Becoming a CPA in Wisconsin is much the same as other states, with 150 semester hours required to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. However, staying a CPA in Wisconsin is easier – there are no formal continuing education requirements so you can simply focus on doing a good job for your clients as you work as a CPA.


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Wisconsin Education Requirements

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Attend an accredited institution

The Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board recognizes degrees from accredited educational institutions. For master’s degrees in accounting, the program or department must be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. If you’re seeking a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or business, the program or college must be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. It’s important that you verify your college or university is accepted by the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board prior to beginning your application process.

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Complete the education requirements

To qualify to become a CPA in Wisconsin, you will need to complete all of the state’s education requirements. You are expected to attain a bachelor’s or higher degree and take a minimum of 150 semester hours of qualifying coursework. All of the following options are acceptable:

An master’s degree in accounting from an accredited college or university

A bachelor’s degree or higher in business from an accredited program or college, including:

At least 24 undergraduate-level semester hours in accounting, a minimum of 15 graduate-level semester hours in accounting, or an equivalent combination of both undergraduate and graduate-level semester hours in:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Accounting Information Systems

A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited program or college, including:

A minimum of 24 undergraduate-level semester hours in accounting, a minimum of 15 graduate-level semester hours in accounting, or an equivalent combination of both undergraduate and graduate-level semester hours in:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Accounting Information Systems

A minimum of 24 undergraduate-level semester hours in business, a minimum of 15 graduate-level semester hours in accounting, or an equivalent combination of both undergraduate and graduate-level semester hours in:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Statistics or Data Analytics
  • Business Law
  • Information Technology

In general, courses in financial accounting, cost or managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing must be in addition to introductory accounting courses required of all business majors.

Candidates who completed a minimum of 150 semester hours and earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree in accounting from a recognized accrediting agency prior to June 1, 2017 may also qualify for candidacy as long as their CPA application materials are submitted prior to October 1, 2018.

Additionally, if your current program does not meet the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board accreditation requirements, you may still qualify for candidacy. Your completed coursework can be submitted to Board, which will then determine whether your credit hours are sufficiently equivalent to the state’s content and semester hour requirements.

CPA Examination Requirements

1

Complete course requirements

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Applicants who intend to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination must complete at least 120 semester hours of education that includes coursework in accounting and business. To qualify, you must either:

Earn a master’s degree in accounting from an accredited institution, a bachelor’s degree or higher in business from an accredited institution, or a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting from an accredited institution. All options must include:

The following accounting courses:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Accounting Information Systems

The following business courses:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Statistics or Data Analytics
  • Business Law
  • Information Technology

Complete a minimum of 120 semester hours towards a bachelor’s or higher degree, including:

The following accounting courses:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Accounting Information Systems

The following business courses:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Statistics or Data Analytics
  • Business Law
  • Information Technology
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Apply for the exam through CPAES

Once you’ve met the education requirements, you can apply to take the Uniform CPA Examination online through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). You will need to create a user account and complete your application via the online tool. Be prepared to submit the following:

Official transcript(s) from the institution(s) you’ve attended – these must be sent directly from your college or university to CPAES

Application and examination fees for each section you plan to take

  • 1 Examination Section - $412.40
  • 2 Examination Sections - $643.80
  • 3 Examination Sections - $875.20
  • 4 Examination Sections - $1,106.60

The Testing Accommodations Request Form, if applicable - this form must be sent from you to CPAES

Application materials should be shipped to the following address:

CPA Examination Services – WI
PO Box 198469
Nashville, TN 37219

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Wait for your Notice to Schedule

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your materials. You can expect a processing period of two to four weeks. After your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). Your NTS will instruct you to schedule your CPA Uniform Examination date via the Prometric website, where additional processing fees may apply.

4

Take your examination

You must complete all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination during an 18-month period, which begins once the first section has been passed. A minimum score of 75% is required. If you fail to pass any section(s) within the 18-month period, all passed sections will expire and need to be retaken.

Your scores will become available for you to request and review via the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).


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Wisconsin Work Experience Requirements

1

Complete work experience requirements

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To qualify for a CPA license in Wisconsin, you are required to work professionally in the accounting field for at least one year. During this time, you should gain experience providing advice or services in accounting, attest, compilation, management advising, financial advising, tax, or related consulting skills. Upon your written request, the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board will assess your work and notify you if additional experience is needed.

CPA License Application Process

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Verify you have all application documents

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In order to apply for a CPA license in Wisconsin, you must submit the following items:

  • An Application for Certified Public Accounting License form
  • A credential fee of $150 paid via check or money order and made payable to the Department of Safety and Professional Services – this includes the $75 Initial Credential Fee and the $75 Ethics Exam Fee
  • An Experience Record form
  • A Verification of Employment and Experience form with Part I completed by you and Part II completed by your employer
  • A Required Course Work in Accounting and Business Subjects form, unless you earned a master’s degree in accounting from an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Official transcripts (will be sent by NASBA unless additional documentation is requested)
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Take your ethics examination

A passing score of at least 80% on an ethics examination is also required. The test consists of 50 questions pertaining to Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code. Once you’ve submitted your application documents, you’ll receive an authorization passcode and instructions on how to take the open book, online examination via email.


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Wisconsin Continuing Education Requirements

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While you may be required to fulfill continuing education for your employer or to maintain an association membership, the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board does not require them for CPA license holders.