Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

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Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants
MNCPAlogo.png
Abbreviation MNCPA
Formation July 14, 1904 (1904-07-14)
Type Professional association
Headquarters 1650 W. 82nd St. Suite 600, Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
Website www.mncpa.org

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) is a professional association for certified public accountants (CPAs) in Minnesota.

A group of accountants founded the MNCPA in 1904 with the purpose of elevating the profession and supporting the passage of Minnesota's Certified Public Accountant law in 1909.[1]

Today, the MNCPA has more than 9,000 members and focuses on four initiatives:

  • Educate members through seminars, conferences, events, online modules, and print and digital publications
  • Develop emerging and established leaders
  • Provide professional tools, resources and information to members
  • Build CPAs’ professional reputation as the most trusted, ethical advisers to the public

History[edit]

The MNCPA incorporated on July 14, 1904, with seven charter members.[2] The organization originally incorporated under the name, "Minnesota Society of Public Accountants." The society adopted its current name in 1928 after merging with another organization for CPAs in Minnesota, the "Minnesota State Society of Certified Public Accountants."[3]

Minnesota was the 19th state to organize a CPA society, nine years after the state of California created the first CPA society in 1895.[4]

Who are CPAs?[edit]

Not all accountants can call themselves a certified public accountant (CPA). CPAs are experts in tax planning, business decision-making and investment strategies. Unlike non-licensed tax preparers, CPAs are highly regulated by state and federal agencies, and must adhere to strict professional and technical requirements. By fulfilling annual continuing education requirements, CPAs stay up to date on the latest tax law changes, and apply those changes to each clients’ unique financial situation to minimize their tax bill. CPAs are valued for their analytical skills, integrity and dedication to service.

Governance[edit]

The MNCPA is governed by a 16-person board, annually elected by the membership. MNCPA leadership includes the board chair and the MNCPA president.

A staff of 30 oversees the daily operations of the organization at the MNCPA office in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Members can volunteer to join MNCPA committees or task forces, which are designed to provide member input on programs, events or services. Such committees include conference task forces, legislative groups and ethics committees.

Membership[edit]

Those interested in MNCPA membership can join as a:[5]

  • CPA member: individuals who have completed the CPA exam in any state
  • Associate member: non-CPAs working in an accounting capacity, including: billable professionals within public accounting, accounting professionals within business and industry, firm administrators, and accounting educators

MNCPA members work in the following areas:

  • 48 percent in public accounting firms
  • 42 percent in business and industry
  • 4 percent in government and education

More than 70 percent of the MNCPA membership is focused in the seven-county Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Approximately 28 percent reside in Greater Minnesota. Additionally, more than 2,000 members are categorized by chapter. The MNCPA's five chapters include members living and working in communities across Minnesota who benefit from additional programs and services.

MNCPA members renew their membership annually on April 1.

Involvement[edit]

Through more than 40 volunteer programs, the MNCPA provides CPAs with opportunities to serve the profession, their communities, and enhance their careers and professional reputations.

Outreach[edit]

MNCPA volunteers share valuable information with the public. MNCPA volunteers speak to students about financial literacy and CPA careers. Tax experts share their knowledge with the media during the MNCPA's tax season public relations campaign. Volunteers also have opportunities to offer ideas or write articles for one of the MNCPA's publications, providing necessary information for CPAs to do their jobs and better serve their clients.

Networking[edit]

Networking is important to CPAs looking to take on new clients and maintain current working relationships. MNCPA members enhance their networking skills and build new connections through programs or events tailored to their professional niche, such as the Young Professionals Group (YPG), Small Firm Roundtables, and Business and Industry Member Get-togethers.

Advocacy[edit]

CPAs understand how new tax laws will affect their work, their businesses and the clients they represent. MNCPA members use their knowledge to educate and influence Minnesota legislators on tax issues through the MNCPA's Government Relations program. Advocacy opportunities range from serving on the Legislative Issues Committee to attending the MNCPA's annual CPA Day at the Capitol.

Ethics[edit]

The MNCPA Professional Ethics Committee reviews complaints against MNCPA members and suggests disciplinary action based on the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct. This is separate from any action by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy, the AICPA Ethics Division or other professional organizations.

Peer Review[edit]

All firms in public accounting must be enrolled in the Peer Review program. This is a requirement for firm licensure with the Minnesota Board of Accountancy.

Peer Review should be an important factor for the public when selecting a CPA firm. Firms that undergo peer review on a regular basis show dedication to maintaining high quality in the services they provide.

Member Services[edit]

MNCPA members receive benefits as part of their annual membership. These include free or reduced-cost access to services traditionally used by CPAs in various fields. Such services include, but are not limited to:

Uniform CPA Examination for Minnesota Candidates[edit]

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination consists of four parts (taken in any order):

  • Auditing & Attestation (AUD)
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)
  • Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)

To begin the exam process in Minnesota, a student with a completed bachelor's degree in accounting must submit the exam application on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's website. Once approved, the exam candidate will receive a Notice to Schedule, allowing them to set their exam dates at a testing center.

Exam candidates must pass all four exam sections within 18 months for the exam to be considered complete.

The Minnesota Board of Accountancy sets forth exam eligibility rules in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, those who complete the exam are referred to as "exam passers" while completing the remaining requirements for CPA certification.

CPA Certification in Minnesota[edit]

In Minnesota, exam passers receive a CPA certificate after completing the exam and meeting additional certification requirements, including:

  • One year of work experience
  • Passage of a self-study ethics exam
  • 150 college credits

Minnesota CPAs initially earn an active CPA certificate. Minnesota offers two certificate options:

  • Active: renewal by Dec. 31; report continuing education annually to the BOA by Dec. 31 for the three-year reporting period ending June 30.
  • Inactive: renewal by Dec. 31; no continuing education requirement. Minnesota CPAs of this status must state 'inactive' when using the credential in print.

MNCPA Recognition Dinner[edit]

New CPAs gather to celebrate at the MNCPA's Recognition Dinner.

A lot of time and effort goes into earning the CPA credential. To honor those who achieved this distinction, the MNCPA hosts its biannual MNCPA Recognition Dinner for new Minnesota CPAs and their employers.

Guests take the Oath of the CPA, administered by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy Chair, in addition to enjoying dinner and a presentation that includes a professional keynote speaker.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)[edit]

Ongoing education is an important factor in maintaining the CPA credential. In Minnesota, active CPAs must earn continuing professional education (CPE) to use the credential without restriction. Inactive CPAs are not required to earn CPE, but many return to the classroom to stay up to date on issues that affect them as professionals.

The Minnesota Board of Accountancy sets and enforces continuing professional education requirements, outlined in Chapter 1105 of Minnesota Administrative Rules. Active CPAs must earn 120 hours of CPE every three years, including eight hours of ethics credits, with a minimum of 20 CPE hours annually.

In Minnesota, a CPE year runs from July 1 to June 30.

CPAs must be aware of the types of CPE accepted by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. CPE limitations, including caps on self-study or courses offered by non-registered providers, exist to protect the credibility of the education required for the credential.

MNCPA Education Benefits[edit]

The MNCPA provides high-quality continuing professional education programs. The MNCPA is a board-approved sponsor. MNCPA members enjoy discounts on educational courses, but anyone can attend an MNCPA class or conference.

Courses[edit]

The MNCPA offers more than 250 full- or partial-day seminars and conferences each year. Programs feature local and national speakers on a variety of tax, business or professional development topics to improve a CPA's skill set. A complete catalog of MNCPA CPE programs is available online.

Conferences[edit]

The MNCPA currently hosts 11 conferences a year, including Tax Conference, the largest of its kind in the Midwest, and the Management and Business Advisers Conference.

Other CPE Options[edit]

The MNCPA offers several alternatives to live education options, including webcasts, self-study or on-site courses.

MNCPA CPE Log[edit]

The MNCPA provides an online tool called the CPE Log to help MNCPA members easily track their credits to maintain certification. A BOA Reporting Summary is included within the CPE Log to assist with reporting CPE hours to the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. Nonmembers can print certificates of completion for MNCPA courses.

Volunteers field calls during the MNCPA's Taxline, hosted by KARE 11.

Public Service[edit]

The MNCPA provides members the opportunity to inform, educate and assist the public. Programs include, but are not limited to:

The MNCPA CPA Referral Service[edit]

A free online service enabling the public to search for a Minnesota CPA by specialty or location. The MNCPA CPA Referral Service is promoted during tax season through the MNCPA's annual public relations effort, Tax Campaign. During this campaign, media spokespeople share their expertise about tax planning and preparation issues.

Taxline[edit]

Viewers call or email MNCPA volunteers with general tax questions during this week-long event at KARE 11 studios in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Talk to the Students[edit]

MNCPA volunteers speak to Minnesota students in the classroom about the CPA profession as a career option.

BestPrep[edit]

Through a partnership with BestPrep, a nonprofit that works with schools throughout Minnesota, MNCPA volunteers speak to students about money management and financial literacy skills.

Prepare + Prosper[edit]

Volunteers provide free tax preparation, financial education and asset development services to thousands of low-income individuals and families each year.

Military Tax Help[edit]

The MNCPA partners with the Minnesota National Guard to offer free tax preparation to deployed military service members.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, The First Era: 1904 - 1934." (June/July 2004). Footnote, pp. 12
  2. ^ "Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, The First Era: 1904 - 1934." (June/July 2004). Footnote, pp. 11
  3. ^ "Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, The First Era: 1904 - 1934." (June/July 2004). Footnote, pp. 13
  4. ^ "Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, The First Era: 1904 - 1934." (June/July 2004). Footnote, pp. 11
  5. ^ "Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants Bylaws". ( April 2008). http://www.mncpa.org/about/mncpa-info/fact-sheet/bylaws.pdf.aspx . MNCPA.

External links[edit]