Becoming a CPA: Frequently Asked Questions

When does my passing score go into effect?

CPAES will send you a letter each time you pass a section of the CPA exam with your passing score and the effective date.

How long are my passing scores valid?

A passing score remains valid for 18 months from the date indicated in your letter from CPAES. After 18 months, if you have not completed all four sections of the exam, the score expires and you must retake that section of the exam.

How do I get my Notice to Schedule (NTS)?

NASBA will mail your Notice to Schedule (NTS) when your exam application is approved. The application approval process for first-time applicants takes about 6-8 weeks. For repeat applicants it usually takes about 6-10 days.

When can I schedule my exam dates?

You can begin scheduling your exam dates once you receive your NTS. We recommend contacting your Prometric test center about 45 days from your preferred date so you have the best options for times and locations.

When does the Notice to Schedule (NTS) expire?

The NTS is valid for six months and will state the earliest and latest date you can sit for each section of the exam you applied to take.

What if I lose my Notice to Schedule (NTS)?

Because your NTS includes individual codes needed to schedule and sit for the exam, you must reapply if you lose your NTS.

How long do I have to apply for my CPA certificate?

You have three years from when you were notified that you passed the final section of the CPA exam to complete the remaining requirements of certification (education, self-study ethics exam, one year of experience) and apply for your initial certificate. Once all requirements are met, you can then apply for your CPA certificate through the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. If you do not meet all requirements within three years, you must also submit a report showing that you completed 120 hours of CPE.

For an owner of a CPA firm or employee of a CPA firm, State Auditor or Legislative Auditor, you have 60 days in which to file your application for certification with the Minnesota Board of Accountancy once all requirements are met.  

When am I required to take continuing professional education (CPE)?

In Minnesota, the CPE year runs from July 1st to June 30th. You must begin earning credits when the next CPE years starts. For example, if you receive your CPA certificate in August of 2006, you must meet the requirements for the CPE year beginning on July 1, 2007. If you earn your CPA certificate in May of 2007, your CPE year begins on July 1, 2007.

What is CPAES?

CPA Exam Services (CPAES) is the organization contracted by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy to process and verify Minnesota exam candidate applications.

What is NASBA?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) oversees the exam application process. Questions about exam eligibility, your application or other details should be directed to the Minnesota coordinator at NASBA.

When can I take the self-study ethics exam?

You can take the self-study ethics exam while in the process of taking the CPA exam or once you've passed the CPA exam. A passing score can be earned no more than two years prior to certification or the ethics exam will need to be retaken.