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History of the MNCPA

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004. From the beginning, CPAs have crafted regulation and education to maintain high professional standards for their clients, employers and the public.

Early 1900s

The original Minnesota Society of Public Accountants was incorporated on June 23, 1904. A handful of members (called fellows) organized efforts to establish and regulate the profession of public accounting.

After joining with a rival group in 1906, the organization worked together to promote a bill to regulate public accounting. The Minnesota Legislature passed it in 1909 (Chapter 439, Laws of 1909). This act set the qualifications established by a Board of Examiners (now called the State Board of Accountancy) to issue certificates, and to provide for any violations.  

The demand for accounting services increased when banks required independent audits. As new certified public accountants (CPAs) joined their professional organization, they created accounting education programs, initially through the University of Minnesota. They also developed examinations to obtain certification.  

By 1926, two professional groups of Minnesota CPAs merged into one organization calling it by its current name, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accounts (MNCPA). At this time, the MNCPA also worked with other professional organizations to increase the technical qualifications of practitioners.  

Over the next 50 years, the MNCPA has helped state commissions and worked with the Legislature to draft accounting laws important to the public trust. The need for CPAs grew as did MNCPA membership and activities.  


In the 1950s, chapters formed in Greater Minnesota. A professional staff was hired to manage the needs of a significantly growing membership. Continuing professional education programs became a priority as accounting standards and regulations increased. Through their education and expertise, CPAs positioned themselves as the leading tax practitioners for individuals and businesses.

The first annual Tax Conference was held in 1954. Today, it is still recognized as one of the premier conferences of its kind in the country due to high attendance and nationally-known speakers.


Currently, the MNCPA represents CPA members across the state in public accounting, business, academia and government.

The MNCPA continues to support regulation of the profession with the State Board of Accountancy. We also work with the Legislature to enact business and accounting laws favorable to the public. In recent years, Minnesota joined other states in passing the Uniform Accountancy Act, and made significant progress in the conformity to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

Communicating with members and promoting the profession has become increasingly important. Through its membership and online resources, the MNCPA reaches out to communities with information promoting financial literacy and career opportunities.