New year, new CPE rules

January 16, 2018  |  Lynn Kletscher

New year, new CPE rules

It’s out with the old and in with the new. Effective Jan. 9, 2018, Minnesota’s new CPE rules expand on the types of delivery formats accepted, and limit the amount of nontechnical learning activities allowed.

While administrative rules make for a fun read, here’s a quick synopsis of the most significant changes.

  • ACCEPTED: Blended learning represents a single CPE program that incorporates a mix of learning formats. It might look like an in-person seminar with a reading assignment and online activity. The beauty is the entire program qualifies for CPE credit -- not just the classroom portion. 

    The new CPE rules allow CPAs to claim an unlimited number of CPE credits from blended learning programs. However, the program sponsors must be on the NASBA Registry and approved for this delivery format.
  • ACCEPTED: Nano learning is very similar to self-study in nature. It uses electronic media, rather than an instructor, to guide you through a single learning objective. The big difference? Length. Nano learning is only 10 minutes long -- no more, no less -- and qualifies for .2 credits of CPE. 

    The new CPE rules allow CPAs to claim up to 96 CPE credits from nano learning programs -- or a combination of nano learning and self-study programs -- in a three-year reporting period. However, the program sponsors must be on the NASBA Registry and approved for this delivery format.
  • LIMITED: A limitation on nontechnical learning activities replaces the previous limitation on personal development programs. While the number of credits allowed is greater (60 instead of 24), the limitation now applies to seven fields of study instead of just one. These fields of study, as defined by NASBA, include behavioral ethics, business management and organization, communications and marketing, computer software and applications, personal development, personnel/human resources, and production.

    The new CPE rules allow CPAs to claim up to 60 credits from nontechnical learning activities in a three-year reporting period.

Here’s the real kicker: These new rules are effective starting in the middle of a CPE year. Which raises the question, how does the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) plan to handle the transition to the new CPE rules? We don’t have an official answer … yet.

In the meantime, I recommend Minnesota CPAs do the following:

  • Get to know the NASBA fields of study. CPE sponsors who follow the CPE standards jointly issued by NASBA and AICPA are required to provide this information. However, if you take any CPE from non- BOA approved sponsors, it’s important to know how to classify the programs correctly.
  • Keep an eye on the number of nontechnical programs you take starting Jan. 9, 2018. Not knowing yet how the BOA plans to transition CPE credits reported in prior years, you don’t want to risk coming up short on technical credits for the reporting period ending June 30, 2018.
  • Watch for updates from the MNCPA. The MNCPA is in close communication with the BOA. As soon as we know more, we plan to spread the word via our website, Footnote, digital newsletters and email. And, of course, you can always contact me or anyone on the MNCPA team.

2018 is off to a great start. Tax reform, new CPE rules -- what more could I possibly ask for? A pony? Wait, I already have one and her name is Fancy. Cheers!

Topics: Professional Certification, Reputation

Lynn Kletscher

Lynn Kletscher is the MNCPA director of education, working to secure innovative and informative continuing education programs for CPAs. When she’s not researching the latest NASBA CPE rules, she is at her hobby farm tending to her horses and chickens. She is a fair-weather motorcyclist and a year-round fan of The Walking Dead. Next time you attend an MNCPA event or seminar, ask her about her zombie escape plan. Lynn can be reached at 952-885-5513 or

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