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CPE: Carryback and carry on

BOA Business

Anne Janotta Erickson, MNCPA membership marketing team leader | June/July 2021 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated May 27, 2021

Think back to one year ago.

In the midst of a whole lot of change and uncertainty, the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) provided a touch of relief in the form of a CPE deadline extension. This allowed CPAs three extra months to meet their CPE requirement.

CPAs weren’t required to use this extension from June 30 to Sept. 30. Those who did reported the credits when they renewed and reported by the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline.

Sounds straightforward, right? Well, yes. And no.

You see, where there are deadline extensions, there’s bound to be questions. Couple that with misunderstandings involving carryback credits and you’ve got a recipe for errors.

Let’s curb the confusion once and for all!

CPE extension considerations

Did you take advantage of the BOA’s CPE deadline extension in 2020? Factor in these considerations into your CPE planning.

Avoid double-dipping

CPE credits earned between July 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, can only be counted within one CPE year. Not two.

It would be easy to make a mistake and report these credits twice — once in CPE fiscal year 2020 and again in 2021. It behooves you to keep careful tabs on these credits, as reporting errors due to inconsistencies could put you in noncompliance hot water.

Split credits between CPE years

Taking advantage of the BOA’s CPE deadline extension didn’t require you to apply all CPE earned between July 1 and Sept. 30 to the same CPE fiscal year. You could have split credits earned during this timeframe up between CPE fiscal year 2020 and 2021.

The important part — should you split up credits between years — is to keep tabs on which credits you applied toward which year. Otherwise, you could end up double-dipping (see before) or shortchanging yourself.

Carryback CPE 101

What happens if a CPE year ends (usually this is June 30) and you discover you’re short on CPE credits? Carryback to the rescue.

CPAs are allowed to carryback credits earned after the BOA’s CPE deadline to satisfy the requirements of a prior CPE reporting period. You can’t double-dip on carryback credits, though, so be sure to track your hours in the correct CPE year.

Falling short on your annual CPE requirement is a basis for disciplinary action. Expect to pay a late processing fee of $50 for the first month, or partial month, of noncompliance and $25 per month, or partial month, of noncompliance thereafter until you’ve earned enough CPE and provided documentation of compliance to the BOA.

Can I carryforward CPE?

Nope. Carrying your CPE forward from one CPE year to the next is a no-go with the BOA.


The Minnesota BOA regulates the CPA profession. They can be reached at 651-296-7938 or

The MNCPA is here to help. Reach us at 952-831-2707 or

Don’t forget about June 30

The current CPE year ends June 30. Be sure to earn 120 CPE and 8 ethics credits for the CPE reporting period of July 1, 2018–June 30, 2021.

Learn more about CPE reporting

Tracking carryback credits is a piece of cake with the CPE Log

The CPE Log keeps getting better! Recent enhancements make it easier than ever to track carryback hours within this online reporting tool. Other changes include the ability to edit MNCPA course records and add documentation.  

Learn more