Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Indiana

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.

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.

Find out more about CPA requirements in our step-by-step guide on how to become a CPA in Indiana.

Indiana Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development included the field of accounting on its list of high pay/high demand jobs for 2018-2019, giving it a five-star rating for demand—the highest rating possible. The agency predicts strong growth in the job market for accountants, with projections that the number of accountant and auditor jobs here will increase by 7.3% between 2018 and 2028.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors in Indiana earned a median salary of $ 66,480 as of May 2020, with the top earners in the 90th percentile earning about $110,010 during this time.

Salaries for Accountants in Different Specialized Roles

Indiana is a big state with a diverse mix of urban and rural markets as well as a wide array of industries, each with their own salary standards and accounting positions, so the above numbers don’t tell the whole story. Fortunately, the BLS highlights salaries for accountants and auditors according to role, experience, and more.

Note that the following BLS base salaries don’t take into account bonuses and other financial incentives that can and do add significantly to accountant salaries in Indiana, particularly among executives and those in specialized roles.

Corporate Staff Accountants, Bookkeepers, and Accounting Clerks

Corporate staff accountants, bookkeepers, and accounting clerks with just a few years of experience (25thpercentile) earn about $32,300 in Indiana. Those at the median level earn about $39,070, while those toward the top of the pay scale earn between $48,370 and $58,250 (75th – 90th percentile).

Forensic Accountants

Forensic accountants must have the right skillset and the right mindset to track down individual and corporate malfeasance through spreadsheets and other records. These accountants earn about $86,720 in Indiana, which represents the 75th percentile among accountants and auditors and is reflective of their specialized knowledge.

Controllers and Other Financial Managers

Controllers are among the most highly respected and highly experienced members of the average corporate accounting department, ensuring that accounting and business practices are aligned with internal policies. Their advanced level of education (they usually hold a master’s degree) and experience allows them to earn some of the highest accounting salaries in Indiana: $108,590 at the median level and more than $149,220 at the 75th percentile.

CPAs and Auditors

Public accounting touches every sector and every size of customer, from the tiny one-man show to Fortune 50 corporations. CPAs and auditors with expertise in specialty areas of accounting often hold senior management and director level positions are among some of the highest paid in the profession.

For example, in the Indianapolis metro area (includes Carmel and Anderson), these professionals earn about $116,380, which represents the 90th percentile among accountants and auditors here.

Accountants in Executive Roles

The highest salaries in accounting are generally reserved for CFOs, executive-level accountants with extensive industry experience and leadership skills. Executive-level accountants in Indiana earn about $145,770 at the median level, with those at the upper end of the pay scale (75th percentile and up) earning more than $208,000.

Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Indiana’s Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas

According to the BLS, the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area is home to some of the highest salaries for accountants and auditors as of May 2020:

Area Name
Employment
Annual median wage
Bloomington
340
54450
Columbus
520
67380
Elkhart-Goshen
770
62300
Evansville
920
60770
Fort Wayne
1650
66570
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
9640
71690
Kokomo
130
48620
Lafayette-West Lafayette
600
65810
Michigan City-La Porte
220
61120
Muncie
240
62070
South Bend-Mishawaka
910
68120
Terre Haute
310
52670

(This broad classification includes accounting professionals in different areas of specialty, with different credentials, and with varying levels of experience.)

Salaries for Tax Preparers Throughout Indiana

Tax preparers in Fort Wayne out earned their colleagues in other parts of Indiana by as much as $30,000, in some cases, as of May 2020:

Area Name
Employment
Annual median wage
Elkhart-Goshen
50
32880
Evansville
-
36810
Fort Wayne
110
59640
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
290
32550
Kokomo
-
28710
Lafayette-West Lafayette
70
30510
South Bend-Mishawaka
70
40990
Terre Haute
-
41600

 

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job growth data for Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersBookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, and Chief Executives. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed April 2021.

Job growth projections sourced from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and reported in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.