How to Become a Licensed CPA in Michigan

Michigan adopted the standard 150 credit hour rule a number of years ago, but they only require candidates to complete 120 hours before sitting for the exam. Under the old rules, MI required 1-year of auditing experience to get licenses. Today, however, you only have to gain experience through 1 compilation, review, or audit engagement. These requirements are much more lenient for people looking to stay away from public accounting.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.

Michigan CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Michigan, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.

  • No minimum age limit
  • Not Required to be a US citizen
  • Not Required to be a MI resident
  • Valid Social Security Number required
  • MI does participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

Although Michigan is a 150 semester hour state, only a bachelor’s degree including 120 hours is required to sit for the exam. The remaining 30 credits can be completed after you have passed all four sections. Here is what you will need:

Bachelor’s Degree (120 semester hours) or higher including:

  • 24 credit hours of Accounting including financial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and taxation
  • 24 credit hours of General Business courses including Management, Finance, Business Law, and Computer Information Systems

If you are a student who hasn’t graduated, you can still apply for the test as long as your 120 semester hours are completed no later than 30 days after you take the first section. This is a great opportunity to get one section knocked out before you get into your first big accounting job!

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in Michigan is $876.08 including an initial one-time $147 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $192.03
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $192.03
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $172.51
REG – Regulation $172.51


The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.

IMPORTANT – Don’t get crazy and register for all the sections immediately. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bummer is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $63 and varied depending on how many you register for, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

Registration Fees

Michigan doesn’t have the most expensive re-application fees, but they definitely aren’t the cheapest or of any state. Here is the breakdown for the registration fees you will have to pay. As you can see, registering more exams at once will save you some money.

  • 1 section $63.00
  • 2 sections $81.00
  • 3 sections $99.00
  • 4 sections $117.00

CPA License Requirements

You might be a little overwhelmed by the CPA exam process. It’s okay! You can make it. Registering for the test is only the first step in becoming a CPA in MI. After you pass the exam, there are a few simple things you have to do before you can legally call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.

Pass the Exam

You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.


Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.


Pay the $100 license/certification fees with your application.

Ethics Exam

No Ethics exam is required.

Additional Education

If you haven’t completed the 150 hours of college classes by the time you passed your exam, you will need to complete your additional 30 semester hours.

Work Experience Requirements

Michigan has recently changed their work experience requirements to make it more reasonable for non-public applicants to obtain the CPA title.

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting experience in Public Accounting, Governmental Accounting, or Private Industry supervised by a CPA in good standing.


You must obtain experience performing at least one compilation, review, or audit.

The newer audit qualifications might be difficult for applicants, who want to go straight into academia, but they are much less stringent than the previously enacted one full year of audit experience.

More Exam Resources and Information

The application process, taking the exam, and organizing your paperwork to be sent in can be quite an involved, especially if you attended more than one college. Yes, the Michigan state board will need proof of your education, so you’ll have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. This can be a pain. I know.

I think it’s always a good idea to contact the state board directly to see what they already have on file and more importantly what they need to complete your application.

For example, sometimes the state doesn’t receive your test scores from Prometrics. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. It’s important to contact them directly and confirm they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

Michigan State Board of Accountancy

Michigan CPA Application Forms

    • Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth
    • P.O. Box 30018
    • Lansing, MI 48909-7518


  • Phone: 517-241-9249
  • Fax: 517-373-2162


Michigan Society of CPAs

NASBA – Michigan