Wisconsin CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Wisconsin CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Wisconsin CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates must complete one year of paid public accounting experience or equivalent as determined by the Wisconsin Board. Experience should include accounting, auditing, financial analysis, and working with anyone working to prepare taxes. Teaching advanced specialized accounting courses and experience in law as long as it involves responsibility or independent accounting decisions and requires a high level of accounting knowledge.

This article will help you to become a CPA in Wisconsin and is a requirement for you to take the Wisconsin CPA exam.

Summary of Wisconsin CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam120
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam24
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Credit hours in business subjects for the CPA license24
Work experience required to receive a CPA license1 year
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseYes

Wisconsin CPA Experience Requirements

Candidates must complete one year of paid public accounting experience or equivalent as determined by the Wisconsin Board.

The following criteria should be met to qualifying experience:

  • Positions with titled accounting, auditing, financial analyst, and work with comptrollers or anyone working to prepare taxes
  • Accounting positions in industry and government with high knowledge, judgment, and competence.
  • Elementary individual tax returns and bookkeeping are not considered qualifying experiences.
  • Self-employment must be fully documented and presented in person to the board for review to be considered a qualifying experience.

Experience equivalents include:

  • Teaching advanced specialized accounting courses
  • Experience in law as long as it involves responsibility or independent accounting decisions and requires a high level of accounting knowledge

The following experience is equivalent to accounting experience per Wisconsin Examining Board :

  • Researching accounting literature or tax codes
  • Assigning accounting codes to invoices
  • Income tax preparation and projects, both corporate and individual
  • Financial statement consolidation
  • Audit support
  • Budget preparing, operating, and capital
  • Tax payments and returns
  • Expense account analysis
  • Account reconciliation
  • Software conversion/installing the financial system
  • Conducting internal audits
  • Analyzing financial buying and discounted cash flow
  • Analyzing base case financial models and buyers’ lists

The following experiences are NOT equivalent to accounting experience per Wisconsin Examining Board :

  • Cash register clerk
  • Supervising purchasing clerks
  • Analyzing insurance claims
  • Preparation of real estate closing statements
  • Secretarial support
  • Restaurant manager

You are required to submit your experience information and employment verification to Wisconsin to the board. A CPA in Wisconsin with an active license and good standing must validate all experience through the form.

Wisconsin Education Requirements

To meet the Wisconsin CPA education requirements, applicants will need to finish a bachelor’s degree completing 150 semester hours including 24 hours in accounting beyond the introductory level covering and 24 hours in business and economics courses other than accounting.

Since most graduate degrees in accounting consists of 120 semester hours, you can earn a master’s degree in accounting or get a baccalaureate certificate to get the additional 30 semester hours and complete the 150 semester hours required by the Wisconsin board.

The Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board and Wisconsin State Department of Regulation and Licensing will accept all accounting degrees and business and accounting courses earned through colleges and universities located anywhere in the country as long as they hold a standard accreditation recognized by any regionally accredited college by the U. S. Department of Education.

If the institution/s is located outside the U.S., your credits should be assessed by National Credentials Evaluation Services (NACES). The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing also requires courses in business law and taxation. This is in addition to any courses recommended by the evaluation.

CPA Degree and Course Requirements

The 150 semester hours should include various conditions. Let’s explore them below:

With a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in accounting courses

These steps will be taken by applicants that earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accounting program from accredited institutions and those who have a graduate degree from a business school or college of business accredited by the board. To earn the additional 30 semester hours you may take the following alternative:

  • 24 semester hours in accounting courses beyond the introductory level covering financial accounting cost or managerial accounting taxation, auditing, taxation, and management accounting from an accredited institution.
  • 15 semester hours in accounting courses at a graduate course from an accredited institution covering financial accounting cost or managerial accounting taxation, auditing, taxation, and management accounting.
  • Or an equivalent of both undergraduate and graduate credits.

Earn a graduate degree with an equivalent to accounting education from an accredited school or institution and completion of the course requirements:

  • 24 semester hours in accounting at the; undergraduate or graduate level including courses on financial accounting cost or managerial accounting taxation, auditing, accounting information systems, taxation, and management accounting AND
  • 24 semester hours in business and economics courses, other than accounting at the undergraduate level or the graduate level

The board does not accept any CPA review courses whatsoever. However, CPA review courses will help you to be successful in passing the CPA licensure exam.

Needed Documents to be submitted before taking the Wisconsin CPA Exam

Transcripts

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will forward your transcripts to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) after the official release of exam scores. DSPS may request additional documentation.

Credit for courses completed at institutions outside the U.S. must be transferred to an accredited bachelor’s degree institution inside the U.S. to check if it will be accepted toward the education requirements before taking the CPA exam.

  • Submit an official transcript from each school you attended.
  • The degree you have earned must be posted on your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are those that have been issued by the institution’s Registrar’s Office and include the Registrar’s official seal.
  • Provided that the transcripts are official, they can be transferred via electronic delivery. Not all schools offer this service. It is better to contact your school Registrar’s office for additional information. The email that you can use is etranscript@nasba.org
  • All electronically transferred transcripts must be submitted directly from institution/s.
  • Photocopies of transcripts are prohibited.

Additional requirements or information should be sent to:

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

Pass the Uniform CPA Exam

Candidates who have obtained a Notice to Schedule are qualified to schedule and take the Uniform CPA Exam.

To qualify for a license, all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam must be taken and passed with a score of 75 or better within 18 months. Candidates who need to retake any unit (s) of the exam must apply to the Board for re-examination.

Candidates may take more than one section at a time, it is advisable not to sign for all four parts once because this might cost you more if the NTS expires before completing the parts.

The Four CPA Exam Sections

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements, or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence, and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems), and its underlying business processes, risks, and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting, and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology, and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPAexcel, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Wisconsin CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Wisconsin CPA exam cost consists of four main fees: the first-time application‐section fees which will depend on the number of sections taken which will cost from $432.15 to $1185.60, an initial credential fee of $43, the $75 ethics exam fee, and a renewal fee of $43.

Candidates are required to pay a fee with each application being submitted. You may apply for one or more sections of the exam at a time but this is not advisable especially if you are not ready to take the rest of the sections within the next six months.

First-Time Application
4 examinations sections$1,185.60
3 examinations sections$934.45
2 examinations sections$683.30
1 examinations section$432.15
Re-Examination Application
4 examinations sections$1,102.60
3 examinations sections$851.45
2 examinations sections$600.30
1 examinations section$349.15
Initial credential fee$43.00
Ethics exam$75.00
Renewal fee$43.00

Wisconsin CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the Wisconsin CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates need to pass the DSPS-regulated open-book ethics examination. The exam contains 50 questions associated with laws and mandates for managing the public accounting practice in the state. The Wisconsin Board will email the exam instructions upon receiving the licensure application and the required score is 80% or higher.

Getting Your Wisconsin CPA License

The state of Wisconsin will not grant CPA credentials until all requirements for licensure are met. You are required to practice and advertise as a certified public accountant in Wisconsin.

Take these steps to get your CPA License:

  • 150-semester hours of college education and received at least a bachelor’s degree through an accredited program.
  • Successfully passed the Uniform CPA exam.
  • Completed one-year public accounting experience or equivalent.
  • Submit all the supporting documents and the Application for Certified Public Accountant Credential Form.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

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