Minnesota CPE Rules Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE: New CPE rules are now in effect

Effective Jan. 9, 2018, new Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) CPE rules expand the list of acceptable CPE formats and require 60 credits from technical fields of study each three-year reporting period.

This webpage reflects CPE rules for programs taken prior to Jan. 9, 2018. Until it's updated with the changes, you can learn more about the new rules by visiting the links below:

Read a summary of the changes to BOA CPE rules

Read the detailed CPE rules text on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes website

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 credit hours of CPE every rolling 3 year period. You must report a minimum of 20 credit hours each year. Eight of the 120 credit hours must be in accounting ethics or business ethics. A reporting year is from July 1 - June 30.

There is no CPE requirement to renew an inactive certificate. 

Which programs qualify for CPE?

  • All of your CPE must contribute to your growth in professional knowledge and professional competence.
  • Acceptable subjects include accounting, assurance/auditing, consulting services, specialized knowledge and applications, management, taxation, ethics and personal development. Note: personal development credits cannot exceed 24 credits in a three-year reporting period.
  • 60% (72 credits) of your CPE must come from Board approved sponsors. These include:
    • Members of the NASBA Registry
    • Colleges and universities whose academic programs qualify an applicant to sit for the CPA exam
    • CPA firms who have had a system-level peer review within the last three years and received a pass rating that was filed with the BOA
    • Office of the State Auditor or Legislative Auditor, provided that a quality review has been completed within the past three years and an unmodified report received and filed with the BOA
    • CPE programs sponsored by professional organizations recognized by another state's Board of Accountancy
  • Up to 40% (48 credits) of your CPE can come from non-Board approved sponsors as long as the program contributes, as determined by the BOA, to your growth in professional knowledge and professional competence. Additional documentation is required from non-Board approved sponsors.

What are the CPE credit limitations?

The following hour limitations apply during the three-year CPE reporting period:

  • No more than 96 hours can be from self-study. All self-study courses must be approved by NASBA and listed on NASBA's self-study CPE Registry.
  • No more than 24 hours can be obtained from personal development programs, such as dealing effectively with others and career planning.
  • No more than 60 hours can be obtained from instructor preparation or presentation.
  • No more than 60 hours can be obtained from the writing of articles, books or CPE courses for publication.
  • Up to 48 hours may come from sponsors not on the Board-approved list.

How many ethics credits do I need?

At least eight CPE credits in ethics (accounting or business ethics) must be included in the rolling three-year 120-hour minimum requirement. Credits can be completed through seminars, conferences, live webinars or self-study. You can take one eight-hour CPE credit program or several shorter programs.

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, 2015, you do not have any CPE requirements for the next 6 months, through June 30, 2015.

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, 2015. You will need to show 120 hours of CPE by June 30, 2018, including eight 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, 2016. You need to meet the 20 CPE hour minimum requirement by June 30, 2016, and again on June 30, 2017. On June 30, 2018, you will need to have 120 hours of CPE and eight of those need to be in accounting or business ethics. Other limitations for CPE are also in effect during each of these three years – including but not limited to self-study and personal development limitations.

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.

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. 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 Board of Accountancy (BOA) approved list, you must retain the Certificate of Attendance. The BOA accepts the Minnesota Society of CPAs transcript as official documentation.

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

  1. Certificate of attendance from the program sponsor containing the following:
    • Name and contact information of the sponsor
    • Title of the program
    • Date and location of the course
    • Type of instructional/delivery method used
    • Number of CPE credits earned
  2. Copy of the detailed timed course agenda
  3. Biography of the program developer and program presenter
  4. 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
Business Professionals’ Network, Inc. (ACPEN)
CalCPA Education Foundation
CPA Crossings, LLC
K2 Enterprises
Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA)

Self–study CPE

Will the Minnesota Board of Accountancy accept courses that are not NASBA approved?

No. Any self-study course completed must be from sponsors who are approved by NASBA and listed as a NASBA self-study provider (search QAS for approved self-study providers) to be accepted by the BOA.

How do I know if a self-study product is approved by the Minnesota BOA?

All self-study program sponsors must be approved by NASBA and listed as a NASBA self-study provider. All self-study products purchased via the MNCPA are approved self-study sponsors by NASBA and the Minnesota BOA.

You can also find QAS self-study providers on NASBA's website.

What is on-demand CPE?

On-demand CPE is self-study CPE that is exclusively online.