Accounting Schools in Idaho

There are several accounting schools in Idaho that can provide an in-depth education in accounting. This overview of the master’s-level accounting schools in Idaho will help you collect the information you need to make a decision on the school that is right for you, whether you are looking for on-campus or online study. Because there are only a few schools in Idaho that offer master’s-level accounting programs, you might be interested in pursuing degrees in nearby states such as Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. On this page, you will also find information on how to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Idaho and data on employment and salary levels.

Quick Facts

  • There are 12 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Idaho.1
  • 4 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • No schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
  • No schools were ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
  • No schools were ranked in Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019.4
  • No schools were ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2020.5
  • 1 school had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
  • 3 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
  • No schools are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
  • 1 school is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9

For not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.

Table of Contents

Steps to Become a CPA in Idaho

The licensing of CPAs in Idaho is overseen by the Idaho State Board of Accountancy (the Board). There are seven main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in the state.

  1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.
  2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
  3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.
  4. Pass a background check.
  5. Apply for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  6. Apply for a license.
  7. Receive a license.

1. Complete 150-semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting.

To qualify for a CPA license in Idaho, candidates must first complete 150 semester hours of college-level education. This must include the award of at least a bachelor’s degree and 30 semester hours of business administration coursework, of which at least 20 semester hours must cover the subject of accounting. The150 hours must also include one of the following: a graduate degree in accounting from an accredited program; a graduate degree in business from an accredited program with at least 24 semester hours of undergraduate accounting coursework or 15 semester hours of graduate coursework; or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited business program with at least 24 semester hours in accounting. The accounting coursework must cover the subjects of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.

2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.

Earning a CPA license in Idaho requires completing at least one year (2,000 hours) of professional experience in accounting services. The experience may consist of full-time or part-time experience, and must not take more than 36 continuous months to complete. A currently licensed CPA must verify all experience for it to qualify towards the requirement.

3. Complete the AICPA ethics course and exam.

The Board requires all prospective CPAs to complete the Professional Ethics course and exam from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to receive a license. A score of 90% or better is required to pass the course; it can be ordered directly from the AICPA.

4. Pass a background check.

Applicants for the Uniform CPA Exam must prove themselves to be of good moral character. As such, the Board requires all applicants to complete an Idaho Department of Law Enforcement Criminal History Records Check. The records check is initiated by completing the Criminal History Records Check form and returning it with the application to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

5. Apply for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

All candidates for CPA licensure must pass the AICPA Uniform CPA Exam, administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Candidates applying for the exam must be, have been, or intend to immediately become, a resident of Idaho. Those who meet this requirement should complete the Application for Uniform CPA Examination and submit it to the Board. Once the application is approved, candidates will receive a Notice To Schedule (NTS) and may schedule a time to sit for the exam. Candidates will have 18 months to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of 75 or higher.

6. Apply for a license.

Once the candidate has met the education and experience requirements and passed both exams, they are ready to apply to the Board for licensure. The license application form is available on the Board’s website.

7. Receive a license.

Upon receipt, the Board will review all of the documents and, assuming all of the above requirements have been met, approve the license. The Board will then mail the applicant a letter of approval containing a license number, wallet card, CPE instructions, and PIN for online license renewal. Applicants may begin to practice as a CPA as soon as the license number is received.

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Idaho CPA licenses are renewed on an annual basis. Licenses must be renewed by July 1 of each year. CPAs also must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) on a rolling two-year basis, of which four hours must be in ethics. CPE is reported annually with no more than 50 hours and no less than 30 hours allowed for each calendar year. The annual due date for reporting CPE is January 31.

Idaho CPA Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that around 3,940 accountants and auditors are actively practicing in Idaho, where accountancy professionals make an annual average salary of $65,440.10 The Boise metro area has the highest concentration of accounting professionals in the state, with 2,360 accountants.10 Accountants in the Pocatello area have the highest average annual salary in Idaho at $87,430 per year; in fact, it is the only metro area in the state that surpasses the national average of $79,520.10,11 Projections Central reports that accountant and auditor positions in Idaho will grow by 11.9% through 2028, a rate that is almost twice the national average.12

Idaho CPA Salary by Metro Area

Metro AreaNumber Employed10Average Annual Salary10
Boise City2,360$65,680
Coeur d’Alene250$64,460
Idaho Falls350$65,420
Twin Falls170$65,570
Northwestern Idaho nonmetropolitan area250$58,940
Southeast-Central Idaho nonmetropolitan area320$59,970

Idaho Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison

Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Idaho colleges and universities offering a master’s degree in accounting. The graduation rate is for first-time undergraduates seeking a bachelor’s degree, but since it is widely considered to be an indicator of a school’s overall success, we have included it for comparison. Also please note that tuition per credit is based on in-state, on-campus tuition; per-credit rates may vary for out-of-state and online students.

School NameAccreditationCPA Exam Pass Rate6Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate13Grad Rate1Online Options?Tuition per Credit
Boise StateAACSB55.0%MS-Accountancy (MSA);
MS-Accountancy-Taxation (MSAT)
Idaho State UniveristyAACSBN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MAcc);
Northwest Nazarene UniversityIACBEN.Av.Master of Accountancy (MAcc)N.Av.61%Yes$670
University of IdahoAACSB23.1%Master of Accountacy (MAcct)N.Av.56%$589

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Select Schools in Idaho with Master’s in Accounting Programs

Traditional Programs

Boise State University

Boise State University (BSU) hosts a Master of Accountancy in Taxation (MSAT), which will help graduates gain a better understanding of tax laws. 30 credit hours are required to graduate from the MSAT program. The curriculum consists chiefly of taxation courses with optional electives in other accounting areas or, with graduate coordinator approval, non-accountancy subjects. A minimum of 15 credit hours of taxation courses are required, covering topics such as non-profit taxation, multi-state taxation, tax research, and personal financial planning. The MSAT program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting; however, applicants without an accounting degree may enroll once they complete prerequisite courses in accounting and business. Enrollment in the program requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and, either a current CPA, CMA, or CIA license or a GMAT score of 500 or better. Students interested in the MSAT program may also be interested in BSU’s Online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program.

Idaho State University

Idaho State University (ISU) offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program designed to take aspiring accountants beyond the skills gained from a bachelor’s degree and prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam. The MAcc curriculum requires 31 credit hours to complete and, with a full-time course load, it can be earned in as few as 12 months. Courses in the program include Legal Environment of Accounting; Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting; Advanced Tax Concepts; and Management Control Systems. The curriculum also contains four capstone classes, each covering a section of the Uniform CPA Exam. Enrollment in the MAcc program requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting or the equivalent coursework. Applicants without prior accounting or business coursework may be admitted but will need to work with an advisor to complete the necessary accounting and business prerequisites. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, applicants must have either a combined GMAT/GPA of at least 1150 or a combined GRE/GPA of 337 (see the school’s website for more information on this calculation). Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may waive the testing requirement. MAcc students may also be interested in pursuing a concurrent Master of Taxation (MTax) as a dual degree. An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting is also offered.

University of Idaho

The University of Idaho’s (U of I) Master of Accountancy (MAcct) degree can prepare students for careers and leadership roles as CPAs and auditors. The 30-credit hour MAcct program offers students a flexible curriculum with the option to pursue a variety of emphases such as Auditing and Financial Accounting; International Accounting; or Taxation. Students may choose emphasis areas or tracks such as Auditing and Financial Accounting; Corporate Accounting Management and Controllership; and Taxation. The curriculum requires three core courses, two accounting electives, and five electives selected in consultation with the committee chair. Core courses include Contemporary Management Accounting Issues; Advanced Auditing; and Financial Accounting and Reporting Seminar. MAcct students may also pursue a variety or one-credit electives in CPA Exam preparation and experiential learning. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0; applicants without previous accounting or business coursework can apply but will need to complete the required prerequisite courses prior to taking the accounting core courses.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Boise State University

BSU’s College of Business and Economics offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) that can be completed totally online. The Online MSA will help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills to prepare them for leadership in the accounting field. Completion of the MSA program should meet the educational requirements for the Uniform CPA Exam in Idaho. The 30-credit hour program can be completed full- or part-time, and full-time students with previous accounting experience can complete the program in 12 months. Required courses include Advanced Auditing; Corporate Tax Law; and Data Analytics for Accounting and IT Audit. The remaining seven classes are selected from nine available electives credits. Students of all backgrounds may apply to the MSA, which offers the MSA Foundations program to allow students without previous accounting coursework to complete the prerequisite classes necessary to enter the full program. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA and at least a “C” in all prerequisite accounting and business coursework and a GMAT or GRE score of at least 500 or 152 respectively.

Idaho State University

In addition to the MAcc program, ISU offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Accounting that is 100% online. Students with or without a business degree may pursue the MBA in Accounting, where students with prior business coursework should be able to complete the 30 credit-hour program in a single year. Students without a business background begin in the Core I program to complete the foundational coursework necessary to proceed in the MBA. All students must complete the 21-credit hour Core II curriculum, including classes such as Quantitative Information for Business Decisions, Financial Management, and Applied Business Solutions. To complete the emphasis in accounting, students must also complete nine credit-hours of accounting electives. Admission into the MBA program requires a bachelor’s degree and either a combined GMAT/GPA of at least 1150 or a combined GRE/GPA of 337. ISU business students have access to the Professional Development program to help them with career development tasks such as setting up internships, finding networking opportunities, and developing resumes.

Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) offers a fully-online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that takes 12 to 18 months to complete. The program is structured to allow working professionals to advance their careers in either management or public accounting. To that end, NNU offers MAcc students the choice between tracks in Management Accounting and Professional Accounting/CPA. Both tracks require the same 21 core credits, followed by nine credits towards the chosen emphasis for a total of 30 credit hours. All students will take core classes such as Ethics in Management, Business Analytics, and Advanced Accounting Information Systems. Track-specific classes include exam review courses to help students prepare for either the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam or the CPA exam. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA is required for entry into the MAcc program. Graduation from the MAcc program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above with no more than two course grades below a “B-” and no course grades below a “C-.”

Additional Resources

Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Idaho

  • B.A. Harris: In addition to offering accounting and advisory services, B.A. Harris is dedicated to developing its staff and cultivating long-term relationships.
  • Little-Morris LLP: Offering expertise in taxation, estate planning, and finance, Little-Morris LLP provides CPA services to clients from its location in Boise.
  • Rudd & Company PLLC: With three locations throughout Idaho, Rudd & Company provides clients, both individual and institutional, with tax, consulting, finance, and technology services.

Idaho Accounting Associations

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a CPA in Idaho?

To become a CPA in Idaho requires completing 150 semester hours of post-secondary coursework. In Idaho, this requirement must include a bachelor’s degree and required accounting and business courses. In addition to the education requirement, you must also complete a year of professional accounting experience and pass the AICPA Ethics Exam, a background check, and the Uniform CPA Exam. Once you have met these requirements, you can apply to the Board for a CPA license. Upon approval from the Board, you may begin practice as a CPA.

How do I maintain my CPA in Idaho?

You must renew your CPA license and accumulate CPE to keep your license current. While the license must be renewed every year, CPE is calculated on a two-year rolling basis. In any two-year period, you must complete 80 hours of CPE, of which four must be in ethics. For any given year, you must have completed between 30 and 50 hours of CPE.

How many CPAs are there in Idaho?

The BLS estimates that 3,940 accountants and auditors are working in Idaho.10 The Boise metro area employs over one half of Idaho’s accountants, with 2,360 accounting professionals working in the metro area.10

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Forbes Best Business Schools 2019: https://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/2/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. Public Accounting Report 2019 Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/par-grad-2019.pdf
5. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
6. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam: Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, 2018 Edition. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc., 2019.
7. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International: https://www.aacsb.edu/about
8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): https://acbsp.org/
9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE): https://iacbe.org/
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Idaho: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_id.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
12. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2020: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools