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Is your CPA certificate ready for retirement?

BOA Business

| November 2017 Footnote

Will 2018 be the year of retirement? For many MNCPA members, the answer is yes!

Whether the official date is set or still TBD, now is the time for retiring CPAs to think about how they would like to maintain their CPA certificate into the future.

Retired status isn't an option

Retired CPAs have a decision to make when it comes to their certificate status. However, one option that is never on the table is the so-called "retired status." Why? Simply put, it doesn't exist. The Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) does not have a retired status available for CPA certificate holders.

CPAs who make this mistake will find themselves in compliance hot water.

Doing nothing isn't advised

Not renewing your CPA certificate is not a status option. Ever. The BOA will revoke your CPA certificate if it isn't renewed properly for two consecutive years. If your CPA certificate is revoked, not only are you no longer a CPA, but you have a public order of disciplinary action against you. Yikes!

You've got options

Now that we've cleared that up, let's review the status options that are available to retired CPAs. You've got three options: active, inactive or exempt.

Active -- annual renewal deadline: Dec. 31

Retired CPAs with an active certificate must abide by CPE requirements and CPA certificate renewal deadlines set by the BOA.

Active status is ideal for retired CPAs who:

  • Plan to continue their work in public accounting, including preparing taxes
  • Wish to use the credential without restriction

Inactive -- annual renewal deadline: Dec. 31

Inactive CPAs do not have a CPE requirement, but they are required to renew their certificate annually through the BOA. Inactive is not an option for retired CPAs who continue doing some public accounting work.

Inactive status is suitable for retired CPAs who:

  • Use the CPA designation but are OK with using the inactive modifier
  • Continue working outside of public accounting

Exempt -- no annual renewal requirement

Individuals who are exempt no longer hold a certificate and, therefore, cannot hold themselves out as a CPA.

Exempt status is intended for retired CPAs who:

  • Do not plan to work at all

Choosing exempt status is a big decision. Not only are you no longer a CPA, but changing your status to active in the future requires meeting all CPE requirements and in a compressed period of time. And exempt to inactive isn't allowed; you first must become active, then with the next renewal can select inactive status.   

Time it right

Timing is everything when it comes to maintaining your CPA certificate.

A status change from active to inactive or exempt must be done by Dec. 31, and is effective Jan. 1. This change is only allowed provided you've met the CPE requirements for the three-year period that ended the previous June 30.  

Can the BOA reach you in retirement?

Once retired, ensure the BOA has your current contact information. Submit name and address changes in writing to the BOA within 30 days. Reach the BOA at 651-296-7938 or www.boa.state.mn.us with questions.

Share any changes with the MNCPA, too. Contact MNCPA customer service at 952-831-2707 or customerservice@mncpa.org to update your member record.