Minnesota CPE Rules Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ reflect the new Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) rules effective Jan. 9, 2018.

CPE requirements

How many hours of CPE are required for Minnesota CPAs?

Minnesota Board of Accountancy rules require CPAs holding an active certificate in Minnesota to maintain their professional education by completing 120 CPE credits every three-year reporting period. 8 of those 120 credits must be in regulatory and/or behavioral ethics. You must report a minimum of 20 credits each CPE year. A CPE year is from July 1 - June 30.

There is no CPE requirement to renew an inactive certificate. 

What CPE delivery formats are accepted by the MN BOA?

Effective Jan. 9, 2018, the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) accepts the following CPE delivery formats:

  • Group live: Synchronous learning in a group environment with real-time interaction of an instructor or subject matter expert that provides the required elements of attendance.
  • Group internet based: Individual participation in synchronous learning with real time interaction of an instructor or subject matter expert and built-in processes for attendance and interactivity.
  • Self-study: An educational program completed individually without the assistance or interaction of a real-time instructor.
  • Nano-learning: A tutorial program designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject in a 10-minute time frame through the use of electronic media (including technology applications and processes and computer-based or web-based technology) and without interaction with a real-time instructor. A nano-learning program differs from a self-study program in that it is typically focused on a single learning objective and is not paper-based. A nano-learning program is not a group program. Nano-learning is not a substitute for comprehensive programs addressing complex issues.
  • Blended learning: An educational program incorporating multiple learning formats.
  • Independent study: An educational process designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject under a learning contract with a CPE program sponsor.
  • Teaching: The preparation, review and presentation time to the extent the activities maintain or improve professional competence.
  • Writing: A structured writing activity that involves a process of learning, including research time, to the extent it maintains or improves professional competence.

Some delivery formats are subject to credit restrictions. See below for details.

What are the CPE credit restrictions?

The following restrictions apply for each three-year CPE reporting period:

  • Self-study, nano-learning and blended learning: Program sponsors must be listed on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) National Registry of CPE Sponsorsand approved for the respective formats.
  • Teaching: A maximum of 60 credits per three-year reporting period may be claimed for instructor preparation or presentation.
  • Writing: A maximum of 60 credits per three-year reporting period may be claimed for writing articles, books or CPE courses for publication.
  • Carry forward and back: Carry forward of CPE is not allowed. Carry back is allowed if you pay the required BOA CPE noncompliance fees. Carry back hours can only be counted in the CPE year in which they are applied.

What are the CPE credit requirements?

  • Total credits required: 120 credits per three-year reporting period, with a minimum of 20 credits in each CPE year
  • Minimum credits required by type per three-year reporting period:

How many ethics credits do I need?

At least 8 of your 120 CPE credits must be in regulatory and/or behavioral ethics for each three-year reporting period. 

If I am short CPE hours on June 30, can I carry back hours earned after June 30 in order to meet my CPE hour requirement?

Yes. Minnesota Rules 1105.3000 (B) specifies that CPE hours earned subsequent to June 30 can be carried back to satisfy CPE requirements of a prior period provided the fee specified in Minnesota Rules 1105.3000 (E) is paid. The fee to be paid is $50 for the first month, or partial month, of noncompliance with CPE requirements and $25 for each month, or partial month, thereafter until the certificate holder notifies the Board and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board compliance with the CPE requirements. CPE carried back may only be counted in one CPE year. CPE hours earned cannot be carried forward.

What do I do if I'm out of compliance with CPE rules?

If you are not in compliance with the Minnesota Board of Accountancy CPE rules on June 30 of each year, you will be assessed a late processing fee from the BOA 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 BOA. 

To get back into compliance, you must:
  1. Complete missing CPE hours. The hours/credits that you use to “carryback” may only be counted in one CPE year. Hours cannot be carried forward.
  2. Notify the Minnesota BOA in writing and include:
    1. A letter stating your intentions
    2. Certificate of completion for carryback hours
    3. Payment of the CPE noncompliance fees ($50 for the first month, or partial month, of noncompliance and $25 per month, or partial month, thereafter)
Remember, if you are not in compliance with the CPE requirements by June 30 and need to use carryback hours from the subsequent year, the CPE noncompliance fees continue to accrue until the date you notify the BOA in writing, not the date you complete the coursework.

I just received my CPA certificate. When do I start tracking my CPE?

Newly issued CPA certificates with an active status have no continuing education requirements for the year ending June 30 during which the initial certificate was granted. Example: If you are awarded your CPA certificate on January 1, 2018, you do not have any CPE requirements for the next 6 months, through June 30, 2018.

The 120-hour requirement is not effective for these new certificates until the June 30 following the third anniversary of the initial certificate issuance. At that time, at least 120 hours of CPE complying with the rules must be completed. Example: You are awarded your certificate on January 1, 2018. You will need to show 120 hours of CPE by June 30, 2021, including 8 hours of ethics.

The 20-hour minimum requirement is effective for new certificates on June 30 following the first anniversary of the initial certificate issuance. Example: the first anniversary of your certificate is January 1, 2019. You need to meet the 20 CPE hour minimum requirement by June 30, 2019, and again on June 30, 2020. On June 30, 2021, you will need to have 120 hours of CPE, and 8 of those need to be in regulatory and/or behavioral ethics. You're also subject to the other BOA CPE credit requirements and restrictions during each of these three years. 

The MNCPA's CPE Log is an efficient way to manage your CPE hours in one central location. This online tool is a benefit to MNCPA members.

I have an active Minnesota CPA certificate, but live and do business in another state. Must I comply with Minnesota's CPE requirements?

Minnesota Rules 1105.3100, Subp. 3 provide that a nonresident who holds an active CPA certificate from the state of Minnesota, meets the CPE requirements of Minnesota by meeting the CPE requirements of the state where the CPAs principal office is located. If that state has no CPE requirements, then the Minnesota requirements must be followed.

Does all MNCPA CPE meet Minnesota BOA CPE requirements?

Yes. Any CPE program or product you purchase through the MNCPA will be accepted by the Minnesota BOA. 

I'm licensed in a state other than Minnesota. Does your CPE count in my state?

The MNCPA offers Minnesota Board of Accountancy-approved CPE. The MNCPA is also an approved sponsor on the NASBA Registry for group live and group internet-based CPE programs, effective Aug. 1, 2017.

If you are licensed in another state, please check the state’s CPE rules to determine if MNCPA programs meet its continuing education requirements.

CPE reporting and record keeping

When do I report my CPE hours to the Board of Accountancy?

Report your CPE hours to the BOA by Dec. 31 for the three-year period ending June 30.

How do I report my CPE hours to the Board of Accountancy?

For those with an active CPA certificate, the Minnesota Board of Accountancy requires that you fill out an online form each year listing all CPE credits for the past three years (ending June 30), including ethics credits.

For the CPE year ending June 30, the BOA's CPE online reporting form opens the preceding Jan. 1. For example, for the CPE year ending June 30, 2016, CPAs may begin to enter their CPE credits into the BOA's online form on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

What documentation do I need to retain for CPE courses attended?

If you attend a course from a sponsor on the Minnesota BOA-approved list, you must retain the Certificate of Attendance. The BOA accepts the MNCPA transcript as official documentation. 

If you attend a course from a sponsor NOT on the BOA-approved list, you must retain the following:

Certificate of attendance/completion indicating:

  • Sponsor name and contact information
  • Program title, date and location
  • Description of the program content
  • Type of instructional/delivery method
  • Number of CPE credits earned

Plus:

  • Copy of the detailed, timed agenda
  • Statement written by you describing how the program contributes to your professional knowledge and competence

CPE records and supporting documentation 

Do I need to submit any documentation (i.e. transcripts, certificates of attendance, etc.) when I report my CPE?

No, you only need to submit supporting documentation if you’re selected for an audit.

If the reporting deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, what happens?

If a due date falls on a weekend, the due date is not extended to the next business day.

What happens if I don’t report my CPE by the reporting deadline?

Even if you have the required CPE hours, failure to report is a violation of 1105.3000 (E) and is cause for possible disciplinary action. You will also be required to pay a fee for failure to report. Individuals reporting after the deadline will not be allowed to submit hours online. Submission must come in the form of written notification of CPE compliance (a paper CPE reporting form) to the BOA, along with a check for payment of the appropriate CPE non-compliance fees.

If I hold an inactive certificate, do I need to report CPE?

No, but you do need to continue to renew your inactive CPA certificate through the BOA.

How do I receive my CPE credits and proof of attendance for a webinar?

Webinar CPE credits are issued by the sponsor. Each webinar sponsor has a different method for making earned credits available to attendees. Common methods include emailing a certificate of completion to all attendees or enabling online access to the certificate.

Receiving proof of attendance by webinar sponsor

AICPA
Business Professionals’ Network, Inc. (ACPEN)
CalCPA Education Foundation
CPA Crossings, LLC
K2 Enterprises
Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA)
Surgent