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Licensing Requirements

License Title:



A certified public accountant is a person engaged in the practice of public accounting. A person shall be deemed to be in the practice as a certified public accountant if he or she:

(1) holds himself or herself out to the public in any manner as one skilled in the knowledge, science and practice of accounting, and as qualified and ready to render professional service therein as a certified public accountant for compensation; or

(2) maintains an office for the transaction of business as a public accountant, or who, except as an employee of a certified public accountant, practices accounting, as distinguished from bookkeeping, for more than one employer; or

(3) offers to prospective clients to perform for compensation, or who does perform on behalf of clients for compensation, professional services that involve or require an audit of financial transactions and accounting records; or

(4) prepares for clients reports of audits, balance sheets, and other financial, accounting and related schedules, exhibits, statements or reports which are to be used for publication or for credit purposes, or are to be filed with a court of law or with any other governmental agency, or for any other purpose; or

(5) in general, or as an incident to such work, renders professional assistance to clients for compensation in any or all matters relating to accounting procedure and the recording and presentation of financial facts.

(6) signs or affixes his or her name or any trade name or assumed name used by the person in his or her business or profession to an opinion or certificate attesting to the reliability of any representation or estimate in regard to any person or organization embracing financial information, financial transactions or accounting records.

No person may practice as a certified public accountant or use the title "certified public accountant", or the abbreviation "C.P.A" or any other word, words, letters or figures to indicate that the person using the title or word is a certified public accountant, unless the person holds a current credential granted by the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board.


Bachelor's degree or higher with major in accounting or the reasonable equivalency of accounting major and have completed 150 hours education as defined in s.Accy 7.035, Wisc. Administrative Code unless the degree and all education requirements were met prior to January 1, 2001.

……continuing education

Continuing Education credits are not required by the Wisconsin Accounting Examining Board unless your credential (license) has been expired for more than five years. However, you may be required to fulfill continuing education credit hours for your employer or association membership.


Application fees are $150-Initial credential including an ethics exam fee, $82-Renewal fee, $107 with late fee; due by Dec. 14th of odd-numbered years.

revised 03/13

Licensing Authority:
WI Department of Safety and Professional Services
Accounting Examining Board
1400 E. Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708-8935
(608)266-2112   (608)261-7083 fax


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