Wisconsin CPA Certificate & License Checklist

Use the information below for the steps and requirements to apply for and receive a Wisconsin CPA certificate and license.

For an interactive/printable version of this checklist with checkboxes, click here.

Pass CPA Exam

  • Must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination within an 18-month period.

Note: For more information, see the Wisconsin CPA Exam Checklist.

Education

  • Must have earned a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited educational institution and have satisfied one of the following for the purposes of meeting the 150-hour coursework requirement:
    • Earned a master's degree in accounting from an institution with an accounting program or department accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
    • Earned a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited educational institution and completed at least 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level that cover each of the following subject areas:
      • Financial accounting
      • Cost or managerial accounting
      • Taxation
      • Auditing
      • Accounting information systems
    • Earned a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited educational institution and completed all of the following:
      • At least 24 semester hours in accounting from an accredited educational institution at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level that cover each of the following subject areas:
        • Financial accounting
        • Cost or managerial accounting
        • Taxation
        • Auditing
        • Accounting information systems
      • At least 24 semester hours in business and economics courses other than accounting courses at the undergraduate level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level that cover each of these subjects:
        • Economics
        • Finance
        • Statistics or data analytics
        • Business law
        • Information technology
    • Completed coursework that the board determines is reasonably equivalent to the course content and semester hour requirements specified in the above two sets of the sub-level bullets above.

Note: The courses covering the subjects of financial accounting, cost or managerial accounting, taxation and auditing would generally be courses taken beyond the introduction accounting course required of every business major.

Transcripts

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

Work Experience

  • Must complete at least 12 months of public accounting experience or its equivalent, acquired within five years prior to applying for the certification as a certified public accountant. Experience is based upon the following:
    • The nature and level of an employee's position or job title and position description is considered.
    • Part-time employment can be counted proportionately, but normally is given little weight. If part-time employment is combined with full-time employment, the full-time employment is normally given the most weight.
    • Experience in accounting and industry, government, law and teaching may be considered equivalent when it requires high levels of knowledge, competence and judgment.
    • A position description must be included for each verification of employment and must be signed and dated by the employer.

Application

  • Proceed to the DSPS website and Form 130 for information on the application for licensure and additional required forms and information to be provided to DSPS.

Pass Ethics Exam

  • Must pass an open-book ethics examination that is administered online by DSPS and consists of questions on the statutes and rules governing the practice of public accounting in Wisconsin.

Note: Applicants will be emailed an authorized passcode and instructions on how to take the online exam after receipt of application and all supporting documents for CPA licensure.

Next Steps

  • Celebrate your accomplishment of becoming a Wisconsin CPA!
  • Take your career to the next level by becoming a WICPA member, and make a difference first-hand by joining a WICPA committee.
  • Attend the annual New CPA Banquet to be recognized for all of your hard work and achievement of becoming a CPA.
  • Start planning and fulfilling your CPE requirements in order to be eligible for renewal of your CPA license in December of every odd year (e.g., 2021, 2023, 2025, etc.). The WICPA offers thousands of CPE opportunities throughout the year to help you fulfill your CPE requirements.