WMU professor takes the helm at state board

Contact: Stacey Anderson
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 chair of the Michigan State Board of Accountancy. She has served six years as a member and will serve a one-year term as chair completing a seven-year term.

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'm proud to represent the educational community, and I'm looking forward to working with the Board of Accountancy, the State of Michigan and accounting professionals to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead," says Smith.

Smith previously served 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.

"Dr. Smith's leadership on this board is of critical importance to all accounting professionals in Michigan," says Dr. Satish Deshpande, dean of the Haworth College of Business. "She is a strong leader with a passion for service and her field. The Michigan State Board of Accountancy could not have chosen a better chair for their organization."


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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