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Firm permit renewal: Don't make the same mistake this year

BOA Business

| December 2017/January 2018 Footnote

Mistakes happen. It's getting it right the second time that's important.

Take, for instance, the 2017 firm permit renewal season. Mistakes were made by nearly 20 percent of CPA firms in Minnesota. That's a lot of CPA firms in compliance hot water.

Let's not make the same mistakes happen in 2018. Here's what you need to know about renewing your firm permit.

Firm permit renewal 101

Firm permits are renewed annually through the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA). Individual CPA certificate renewal is tied to a firm's ability to renew their permit.

By Dec. 31, two-thirds of a CPA firm's owners, partners, shareholders, members, managers, directors and officers must have individually renewed. Sixty days later (March 1, 2018), 100 percent of those CPAs must be properly renewed.  

If a firm has a CPA that fits any of the roles noted above who does not renew properly by March 1, the firm's permit is automatically revoked by the BOA. This is true even if the firm renewed their permit correctly.

Revocation is a big deal

Talk about an understatement. A CPA firm's livelihood is tied to its firm permit. Without one, a firm cannot perform compilations, audits or other attest services. Additionally, revocation is public record.

Firm permits cannot be reinstated administratively. It's an action that must be done through the board itself, which means a firm must wait until the board meets. This can take as long as two months.

Make no mistake

  • Firm permit renewal needn't be a nightmare. Safeguard your firm by taking the following actions early in the BOA's renewal season:
  • Encourage the CPAs in your firm to renew early.
  • Verify individual CPA certificate statuses on the BOA's website. This public information is updated regularly, allowing you to see if the CPAs in your firm have renewed for 2018.
  • Confirm that the firm roster on file at the BOA is accurate. CPA partners who leave your firm, whether for retirement or other reasons but remain on your roster, impact compliance if they do not renew properly. Last year, several firms learned this lesson the hard way.

Questions?

Firm permits are renewed through the Minnesota BOA. They can be reached at 651-296-7938 or www.boa.state.mn.us.

The MNCPA hopes for 100 percent firm compliance this renewal year. Call us with questions or concerns at 952-831-2707 or email customerservice@mncpa.org