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Minnesota Board of Accountancy

Regulation • Licensure • Enforcement • Public Service

 

Initial MN License Applicants


Online App Brochure

 NEW!  Apply Online

Ready to Apply for Your License? Use the New Online App

The Board has developed an online system for licensure. Initial, transfer, and reciprocal licensure candidates—in other words, anybody seeking their first Minnesota license—can apply through this new system.

Use the button below to email your request for admission to the online application beta test. Simply include your name and primary phone number in the body of the message, and you'll be sent log-in instructions. Beta testers will have additional oversight of their application to assure no system-related application delay.

Among the many benefits of the online system is you get 24/7 access to the status of your application. You'll be able to see for yourself what information has been received by the Board and when your application is complete and ready for Board review.

Download the Online App Brochure for more information.

I Want to Apply Online

Follow the "3 Es" to Licensure

Licensure in Minnesota requires candidates meet qualifications in Education, Examination, and Experience—the "3 Es" of licensure. Once the requirements are met, individuals may apply to the Board for a license (CPA) or registration (RAP).

See below for more information on these requirements, both for CPA licensure and for RAP registration.

CPA Licensure RAP Registration Temporary Military Certificate (CPA)

Mobility questions?

Seeking a reciprocal license?

  • Apply as a "NON-Minnesota Exam Candidate." See details below.

CPA Licensure

Education

Applicants should note that there are differences between the minimum education requirements to sit for the CPA Exam and the final requirements for licensure:

• Education Required to Sit for CPA Exam:

See MN Rules 1105.1500 and MN Statutes 326A.03 Subd 3 for specifics, as options exist, depending upon where you received your education and if it is a bachelor's or a graduate degree.

For the purposes of illustration: One minimum requirement to sit for the CPA exam is a BA from an accredited institution that includes or is supplemented by at least 24 semester hours of accounting at the upper division or graduate level, including coverage of, but not necessarily separate courses in, the subjects of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. "Upper division" is normally defined as junior- or senior-year level.

You will need to provide official transcripts to confirm your education as part of the exam application process (see information below).

• International Education Evaluation Requirements

Note: If you earned your education outside the US, you will need to have your education evaluated prior to sitting for the exam. The Minnesota Board requires the evaluation be done by either one of these two authorized services:

NASBA International Evaluation Services Educational Credential Evaluators

• Early Examination Admission Option

Examination applications can be submitted to NASBA before a student graduates, if the student meets the requirements in MN Statute 326A.03, subd. 3a and MN Rules 1105.1650.


• Education Required for Licensure:

See MN Rules 1105.2900 and MN Statutes 326A.03 Subd 6. for specifics, as options exist, depending upon where you received your education and if it is a bachelor's or a graduate degree.

For the purposes of illustration: If you met the minimum requirement described above to sit for the exam, you would need a total of 150 semester hours from an accredited institution that includes a total of 48 hours in business-related subjects and upper division accounting coursework (counting the 24 originally earned to sit for the exam).

Note: The Board cannot advise individuals where to earn their education beyond what is already specified in Rules and Statutes. Speak to the accounting department chair or an academic advisor at your (prospective) institution if you have any concerns as to whether the institution is accredited and can offer you the coursework you need for eventual licensure.

The Board itself does not evaluate transcripts or advise on transcripts. Please consult the Rules and Statutes references above to determine if you have met the education requirements to sit for the exam and for eventual licensure.

NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) does offer an optional Advisory Evaluation service for a fee to identify any academic deficiencies before you submit a first-time application for the CPA exam.

If you have been licensed for four or more years in another state, you do not need to meet the 150-hour education requirement if 1) you have passed the CPA exam and have four or more years of verified experience earned within ten years of your application to Minnesota, and 2) you can show 120 hours of CPE in the three-year period preceding your application date. See the application form instructions for more details.

Are you already licensed in another state but have a business need for a Minnesota license (seeking a reciprocal license)?

Or did you sit for the exam with a state other than Minnesota?

If you answered "yes" to either of the questions above, you will still need to meet Minnesota's education and experience requirements for application (so please read those sections), but you apply as a "Non-Minnesota Exam Candidate" (even if you currently live in Minnesota). See details in the "Applying for Licensure" section of this page.


Examination (Sitting for the CPA Exam)

Applicants need to have passed all four parts of the Uniform CPA exam before they can be licensed. NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) administers the exam for the State of Minnesota.

Applicants must meet eligibility requirements in order to sit for the exam as a Minnesota candidate. MN Statutes 326a.03 Subd. 3-7 and MN Rules 1105.1500-2400 describe these requirements, which are summarized below:

To sit for the CPA exam as a Minnesota candidate, applicants must

  • meet the education requirements to sit that are described in the "Education" section above and
  • meet a residency requirement. The exam candidate must either
    • be a resident of Minnesota, or
    • within 90 days preceding or following the date of the exam applied for
      • be attending a school in Minnesota with the intent of gaining the education needed to qualify to sit for the CPA examination, or
      • be regularly employed or working in Minnesota for the purpose of obtaining qualifying experience needed for licensure.

Minnesota exam candidates apply to NASBA rather than the Board office to sit for the exam. NASBA's website provides:

  • An overview of eligibility requirements to sit for the exam as a Minnesota candidate
  • Information on the exam application process and fees, including what materials (such as transcripts) must be submitted
  • The "Candidate Bulletin," a downloadable PDF brochure that provides extensive information on what the Uniform CPA Examination is, how to apply for it, how to prepare, the exam experience, and how to receive your test score
  • A link to their online exam application form.

Apply for the CPA Examination

Call NASBA's CPA Exam Services: 800-272-3926 or apply online:

CPA Exam Online Registration
and Fee Information

Veterans Covered for CPA Exam

The Uniform CPA Examination has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a certification test that veterans in any state can take and have the expense reimbursed up to $2000. Military spouses of active duty members are covered under the Department of Defense's Military Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) program for up to $4000 in financial assistance toward their education and testing.

GI Bill

Professional Ethics Exam

All candidates must also take and pass an ethics exam within two years preceding initial application for the certificate (see MN Statutes 326A.04 Subd. 12 and MN Rules 1105.1800 Subp. 2). The exam the Board currently accepts is the AICPA Professional Ethics Comprehensive Course "For Licensure." AICPA offers more than one Ethics Course/Exam. Be sure you select the one that says it is "For Licensure."

Once a candidate has successfully completed the Professional Ethics Exam, they should call AICPA to ask that they send the scores to the Minnesota Board.


Experience

All candidates for a Minnesota license must have one full year of experience. What is meant by "one full year" and what type of experience qualifies is defined in MN Rules 1105.2600.

Your experience must be verified by an Active status CPA with a valid certificate (as defined by MN Rules 1105.6550 Part A) or an unexpired Inactive CPA. That verifying CPA need not necessarily be from Minnesota; they simply must meet the definition in MN Rules referenced in this section and be able to confirm the experience you report to the Board as part of the application process.


Applying for Licensure

As soon as you have met the requirements above, you'll immediately want to begin your application to the Board for licensure. Which application form you must use will determine what additional information you need to provide the Board.

Note: A wealth of information and explanation is available to you simply by downloading the application and reading through the instructions. We encourage you to do so.

 

• If you sat for the CPA Exam as a "Minnesota Candidate," use this form:

 CPA Certificate Application
(by Minnesota Exam Candidate)

Note: Even if you are now or expect shortly to be a Minnesota resident, do not use this form unless you sat as a Minnesota CPA Exam Candidate.


• If you sat for the CPA Exam as a candidate for another state, or if you are already licensed in another state (seeking a reciprocal license), use this form:

 CPA Certificate Application
(by NON-Minnesota Exam Candidate)

Check Your Application Progress!

  • Check with references, those verifying experience, and any other entities that must provide information as part of the application process to be sure they have sent their forms/documents to the Board.
  • Ask AICPA to send your Professional Ethics Exam results to the Minnesota Board.
  • Check with the Board to confirm that everything has been received. Note: Because application information is classed as private data, we cannot respond to email inquiries. Instead, call the Board office (651) 296-7938.

Important Deadline Information for Minnesota Exam Candidates

If you sit for the exam as a Minnesota candidate, you need to keep in mind a deadline you have for applying to the Board. Once you have completed all the requirements for application—education, examination, and experience—if you are working in public accounting or for the Legislative or State Auditor, you have 60 days to apply to the Board (send in application form and fee) or you will be in violation of MN Rules 1105.2500, items D and E.

Note: The deadline clock does not begin until all requirements are met. So if you don't yet have 150 hours of education or you don't yet have a full year of experience or if you haven't completed all four parts of the CPA Exam (or if you are not working in public accounting as described in MN Rules)—any one of these incomplete requirements means the clock has not yet started on this deadline.

Temporary Military CPA Certificate

Active or recently active military personnel and their spouses who hold a CPA license in good standing in another state may apply for expedited temporary licensure in Minnesota. Please see the application form for more information:

 Temporary Military Certificate (CPA) Application

RAP Registration

To apply to be a Registered Accounting Professional, you must meet the education, examination, and experience requirements defined in MN Rules 1105.6600-6900.


Education:

See MN Rules 1105.6700.


Examination:

See MN Rules 1105.6800.


Experience:

See MN Rules 1105.6900.


Applying for Registration

After you have met the requirements above, you may apply to the Board for registration using the following form:

 Registered Accounting Practitioner (RAP) Application

Note: A wealth of information and explanation is available to you simply by downloading the application and reading through the instructions. We encourage you to do so.


Questions or comments? Get in touch:

Reach us using the following information. We encourage you to follow us on social media or visit the website often to stay up to date on information relevant to your licensure.