Burdensome restrictions for CPAs would result from Minnesota bill
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Burdensome restrictions for CPAs would result from Minnesota bill

Feb 14, 2023 · 2 min read

Editor’s note: This content originally appeared in a newsletter sent to select AICPA members on February 15, 2023.

The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) is advancing a bill that would result in cross-border restrictions for licensed CPAs and public accounting firms in Minnesota.

The proposal would make it harder for Minnesota CPAs to practice across state lines, physically and virtually. The AICPA has expressed directly to the MNCPA leadership our concerns about any effort that would undermine the profession and the CPA license. We write to you now to alert you to this issue and urge you to share your concerns about the legislation.

What’s at risk: A legal review of the proposed changes has been conducted by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). As the member organization for all state boards of accountancy in the United States, NASBA spelled out key consequences for Minnesota licensees and firms.

Some of the risks that were highlighted:

For Minnesota CPAs: Any change to Minnesota’s education requirement for licensure means Minnesota CPAs would no longer be able to practice in another US state or jurisdiction without first having a re-assessment of their license qualifications, and in most cases, if not all, apply for a license in that jurisdiction.

CPAs would need to hold multiple licenses and incur additional expenses. They would risk being unable to serve clients in a timely manner, would face administrative burdens, and risk noncompliance of various state laws. These requirements would affect current and prospective Minnesota CPA licensees.

For public accounting firms in Minnesota: Minnesota public accounting firms, no longer being able to practice freely across state lines, would need to provide advance notice and gain a practice permit before signing any client engagement agreement or providing any public accounting service.

Real world impact: What do these consequences mean in the real world? If a CPA in Minnesota serves clients in Illinois, they will need to do the following:

  • Submit all college transcripts, experience verification documentation, and exam scores to NASBA to determine if the licensee’s initial licensure qualifications meet the requirements to practice in Illinois.

  • At the discretion of the Illinois Board of Examiners, the Minnesota CPA may need to additionally apply for an initial license in Illinois.

  • The Minnesota CPA’s continuing professional credits may not transfer to Illinois, and the CPA will need to meet any additional continuing professional education requirements in Illinois.

  • The Minnesota CPA may need to meet all relevant or additional ethics requirements in Illinois.

  • The Minnesota CPA may incur additional fees in Illinois to practice public accounting.

What you can do: Carefully consider how this proposal would impact you. Some questions to consider include:

  • What would the new requirements mean for you, your partners, and employees?

  • How would your business suffer, given the loss of mobility to serve clients outside of Minnesota?

  • Would the stipulations diminish the value you provide to clients?

  • Would you be able to set up or continue a virtual and physical practice with these limitations?

As AICPA members in Minnesota, we value your feedback and will defend the importance of mobility for the profession and the public.

Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA
CEO, Public Accounting
American Institute of CPAs

Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA
Chair, American Institute of CPAs

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