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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 accounting degree program is a convenient and flexible alternative.

Quick Facts

  • There are 29 not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Louisiana.1
  • 8 not-for-profit schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: Tulane University of Louisiana, 83%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Dillard University, 45%1
  • Highest net price per year*: Tulane University of Louisiana, $33,8861
  • Lowest net price per year*: Louisiana State University-Shreveport, $9,3931
  • 1 school ranked in Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2017: Tulane University (89)
  • 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018: Louisiana State University (#93 in-state, #88 out-of-state), Louisiana Tech University (#65 in-state, #52 out-of-state)
  • 1 school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2019 (top 100): Tulane University (44)

*For four-year not-for-profit 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 2015 First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with an Advanced Degree

  1. University of Louisiana-Lafayette (100.0%)
  2. Nicholls State University (84.6%)
  3. Louisiana State University (69.5%)
  4. University of New Orleans (60.6%)
  5. Tulane University (55.1%)
  6. Southeastern Louisiana University (54.2%)
  7. McNeese State University (40.0%)

In 2015, the first-time CPA exam pass rate ranged from 27.3% to 100.0% for schools in Louisiana (for candidates with an advanced degree). This range includes eight schools that had candidates. As a reference point, the national pass rate for all US candidates was 48.4% in 2015. When considering options for a CPA program, the first-time pass rate is a good metric to consider, although the percentage may be artificially high or low if there were a small number of candidates. For a comprehensive breakdown of CPA exam performance see the 2015 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Louisiana

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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 can be pursued with nine credit hours of electives and a three-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 #12 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; or Taxation 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, #140 (tie) in National Universities for its academic quality. Although Louisiana State is a relatively large school, the majority of classes take place with fewer than 50 students.

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)

Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business awards a nationally-recognized Master of Accounting (MACCT) 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 experienced professionals who have earned recognition for their research contributions and publications. Tulane is ranked #44 (tie) 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 asset as important 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 is one of the fastest-growing accounting firms in the US and provides its staff with continual auditing, accounting, tax, and consulting training. Horne LLP has been named one of the top 50 accounting and business advisory firms in the nation based on net revenue by Accounting Today and serves a variety of industries from its offices in Baton Rouge.

How to Become a CPA in Louisiana

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Louisiana must be 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

  • Six hours of intermediate accounting
  • Three hours of cost accounting
  • Three hours of income tax
  • Three hours of auditing related to external reporting
  • Nine hours of accounting electives

Graduate Semester Hours

  • Three hours of intermediate accounting
  • Three hours of cost accounting
  • Three hours of income tax
  • Three hours of auditing
  • Nine hours of accounting electives

In addition, candidates must complete:

  • Three semester hours of advanced financial accounting, or not-for-profit or government accounting/auditing, or accounting theory
  • Six semester hours in accounting above the introductory/principles level
  • 24 hours of business courses not including accounting courses, to include at least three 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 residence in the state for at least 120 days out of the one year preceding the initial examination date. Students are typically exempt from this requirement if they return home to Louisiana when not taking classes at a college or university based in another state.

3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

The State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana uses the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (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, and/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 and submit it to the Board.

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 at least three hours of approved ethics courses. You can find additional information at the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana website.

Louisiana Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

Projected Job Growth

11.7%

Accountants and Auditors in Louisiana from 2016-20262

Louisiana accountants make an average annual salary of $65,930 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.3 An estimated total of 10,380 accountants and auditors work in the state.3 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 $71,140.3 Available positions for accountants and auditors in Louisiana are projected to grow by 11.7% through 2026, which may make Louisiana a good place to start a CPA career.2

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 13-2011 Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm