 analysis conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the median salary of general accountants and auditors was the highest in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT
Danbury CT
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT
New Haven CT
Norwich-New London CT-RI
Waterbury CT
Northwestern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area
Eastern Connecticut nonmetropolitan area

Tax Preparer Salaries in Connecticut

Tax preparers in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk had substantially higher salaries than their colleagues in other parts of Connecticut in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT
Estimate not released
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT
New Haven CT
Norwich-New London CT-RI

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.

Major Employers of Accountants in Connecticut

Major employers of accountants in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region include Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, international investment firm Alexander Bec in Stamford and the corporate offices of Subway’s world headquarters located in Milford. 

Many accountants are also found working throughout the New Haven area, from Ivy League Yale University, to non-profit water utilities resource managers, South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority in Newhallville. 

The Hartford region of Connecticut also employs a high volume of accountants. Here, they are found working for aerospace supplier and Fortune 500 Company the Goodrich Corporation in South Hartford, The Hartford Financial Services Group, and the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch located in West Hartford.

Connecticut Accountancy and Tax Laws in the News

The Connecticut Society of CPAs (CSCPA) has been working on a campaign they call “Fixing Our Future.” It involves contacting Connecticut lawmakers to ask them to convert to full-accrual Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) with the goal of helping the state create a long-term strategic plan that involves earmarking surplus state revenue to help reduce the state budget deficit and post-retirement liabilities. In their campaign, the CSCPA has noted that the state deficit amounts to $4,859 per resident, including children.

Of interest to those who plan on becoming CPAs in Connecticut is the fact that the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy recently changed its licensing rules, dropping the requirement of six months of attestation experience. As long as CPA candidates have two years of supervised experience in a variety of functions, they may become certified and licensed in the state without the attestation experience requirement.

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