Board Information

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Montana, all Montana Department of Labor & Industry offices are closed to the public to protect the health and safety of our clients and staff.  Our services are available through remote delivery.  We are available to assist customers through our online public portal at EBIZ.MT.GOV/POL (Professional and Occupational Licenses) and EBIZ.MT.GOV (for Permits). For other services, please contact us via email at DLIBSDWEBHELP@MT.GOV or by phone (406) 841-2300.

Welcome to the Montana Board of Public Accountants

 

Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, all board meetings will be held by conference call.  No outside participants or stakeholders will be allowed access in the building.  Please attend by phone. 

Effective immediately, Prometric has closed test centers in the US and Canada for 30 days.  They anticipate re-opening test centers on May 1, 2020.  Please note the specific date will depend on circumstances that are changing daily.  

Mission

The mission of the Montana Board of Public Accountants is to protect the public by regulating Certified Public Accountants and their firms to ensure their compliance with professional standards and the laws of Montana.

COVID-19 and Examinations

NTS Extensions -  All candidates with NTS expirations between April 1 – December 30, 2020 will be extended until December 31, 2020.

Conditional Exam Credit expiring between April 1 - December 30, 2020 will be extended until December 31, 2020. If you require an extension beyond December 31, 2020, you will need to make a request and the Board will consider those requrests on a case by case basis.   

CPE Audit Service

The Montana Board of Public Accountants, in cooperation with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is offering the CPE Audit Service platform for all Montana CPAs.  The CPE Audit Service is available for your use to track and store all of your CPE records in one location, review your ongoing compliance with the CPE requirements of the Board as you complete CPE, and submit CPE records and documentation in response to a CPE Audit by the Board.

Once you have accessed the account for the first time, please visit the “Help” menu for video tutorials that focus on commonly used functionality within the site. 

Summary of CPE Requirements

The Board has prepared a summary of the requirements.  The two hour ethics requirement remains.  The two hours of ethics can be considered part of the 60 hours of technical subjects.    

CPE Reporting Requirements

All active permit holders are required to maintain 120 hours of CPE, including 50% technical subjects including two hours of ethics, to maintain an active license.  The basic requirement must be completed between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020.  If you are selected for random audit you must report your CPE and attach acceptable documentation using the CPE tracking system.  

Basic CPE requirements are 120 hours of CPE and must include a minimum of 50% (60 hours) of technical subjects as defined by board rule.  The mandatory 2 hours of ethics are included in the technical subjects. 

New licensees must meet the basic CPE requirement by December 31 of the third year following their initial year of licensing.  As an example, if an individual receives their initial Montana CPA license in 2020, they must meet the basic CPE requirement between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023.

CPE Audit Service

Peer Review

All firms must enroll in a board-approved peer review program if they perform any of the following services:

  • Audit
  • Review
  • Compilations
  • Any examination, review, or agreed upon procedures engagement to be performed in accordance with SSAE

The initial peer review is due 18 months from the date of enrollment, or the date the firm should have been enrolled (date began providing services).

A board-approved peer review program is a program the where the administering entity administers the AICPA peer review program.  Currently the Nevada Society of CPAs administers the peer review program for Montana firms.

Practice Continuation Agreements

As a sole practitioner do you have a plan in place to ensure that your clients’ services and your employees’ salaries will continue if you becoming incapacitated or die?  What about safeguarding your client records? 

NASBA and AICPA have recently completed the document Practice Continuation Agreements: A Practice Survival Kit to help practitioners develop a succession plan.  A practice continuation agreement is a contract that ensures your practice is transferred to another CPA firm or individual in the event of your disability to death. 

While there is no requirement for such an agreement, the Board of Public Accountants recommends you consider addressing the issues surrounding the continuation of your practice or who will handle its closure. 

Contact Information


Thank you for your interest in contacting the Montana Board of Public Accountants.  


If you are already licensed or have questions about renewing your license from the Board of Public Accountants:

Professional Licensing Customer Service:

(406) 444-6880

DLIBSDHELP@MT.GOV

 

If you have applied or have questions about applying for a CPA license from the Board of Public Accountants:

Phone: (866) 350-0017

Email: LICENSING@NASBA.ORG

Website: WWW.NASBA.ORG

 

If you have scope of practice questions or comments for the Board of Public Accountants:

Grace Berger, Executive Officer

(406) 841-2244

DLIBSDPAC@MT.GOV

 

If you have questions about CPE auditing:

Phone: (844) 273-8722

Email: CPEAUDITSERVICE@NASBA.ORG

Website: CPEAUDITSERVICE.NASBA.ORG

 

If you have questions or would like to enroll in the Peer Review Program:

Kary Arnold, Finance & Peer Review Program Manager

Nevada Society of CPAs

Phone: (775) 826-6800

Email: KARNOLD@NEVADACPA.ORG

Website: HTTPS://WWW.NEVADACPA.ORG/PEER-REVIEW

 

If you have questions about continuing education:

Phone: (406) 841-2244

Email: DLIBSDPAC@MT.GOV

 

If you have questions about filing a complaint against a licensee:

(406) 841-2312

DLIBSDCOMPLAINTS@MT.GOV


Mailing Address:

Board of Public Accountants

PO Box 200513

Helena, MT 59620-0513

 

Physical Address:

Board of Public Accountants

301 S. Park Avenue

4th Floor

Helena, MT 59620

Board Events

Board meetings are usually held several times a year.
Meeting minutes are posted within 3 days of board approval.

In general, Board meetings are open to the public.
There are certain meetings or parts (Screening Panel and Executive Session), which are closed to the public.

Scheduled and Proposed Meetings

Board Members

Board members are appointed by the Governor with Senate confirmation.

Individual Board Members can be contacted by email at dlibsdpac@mt.gov. In your message please specify which board member you would like to contact.

For additional contact information and information on board member terms, please visit the Governor’s Office link for Board Members and Councils at http://boards.mt.gov

 

John Jacobsen, CPA, Chair
 

Dan Vuckovich, CPA, Secretary

Ranetta Jones, CPA

Linda Harris, CPA
 
Lucinda "Cindy" Willis, Public Member
 
Kathleen VanDyke. Public Member
 
Mike Huotte, CPA

Montana Application Requirements

Applications for initial CPA licensure in Montana will be processed through NASBA Licensing Service.  All initial applications must be submitted to NASBA Licensing Service.  For assistance in filing a complete application, download the applicaiton checklist.

When applying for a license through NASBA Licensing Service, you must select your method of application.  If you are a former Montana certificate holder with a terminated license who is now applying for a full permit license, you will apply by Original License method.  You must order a license verification from Montana to be sent to NASBA Licensing Service or provide transcripts, any required education evaluation, evidence of passing the Uniform CPA Exam, and evidence of completing the AICPA Comprehensive Ethics course.  

Methods of License Application

Original License – This application is for Montana exam candidates that have successfully passed the Uniform CPA exam and are applying for first-time licensure, as well as those individuals previously licensed in Montana but let their license terminate, and are not licensed in another jurisdiction. Please see the information under tab: Becoming a CPA by Examination. 

Transfer of Grade – This application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that have passed the Uniform CPA exam in another jurisdiction but have not been licensed in another jurisdiction.  Individuals applying for licensure through Transfer of Grade must meet Montana’s education requirements.   Please see information under the tab: Becoming a CPA by Transfer of Grade.

All Original License applications and Transfer of Grade applications are reviewed by the Board at their regularly scheduled board meetings.  A COMPLETE application must be received 15 business days prior to a scheduled board meeting to be included on that meeting agenda.  Please refer to Board Information/Board Meetings for specific meeting dates.

Transfer of License – This application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that hold a current, active, unrestricted  license from a substantially equivalent jurisdiction.  Please see the information under the tab: Becoming a CPA by Transfer of Licensure. 

International Reciprocity – This application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that hold a license with a professional credentialing institute that has a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with NASBA/AICPA.  Please see the information under the tab: Becoming a CPA by International Reciprocity. 

Renewal Information - All licenses must be renewed by December 31 of each year, or a 100% late fee will be added to the renewal fee.  The fee to timely renew a license is: 

  • $125.00 for full active licensees
  • $75 for inactive licensees
  • $25 for retired licensees
  • No fee is currently charged for annual firm registration, but it must still be filed by December 31

Montana Exam Requirements

In order to pass the Uniform CPA Examination as a Montana candidate, all four sections must be passed with a grade of 75 or above within a rolling 18-month window. Upon receiving a written request from the candidate, an extension of the 18-month window may be granted in certain circumstances at the Board’s discretion.

When applying for licensure in Montana, applicants must also complete the AICPA Ethics Professional Course. Information on this exam/course can be found HERE.

Montana Education Requirements

For exams taken/passed in November 1997 or after, applicants for examination and/or licensure must have completed the following education from an accredited four-year institution at the time of applying to sit for the exam:

  • At least 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of accounting courses above the introductory level, to include one course in each of the following:
  • Financial accounting;
  • Auditing;
  • Taxation;
  • Management accounting; AND
  • At least 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in non-accounting, general business courses. Examples of business courses include information systems, business law, finance, economics, marketing, ethics, organizational behavior, quantitative applications in business and communication skills.

Subsequent to successful passage of the exam, applicants for licensure must have:

  • Graduated from an accredited college or university with a baccalaureate degree; and
  • Successfully completed at least 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) of credit.

An accredited school is one that is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, or one of the regional accrediting agencies in Board rule under ARM 24.201.501.

Any foreign-obtained education must be evaluated by the NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) in reference to Montana education requirements.   

Applicants who did not sit for the exam as a Montana candidate must submit official transcripts for all education to NASBA's CPA Examination Services (CPAES) for evaluation in reference to Montana education requirements. 

To determine the education requirements for exams taken/passed prior to November, 1997, please refer to Board rule ARM 24.201.503.

Montana Experience Requirements

In order to obtain a Montana CPA license, you must have one year (2000 hours) of acceptable accounting and/or auditing experience obtained within the three years preceding the date of application for licensure.

Experience will be considered acceptable by the Board if satisfactory evidence is presented of having performed accounting and auditing functions ordinarily required in the practice of public accounting.  The experience may be in the private, governmental, academic or public accounting areas.

MCA 37-50-101 Definitions
(10) "Practice of public accounting" means performing or offering to perform, by a person licensed as a certified public accountant, or holding a practice privilege under MCA, 37-50-325, for a client or potential client one or more types of services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, including:
(a) the issuance of reports or financial statements on which the public may rely;
(b) one or more types of management advisory or consulting services;
(c) the preparation of tax returns; or
(d) furnishing advice on tax matters.

All applicable experience must be attested to by a US CPA in good-standing, or a supervisor licensed from a professional accounting body with a MRA with NASBA. If your supervisor is not a US CPA, you may use the services of the NASBA Experience Verification Service to obtain attestation by a US CPA. You may also obtain an attestation from an individual who is not your supervisor, but they must be familiar with your work and able to attest that the experience meets professional standards. If the attesting CPA is not your supervisor, they must explain how they verified the experience. This should include a narrative of the steps they took to verify that the work they are attesting to meets professional standards and how they verified the hours.

Or, if applying using military experience and no U.S. CPA can attest to the experience, your commanding officer must provide sufficient information on your duties and responsibilities for the Board to evaluate to determine if you meet the 2000 hour experience requirement. 

Exam Information

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) provides examination services for the Montana Board to accommodate the Computer-Based Uniform CPA Examination.

The Board office does not receive candidate information until all portions of the exam have been passed in an acceptable period of time. Questions regarding applications to sit for the exam, notices to schedule (NTS) and exam grading should be directed to NASBA at 1-800-CPA-EXAM or cpaes-mt@nasba.org.

Candidates are encouraged to review the Uniform CPA Examination tutorial and sample tests.  Unfamiliarity with the examination’s functionality, format and directions may adversely affect candidate scores. Reviewing the tutorial and sample tests, including the directions on how to respond, should provide the candidate with more confidence when reporting to the test center.

Becoming a CPA by Examination

Application for Original License

 

This License Application is for Montana exam candidates that have successfully passed the CPA exam and are applying for first-time licensure, as well as for those individuals licensed in Montana previously but let their license terminate, and are not licensed in another jurisdiction.

  • To obtain a license, you must have passed all four sections of the exam and meet the education and experience requirements. There is no residency requirement and a social security number is not necessary to obtain a license.

Individuals must hold an active license in order to practice public accounting in Montana. See 37-50-101(10), MCA, for the definition of the practice of public accounting.

The Board reviews applications at regularly scheduled meetings. In order to be placed on the agenda for a meeting, an application must be complete 15 business days prior to the meeting. Please refer to Board Information/Board Meetings for specific meeting dates.

Applications not completed within 12 months of the date the application is received are considered invalid and void. A new application and fee will be required in order to reapply.

Becoming a CPA by Transfer of Grades

Transfer of Grades

The Transfer of Grades Application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that have passed the CPA exam in another jurisdiction and are not licensed in another jurisdiction. Individuals applying for a license through Transfer of Grades must meet Montana’s education requirements.

  • To obtain a license, you must have passed all four sections of the exam and meet the education and experience requirements. There is no residency requirement and a social security number is not necessary to obtain a permit to practice.

NOTE: Applicants who did not sit for the exam as a Montana candidate must submit official transcripts for all education to NASBA's CPA Examination Services (CPAES) for evaluation in reference to Montana's education requirements. For more information: NASBA Academic Credentialing Evaluation Service Website. Any foreign-obtained education must be evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES) in reference to Montana’s education requirements. 

Individuals must hold an active license in order to practice public accounting in Montana.  See 37-50-101(10), MCA, for the definition of the practice of public accounting.

The Board reviews applications at regularly scheduled meetings. In order to be placed on the agenda for a meeting, an application must be complete 15 business days prior to the meeting. Please refer to Board Information/Board Meetings for specific meeting dates.

Applications not completed within 12 months of the date the application is received are considered invalid and void. A new application and fee will be required in order to reapply.

Becoming a CPA by Transfer of Licensure

Transfer of Licensure

The Transfer of Licensure Application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that hold a license in another jurisdiction.  NOTE: If Montana is not your primary place of business, you may qualify for practice privilege. Please review the mobility information on this website.

To obtain a License through Transfer of License, you must hold an active, current, unrestricted licensed from a substantially equivalent jurisdiction. There is no residency requirement and a social security number is not necessary to obtain a license.

You must provide a verification of licensure from any jurisdiction where you hold or have ever held a professional license.  

Applications not completed within 12 months of the date the application is received are considered invalid and void. A new application and fee will be required in order to reapply.

Becoming a CPA by International Reciprocity

International Reciprocity

The International Reciprocity Application is for individuals applying for licensure in Montana that hold a license with a professional credentialing institute that have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with NASBA/AICPA. 

If your professional credential institute is not listed and you want to be licensed as a CPA in the U.S., you will need to take the Uniform CPA Examination as a candidate of one of the 55 jurisdictions.

NASBA offers the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) to qualifying candidates from MRA jurisdictions each year. The IQEX is used to examine the professional competence, from a United States perspective, of accountants from foreign bodies, determined by the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) to have education, examination, and experience requirements substantially equivalent to United States CPAs. The IQEX tests reciprocity applicants on their knowledge of U.S. professional standards, U.S. taxation and business law. You can obtain information about sitting for the IQEX on the NASBA website at www.nasba.org/iqex.

  • To obtain a license, you must have passed the IQEX exam and meet the education and experience requirements outlined in ARM 24.201.529. There is no residency requirement and a social security number is not necessary to obtain a permit to practice.

Individuals must hold an active license in order to practice public accounting in Montana.  See 37-50-101(10), MCA, for the definition of the practice of public accounting.

Applications not completed within 12 months of the date the application is received are considered invalid and void. A new application and fee will be required in order to reapply.

License Reactivation

Permit holders currently on inactive status who would like to return to an active status should complete the License Reactivation Application and submit to our office with the appropriate fee and supporting documentation.

Please Note:
In order to reactivate a permit to practice, you must comply with the full basic continuing professional education (CPE) requirement during the three-year period immediately preceding the application for reactivation of the permit to practice (ARM 24.201.2161). The full basic requirement involves completion of 120 hours of acceptable continuing education with a subset of two hours of ethics. You must include documentation such as certificates of completion (ARM 24.201.2124) with your reactivation application to verify the basic requirement has been met.

Mobility

Firm  Mobility

As of July 1, 2017, Montana is a firm mobility state.  A firm that does not have an office in Montana may offer or render attest services, compilations, and professional services other than attest and compilations in Montana if the firm:

o   complies with Montana peer review and firm ownership qualifications if offering attest or complication services;

o   performs the services through an individual with practice privileges under 37-50-325; and

o   has practice privileges that include offering or performing that level of services in the state where the firm has its principal place of business.

 

Mobility (Practice Privilege)

If you practice public accounting and Montana is your primary place of business, you are required to hold a Montana permit to practice.

If Montana is not your primary place of business you do not need a Montana license and are not required to notify the Board office that you are working in the state.

If you practice in Montana under practice privilege (mobility) you are:

  • Subject to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and disciplinary authority of the Montana Board of Public Accountants;
  • Required to comply with all Montana Board of Public Accountants statutes and rules;
  • Required to cease offering or rendering professional services in Montana if your license from the state of your principal place of business is no longer valid; and
  • Required to accept the appointment of the state board that issued your licensee as the agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Montana Board of Public Accountants.

For more information on mobility (practice privilege), please visit CPAmobility.org

 

Lookup Licensed Individual

Licensee Lookup System

This site is a primary source for verification of license credentials.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards Division, presents Licensee Lookup information as a service to the public. The Division relies upon information provided by licensees to be true and correct, as required by statute. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for a licensee knowingly to provide erroneous information to the Division.

The Department of Labor and Industry makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content of this website. Assessing the accuracy and reliability of information obtained from this website is solely the responsibility of the user. If you have questions regarding information found within this Licensee Lookup website, please contact the specific licensing board directly.

Please note that some disciplinary actions against licensees may not appear immediately on the website. Appeals, effective dates of orders and other administrative processes may delay posting on the website. Please contact the specific licensing board directly if you require discipline information that occurred prior to July 1, 1996.

Download List of Licensees

License Download System

This service allows you to purchase complete lists of individuals, businesses, and contractors licensed with the State of Montana through the Business Standards Division.

Options include:

  • Creating a customized list of licensees by selecting board type, license type, license status, county, etc.;
  • Submitting payment for your list using a credit/debit card or registered user account
  • Downloading your list immediately, and if necessary, retrieving your list within 24-hours of purchase

Statute/Rule Information

All of the Statutes and Rules listed here are applicable to this board.

Statutes are laws passed by the Legislature. All changes in statutes must go through the legislative process and be passed into law before they become effective. Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 3 is the Uniform Regulatory Act passed by the Legislature in 1995. All professional and occupational licensing is covered in these statutes.

Administrative Rules pertaining to public accountants are written and adopted by the Board of Public Accountants. The Board writes rules in order to administer the laws over which the Legislature has given the Board authority. Rules can be changed by going through the rule-making procedure. They do not go through the Legislative process. The Board of Public Accountants continuously reviews rules to determine needed changes.

The Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) at this site contain what should be the same text as the official version published by the Office of the Secretary of State. There is a possibility, however, that the content may vary from the official version. In addition, the format has been changed for viewing on this web site. A copy of the official ARM in official format can be obtained from the ARM Bureau of the Office of the Secretary of State, by emailing SOSARM@mt.gov. A web version of the ARM published by the Secretary of State can be viewed at Secretary of State's Administrative Rules of Montana.

Administrative Rules

Rules Notices

Click here to find rules notices older than one year at the Montana Secretary of State website.


MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-101-308

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.417 registration for out-of-state volunteer professionals

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT (published May 29, 2020)

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT (effective July 25, 2020)

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-201-53

 

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.201.502 accounting and auditing experience requirements, 24.201.516 granting of examination credit, 24.201.723 records, 24.201.2106 basic continuing education requirement, and 24.201.2138 credit for service as lecturer, instructor, technical reviewer, speaker, or report reviewer.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT

NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT

 

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-201-52

 

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.201.1108 alternatives and exemptions, 24.201.2148 verification, 24.201.2402 exercise of practice privilege in other jurisdictions, 24.201.2410 enforcement against license holders and practice privilege holders

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT

NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT

Statutes


Complaint Information

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry and Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards are charged with taking appropriate action for unprofessional, incompetent, or unlawful practice. To learn more about the complaint process or to file a complaint, please visit our Complaint Information page.

How to File a Complaint

FAQ