The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is known to be extremely difficult, but this compounded by each state providing their own set of requirements to fulfill before the applicant qualifies both to sit the exam and to apply for licensure. We have therefore provided a detailed overview of the Michigan CPA requirements. This also includes details on transferring your existing credits or CPA license to Michigan, or to maintain your existing Michigan CPA license.

As these requirements are subject to change, we recommended confirming all information with the Michigan State Board of Public Accountancy to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

Michigan has no minimum age requirement to sit the CPA exam, but the applicant must be at least 18 to apply for licensure.

Residency

There are no residency requirements in Michigan.

Citizenship

Michigan has no citizenship requirements to sit the CPA exam.

Education

Michigan is a two-tier state that has a minimum credit requirement of 120 semester hours from a college or university education with a bachelor’s degree or higher with an accountancy concentration to sit the CPA exam. This must be from a regionally accredited institution. They must then acquire at least 150 semester hours total to apply for licensure.

There educational requirements are, regardless of whether you have a concentration in accounting or not:

  • Auditing (3 hours)
  • Accounting (21 hours), including:
    • Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory
    • Managerial Accounting, including Cost Accounting
    • Accounting Systems and Controls
    • U.S. Federal Taxation
    • Governmental/Fund Accounting
  • General business subjects (24 hours)

Recognized credits

  • Credit earned at a regionally accredited institution which offers associate degrees is acceptable
  • Correspondence courses, as well as CLEP and AP credits are accepted provided that they appear on the transcript of a regionally accredited institution
  • Education earned at a two-year regionally accredited community college is accepted
  • Duplicate courses are only accepted once

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by either the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) or any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). The evaluation service will then notify the applicant whether their education was found to be substantially equivalent to that of the Michigan State Board of Public Accountancy’s educational requirements. If not, they will be informed of which requirements need to be fulfilled. If they are found to be substantially equivalent, then the applicant can request the evaluation service to send an official copy of their evaluation to NASBA.

Work Experience

Michigan CPA applicants are required to acquire at least 2,000 hours of work experience either before or after passing the CPA exam. This must be accomplished in no less than 1 year and no more than 5 years. These can be earned in any state or jurisdiction that is consistent with Michigan’s requirements, and the work can be either paid or unpaid. However, the experience must have exposed the applicant to practical experience in the accounting field.

It must also be involved in employment in either government, industry, academia or public practice. This must be in one or more of the following areas:

  • Audits of financial statements
  • Reviews of financial statements
  • Attestation engagements
  • Compliance audits of government contracts
  • Preparation of income and nonprofit tax returns
  • Properly documented tax research
  • Financial forecasts, analyses, and projections
  • Professional accounting-related work in a public accounting firm
  • Similar work generally associated with the profession of public accounting

Ethics

The Michigan State Board of Public Accountancy does not require the applicant to take an ethics exam for licensure.

Background check

NASBA is responsible for handling Michigan’s CPA exam applications. In order to apply, you must:

  • Set up an account with CPA Central
  • Be of good moral character
  • Meet the college educational requirements at the time of filing an application
  • Request that the registrars from each educational institution you attended submit official transcripts directly to NASBA
    • Paper post – CPA Examination Services – MI
      PO Box 198469
      Nashville, TN 37219
  • Submit an official copy of your international credit evaluation where applicable
  • Pay application and exam fees

Fees

Application Fee$100.00
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Total$1,004.60

The re-application fees are as follows:

  • 4 exam sections – $97.00
  • 3 exam sections – $94.00
  • 2 exam sections – $91.00
  • 1 exam section – $88.00

Fees are non-refundable. Most exams can be rescheduled. 

Locations

Applying for CPA Licensure

To apply for CPA licensure in Michigan, you will need to:

  • Pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA exam
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Request all transcripts from all issuing institutions be sent directly by the Registrar to the State Board
  • Submit your social security number. If exempt under law from obtaining an SSN or you do not have a SSN, the SSN affidavit form will be required to be uploaded at the time the application is submitted
  • Have completed the 150-semester hour requirement for licensure
  • Submit your work experience verification form
  • Submission of copies of name change documentation where relevant
  • Submit your application form to the state board
  • Pay the application fee of $100.00
  • Pay the License fee of $300.00

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

A CPA who holds an out-of-state CPA license that is recognized as substantially equivalent to that of Michigan can practice in Michigan without applying for a state CPA license on condition that:

  • Their primary place of business is in the issuing state
  • The license is current and in good standing in the issuing state or jurisdiction
  • They have fulfilled the 150-credit hour requirement, have acquired one year of work experience and have passed the CPA exam
  • The individual will stop practicing in Michigan should the license expire in the issuing state
  • Even if an individual is not from a substantially equivalent state or jurisdiction, they may still qualify for practice privilege on an individual basis if they meet the educational and experience requirements listed above.

Reciprocal Application

Michigan recognizes interstate reciprocity of CPA licenses from jurisdictions and states that are considered to be substantially equivalent to that of Michigan’s.

In order to apply for CPA license conversion, you will need to meet the following requirements as well:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Prove that you passed the CPA exam in another state or jurisdiction
  • Proof of have a valid license of good standing in the issuing state or jurisdiction
  • Proof of acquiring a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Have acquired 4 years of work experience as outlined above within the 10 years prior to your application for a reciprocal license
  •  

A list of substantially equivalent jurisdiction’s can be found on the NASBA website.

International License Reciprocity

Michigan recognizes NASBA/IQAB’s International Qualification Examination (IQEX) in lieu of the full CPA exam. This means that license holders from the issuing bodies listed below will be able to take this rout, provided that they meet the experience and educational requirements listed above as well. However, the IQEX exam must be completed as a Michigan candidate.

IQAB has currently established MRAs with the following professional bodies:

The IQEX exam fee is $835.

Non-recognized foreign license holders

Public Accountants who possess a foreign license from a non-recognized issuing institution must have their credentials evaluated as outlined under ‘foreign educations.’

NTS Validation Period

You will receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) upon paying for your Payment Coupon from NASBA. You will have 6 months from the date of issuance in which to write your CPA exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to reapply for the exam. Therefore, before trying to save money by applying for multiple exams at once, make sure that you will be able to study for them and schedule them in beforehand.

License Renewal Requirements

Michigan CPA license holders are required to renew their licenses biennially by July 31st and are sent a reminder by the Board 90 days before its expiration. However, they are required to meet a Continued Professional Education (CPE) requirement of 40 CPE hours per year. An initial license holder is not required to meet the CPE requirements for the 12-month period following their initial license issuance. These must be submitted with the CPE reporting form.

The educational requirements are as follows:

  • Accounting and auditing (8 hours)
  • Ethics (4 hours):
    • Ethics (1 hour) related to the Michigan Statutes and Administrative Rules applicable to Public Accountancy
    • A minimum of 2 hours of Ethics per year

Renewal fee: $200.00

CPE reciprocity for non-residents

Non-resident license holders will be considered to have met Michigan’s CPE requirements upon fulfilling the CPE requirements in the state in which they currently reside. However, if there are no requirements in that state, then they will need to meet the CPE requirements of Michigan.

CPE specifications

  • Group programs will award 1 CPE hour per 50 minutes of the program, and thereafter 30 CPE minutes per 25 minutes of the program on condition that:
    • The program is run by an expert on the topic
    • The sponsor takes individual attendance and issues an online certification detailing a program outline attendance
    • The sponsor maintains written records of individual attendance and program outline for at least four years
  • Each correspondence program hour is worth one CPE credit hour
  • Instruction received at accredited colleges or universities:
    • Per semester system credit hour = 15 CPE hours
    • Per noncredit class hour = 1 CPE hour
  • CPE Lecturer or Discussion Leader (max. 40 hours):
    • 25 minutes of continuous instruction equals 0.5 CPE hours. Thereafter, 0.2 CPE will be granted for every additional 10 minutes of lecturing time
  • Self-study:
    • 0.5 CPE for every 25 minutes of continuous instruction, and 0.2 CPE for every additionally 10 minutes thereafter
    • A combined maximum of 20 CPE may be earned in this manner each year
    • Up to 4 hours of auditing and accounting may be earned this way, and up to 1 hour of ethics may be earned this way
  • Nano-learning courses will be awarded at 0.2 credits for a maximum of 20 CPE during each renewal period. Up to 4 hours of auditing and accounting may be earned this way, and up to 1 hour of ethics may be earned this way.
  • Excess hours cannot be carried over to the next period.
  • Exemptions may be granted in cases of illness, military duty or similar considerations

Further details, including qualifying subject areas, can be found here.

Expired license holders

Any CPA who fails to renew their license on time will automatically have their license suspended. In order to reactivate an expired license, you will need to:

  • Submit the application form
  • Pay the $100.00 application fee
  • Provide proof of 40 hours of CPE as above taken within the last 12 months
  • Provide proof of meeting the 2-hour Ethics CPE requirement. 1 hour of this must cover Michigan statutes and administrative rules applicable to public accountancy

If it has been more than 3 years since the license expired, they will need to meet the requirements as above, as well as:

  • Prove that they have a valid CPA license that is in good standing in another state or jurisdiction
  • The continuing education hours required for the continuing education period of the year in which the license is granted under this rule shall be prorated starting with the month following the date of relicensure

Relicensure application fee: $320.00

State Board

Michigan State Board of Public Accountancy

  • Address: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
    Bureau of Professional Licensing 
    PO Box 30670
    Lansing, MI 48909
  • Phone: (517) 373-8068
  • Fax: (517) 241-2389
  • Email:  BPL-BoardSupport@michigan.gov
  • Website: https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_72600_72602_72731_72855—,00.html
  • Resources: