By some estimates, there may be no better place in the nation to start a business than Idaho. In 2013, hiring website Thumbtack.com gave the state a near perfect score for being small business friendly, and Idaho has maintained an A rating ever since then.
And what do businesses need? Accountants, among other things.
For students interested in filling this need, Idaho accounting schools can offer the training needed for everything from entry-level to CPA positions. Even better, many Idaho accounting programs can be completed online. These may offer an ideal way for busy adults to get the degree they need without sacrificing valuable family time or cutting into their work schedule.
Online Accounting Programs in Idaho
Idaho may not have the same selection of accounting schools as are found in more populous states, such as California, but that doesn't mean a variety of options doesn't exist. Approximately a dozen institutions offers accounting programs, and they include technical schools, public universities and community colleges.
The following are a few of the Idaho accounting schools. Not all offer every program online, but many have distance learning options or offer hybrid programs that combine online and on-campus classes.
- Idaho State University
- University of Idaho
- College of Western Idaho
- Brigham Young University - Idaho
- University of Phoenix
Some schools offer technical training that results in a certificate while others have undergraduate or advanced degrees. Concurrent degrees are also an option at some institutions. For example, the University of Idaho offers a JD/Master of Accountancy program for those who want to earn a law degree and a master's degree in accounting at the same time. Other schools may have MBA programs that offer a concentration in accounting.
What's the Accounting Career Outlook in Idaho?
Given its positive business climate, it's not surprising that accountants would be in steady demand. Beyond that, graduates from Idaho accounting schools can choose from other career paths as well. These include jobs in bookkeeping, budgeting and management.
Below are some examples of jobs related to accounting, along with the number of Idaho jobs, average income and expected growth during the coming years.
|Position||Employment in Idaho (2014)||Average Salary in Idaho (2014)||Expected Job Growth (2012-2022)|
|Accountants and Auditors||3,470||$68,070||11.5%|
|Tax Examiners and Collectors||320||$49,710||3.1%|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting or Auditing Clerks||8,530||$33,800||16.8%|
|Personal Financial Advisors||790||$85,840||23.7%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Even within the state, incomes can also vary depending upon where a person works. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors earned the following average salaries in the state's major metropolitan areas:
- Boise: $64,920
- Coeur d'Alene: $61,180
- Idaho Falls: $70,770
- Lewiston: $62,580
- Pocatello: $79,810
What are Idaho Accounting Specializations?
Not all accountants have the same duties, and many Idaho accounting schools allow students to concentrate their studies in a particular area of accountancy. At the undergraduate level, specializations may limited to broad fields like taxation and auditing. However, at the graduate level, accounting students may be able to select from more focused areas, such as the following:
- Corporate accounting management
- International accounting systems
- Government and non-profit accounting
- Accounting information systems
Students who want to become a Certified Public Accountant must meet specific education requirements set forth by the state. There are four ways to meet these requirements, including earning a graduate degree or completing 150 semester hours of instruction. For the latter option, a student must have at least a baccalaureate degree and take a specified number of accounting and business classes. Once they graduate, CPA candidates must pass a series of exams and have at least one year of experience.
While the CPA credential is considered the most prestigious option for accountants, it's not the only certification available to professionals in the field. They may also apply for one of the following designations, among others.
- Certified Management Accountant
- Chartered Financial Analyst
- Certified Public Bookkeeper
- Certified Financial Planner
These designations are voluntary although some employers may prefer to hire certified workers. Idaho accounting schools can help students evaluate their options and decide which certification, if any, they need to meet their career goals.
Regardless of whether you want to do basic bookkeeping or work as a CPA for a major firm, a career in accounting starts with the right training. Take a look at the Idaho accounting schools below and request information today to learn more about how a degree can help make your career dreams a reality.
1. Projections Central, Long-Term Projections, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
2. Occupational Employment Statistics, Idaho, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_id.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition
4. CMA vs. CPA vs. CFA: Which accounting credential is right for you? Grant Tilus, November 25, 2013, Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/blog/cma-vs-cpa-vs-cfa-which-accounting-credential/
5. Degree Overviews, University of Idaho, http://www.uidaho.edu/cbe/accounting/degree-overviews
6. United States Small Business Friendliness, Thumbtack, https://www.thumbtack.com/survey#/2013/1/states
7. Idaho State Board of Accountancy, http://isba.idaho.gov/htm/license.htm#EE