Certified Public Accountants are professionals of the accounting and finance profession. These professionals go through several years of training and experience to get their CPA license.

The process for obtaining their CPA license differs in each state across the US. While the steps are similar in all states, the requirements may vary according to the state’s accountancy board.

For Michigan, the Michigan Board of Accountancy handles the licensure process. The board sets various requirements for aspiring CPAs in Michigan. Fulfilling all these requirements is crucial for them to get their license.

How to become a CPA in Michigan?

Aspiring CPAs in Michigan must commence their CPA license with obtaining formal education. During the process, they must also meet the educational requirements set by the Michigan Board of Accountancy.

Next, they must the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it so they can move to the next step. Once they do so, they must meet the experience requirements set by the board. Finally, they can apply for their CPA license.

Educational Requirements:

Obtaining formal education is the first step for any prospective CPA. The process involves going through an accredited university or college in an accounting program.

This knowledge can help them in passing their Uniform CPA Exam as well as with experience requirements. The educational conditions set by the board are as below.

  • Applicants must enrol in an accounting program with an accredited Michigan university or college.
  • Any applicant that has already enrolled in or graduated from a university must ensure the board will accept their credits. Students with a transcript from outside the US must get their academic credentials evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services.
  • Applicants must go through 150 semester hours of college credit and complete at least a bachelor’s degree. There are two methods that applicants can use to achieve that.
    • Applicants must earn a master’s degree in accounting or business administration, which includes the following.
      • 12 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses, which does not include information systems or tax courses.
    • Or they must complete an academic program, which includes the following.
      • 30 semester hours of accounting courses, of which only six semester hours may be in taxation.
      • 39 additional semester hours, with at least three semester hours and at most twelve semester hours in no less than five of the following subject areas:
        • Business law
        • Business policy
        • Economics
        • Ethics
        • Finance
        • Management
        • Marketing
        • Statistics
        • Taxation
  • The board also accepts courses taken at a 2-year community college.
  • Online, correspondence, CLEP, AP and pass/fail courses are also acceptable. However, applicants must have received credit for them at an accredited college.
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Uniform CPA Exam:

The next step for applicants is to take and pass their Uniform CPA Exam. Only applicants who have received a bachelor’s degree and completed at least 120 semester hours of credit can apply.

Applicants who will fulfil these requirements within 30 days of taking the exam can also apply. They must go through the following process to sit for their Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Applicants must register with the CPA Examination Services either offline or through an application form. They must also submit the following with their applications.
    • For applicants who have completed all educational requirements, it includes the following.
      • An official college transcript from their college or university.
      • Payment with a certified check or money order to the CPA Examination Services or credit card if registering online.
    • For applicants still enrolled in college, it includes the following.
      • Official college transcript.
      • Certificate of Enrollment form completed by their academic institution’s registrar.
      • Payment with a certified check or money order to the CPA Examination Services or credit card if registering online.
  • Applicant must then schedule their exam in one of the approved locations through Prometric after receiving their notice to schedule.

Experience Requirements:

Once applicants pass their Uniform CPA Exam, they must go through work experience. During this process, they must meet any requirements set by the Michigan Board of Accountancy. These include the following.

  • Applicants must earn one year (or 2,000 hours) of qualifying experience, which must be verified by a licensed CPA. Similarly, it must meet the following requirements.
    • It must be in academia, government, industry or public practice.
    • It must be at least one calendar year but not exceed more than five calendar years in duration.
    • If applicants gain experience through academia, they must be an instructor in accounting for at least four academic semesters. They must also teach at least six credit hours per semester of above elementary level accounting subjects.
  • The experience must also include at least one of the following competency/skill areas to qualify under the board.
    • Attestation
    • Auditing financial statements
    • Compiling financial statements
    • Financial forecasts and analyses
    • Government agency audits and issuing findings reports
    • Management advisory services
    • Managing and supervising accounting work and preparation of financial statements for non-profits and businesses
    • Other auditing leading to an expressed opinion in writing.
    • Performing compliance audits and issuing findings report of government contracts
    • Performing internal audits independently
    • Preparing income tax and non-profit tax returns
    • Representing a client in IRS audits
    • Reviewing financial statements
    • Tax research
  • Applicants must have their supervising CPA complete the Verification of Qualifying Experience form. Both the applicant and the CPA must sign it and send it to the board along with their CPA Application Letter.
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Summary:

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Michigan.

  • Applicants must start with obtaining education from an accredited university or college. During this period, they must meet the requirements set by the Michigan Board of Accountancy.
  • They must take their Uniform CPA Exam and pass each section.
  • They must meet the experience requirements set by the Michigan Board of Accountancy.
  • They must apply for their Michigan CPA license.

References

  1. “LARA – Accountancy – State of Michigan” – https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_72600_72602_72731_72855—,00.html
  2. “Michigan | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/michigan/