Professor named to accounting governing board

contact: Cindy Wagner
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Ola Smith.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University professor has been named to one of the highest oversight posts in the field of accountancy.

Dr. Ola Smith, professor of accountancy, has been named to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Board of Examiners. 

The board is responsible for the CPA exam, the most significant licensure for accountants in the United States. The board develops and sets policy related to the CPA exam and works to ensure that the CPA exam stays relevant to the accounting profession and that it is accessible to candidates.

"It is critical to ensure that the profession provides enough CPAs to meet the needs of industry, government and nonprofit organizations," says Smith, who notes an anticipated increase in demand for CPAs. "As a board member, I'd like to work on the pipeline issues that involve getting more people to become CPAs in addition to working on the exam content."

Smith also serves as the education representative on the Michigan State Board of Accountancy, a nine-member board that oversees licensure and certification requirements for certified public accountants and public accounting firms in the state of Michigan.

Ola Smith

Smith joined the faculty of WMU's Department of Accountancy in 2000. Her research and teaching focus is on managerial accounting, performance measurement and accounting for government and nonprofit organizations. Previously, she worked for Ameritech Corp.; Deloitte; Barrow, Aldridge & Co.; and the Internal Revenue Service. Smith is also the 2013 recipient of a service award from the Diversity Section of the American Accounting Association.

She has previously been honored with the Platinum Award from the Division of Multicultural Affairs and the WMU Research Development Award.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Detroit, an Master of Business Administration in finance from Mercy College of Detroit and a doctoral degree in accounting from Michigan State University. She also holds a CPA license.

For more news, arts and events, visit