Earning your Certified Public Accounting permit to practice in Nebraska involves a combination of education, experience, and examination. Read through our guide to determine the steps you must take to earn this coveted licensure.
CPA Education Requirements
The first step in becoming a certified CPA in Nebraska is to meet the educational guidelines required to sit for the CPA exam. Besides colleges and universities online, correspondence, and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits are all accepted as long as they are notated on the official transcripts of an accredited institution. Because the required education is specific, your first step should be to verify accreditation of your school before you register.
To take the CPA exam in Nebraska you must earn an online or on-campus Bachelor of Science with an accounting emphasis and have passed 150 credit hours of education. Of the 150 hours 30 must be undergraduate or graduate level upper-level (not introductory courses) accounting courses as well as 36 semester hours of general business coursework. General business courses can include Business Law, Marketing, Management, or Finance. In addition, 60 hours must be in general education classes covering mathematics, statistics, humanities, arts, social studies, natural sciences, and oral and written communication. Because accounting is a competitive field and the CPA requirements are rigid you may wish to work towards your Master's degree in accounting while you earn your license. The Nebraska CPA exam is overseen by CPA Examination Services (CPAES) and you will apply directly to CPAES during the process. Note that Nebraska requires state residency for CPA certification, so you should also establish your residency (or Nebraska employment) before submitting your transcripts.
Here are the accepted subjects you'll need to take in the 30 hours of upper-level accounting courses you'll need to cover:
- Accounting information systems
- Financial accounting theory and problems
- Cost and managerial accounting
- Governmental and not-for-profit accounting
- Tax preparation and planning
- The information systems course must be specific to accounting
- There is a three credit limit for an internship with an accounting prefix
- There is a three credit hour limit for independent/self study with an accounting prefix
- Special seminars and topics may be used as long as they are not a "self-paced" course, meet regularly with a professor, and cover at least 25 percent of the coursework subject matter
- CPA Exam Review courses do not meet the requirement but may be used in the Electives section
For your Business course requirements your 36 hours should cover the following subjects:
- Business communication
- Business ethics
- Business law
- Principles of accounting
- Quantitative applications in business
Once you meet the educational requirements you will have each school send your transcripts directly to CPAES. Keep in mind schools typically take two to six months to post grades to official transcripts and another 10 to 15 days to process requests.
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Campus and Online Degree Options in Nebraska
An associate degree in accounting from a Nebraska college or university will help lead to a start in the field of accounting. To become a CPA in Nebraska, the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy requires at least a bachelor’s degree; however, it is possible to secure support and assistant roles for smaller employers with an associate degree. Many people will complete an associate degree to gain work experience while working toward a bachelor’s degree. Learn More
The majority of employers will require a bachelor’s degree for even entry-level positions. It’s also the minimum requirement necessary to sit for the CPA exam, though a master’s degree may be necessary to earn most of the required educational credits. The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy requires 150 semester hours, so your 120 semester hours from undergrad must be augmented by graduate courses so that you can sit for the CPA examination. Degrees in accounting at the bachelor’s level can allow for specializations and concentrations in some programs. Learn More
A master’s degree in accounting will provide nearly endless career opportunities in Nebraska. It allows for degree holders to qualify for career advancement, secure jobs over individuals with bachelor’s degrees, and make significantly more money than others without this degree. This graduate degree also provides individuals with the 150 semester hours the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy requires to sit for the CPA exam. Learn More
Doctorate or PhD
A doctorate degree in accounting provides different opportunities for people in Nebraska. It can allow you to advance your career to the highest level, including as directors and C-level executives, and a doctorate degree is necessary to conduct research projects and may be needed to become a professor at a college or university. Though you won't need a license from the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, you should pass the CPA examination. A CPA certificate can still help you if you seek work outside of academia. Learn More
Online Degree Programs
Online accounting degrees are not yet widely available in Nebraska; however, these options are growing every year. At least a few programs are accredited by the AACSB. If your program is properly accredited, and you meet the educational requirements with 150 semester hours, the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy will allow you to sit for the CPA examination. Learn More
How to Sit for the CPA Exam
Your first step in taking the CPA exam is to apply via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website to access the CPAES for Nebraska. Thier CPA examination services helps scores of accountants become Certified Public Accountants every year. You'll be asked to create an online account; the exam process is lengthy so make sure your personal information is correct and keep the account information updated if you move or change your name. If you're not sure you've met the educational requirements you may pay a $100.00 fee and request an evaluation called the NASBA Advisory Evaluation before you pay your application and exam fees and schedule your exams. If you have a disability that needs special accommodations for the exam you can inform CPA Examination Services at this time.
Before you become a CPA in Nebraska, there are accounts to pay. There is an initial application fee of $165.00 payable at the time you apply. The Nebraska CPA exam is in four parts and you can take them all at once or individually. In order to meet licensure requirements all four sections must be taken within an 18 month period. All fees must be paid at the time of application and there is a registration fee each time you sit for exams. This means if you apply for one exam at a time you'll pay the $75.00 fee four times; if you apply to sit for all four exams you'll pay the $75.00 fee once. The exam titles and their corresponding fees are as follows:
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD)||$208.40|
|Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)||$208.40|
|Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||$208.40|
Notification to Schedule
Once your application is approved, you'll receive a Notification to Schedule (NTS) from the National Association of State Boards of Accontancy (NASBA) with instructions on where and when you may schedule to sit for the exam or exams. NASBA's CPA Examination Services (CPAES) will process your application and will provide you a Notice to Sit (schedule.) You will need your NTS to enter the exam facility so keep it in a safe place. Your NTS will be valid for six months so you should schedule your exams within that time frame. The Nebraska CPA examination is given by Prometric and you will select your exam site, date, and time from their website.
Each CPA examination will take four hours. You may only take your NTS and identification into the exam room; all other personal belonging will be stored in a secure locker while you test. Your scores will be available one to two weeks after you test, and you'll need a minimum 75 percent score in order to pass. Remember that all four exam sections must be completed within 18 months, so if you fail a section plan to retake it within the time frame.
Complete the AICPA Ethics Course and Exam
In addition to the CPA exams you'll also be required to take and pass the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) course in ethics. This is a self-study course and online exam on a basic level and requires no prerequisites or preparation. The topics covered are:
- AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
- Acts discreditable to the profession
- Conceptual Framework
Apply for a Certificate to Practice
Once you've taken and passed the CPA examination and the AICPA Ethics exam you'll be eligible for certification. You can apply for your CPA certificate through the Nebraska Board of Accountancy and must have the certificate before you can begin accumulating the required experience for licensure. The AICPA must send a certificate of completion of the Professional Ethics course; a copy will not be accepted.
CPA Experience Needed in Nebraska
Once you've successfully passed all four sections of your CPA exam you'll need to meet the minimum experience requirements before you can apply for your license. In Nebraska CPA experience must be acquired through industry, government, public, or academia accountancy work as follows:
- A minimum of 4000 hours during a minimum of two years
- Under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA firm
- If in government a minimum of three years with the Federal Internal revenue Service, Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, or Nebraska Department of Revenue
- Private and governmental experience may be combined within three years
Once you've met the experience requirements, your supervising CPA within a registered/licensed CPA firm must complete the Nebraska Public Accounting Experience Form and have it notarized. For most accountants, completion of the experience portion of the process is a key element in how you become a CPA.
Nebraska Licensure Requirements
Your final step to becoming a licensed Nebraska CPA is to submit your Permit to Practice application. You'll need to verify the following information and submit the $200.00 permit fee to The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy:
- Educational requirements
- CPA exam scores
- AICPA ethics exam score
- CPA certificate
Once you've submitted the required documentation it will take about 10 business days for the state board to issue your license.
Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements
As a licensed Nebraska CPA you must renew your certification every two years on January 31. This is vital to maintain your permit to practice. During that time frame you are required to complete 80 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Four hours of ethics training is required; no more than 50 percent of the hours may be in self-study. In addition, a minimum of 40 percent of the hours must be in attestation and accounting subjects and a maximum of 30 percent of the hours may be in non-technical subjects. You may also be able to brush up on your general business knowledge with continuing study of Business Law, Marketing, Management, or Finance. Qualifying Nebraska CPE hours must be formal programs that contribute to your competence and professional skills, given by a qualified instructor, a minimum length of one hour, with a detailed outline and timeline prepared in advance and you must retain proof of registration and attendance. The Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants offers a wide variety of courses in nine locations throughout the state. Coursework is also available at conferences, via webcasts and webinars, and self-study materials at nominal fees to both members and non-members of the society. In fact, the AICPA has many educational opportunities both online and at their conferences. As the top CPA association, AICPA is sure to provide instruction from experts in fields such as Financial Accounting Theory, Taxation, and Ethics. While Nebraska doesn't have strict regulations for CPE the courses and subjects should directly contribute to your professional competency in accountancy. Even if you only hold a CPA certificate and not a CPA license, CPE courses can keep your work fresh and your career vital.
- If you teach an accepted course in CPE you can generally claim two hours of preparation for each hour of instruction
- If you're unsure whether a course is accepted you can file a Program Qualification Form with the board
- The Nebraska Board of Accountancy accepts all NASBA approved courses for CPE
Because CPE guidelines may change by the time you receive your license you should stay updated on current requirements once you are a practicing CPA. Joining professional organizations will give you invaluable networking resources to enable you to complete your CPE requirements in a timely manner.
Accountant Career Concentrations & Salaries in Nebraska
Recordkeepers are in charge of the storage and off-site retrieval of records for an entire organization. They will also ensure that records are handled, stored, archived, inventoried, and preserved in an appropriate manner. If an investigation, audit, or legal matter arises, these individuals will be responsible for presenting all necessary records. If you intend to prepare and sign taxation documents, you must have a valid permit to practice from the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. Learn More
As a cost accountant, professionals will be responsible for managing the costs directly associated with specific products or services. They must also assess and examine expenses related to the entire supply chain, as well as prepare reports, analyze profitability, manage inventory, and more. Learn More
A staff accountant works with, prepares, and consolidates external and internal financial statements. These statements are generated through data gathering and information analysis from each department and the overall ledger system. It’s also part of their role to prepare and maintain the ledger, records and files, as well as to reconcile accounts.
Forensic accountants are critical in solving financial crimes by performing investigations, using analytics, and performing audits. These accounting professionals work closely with the justice system at the local, state, and federal level. They may also work with individuals at all levels of an organization or with those responsible for the personal finances of a person of interest. Business valuations and business acquisitions are another career path for forensic accountants. Since risk managers and forensic accountants don't file tax documents, you can likely pursue this career with only a CPA certifcate, which indicates passage of the CPA examination. Learn More
Nebraska consistently runs in the middle of the pack when it comes to career opportunities for accountants and auditors. Earning potential depends greatly upon location; some areas of the state have an annual mean income starting at about $30,000 for the bottom ten percent. However, accountants in the Grand Island area bring in a mean annual income of $56,500. Accounting job density also ranges widely within the state. In central and southeast Nebraska, an average of just over three out of every thousand jobs are accounting and auditing positions. In the rest of the state, that number increases to over eight jobs per thousand.
|City||Annual Median Wage|
|NW NB Area||-|
|SE NB Area||-|
|Entry Level||Mid Career||Late Career|
Nebraska Accounting Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of accounting jobs available in Nebraska?
The accounting positions available in Nebraska vary greatly. Top CPAs and individuals with specialties will be eligible to work for the Big Four accounting firms in Omaha or Lincoln. Many state and federal offices hire accountants, as well as academic institutions for both non-faculty and teaching positions and several Fortune 500 companies are located in Omaha that hire accountants.
How much is the mid-career earning potential in Nebraska?
The average annual wage for accountants and auditors in Nebraska is $70,420, according to the BLS. However, salary will depend upon numerous variables such as if an individual has a specialty, overall skill set, experience, size of employer or industry, and many others. The amount of education one completes will also be a factor.
Is licensure or certification required by governing bodies in Nebraska?
To become a general accountant, it’s not necessary to complete any licensure or certification other than to possess a bachelor’s degree for most positions. You can get into some entry-level positions with an associate degree and on the job training. If an individual wishes to improve their career outlook and earning potential, completing the CPA licensure process is essential. This may require additional certification or a master’s degree in accounting.
Which Nebraska colleges and universities offer online accounting degrees?
Both Bellevue University and Concordia University offer online accounting programs and possess the designation of accreditation by the AACSB. Additional schools also have online accounting degree programs, such as the University of Nebraska at Kearney.