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Newly certified? Don’t lose that CPA certificate luster

BOA Business

Anne Janotta Erickson, MNCPA senior business & industry marketing coordinator | June/July 2019 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated May 31, 2019

New cars have a smell. New clothes have a look. And new CPAs? They have a glow!

Yes, that’s right. A new CPA’s pride shines through in all they do. For proof, attend an MNCPA Recognition Dinner where you’ll find smiles from wall to wall.

Ensure that newly certified glow never loses its luster. How? By understanding the Minnesota Board of Accountancy’s (BOA) deadlines and rules for your first year as a CPA.

Mark your calendar

First things first. Avoid potential noncompliance issues by noting — and then understanding — the certification deadlines for your first year as a CPA.
Jan. 1–June 30, 2019
July 1–Dec. 31, 2019
First CPE year begins: July 1, 2019 July 1, 2020
Minimum 20 CPE credits needed by: June 30, 2020 June 30, 2021
CPE reporting deadline: Dec. 31, 2020 Dec. 31, 2021
First CPA certificate renewal deadline: Dec. 31, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019

CPE reporting

CPE year equals July 1–June 30

As a new CPA, you’re exempt from reporting for the CPE year that you were first licensed in. Upon July 1 of the next CPE year, you need to begin complying with CPE rules and ultimately report your credits to the BOA. Upon the completion of your first CPE year (and annually thereafter), active CPAs report their CPE credits to the BOA by Dec. 31. Use the BOA’s online services website to report your credits.

What am I reporting?

As a new CPA with an active certificate, you will need to complete a minimum of 20 credits within your first CPE year.

Going forward, you must earn 120 CPE credits per rolling three-year period. Within this 120-credit total, maintain a minimum of eight ethics credits, 60 technical credits and 24 group/blended-learning credits.

A minimum of 20 credits is required annually for all active CPAs. However, it’s smart to evenly balance the number of credits taken each year to avoid having to take a lot of credits every third CPE year.

Visit www.mncpa.org/cpe-rules for a breakdown of the types of credits required for certificate renewal in Minnesota.

CPA certificate renewal

Your initial CPA certificate expires Dec. 31 of the year it was issued.

In subsequent years, remember to renew your CPA certificate annually by Dec. 31. Renew through the BOA’s online services website.

Initial CPA certificates are always active. CPAs who work in public accounting or perform work on the side that requires an active license or firm permit must maintain an active status.

The inactive CPA status is an option for others provided CPE credits are in order and you are certain you will no longer need an active license. Choose to go inactive when you renew your CPA certificate, with an effective date of Jan. 1. Note, inactive CPA certificates require annual renewal.


CPA certificates are issued and regulated by the Minnesota BOA. Reach them at 651-296-7938 or www.boa.state.mn.us.
Let the MNCPA clarify the rules surrounding CPA certification. Contact customer service at 952-831-2707 or customerservice@mncpa.org. Or visit www.mncpa.org/first-year.