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Accounting Schools in Louisiana

There are various well-known and highly regarded accounting schools in Louisiana, which have national reputations for their accounting programs. You may find that the accounting schools in Louisiana are the right match for your skills, interests, and career goals based on the variety of accounting programs available. Some students find that an online school with an accounting degree program, such as Walden University’s Master of Science in Accounting, is a convenient and flexible alternative.

Quick Facts:

  • There are 42 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Louisiana.
  • 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Herzing University-Kenner 100%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Southeastern Louisiana University 32%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Tulane University $28,8551
  • Lowest net price per year*: University of Louisiana-Lafayette $5,2331
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for accounting programs in Louisiana*: $5,678-$40,5842
  • 1 School in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2013: Tulane University (49)
  • 1 School in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: Louisiana State University (90)
  • 1 School ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): Tulane University (51)

*For 4-year colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Read on to continue learning about accounting schools in Louisiana and about potential career tracks for accounting graduates.

Schools with Highest 2013 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

1. Tulane University 72.7%
2. Louisiana State University
3. Southeastern Louisiana University
4. University of New Orleans
5. Louisiana Tech University 35.3%

The first-time CPA exam pass rate ranged from 35.3% to 72.7% for schools in Louisiana (for candidates with an advanced degree). This range included 5 schools that had candidates. As a reference point, the national pass rate for all first-time candidates was 54.6% in 2013. When considering options for a CPA program, first-time pass rate is a good metric to consider although the percentage may be artificially high or low if there are a small number of candidates. For a comprehensive breakdown of CPA exam performance see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Top Masters in Accounting Programs in Louisiana

Loyola University New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
Loyola University New Orleans awards a Master of Business Administration through its College of Business that is highly regarded by many employers and can be used as the first step in starting a career as a CPA. Students may attend full or part time; all MBA classes take place during the evening hours with each class meeting one night per week, offering flexibility to students with full work schedules and other commitments. With a full time course load students may take the fast track and graduate with an MBA in as little as one year. A degree specialization in Finance and Investments can be pursued with 9 credit hours of electives and a 3 credit hour capstone. Students also find learning opportunities during program immersion weeks and various professional development workshops, which are also available to alumni at no cost. Loyola University New Orleans is ranked #9 in Regional Universities (South) by US News for its selectivity, breadth of education, and value.

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business offers a competitive 30 credit hour Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program that can help students meet the 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in Louisiana and most other states. The program’s flexible degree plan is based on students taking 15 credit hours from the core curriculum and a further 15 credit hours of electives. In addition to the core focus on accounting, students enrolled in the program may add specializations in Internal Audit, Financial Reporting and Assurance Services, Taxation Services, or Forensic Accounting Services. Qualified students may be eligible for graduate assistantships and internships with Louisiana State University, which can help with the cost of tuition. US News ranks the Baton Rouge campus of Louisiana State, where the College of Business is located, #135 in National Universities for its academic quality. Although Louisiana State is a relatively larger school, the majority of classes take place with fewer than fifty students.

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business awards a nationally recognized Master of Accounting degree. The school notes that five years of accountancy study and training is becoming the standard for CPAs, and its rigorous program prepares students for this challenging career through its 18 credit hour course core and 12 credit hours of electives. The curriculum includes study in Accounting Research, Advanced Managerial Accounting, and Tax Planning for Corporate Decisions. Students may also elect to undertake independent study in accounting or taxation under the guidance of a faculty advisor. With full time study, students may earn their master’s degree in as little as one year. The faculty at the Freeman School of Business are frequently published, experienced professionals who have earned recognition for their research contributions. Tulane is ranked #52 in National Universities by US News thanks to its selective admissions process, Division I athletics, and challenging academics.

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Louisiana

Postlethwaite & Netterville is the largest accounting and business advisory firm based in Louisiana, serving the needs of individuals and clients throughout the US. It counts its people as an important an asset as its clients, and prides itself on providing clear career paths and flexible hours to its staff. With an office in New Orleans, Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors calls itself one of the most technologically advanced accounting firms in the US, and provides its staff with continual auditing, accounting, tax, and consulting training. Horne LLP is one of the top ten accounting and business advisory firms in the Southeast, serving a variety of industries from its offices in Baton Rouge.

How to Become a CPA in Louisiana

Certified Public Accountants in Louisiana are licensed by the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in the state.

1. Complete a 150 semester hour program of education with concentrations in business and accounting.
2. Establish residency in Louisiana.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
4. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
5. Apply for a license.

1. Complete a 150 semester hour program of education with concentrations in business and accounting.

To qualify for the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure in Louisiana, candidates must complete a 150 semester hour education program that includes concentrations in business and accounting. The concentrations may be earned at the undergraduate level, graduate level, or a combination of both.

The required courses for CPA licensure in Louisiana are specific and include 24 hours of undergraduate level accounting courses, or 21 hours of graduate level accounting courses, or a combination comprised of:

Undergraduate Semester Hours

  • 6 hours of intermediate accounting
  • 3 hours of cost accounting
  • 3 hours of income tax
  • 3 hours of auditing related to external reporting
  • 9 hours of accounting electives

Graduate Semester Hours

  • 3 hours of intermediate accounting
  • 3 hours of cost accounting
  • 3 hours of income tax
  • 3 hours of auditing
  • 9 hours of accounting electives

In addition, candidates must complete:

  • 3 semester hours of advanced financial accounting, or not-for-profit or government accounting/auditing, or accounting theory
  • 6 semester hours in accounting above the introductory/principles level
  • 24 hours of business courses not including accounting courses, to include at least 3 hours in commercial law for CPAs

The education requirements must be met prior to sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam.

2. Establish residency in Louisiana.

Louisiana has a residency requirement for candidates taking the Uniform CPA Exam for Louisiana licensure that requires continuous residence in the state for at least 120 days prior to the initial examination date. Students are typically exempt from this requirement.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana uses NASBA to handle applications for and administer the Uniform CPA Exam. Candidates should apply to the exam directly through NASBA. Pre-evaluation of transcripts to establish education qualifications prior to applying to the exam is also offered as a service through this portal.

4. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

All candidates must complete at least one year (2,000 hours over at least 12 months) of accounting experience, completed within the four years preceding the application for a CPA license. Experience must utilize skills in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting. Additionally, the experience must be verified by a current CPA licensee in a position to verify the experience earned.

5. Apply for a license.

Once all requirements have been met, the final step to becoming a CPA in Louisiana is to complete the Application for a Certificate as a Certified Public Accountant.

CPA licenses in Louisiana are renewed every three years. For each three year renewal period, CPAs must complete 120 hours of continuing education, to include an approved ethics course. You can find additional information at the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana website.
(Source: State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana)

Louisiana Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

17.0%

Accountants and Auditors in Louisiana from 2010-20203

Louisiana accountants make an average annual salary of $60,730, though statewide the range averages between $57,830 and $61,030 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most accountants in Louisiana work near the Gulf Coast in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas, where salaries are often higher; accountants in New Orleans, for example, make an average annual salary of $65,840. The demand for financial professionals is also growing in Shreveport and Lafayette, putting these areas on the list of places CPAs may want to start a career.

Louisiana Accounting Program Student Reviews

The University of Phoenix: “My experience and University of Phoenix Online started out very positive. I started with basic course which I found easy to handle and do online. There was a lot of writing involved which did not bother me at all. I found the online systems the school uses easy to navigate. It was easy to interact and get responses from my professors. However, when I started my accounting courses through the online school I found everything very difficult to understand. I quickly began falling behind in my work. I would ask my professor questions through e-mail, but his response were not enough to help me grasp the information. I felt completely lost. I had to quit the program and plan to resume it at a real campus as I feel I need to be in the classroom to really learn the information required for accounting.” – student at University of Phoenix
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References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche: https://colleges.niche.com/search/t-traditional/sm2-accounting/st-la/
3. Louisiana Workforce Commission: http://www.laworks.net/LaborMarketInfo/LMI_OccAllProj.asp?years=20102020