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Accounting Schools in Arizona

Getting a college education in accounting can be a potentially smart choice, as knowledge in this field can often translate to many different aspects of finance and business. Having a deep understanding profits, expenses, liabilities and other financial information can help direct general business decisions, for example, not just financial ones.

There are many accounting schools in Arizona that can help students develop this knowledge and a variety of ways to attend them. From online programs with flexible start dates to full-time, campus-based programs, there's likely a format that suits one's learning needs. Accounting degrees in Arizona are also available at many different levels, including associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. Postsecondary certificates and diplomas may also be available at some schools.

During their accounting studies, students can expect to take courses that cover topics such as financial accounting, accounting information systems, business law, cost accounting and federal taxation.

Arizona Schools: Accounting Programs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Arizona is home to 35 schools that feature accounting-related programs. Schools range from community colleges to state universities to national colleges. Students at these schools can study accounting in one or more of the following areas: accounting, accounting and business/management, accounting and finance, accounting technology and bookkeeping, accounting and other related services, auditing.

Name

City

School Website

University Type

Net Price (2011-2012)

Anthem College-Phoenix

Phoenix

www.anthem.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit

NA

Arizona State University

Tempe

www.asu.edu/

4-year, Public

$12,369

Arizona Western College

Yuma

www.azwestern.edu

2-year, Public

$8,567

Brookline College-Phoenix

Phoenix

www.brooklinecollege.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit

$24,823

Brown Mackie College-Phoenix

Phoenix

www.brownmackie.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit

$18,296

Brown Mackie College-Tucson

Tucson

www.brownmackie.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit

$19,747

Central Arizona College

Coolidge

www.centralaz.edu

2-year, Public

$5,323

Chandler/Gilbert Community College

Chandler

www.cgc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$7,313

Coconino Community College

Flagstaff

www.coconino.edu/Pages/default.aspx

2-year, Public

$9,163

Eastern Arizona College

Thatcher

www.eac.edu

2-year, Public

$6,693

Estrella Mountain Community College

Avondale

www.emc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$6,546

GateWay Community College

Phoenix

www.gwc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$8,238

Glendale Community College

Glendale

www.gc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$7,271

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix

www.gcu.edu

4-year, Private for-profit

$17,220

Maricopa Skill Center

Phoenix

www.maricopaskillcenter.com/

< 2-year, Public

$11,652

Mesa Community College

Mesa

www.mesacc.edu

2-year, Public

$7,925

Mohave Community College

Kingman

www.mohave.edu

2-year, Public

$19,591

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff

nau.edu/

4-year, Public

$15,090

Northland Pioneer College

Holbrook

www.npc.edu

2-year, Public

$8,215

Paradise Valley Community College

Phoenix

www.pvc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$7,305

Phoenix College

Phoenix

www.pc.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$7,598

Pima Community College

Tucson

www.pima.edu

2-year, Public

$2,968

Rio Salado College

Tempe

www.rio.maricopa.edu

2-year, Public

$9,252

Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale

www.scottsdalecc.edu

2-year, Public

$8,104

South Mountain Community College

Phoenix

www.southmountaincc.edu

2-year, Public

$7,439

University of Arizona

Tucson

www.arizona.edu

4-year, Public

$13,485

Western International University

Phoenix

www.west.edu

4-year, Private for-profit

$23,041

Yavapai College

Prescott

www.YC.EDU

2-year, Public

$5,755

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2013, College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Arizona Accountants

Individuals interested in a career in accounting may wish to earn licensure as a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA. Doing so could open doors to a wider range of career opportunities, and it's also required under law if filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, in order to qualify for CPA licensing in Arizona, students must have 150 semester hours of education with a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited institution. The 150 hours of education must contain 36 semester hours of accounting coursework, including at least 30 hours of upper-level coursework. Students also need to earn 30 semester hours in related subject areas such as business administration, finance and business law.

Arizona also requires that certain work experience requirements be met before CPA licensure is issued. The work experience requirement can be met by spending one year of employment in the office of a certified public accountant or public accountant in the private or public sector.

Students may apply for CPA licensure after meeting the state-required education and work requirements and passing the Uniform CPA Exam and ethics exam administered by the American Institute of CPAs.

For more details on becoming a CPA in Arizona, including the latest licensing requirements, contact the Arizona State Board of Accountancy.

Potential Career Opportunities for Graduates of Accounting Schools in Arizona

Individuals who earn accounting degrees in Arizona may be qualified for a slew of positions in the accounting and financial services fields. Potential job opportunities largely depend on the level of degree earned and prior work experience. For example, those with an associate degree looking for their first job out of college may be able to find an accounting clerk or bookkeeper position. Meanwhile someone who earns a master's degree and has an extensive background in business could look to become a financial controller or other type of manager. Other career possibilities include becoming a Certified Public Accountant, forensic accountant, external auditor or budget analyst.

Work environments can be just as varied, as accounting services are used in all types of organizations, from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 corporations to major international accounting firms. Those with aspirations of joining one of the "Big Four" accounting firms will be pleased to know that Arizona has office branches of Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and KPMG. Details about these and a handful of other accounting firms in Arizona can be found below:

Accounting Firms in Arizona

City

Website

BDO USA

Phoenix

bdo.com

BeachFleischman CPAs

Phoenix, Tucson

beachfleischman.com

Cervantes CPA Firm

Scottsdale

cervantescpa.com

CliftonLarsonAllen

Phoenix

cliftonlarsonallen.com

Deloitte

Phoenix, Scottsdale

deloitte.com

Ernst & Young

Phoenix

ey.com

Gaintner Bandler Reed & Peters

Phoenix

gbrpcpa.com

Grant Thornton

Phoenix

grantthornton.com

Heinfeld, Meech & Co

Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson

heinfeldmeech.com

Henry & Horne

Casa Grande, Tempe, Scottsdale

hhcpa.com

KPMG

Phoenix

kpmg.com

Lohman Company

Mesa

lohmancompany.com

McGladrey

Phoenix

mcgladrey.com

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Phoenix

pwc.com

RedW

Phoenix

redw.com

Schmidt Westergard

Mesa

sw-cpa.com

Thomson & Company

Phoenix

thomsoncpas.com

Employment Outlook for Accounting Careers in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Labor expects over 5,300 new accountant and auditor positions to be created in the state between 2010 and 2020. When including replacement opportunities for existing jobs, over 1,000 job openings for accountants and auditors are expected to be available each year during this period. Of course, accountants and auditors aren't the only jobs accounting grads can pursue. Additional examples of potential employment opportunities, including average salaries and job projections, can be found in the table below.

Occupation

Mean Annual Wage, Arizona (May 2012)

Mean Annual Wage, United States (May 2012)

Projected State Employment Growth, 2010-2020

Projected National Employment Growth, 2010-2020

Accountants and Auditors

$62,070

$71,040

22%

16%

Cost Estimators

$63,830

$63,080

45%

36%

Budget Analysts

$65,170

$72,100

9%

10%

Bookkeeping, Accounting & Auditing Clerks

$36,180

$36,640

19%

14%

Financial Examiners

$72,640

$84,220

24%

27%

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

$58,890

$56,050

5%

7%

Financial Analysts

$74,960

$89,410

21%

23%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Projections, 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013; Arizona Department of Administration -- Office of Employment and Population Statistics, 2012

* Salaries and employment opportunities may vary based on experience, education, location and other factors.

Sources:

2010-2020 Arizona Statewide Occupational Projections, Arizona Department of Administration -- Office of Employment and Population Statistics

http://azstats.gov/pubs/labor/AzOccProj10-20.pdf

Accountants and Auditors, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm

Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm

Arizona, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm

Certification FAQs, Arizona State Board of Accountancy

http://www.azaccountancy.gov/Certification/FAQs.aspx#Q4

College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, 2013

http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

National Employment by Occupation, Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://bls.gov/emp/ep_table_102.htm

United States, May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm