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How to Become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

  • Step 1: Complete education requirements to sit for the Michigan CPA.
  • Step 2: Successfully pass the Michigan CPA exam.
  • Step 3: Complete required work experience to obtain Michigan CPA license.
  • CPA Exam Education Requirements

    To qualify to take the Michigan CPA Exam:

    Earn an undergraduate degree in the United States or equivalent which includes:

    Receive 3 credits in:
    • Auditing
      (ACC 415 or ACC 515)
    And 21 credits in accounting coursework which includes a course in each of the following:
    • Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory
      (ACC 300, ACC 500, ACC 301, ACC 501, ACC 302, ACC 502, ACC 303 or ACC 503)
    • Managerial Accounting, including Cost Accounting (ACC 310, ACC 419 or ACC 519)
    • Accounting Systems and Controls
      (ACC 406 or ACC 506)
    • U.S. Federal Taxation
      (TAX 495, TAX 595, TAX 496, TAX 596, TAX 497 or TAX 598)
    • Governmental/Fund Accounting
      (ACC 412 or ACC 512)
    AND 24 credits in general business subjects other than accounting and taxation; which may include:
    • Business communications
    • Business ethics
    • Business law
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Information systems/technology
    • Quantitative methods
    • Statistics
    • Accounting, Taxation, and/or other courses that include "business" in the title may be considered. Examples of Walsh courses are ACC 570 Forensic & Investigative Accounting and ACC 580 Business Law for Accountants.   
      Students pursing Walsh's Master of Science in Accountancy (MAC) degree that do not possess an undergraduate degree in accounting or business, must complete the required general business credits noted above to meet the requirements to take the Michigan CPA exam.

    CPA Exam

    • Michigan candidates apply online at www.nasba.org.
    • Official transcripts must be submitted from each school attended.
    • Exam is administered by Prometric test centers throughout Michigan.
    • Each section is approximately 50% multiple choice and 50% “Simulations” (problems); essays included in Business (BEC) section.
    • All sections must be passed within 18-month span.
    • Minimum passing score of 75 required.
    • Cost per section is approximately $200 plus fees.     

    Exam consists of four sections:

    CPA Exam
    SECTION TOPIC
    AUDIT (AUD) Auditing
    FINANCIAL (FAR) Financial, Governmental, Non-Profit Accounting
    REGULATION (REG) Tax and Business Law
    BUSINESS (BEC) Economics, Finance, IT, Cost Accounting, Corporate Governance






    CPA Licensure Education Requirements

    Requirement to obtain the Michigan CPA license along with passing the CPA exam:

    Completion of 150 semester credits, within or outside of any degree(s) earned.

  • 150 credits must include at least 30 credits of accounting/taxation and at least 39 additional credits in general business topics or additional accounting/taxation beyond the required 30 credits.
  • Michigan CPA Licensure Work Experience

  • One year (2,000 hours) of qualifying experience in government, industry, or public practice; the 2,000 hours cannot be in a time-span of less than one year or more than five years. Experience more than five years preceding your application for a license will not be counted.
  • The qualifying experience MUST be verified by a CPA. This person does not need to be employed at your place of work and may be licensed in any state or jurisdiction of the U.S.