Why Are Accounting Students in Wisconsin Rejoicing?

It’s not often that college students jump for joy at the thought of taking a test. So why does a new Wisconsin law have accounting students so happy about taking the certified public accountant (CPA) exam?

Well, it’s because now they’re actually allowed to take the CPA exam.

Accounting program chair Emily Olson said, “One of the challenges I immediately faced when beginning my role at Globe University is that our current accounting students cannot sit for the CPA exam.”

accounting program

Accounting program chair Emily Olson celebrates the new law with accounting students Theresa Bomkamp and Gemayne Williams.

What was stopping our accounting students from taking the exam?  Wisconsin Statute 442.04(4)(a) states “In this subsection, ‘institution’ means a bachelor’s degree-granting institution of higher education accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools or its regional equivalent.”


In layman’s terms, this statute states that only those receiving a degree from a regionally accredited institution can sit for the CPA exam. Globe University is a nationally accredited institution.  Even though Globe University accounting students were receiving the same education as those in a regionally accredited institution, they could not legally sit for the exam.

The great news is that according to Stateside APSCU Alert WI23353, on July 5, Governor Scott Walker signed into law A.B. 20, which, effective July 7, 2013, “permits individuals receiving a bachelor’s degree from any accredited institution of higher education to be certified as a public accountant.”

“This is exciting news for current, future and past accounting students,” said accounting program chair Emily Olson. “This changes the dynamics of the Globe University accounting program, and opens the doors for exciting things to happen within the program.”

Accounting student Theresa Bomkamp added, I’m excited about this. I can now see many more opportunities for jobs. I’m no longer narrow-minded about my choice as an accountant.”

One last hurdle that all educational institutions face is the fact that students must have 225 quarter credits in order to sit for the exam.  The current accounting bachelor’s degree at Globe University only requires 182 quarter credits, so students must take an additional 43 credits of coursework to sit for the exam.  This can be from a master’s degree, or it could be credits from any class or program a student desires.

Once the required credit load has been completed, a student can sit for the CPA exam.  In order to get the actual certification, a person must prove that they have one year of experience in public, management, academic or governmental accounting, verified by a CPA.  The examining board will consider the complexity and diversity of the work experience.

What does this exciting news mean for Globe University accounting students?

  • Any accounting student planning to sit for the CPA exam, once they have received the required number of credits, may study for and take the CPA exam.
  • Accounting students nearing graduation with their bachelor’s degree now can apply for positions that require a CPA or a candidate that is CPA eligible.
  • Students will be much more attractive to employers seeking employees that are CPA eligible.

Accounting student Tracy Hanson said, “This is awesome news for us students at Globe University. It not only opens up doors for us as students, but as professionals as well.”

Please feel free to reach out to accounting program chair Emily Olson at 608-830-6915 or emilyolson@globeuniversity.edu for more details or any questions you may have on this exciting news!