Montana CPA Exam Requirements 2022: A Detailed Breakdown

Montana CPA Exam Requirements

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Montana CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in Montana, we’ve summarized the Montana CPA exam requirements. Read below to know the exact steps and needs to be a licensed CPA in The Treasure State.

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.

Montana Uniform CPA Examination

Applying for the CPA Exam

When you have finished the academic component of the procedure, send your transcripts to CPA Examination Services, a division of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

They will review your curriculum and determine whether you are eligible to take the exam. Send official, sealed transcripts from every university you attended, even if it was only for one course. You are qualified to take the Uniform CPA Examination once you have completed Montana’s educational requirements.

Studying for the CPA Exam

The test itself is extremely challenging, and many applicants must retake one or more sections. Make every effort to prepare as thoroughly as possible. The four parts, which must be completed with a minimum score of 75, cover the following topics:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting–This section covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
  • Auditing and Attestation–This test proves your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing and U.S. standards.
  • Regulation–Ethics and professional and legal responsibilities are the subjects of this test.
  • Business Environment and Concepts–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. Written communication skills are vital to passing this section of the exam.

Choose a CPA Review Course

Several organizations provide high-quality CPA test prep courses, so you should consider which method best fits your learning style (seminar, webinar, On-Demand, or self-study). To get some excellent CPA review courses and Montana CPA exam prep tools for passing your Montana CPA exam, here are the CPA review course that is recommended:

  • Becker CPA Review
  • Surgent CPA Review
  • Gleim CPA Review
  • UWorld Roger CPA Review
  • Wiley CPAexcel

Signing Up for the CPA Exam

They will give you a Notice to Schedule once approved you submitted courses and transcripts. You have six months from that point to arrange and sit for at least one of the four components of the CPA Examination. If you do not take and pass one of the exam components within that time frame, you must reapply and re-submit your price payment.

a. Visit CPA Examination Services (CPAES) to register online or download application forms.

b. Send in all required documentation along with your completed Uniform CPA Exam application:

  • Request that your college send an official transcript directly to CPAES
  • Submit the ADA Modification Form to request disability accommodations as needed
  • Include signed and notarized Attestation and Affidavit Form (included within application packet)
  • Attach a 2” x 2” photograph of your head and shoulders
  • Remit fees by check or money order payable to CPA Examination Services, or credit card form if applying by mail; or by credit card only if using online
  • Send all documentation/fees to CPA Examination – Montana Coordinator, P.O. Box 198469, Nashville, TN 37219-8469.

c. Wait to receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) via mail, fax, or email (depending upon the method you selected when submitting your application).

d. Go to Prometric’s website to schedule your examination at one of Montana’s testing centers. They may be found in Helena and Billings.

Montana CPA Exam Fees

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

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

Passing the CPA Exam

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy administers the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam, Montana CPA license requirements in all 50 states (NASBA).

Montana residents should apply for the exam on the NASBA website. All four components of the exam must be passed with a score of at least 75 within a rolling 18-month period.

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.

How to Meet Montana Work Experience Requirements

Montana is a two-tier state, which means that meeting the schooling requirement and passing the Uniform CPA Exam is sufficient to acquire an inactive CPA Certificate. However, to receive a Permit to Practice and work as an active CPA in the state, you must meet the work experience criteria of the Montana Board of Public Accountants.

Supervisor Requirements

Fill up and sign an Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirements form with your supervising CPA. This will be sent to the board, and your certificate and practice permit CPA exam application process.

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

Interstate Reciprocal License

Do you already possess a CPA certificate or license from another state but wish to practice in Montana? Under the state’s mobility rules, you may complete a Transfer of Licensure Application to receive this privilege.

  • This applies if you hold a CPA certificate or license in any U.S. state or territory except the Virgin Islands.
  • Complete the Transfer of Licensure Application
  • Provide three Verification of Moral Character references (form located within application packet)
  • Provide proof of passing the AICPA Ethics Examination
  • Have your college or university send an official transcript directly to the Board
  • Complete the Financial Statement Disclosure Form (found within the application packet) regarding your intended association with financial statements for Montana clients
  • Submit a fee of $300 for both the CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice (both are necessary to practice as a CPA in Montana actively)
  • Complete the Authorization of Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure Information form (located within the application packet) and send it to the Board of the state in which you passed the Uniform CPA Exam and where you hold your license
  • Have your employer(s) complete the Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirements form (located within the application packet)
  • Send all of the above information to the Board of Public Accountants, 301 South Park – 4th Floor, P.O. Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513

International Reciprocal License

If you hold a CPA license from any of the following international jurisdictions, you may qualify for a CPA certificate and Permit to Practice in Montana:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • CPA Australia (CPAA)
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
  • Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)

Because Montana has a two-tier licensing system, you must first pass the International Qualification Exam (IQEX) and the AICPA Ethics Exam to get a certificate, then apply for a Permit to Practice after meeting the experience requirements. Following completion of the aforementioned requirements:

  • Complete the International Reciprocity Application
  • Provide three Moral Character References (forms included within the application)
  • Obtain verification of passing the AICPA Ethics Exam
  • Complete the Financial Statement Disclosure Form (found within the application packet) regarding your intended association with financial statements for Montana clients
  • Provide documentation of fulfilling Montana’s continuing professional education (CPE) requirement of 120 hours within the past three years, with at least 2 hours in an ethics course
  • Have your employer(s) fill out the Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirements form (located within the application packet)
  • Complete the Authorization for Exchange of Information for International Reciprocity form (located within hin application packet). Submit this form to NAND to a foreign credential evaluation service such as Foreign Academic Credentials Service, Inc. (www.facsusa.com). NASBA will verify your IQEX credits, while the professional credentialing institute will verify your licensure/certification status in the international jurisdiction

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.

Continuing Education

Once you have acquired your CPA degree and Montana Permit to Practice, you must keep these up to date by completing continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

a. Complete 120 hours of CPE every three years

  • At least 2 CPE hours must be in an ethics course
  • As the reporting period ends on June 30, you may carry over any excess CPE hours earned in May and June of that period to the next three-year reporting period
  • If you have not completed your 120 hours by June 30, you may carry back hours from the following months of July and August only so as to meet this requirement

b. Enroll in approved subjects such as:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Management
  • Communication arts
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics and applications
  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Functional fields of business (marketing, production, finance, business management, personnel relations, organization etc)
  • Specialized areas of industry (film, real estate, farming etc)
  • Consulting
  • Ethics
  • Personal development
  • Any other areas that contribute to a CPA’s professional competence

c. Enroll in approved educational formats like:

  • Professional development/educational programs of state, local and national accounting organizations
  • Technical sessions of meetings of state, local and national accounting organizations
  • University/college credit courses
  • University/college non-credit courses
  • Formal in-firm educational programs
  • Education programs of other organizations
  • Committee programs of professional organizations that are structured as educational programs
  • Dinner, lunch and breakfast meetings structured as educational programs
  • Firm meetings structured as educational programs
  • Interactive self-study programs (must be recognized by NASBA’ s CPE Quality Assurance Service or NASBA’s national registry of CPE sponsors)
  • Lecturing, leading discussions, instructing, speaking – may only account for 60 CPE hours every three years
  • Report reviewing – may only account for 16 CPE hours per year
  • Publishing articles and books – may not account for more than 25% of one’s total CPE hours every three years

d. Maintain documentation of your CPE for at least five years, including

  • Course outline
  • Course date
  • Course location
  • Course instructor
  • Number of CPE hours claimed

CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education

CPAs in Montana must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), including at least two hours of ethics, every three years after they are licensed. Accounting, including governmental accounting, auditing; taxation; management services; information technology; statistics, economics, business law; finance; specialized knowledge; and ethics, must account for at least 50% (60 hours) of the 120 CPE hours. Licenses must be renewed annually by December 31st. More information is available on the Board’s website.

Montana CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Montana’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.

Do CPA scores expire in Montana?

The passed section’s expiration dates will be mentioned on your score notice. Exam credit expires in sections. You will lose credit for any section completed after the 18-month time has expired, and you will have to retake those sections.

What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Montana?

You will require 120 hours of semester work to sit for the CPA exam, but 150 hours to complete your application for the license. In addition to acquiring real job experience, the board expects you to pass an Ethics exam.

How do I register to take the CPA exam in Montana?

You can register to take the CPA exam if you have completed Montana’s educational prerequisites. To register online or get application forms, go to CPA Examination Services (CPAES). Send in any relevant documents and your completed Uniform CPA Exam, and wait for your Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the Uniform CPA Exam from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Go to Prometric’s website to arrange your exam at one of Montana’s testing locations.

How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in Montana?

To sit for the Montana CPA license, the required credit is 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours in several course subjects, including 24 semesters (36 quarter) hours of accounting courses above the introductory level, including one course in each of the following: financial accounting.

Does Montana require an ethics exam for the CPA?

To get a permit to practice and work as an active CPA in the state, you must pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics Home Study Course. This must be completed before proceeding with the licensure procedure.

How much is the CPA exam in Montana?

Exam fees in Montana are pretty standard. If you need to retake a test, you will have to pay a variable re-application cost. In Montana, the total cost of the CPA test is $938.20.

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