How do BOA CPE rule changes impact you?

BOA Business

Anne Janotta Erickson, MNCPA senior business & industry marketing coordinator | February/March 2018 Footnote

Proposed. Signed. Adopted.

Changes to the Minnesota Board of Accountancy's rules are now official. Rules were posted to the State Register on Jan. 2, 2018, with an effective date of Jan. 9, 2018.

This rules package clarifies three main items:

  • Requirements for CPA licensure
  • Peer review
  • CPE requirements

All are important changes that the MNCPA will update members about going forward. But, for this article, we're focusing our attention on the changes to CPE requirements.

Why did the CPE rules change?

Changes to CPE rules allow the BOA to realign with the latest version of the Statement on Standards for CPE Programs jointly issued by NASBA and the AICPA.

Change is a good thing -- especially for CPAs interested in widening the scope of the CPE they're allowed to take. Updated BOA rules now allow active CPAs to take courses in a variety of formats and mediums, including nano-learning and blended learning, provided they are from NASBA-approved nano-learning and blended learning sponsors.

Let's get technical ...

The most significant CPE rules change involves technical versus nontechnical fields of study. What's the difference? The answer lies in a CPE course's subject matter.

Technical fields of study contribute to the competence of a CPA in the profession of accountancy that directly relate to the CPA's field of business. Subject matter includes:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting (government)
  • Auditing
  • Auditing (government)
  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Information technology
  • Management services
  • Regulatory ethics
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Statistics
  • Taxes

Nontechnical fields of study contribute to the competence of a CPA in areas that indirectly relate to the CPA's field of business. Subject matter includes:

  • Behavioral ethics
  • Business management and organization
  • Communications and marketing
  • Computer software and applications
  • Personal development
  • Personnel/human resources
  • Production

An active CPA must have a minimum of 60 technical credits as part of your overall 120 CPE credits per three-year reporting period.

Why is ethics considered technical and nontechnical?

Did you notice that ethics credits fall into both technical and nontechnical fields of study? Going forward, you'll need to report regulatory ethics (technical) separately from behavioral ethics (nontechnical). Remember, you must continue to maintain any combination of eight technical or nontechnical ethics credits per three-year reporting period.

How are personal development credits impacted?

Before the CPE rules changed, you were limited to 24 personal development credits per three-year reporting period. That is no longer true. Instead, personal development credits are considered nontechnical and are not limited provided you have met the minimum 60 total technical credits requirement.

How will this impact CPE reporting?

The BOA is in the process of implementing changes to CPE reporting tables. CPE credits already reported under the old rules for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 will be converted by the BOA to fit into the new CPE reporting table structure. It is expected that you will be able to view your converted hours before reporting for fiscal year 2018 is available. CPE for 2018 will be reported in the new table structure.

Stay tuned, and know that the MNCPA will share more details as they become available.

Is the MNCPA updating the CPE Log?

You bet! The MNCPA is committed to maintaining the CPE Log as a resource for members. We will continue to update this online tool as we learn more about how the BOA will handle CPE reporting going forward. Access your CPE Log at www.mncpa.org/cpelog.

Questions?

The Minnesota BOA is the final authority on CPE rules, both past and present. Contact the BOA at 651-296-7938 or visit www.boa.state.mn.us to view changes in their entirety.

The MNCPA is here to help. Visit www.mncpa.org/CPE-rule-changes for a full summary on recent BOA rule changes. And, as always, contact MNCPA customer service at 952-831-2707 or customerservice@mncpa.org with questions about CPE rules or CPA licensure.

Curious about the other rule changes?

We won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here's a quick rundown on how rules regarding CPA licensure and peer review also changed.

CPA licensure:

  • Accreditation for educational institutions is no longer referred to by "levels."
  • Education requirements for applicants and individuals initially certified was clarified, not changed.

Peer review:

  • A firm that has issued attest or compilation reports for the first time must undergo a peer review, due to the BOA within 21 months from the report date of the initial attest or compilation engagement.