Continuing Professional Education
To change your certificate status from Inactive to Active:
- Complete 120 hours of qualifying CPE within three years prior to submitting your request to activate your certificate. (You can change your status to active at any time during the year (upon completion of the 120 hours)). You do not need to complete hours by the June 30th deadline or wait for the certificate renewal period.)
- Complete the Board's Status Change Form. (You do not need to submit supporting documentation at this time.)
- Submit the completed CPE form to the Board office along with a written request to activate your certificate and a check payable to the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. Fees:
- Three years remaining in renewal cycle - $320
- Two years remaining in renewal cycle - $220
- One year remaining in renewal cycle - $110
To change your status from Active to Inactive
A licensee electing to change the status of the licensee's active certificate to a status other than active can only do so effective on the January 1 following a written request for the change and on a form provided by the board. The request shall be accompanied with documentation showing that the licensee completed at least 120 hours of continuing professional education required under this chapter during the three-year period ended June 30 preceding the effective date of the status change, with a minimum of 20 hours each year.
Beginning with the July 31, 2011 reporting requirement, all CPE reporting will be done online using online services. The Board no longer accepts paper CPE reporting forms.
CPE Requirements Basics
(See Minnesota Rules 1105.3000 - 1105.3350 for additional information)
- CPE is completed on a fiscal year basis - July 1 to June 30.
- 120 hours are required over a three year period, with a minimum of 20 credits per year. CPE is reviewed on a rolling three year basis.
- Eight hours of accounting ethics or business ethics must be completed in each three year period.
- Carry forward of hours is not allowed. Carry back of hours is allowed provided the required CPE noncompliance fees are paid per Minnesota Rule 1105.3000 (G).
- New CPAs are given a grace period through June 30th of the year in which the initial certificate was issued.
CPE hour limitations. The following hour limitations apply:
A) At least 60 hours must be obtained from other than instructor preparation or presentation;
B) At least 60 hours must be obtained from other than the writing of articles, books, or CPE courses for publication;
C) At least 24 hours must be obtained from other than NASBA QAS self-study programs; and
D) At least 96 hours must be obtained from programs in the subject area other than personal development, as defined in the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs.
All CPE self-study courses must be from a NASBA QAS (Quality Assurance Service) provider. Self-study courses offered by sponsors that are listed on the NASBA CPE Registry, but are not also QAS providers, are not allowed under Minnesota Rule 1105.3100.
Instructors, discussion leaders, or speakers who present a learning activity for the first time may receive CPE credit for actual preparation time up to two times the number of CPE credits to which participants would be entitled, in addition to the time for presentation, subject to regulations and maximums established by the state boards. For example, for leaning activiites in which participants could receive 8 CPE credits, instructors may receive up to 24 CPE credits (16 for preparation plus 8 for presentation). For repeat presentations, CPE credit can be claimed only if it can be demonstrated that the learning activity content was substantially changed and such change required significant additional study or research.
Definition of personal development credits according to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Education - A field of study that covers such skills as communications, managing the group process, dealing effectively with others, interviewing, counseling, and career planning.
CPE approved sponsors:
• NASBA CPE Registry (for "live" credits only)
• The office of the Legislative Auditor or State Auditor provided a quality review has been conducted on those offices and an unmodified report received and filed with the Board
• CPA firms who have had a system review level quality review completed in the last three-years and an unmodified report received
• Colleges and Universities whose academic programs qualify an applicant to sit for the CPA examination - (To convert college credits to CPE credits - one semester credit is equal to 15 CPE credits; one quarter credit is equal to 10 CPE credits)
• CPE programs sponsored by the AICPA, MNCPA and MAPA
Note to other CPE providers: In order to be considered an approved CPE provider, you must be registered with NASBA's CPE Registry (for live courses) or NASBA's Quality Assurance Service (QAS) program (for self-study courses). Please visit NASBA's web site for more information.Non-approved CPE - CPAs are allowed to take courses from non-Registry/non-approved sponsors, provided the program contributes to the professional knowledge and competence of the individual CPA, and provided the aggregate hours of the program do not exceed 40% of the three-year 120 hour total. The program must meet the minimum standards of quality of development, presentation, measurement, and reporting of credits in the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs jointly approved by NASBA and AICPA or such other standards acceptable to the board. Non-approved CPE does not include self-study. (The Board no longer accepts Request for Approval of Non-Registry CPE Sponsor Program forms. It is up to each individual to make the determination to claim non-approved CPE credits based on whether the CPE program contributed to the knowledge and competence of the individual CPA.)
Documentation for non-registry programs must consist of the following:
(1) a certificate of attendance from the program sponsor containing the name and contact information of the sponsor, participant's name, title and description of the content of the program, the date of the program, the location of the program, type of instructional/delivery method used, the number of CPE hours for which the licensee attended, and verification by the CPE program sponsor representative;
(2) a copy of the detailed timed agenda for the program;
(3) a biography of the program developer and program presenter; and
(4) a statement by the licensee describing how the program contributes to the licensee's professional knowledge and competence.
CPE Non-Compliance - Minnesota Rule 1105.3000 (G) states, "Failure to report CPE, failure to obtain CPE required by this part, reporting of an amount less than that required, or fraudulently reporting CPE is a basis for disciplinary action under Minnesota Statutes, section 326A.08. A licensee not in compliance with this part on June 30 of each year shall be assessed a late processing fee of $50 for the first month, or partial month, of noncompliance and $25 per month, or partial month, of noncompliance thereafter until the date the licensee is in compliance with this part and provides documentation of compliance in writing to the board."Remember - If you are not in compliance with the CPE requirements by June 30th and you need to use "carryback" hours from the subsequent fiscal year, the CPE non-compliance fees continue to accrue until the date you notify the Board in writing, not the date you complete the coursework. (You are required to submit certificates of completion for carryback hours along with payment of the CPE non-compliance fees.)
NASBA Registry of CPE Providers
NASBA QAS Sponsor listing
Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs issued jointly by the AICPA and NASBA)
Random Audit - The board shall verify on a test basis, through inspection of documentation supplied by the licensee, information regarding hours of CPE attendance in order to determine compliance with the continuing professional education requirements. In cases where the board determines that the hour information supplied by the licensee is not supported by the documentation supplied by the licensee or the hours do not meet the requirements of this chapter, the board may grant an additional period of time in which the deficiencies can be cured or the board may take disciplinary action. Licenses determined not in compliance shall be assessed the late processing fee required in part 1105.3000, item G. Fraudulent reporting is a basis for disciplinary action.
The Minnesota Board of Accountancy began a random audit of CPE starting with fiscal year 2001. Each year a percentage of CPAs will be contacted and are required to submit a complete record of CPE for the last three year reporting period as part of an ongoing audit process.
The Minnesota Board of Accountancy believes this approach emphasizes the fact that each certificate holder is personally responsible for meeting the CPE requirement.