Professor elected vice chair of state board

Contact: Samantha Hooker
Photo of Dr. Ola Smith.

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, chair, Department of Accountancy, has been elected vice chair of the Michigan State Board of Accountancy.

The board is responsible for the certification, licensure and regulation of certified public accountants and public accounting firms. The CPA is the most significant licensure for accountants in the United States.

"I volunteer for the State of Michigan Board of Accountancy because I want to support the accounting profession and protect the CPA brand," says Smith. "The CPA is critical to protecting the public by providing sound financial reporting and ethical financial activities. The efforts I engage in with the board also inform my teaching, research and interactions with students who will become the next generation of accountants."

Smith also serves as a member of the board for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. AICPA is a national organization responsible for setting the ethical standards for the accountancy profession as well as developing and grading the Uniform CPA Examination.


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. Smith was named the department of accountancy chairperson in 2016. 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 WMU Division of Multicultural Affairs and the WMU Research Development Award.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Detroit, a 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.

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