Montana CPA Exam Cost: The 5 Critical Fees

Montana CPA Exam Cost

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The Montana CPA exam cost consists of five main fees: the initial examination application of $245, the CPA exam registration which cost $100, a $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, the CPA license application fee of $150, and the renewal fee of $125.

This article will help you to become a CPA in Montana and is a requirement for you to take the Montana CPA exam.

Montana CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

Initial Exam Application Fee$245.00
Registration Fee$100.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections$905.00
CPA License Application Fee$150.00
Active License Renewal Fee$125.00
Late License Renewal Fee$250.00

Summary of Montana CPA Requirements

Credit Hours in Accounting course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Credit Hours in Business-related course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Bachelor’s Required to receive a CPA License?Yes
Credit Hours to receive a CPA License150
Ethics Exam Required?Yes
Work Experience Required1 Year
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years120

Education Requirement

To meet the Montana CPA education requirements, applicants must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree and completed 150 semester hours of credit which includes 24 semester hours of accounting courses and 24 semester hours of business-related courses.

Credit Requirements for Montana CPA License

With a conventional bachelor’s degree in accounting consisting of only 120 semester hours, pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree in accounting is the most tried and established approach to obtain those 30 more credits.

Many of these programs are entirely online. There are also specialized five-year CPA track programs that offer a hybrid bachelor’s and master’s curriculum tailored to provide you with the 150 semester hours required to meet Montana CPA requirements.

Accepted Educational Institutions

Inquire with Montana schools and institutions that offer accounting programs. CPA applicants in Montana must have 150 semester hours of college credit and a bachelor’s degree or higher with an accounting concentration, according to the Montana Board of Public Accountants. Determine whether the Montana Board of Public Accountants will recognize your college credits and whether you are still in college or have recently graduated. Your college or institution must be accredited by one of the following agencies to be accepted by the Board:

Required Courses

Work with your advisor to stay on schedule to complete the required curriculum. Montana requires 24 hours of accounting credits in upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses covering the following topics:

  • 24 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level accounting courses, including at least one system in each of the following subjects:
  • 24 semester hours in business-related courses such as:
    • Business law
    • Information systems
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Economics
    • Organizational behavior
    • Ethics
    • Communication skills
    • Quantitative applications in business

A few points worth noting:

  • Correspondence, online, and CLEP courses from accredited colleges are acceptable if you receive credit for them at an accredited college.
  • Community college courses from accredited community colleges are acceptable.
  • Commercial CPA review courses are not acceptable.
  • Professional training, such as coursework completed as part of a Chartered Accountant program, is not acceptable for fulfilling Montana’s educational requirements

Foreign Education

If you graduated from a university or institution outside the United States, the Foreign Academic Qualifications Service must review your academic credentials (FACS). The assessment form is available on their website. FACS must forward the evaluation to the CPA Examination, ultimately determining your eligibility to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

Pass the Uniform CPA Examination

The “Uniform CPA Examination”, which is a 4-part exam, is developed by the AICPA – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by NASBA – the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

The Four CPA Exam Sections are:

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems) and its underlying business processes, risks and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPA, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Montana CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the Montana CPA ethics exam requirements, candidates are expected to complete the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ethics course called Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure). By the end of the course, an exam is administered and candidates will have to pass with a score of 90% or higher.

Montana Experience Requirements

To meet the Montana CPA experience requirements, candidates must have completed at least one year (2,000 hours) of accounting education and auditing experience. The background must be obtained within three years of applying for a license and working in the private, government, academic, or public accounting sectors. An individual with an active practicing permit must verify the experience.

Apply for Your Montana CPA License

Submit Your Application for Issuance

Because Montana is a two-tier state, an active, licensed CPA must have a certificate and a permit to practice. After passing the Uniform CPA Exam and becoming the experience requirement, a certificate can be applied independently of a practicing permit. A certificate lets the CPA credential be used, but it does not confer practice privileges.

After meeting the experience requirement, you can apply for a practice permit and be awarded practice privileges. After completing the experience requirements, it is usual for CPAs to applaud both their certificate and their practice permit at the same time.

a. Complete Checklists

Checklist for Certification:

  • Completed 150 semester hours of college education and earned a bachelor’s degree
  • Passed the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Passed the AICPA Ethics Examination

Checklist for Permit to Practice:

  • Completed 150 semester hours of college education and earned a bachelor’s degree
  • Passed the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Passed the AICPA Ethics Examination
  • Fulfill the Board’s experience requirement of one year (2000 hours) of accounting experience
  • Verify this experience through the documentation by your supervising CPA

b. Apply for your Montana CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice

  • Use the Application for Original Certification/Permit to Practice
  • Submit along with your application:
    • 3 Verification of Moral Character References (form included within application packet)
    • Ask your college or university to submit an official transcript directly to the Board.
    • Financial Statement Disclosure Form (found within application packet) declaring your intended association with financial statements or Montana clients
    • Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirement (form included within application packet)
    • A fee of $150 payable to the Board of Public Accountants
    • Mail all of the above to Board of Public Accountants, 301 South Park – 4th Floor, P.O. Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513

Receiving Your Montana CPA License

Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt after paying the money and submitting the application through the NASBA portal. Applications are placed on the agenda of the Board if they are offered 15 days or more before a regularly scheduled Board meeting and can take up to two weeks to process.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

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