Introduction

Close to 10 million Michiganders receive valuable financial services from 1,547 licensed CPA firms across the state. All four of the major international accounting firms (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Ernst & Young) have offices located in Detroit, Michigan, along with 20 Fortune 500 companies. The state’s diverse economy – including automobile production, natural resources and research and development – contributes to its massive production – according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Michigan’s 2013 gross state product was $408.218 billion, ranking it 13th out of the 50 states. This abundance of wealth and production contributes to the per capita income of $37,497 and promises a large number and variety of employment opportunities for CPAs in this state.

Michigan at a glance

Population 9,909,877
Per Capita Income $37,497
Unemployment Rate 5.6%
Fortune 500 Companies 20
Licensed CPA Firms 1,547

Accounting Programs in Michigan

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Michigan, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Any Michigan resident interested in becoming a CPA can look forward to earning between $37,050 and $109,930 annually depending on their licensure, speciality and degree level. Major firms headquartered in Michigan, including Plante Moran, Rehmann, Doeren Mayhew and Yeo & Yeo generate an average of $150 million in annual revenue combined (Plante Moran is at the top, earning $411.32 million in 2014). The best cities for accountants and auditors in the state to find work in are Saginaw, Flint, the Detroit area and the Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills area.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

0 Employees2012
0 Employees2022
Michigan 0% decrease
1,277,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.4% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Michigan Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $37,050
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $38,980
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $43,550
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $61,330
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $71,520
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $68,460
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $75,170
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $89,410
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $97,900
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $109,930
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI
    $74,090
  2. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
    $73,680
  3. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
    $73,480
  4. Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI
    $71,180
  5. Flint, MI
    $69,240
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Michigan

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Plante MoranSouthfield, MI$411
2RehmannSaginaw, MI$104
3Doeren MayhewTroy, MI$53
4Yeo & YeoSaginaw, MI$31

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting today "Top 100 Firms"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Michigan

Those interested in sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam in the state of Michigan administered by NASBA must meet the requirements listed below. Along with initial public accounting certification, Michigan supports reciprocal licensure.

Any aspiring CPAs who are not able to successfully pass all four sections of the exam on their first try are allowed to apply to take the full exam or the necessary sections again – a typical procedure due the exam’s complexity. All four sections must receive a passing score of 75 within 18 months. Organized below is a list of Michigan schools ranked by their CPA Pass Rates from 2014.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Michigan

In order to be eligible for CPA licensure in Michigan, candidates need to meet the qualifications listed below.

  • Meet the education requirements including
    1. 30 undergraduate semester hours in accounting courses
    2. 12 graduate semester hours in accounting or business
  • Have completed at least 150 semester hours of college education, including a baccalaureate degree OR have 120 semester hours completed within 30 days after the candidate takes the first exam section
  • Pass the Uniform CPA exam
  • Complete the 1 year of experience required

There is no ethics exam or residency requirement for CPAs in the state of Michigan.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in AccountingB.A. degree 30 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting. M.A. degree in accounting or business-12 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in graduate level accounting.
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. (120 hours) must be completed within 30 days following the actual date the candidate takes the first exam section.
Experience Requirements1 year of qualifying experience gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice.
Ethics ExamNo

Any applicants who have previously applied for the CPA Examination outside of NASBA’s online application tool will need to import their previous application information. This will require their Jurisdiction ID number of the region they first took the exam in, which can be found here.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Michigan

Total:$875
  • Application Fee $147
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $172
  • Business Environment & Concepts $172

Special Fees: The State Board of Accountancy has an application processing fee of $100 as well as an annual license fee for firms and individuals of $100. A reciprocity fee of $100 and/or a temporary permit fee of $100 may be applicable. A registration fee applies in addition to the application fee, and varies depending on the number of sections an individual is taking. The registration fee for all four sections is $117, for three sections is $99, for two sections is $81, for one section is $63.

Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014

RankLogoSchool NameCandidatesPass RateAverage Score

Schools are ranked by pass rate unless otherwise noted. Results are comprised of scores from both first-time test takers and those returning to take the whole exam or specific sections of it again. Source: National State Boards of Accountancy

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Michigan State Board of Accountancy is the branch of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs responsible for the certification, licensure and regulation of certified public accountants and firms. Providing online services, continuing education and testing are further responsibilities of the Board, working congruently with NASBA.

Licensed, certified and aspiring CPAs may join the Michigan Association of CPAs in order to benefit from the resources, networking and employment opportunities the statewide professional organization offers. Comprised of 17,500 members, the MICPA represent CPAs working in all sectors – business, education, government and public accounting – by promoting and enhancing the value of professional accounting.

Michigan State Board of Accountancy

Address

P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909

Phone Number

(517) 241-8205

The Michigan Association of CPAs

Address

5480 Corporate Dr. Ste. 200
Troy, MI 48098

Phone Number

(248) 267-3752

Email

djohnson@michcpa.org