Michigan CPA License Requirements and Exams

Michigan requires that individuals seeking to become certified public accountants hold a bachelor’s degree. There is no age requirement and applicants do not have to be a U.S. citizen or reside in Michigan. However, applicants are required to have a valid Social Security number. Individuals who meet these qualifications can take the first step to getting licensed by taking the Uniform CPA Examination.

Step 1: CPA exam in Michigan

Sitting for the CPA exam in Michigan requires that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, which includes coursework in accounting and other business-related courses.

Education requirements

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher with a concentration in accounting, from an accredited college or university. Applicants can sit for the exam when they are within 30 days of completing the educational requirements.

The coursework includes:

  • 3 semester hours in auditing
  • 21 semester hours in accounting, including each of the following:
    • financial accounting and accounting theory
    • managerial accounting, including cost accounting
    • accounting systems and controls
    • U.S. federal taxation
    • governmental/fund accounting
  • 24 semester hours in general business subjects

Application and test fees

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) administers the exam. Applicants must arrange to have their educational transcripts sent to NASBA, showing proof of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited school.

The process to apply for the CPA exam starts with requesting and receiving authorization to take the test, followed by acknowledgement from the state and official notice to schedule (NTS) the exam. Once this process is completed, applicants can select a date to take the CPA exam. The NTS expires in six months, after which candidates must submit a new application. The exam is given the first two months of each calendar quarter.

State law requires that first-time applicants submit an application fee of $147 plus exam fees. Those who are retaking the exam are required to pay a registration fee per section plus exam fees. Registration fees are $117 for four sections, $99 for three sections, $81 for two sections and $63 for one section.

In addition to the state’s application fee, there are substantial administrative costs that must be paid in advance to the NASBA.

The Uniform CPA Examination comprises four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation
  • Business Environment and Concepts

Each section of the exam has a specified administration fee. Applicants may take one or more of the four required sections at a time. In addition to the administration fee for each section, CPA exam applicants are charged a separate fee for each testing session they take.

Taking, passing and retaking the CPA exam

The passing score for each of the four exam sections is 75. Applicants may take the sections individually and in any order, but are required to pass all four within a rolling 18-month period, which begins on the date the first examination section passed was taken.

Credit for any section passed is valid for 18 months from the actual date the examination section was taken. Examination credits expire by section, and applicants will lose credit for each section passed outside of the 18-month period.

Step 2: CPA license in Michigan

After successfully passing all four sections of the exam, obtaining 150 hours of education and completing the work experience, applicants may then apply to become a certified public accountant in Michigan. Applicants must submit a licensure application to Michigan along with a $100 fee.

Education

Michigan requires applicants to have completed 150 hours of education and hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The coursework includes:

  • A master’s degree in accounting or business administration that includes:
    • 12 semester hours of graduate-level accounting courses, not including tax or information systems courses
  • An academic program consisting of both of the following:
    • 30 semester hours of accounting subjects, including no more than 6 semester hours of taxation.
    • 39 semester hours in general business, with 3 to 12 hours in five of the following:
      • business law
      • economics
      • ethics
      • finance
      • management
      • marketing
      • taxation
      • statistics
      • business policy

Work experience in Michigan

Michigan requires one year of qualifying experience for full licensing, which can be gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.

Out-of-state CPA licenses

Michigan allows CPAs in good standing and licensed in other states or U.S. jurisdictions to practice in the state as long as the issuing state has been verified to be substantially equivalent to the NASBA’s Qualification Appraisal. Michigan recognizes individuals who hold foreign CPA certificates of licensure, provided they meet the requirements of the Michigan’s State Board of Public Accountancy.

Disclaimer: Requirements for Michigan CPA test-takers and license applicants are subject to change. Visit the state’s Board of Public Accountancy website to check for recent revisions to the Michigan’s CPA requirements.

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