How to Become a CPA in Wisconsin

Becoming a CPA in Wisconson is an excellent way to get to know the economy of the state. Some primers before getting started include knowing that Wisconson had a 2017 population 5,795,483 placing it 20th in population in the United States. It has an average per capita personal income of $48,941, very close to the national average for PCPI. The top three exports from Wisconsin include aircraft parts, including engines, armored fighting vehicles, and computer tomography software.

Despite being America’s Dairyland, the only crop or agricultural enterprise present in the top 10 exports for Wisconsin is soybeans. The gross domestic product in Wisconsin for 2017 was ranked 20th in the U.S. at $324.1 billion. The biggest single industry in terms of profitability was the finance, rental, real estate, and insurance industry. Durable goods manufacturing accounted for 10% of the GDP of Wisconsin in 2017, or $32.41 billion. If your professional focus as a CPA in on taxes, for example, learning about the ways business structure affects taxes, means that the economic trends of your state will matter a great deal.

Some of us think of Wisconsin as the “Cheese State,” though its official nickname is “America’s Dairyland.” It is situated in the Midwest, and not surprisingly, based on its nicknames, is one of the leading dairy producers in the country. Not unlike the rest of the state Madison, the capital city, is surrounded by lakes. It is very green, with public spaces abounding, as the University of Wisconsin Madison (which is the flagship school for the University of Wisconsin System) is enmeshed in this college town. Another interesting fact about this capital city is that in the 1960s it became a poster child for liberalism, and has stood behind every Democratic presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy.

Milwaukee is the state’s biggest cities and really is a hidden gem. It has a real food scene and an urban bustle that is without the inconveniences of other big cities. It also sits on Lake Michigan, which looks like the ocean. There is an active arts scene throughout the state, especially in the stretch between Green Bay and Milwaukee, where you will find towns such as Kohler and Sheboygan that are home to many galleries and art events. Harley Davidson has a big presence in the state, as does old beer breweries like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller. Spend the afternoon touring breweries or tasting the cheese at places like the Mars Cheese Castle. Don’t forget to tip your bartender on your tour though, since this state has the tip credit allowing bosses to not pay their employees a livingwage, the subminimum wage is a real buzzkill in the when customers don’t do their part. The state flag of Wisconsin is simple, blue with the state coat of arms. On top of the flag in bold white block text writing it says WISCONSIN and on the bottom 1848, the year Wisconsin became a state.

The nearly 100 CPA firms in an outside of the Milwaukee area offer services that range from consumer tax services, where graduate with a master’s degree in taxation or an MBA with a focus on taxation would be a perfect fit. Other firms in the area Preparation Acquisitions, for the small or large business, looking to diversify their company or head in a different direction altogether. The financial planning aspects of a job like this would be perfect for a graduate of an online MBA in Finance and Accounting. Knowing what you love to do with your time, and the skill sets that you bring to the job is one important aspect of choosing an accounting program that is perfect for you. Knowing also how to work smarter and not harder, by assessing what jobs, internships, or apprenticeships that already exist, that may be beneficial to your professional networking process.

Wisconsin Accounting Programs

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the international non-profit organization responsible for more than 1,600 member education programs around the world. They are the accrediting body for the top accounting, management, and business school programs globally. They operate out of three headquarters; one in Singapore, one in Amsterdam the Netherlands, and one in Tampa, Flordia. These locations are responsible for awarding, administering, supporting, and renewing accreditation for programs in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America respectively. Of the business and management schools that are awarded accreditation, they have followed a strict and rigorous path of meeting standards and tightening the ways that the business education is administered in their institution. There are 15 standards for business accreditation through AACS, and six more for the optional accounting accreditation.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin School of Business, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business and the business school at Marquette University are the three schools that have earned both accounting and business accreditation in the Badger State. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large public
research university. They offer full-time degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. They have 126 full-time faculty and of these, 76 percent have a terminal degree in business. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business is located in the popular megacity of Milwaukee. It is also a large public research university, known for its excellence in the field of Education. The Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business was established in 1966, a decade after the University itself. They offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and a doctoral degree in management, which offers an optional focus in finance and accounting. There are 60 full-time faculty, 90% of whom have terminal degrees in business or a related field. The Marquette University College of Business Administration & Graduate School of Management is located in Milwaukee and is a private research university. They offer full-time accounting bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Marquette employs 64 business school faculty. Of those, 58 have a terminal degree in a business related field.

Becoming a CPA in Wisconsin

To meet the requirements of becoming a CPA in Wisconsin, the applicant must first be age 18 or older. There is no citizenship requirement, meaning people from countries outside the U.S. can earn the CPA license. There is also no residency requirement, meaning the applicant does not need to have lived in Wisconsin for more than a year before applying. As for having a social security number, in Wisconsin they say it is optional and showing a card or providing the number is voluntary and used as a form of identification only. To become licensed as a CPA in Wisconsin, the applicant must have completed 150 hours of post-secondary education, and this must include a bachelor’s. The applicant must have a graduate degree from a business school: and 24 semester hours in accounting at an undergraduate level. They must also have 15 hours in accounting at the graduate level which includes financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. For at least four of the courses in undergrad, 14 semester hours must be strictly in accounting. These 14 hours should include auditing, taxation, management accounting, and financial accounting.

To sit for the Uniform CPA Exam, the applicant must be within 60 days of completing the education requirement of 150 hours, and those specific courses. The applicant must also gain experience in the field. The experience must be 1 year in public accounting or its equivalent. It may be considered to earn the experience in academia, law, the government, industry, or self-employment. The last of these must be documented so that it might be presented to the Wisconsin State Board of Accountancy for consideration. Applicants must finally pass the Wisconsin online ethics exam.

CPA Post Licensure in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, much unlike all other states, there are no requirements for Continued Professionals Education credits after the initial licensure. The license renewal date is on the 14th of December of odd years.