How to become a CPA in Montana?

As with any other states, becoming a CPA in Montana requires a CPA license. Aspiring CPAs must go through the licensure process set by the Montana Board of Public Accountants. The board has the same steps for prospective CPAs to get their licenses as with other states. However, the specific requirements for each step differ.

Aspiring CPAs that want to work as CPA in Montana must get their CPA license in the state. In Montana, the CPA license is also known as a Permit to Practice. Applicants must register with the Montana Board of Public Accountants and meet all their requirements. The steps of how to become a CPA in Montana are as follows.

How to become a CPA in Montana?

Aspiring CPAs in Montana must start by acquiring formal accounting education. During this process, they must also fulfil the requirements set by the Montana Board of Public Accountants.

Once they get the education, they must take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. After that, they must satisfy the experience requirements set by the board.

During each step, the board has specific requirements that applicants must meet. They must follow these steps as specified by the board. Once they do so, they can apply for their Montana CPA license.

Educational Requirements

Obtaining formal education is crucial for aspiring CPAs. As all the work they will do in the profession includes accounting, this education can help them understand the fundamentals.

They also need this formal education to take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. During their educational period, applicants need to fulfil the Montana Board of Public Accountants’ requirements. These include the following.

  • Applicants must enrol in an accredited college or university that offers accounting programs. During this period, they must complete 150 semester hours of college credit. Similarly, they must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants who have already enrolled in or graduated from a university or college can also apply. However, they must ensure the Montana Board of Public Accountants will accept their credentials.
  • Applicants who have graduate outside the US can also apply. However, the board requires them to evaluate their academic credentials through the Foreign Academic Credential Services.
  • Applicants must also ensure their 150 semester hours of college credit includes the following.
    • 24 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate (or graduate-level) courses in accounting. These must include at least one course in each of the following subjects.
      • Auditing
      • Financial accounting
      • Management accounting
      • Taxation
    • 24 semester hours of courses in business subjects. These may include the following.
      • Business law
      • Communication skills
      • Economics
      • Ethics
      • Finance
      • Information systems
      • Marketing
      • Organizational behaviour
      • Quantitative applications in business
  • The board also accepts Correspondence, online and CLEP courses. However, applicants must have received credit for them from an accredited college. Similarly, community college courses from accredited community colleges are also acceptable.

Uniform CPA Exam

The next step for applicants is to take and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. This exam tests their knowledge of accounting. Applicants must go through the following process to take their exam.

  • Applicants must apply with the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) either online or through an application form. They must include the following with their exam application.
    • Their official transcript directly sent from their college to the CPAES.
    • ADA Modification form if required.
    • Signed and notarized Attestation and Affidavit form.
    • Their 2” x 2” photograph.
    • Applicable fees paid through check or money order or credit card for online applications.
  • Applicants must then schedule their exam through Prometric once they receive their notice to schedule.

Experience Requirements

Applicants must fulfil the experience requirements set by the Montana Board of Public Accountants. This period is crucial for applicants as it allows them to apply their knowledge in practical situations. However, they must ensure that they meet the following requirements during this period.

  • Applicants must pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s Home Study Course on Professional Ethics.
  • They must fulfil one year (or 2,000 hours) of experience in the accounting field. This experience must be under the supervision of a CPA who has an active Permit to Practice in Montana. The supervising CPA will also be responsible for verifying their experience. The experience must satisfy the following requirements.
    • It must be within academia, governmental accounting, private-sector accounting or public accounting.
    • It must either by full- or part-time and meet the hourly requirement.
    • It must take place within three years of when candidates file for a Permit to Practice application.
    • It must include accounting and auditing experience required in the practice of public accounting.
  • Applicants must ask their supervising CPA to fill out and sign the Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirements form. Then, applicants must submit it to the board accompanying their application for a certificate and Permit to Practice.

Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Montana.

  • Applicants must meet the educational requirements set by the Montana Board of Public Accountants.
  • They must then take and pass their Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must meet the experience requirements set by the Montana Board of Public Accountants.
  • They must apply for their certificate and Permit to Practice.

References

  1. “Montana Board of Public Accountants” – http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/pac
  2. “Regulations” – http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/pac#8
  3. “License Information” – http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/pac#1
  4. “Forms” – http://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/pac#9
  5. “Montana | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/licensure/nasbalicensing/montana/