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Forgetting firm permit renewal: How bad is it?

BOA Business

Anne Janotta Erickson, MNCPA membership marketing team leader | December 2022/January 2023 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated November 29, 2022

End-of-year forgetfulness happens to the best of us.

But how bad are these mistakes really? Let’s take a closer look:
Miss buying your 2023 calendar until mid-January. Not bad at all.
Forget to tip your paper delivery person at the end of year. Sort of bad.
Fail to renew your CPA firm permit. So bad.

Forget the small stuff. Here’s why forgetting to renew your firm permit for 2023 is a very big deal.

Firm permits 101

A firm permit is required if you:
  1. Provide attest services.
  2. Use some variation of “Certified Public Accountant” in your firm name or marketing.
  3. Provide compilation services.
A CPA firm cannot operate or advertise without a valid firm permit.

Timing matters

CPA firm permits are renewed annually through the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA). The deadline is Dec. 31.
A firm’s permit is tied to individual CPA certificate holders within the firm. CPAs who are firm owners must renew and report CPE individually for the firm’s permit to be renewed.
 
This includes the firm’s:
  • Partners.
  • Shareholders.
  • Members.
  • Managers of a limited liability company.
  • Directors.
  • Officers.

Deadline: Dec. 31

Two-thirds of a firm’s owners must have properly renewed at the individual CPA certificate level. The BOA will return a firm’s permit renewal application if a firm does not meet this two-thirds renewal threshold.

Deadline: March 1

All firm owners must have properly renewed at the individual level.

What happens after March 1?

Firm permits are automatically revoked on March 1 for any firm that employs even one CPA owner who did not renew properly.
 
This is a big deal. To put it bluntly, a CPA firm without a firm permit can’t do its job.
 
What’s more, reinstating a firm permit takes time. Reinstatement involves issuing a public order. This can only happen when the Board meets, which is roughly eight times annually.

Tips for avoiding any issues

There are easy ways to ensure that your firm avoids firm permit renewal headaches in 2023

Update your firm’s roster.

Any CPA owner who leaves a firm but fails to renew properly will impact your firm’s permit if they are still listed on the roster. Avoid the issue by including an updated firm roster with your firm’s permit renewal form.

Encourage renewing early.

Encourage all of your firm’s CPAs — not just those listed as owners — to renew and report early.

Check to see who has renewed.

CPA certificate renewal is public information on the BOA’s website. This means that you can check to see who has renewed. Visit the Find a CPA section of the BOA’s website to search for names.

Questions?

CPA firm permits are issued by the Minnesota BOA. They can be reached at 951-296-7938 or www.boa.state.mn.us.
 
The MNCPA is here to help! Reach us at 952-831-2707 or customerservice@mncpa.org.

Learn more about firm permit renewal at www.mncpa.org/firm-permit-renewal.

Is your CPA certificate ready for 2023?

www.mncpa.org/renewal

By Dec. 31, make sure you have:

Renewed your CPA certificate.
All CPAs — whether you’re active or inactive — must renew online by Dec. 31.

Reported your CPE.
Active CPAs must report credits for the period of July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022.