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MICHIGAN CPA EXAM & LICENSE REQUIREMENTS 2020
There are a multitude of certificates that accountants can hold, but only the CPA holds the highest esteem.
Accountants are the unsung heroes of business. They make sure that enough funds are allocated so that research and development team can create brilliant products. They save the firm money when it comes to tax time, and they are able to support valuations for investments, including mergers and acquisitions. Employees love when accountants take care of their bonuses, commissions and even benefit packages. However, not all accountants are created equal. In fact, there are a multitude of certificates that accountants can hold, but only one holds the highest esteem. That is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Every state has its particular standards for CPAs, but here is how to become a CPA in Michigan.
Like most states, Michigan has standards for its CPAs regarding education, experience and the CPA exam. Michigan has no age requirements for CPAs, nor does it ask that you be a state resident or U.S. citizen. You must have a Social Security number, however. For your full license, you will need 150 semester hours, but to sit for the exam, you need only 120 semester hours, with a certain percentage of work in accounting. In fact, Michigan will allow you to take your first part of the CPA exam 30 days prior to your graduation from college.
Michigan has specific academic standards for CPA licensees. You will need to have completed, or be within a month of completing a baccalaureate degree, with coursework that includes the following:
Three semester hours in Auditing
21 hours in accounting, including coursework in the following:
- Financial Accounting
- Accounting Theory
- Cost and Managerial Accounting
- Accounting Systems
- Federal Taxation
- Government and Non-profit Accounting
24 Semester hours in general Business coursework. You may consider these subjects:
- Business Law
- Business Communications
An alternate route to satisfying the state’s requirements is to work straight through to your master’s degree. Make sure that your undergraduate work satisfies the board and then complete either a master’s in accounting or a Master of Business Administration with a minimum of 12 graduate hours in accounting, not including either information systems or taxation. Without a master’s degree, you must complete a 150 Hour Educational Analysis form.
Before you begin your coursework, make sure that your credits will be counted by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. All work must be through colleges or universities accredited by one of the following agencies:
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Then, once you have completed your work, have your official transcripts sent from every institution you have attended, to this address:
CPA Examination Services – MI
P.O. Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219
If you completed coursework through an international institution, you may have your transcripts evaluated and verified by NASBA International Evaluation Services.
Once you have submitted all of your official, sealed transcripts to the CPAES, you will receive a Notice to Schedule that will allow you to contact a Prometric site nearby where you can sit for the CPA exam. You must schedule and sit for at least one part of the CPA exam within six months of receiving your notice. Failure to do so will mean that you must pay the application fee again and reschedule. There are many locations in Michigan where you can take the exam. Prometric has facilities in the following towns:
- Grand Rapids
- Auburn Hills
- Sault Ste Marie
- Ann Arbor
The CPA exam is a 4-part test that you may take all at once, or over a period of up to 18 months. Note that up to half of all test takers need to retake all or part of the exam, so try to be as prepared as possible. The four parts of the exam are:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)–This section of the exam covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)–This part tests your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing as well as U.S. standards.
- Regulation (REG)–Your professional and legal responsibilities are covered in this section.
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. Good written communication skills are necessary to complete much of the test.
To put the finishing touches on your license application, you will need to have 2,000 hours’ worth of experience that has been verified by a licensed CPA. That experience must be in a public accountancy firm, a private business, academia or government. Your supervisor must also attest that you demonstrated accounting competency in one of the following areas:
- Auditing, Compiling or Reviewing financial statements
- Operational audits
- Review of internal controls
- Compliance audits
- Opinions on financial outcomes
Your experience will be accounted for on a Verification of Qualifying Experience form provided by the state.
For more information on becoming a CPA in Michigan, please visit the NASBA site:Applying for the Uniform CPA Examination (Michigan).