Broadening Pathways to CPA Licensure: Minnesota Senate Advances Bill

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) led the charge to broaden and simplify avenues toward CPA licensure, a movement that gained significant traction as Senate File 1660 progressed through the Minnesota Senate on March 7. In a significant move, the State and Local Government and Veterans Committee propelled the bill to the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee through a voice vote.

Crafted based on member feedback and MNCPA board support, the bill offers an alternative route to licensure with a bachelor’s degree (120 credits) and two years of work experience, while maintaining the current 150-hour credit rule.

Jen Leary, CEO of CliftonLarsonAllen (FY22 net revenue of $1.7 billion), commented in written testimony, “Minnesota’s exemplary actions to broaden the pathways and increase accessibility to the accounting profession have the potential to increase the number of CPAs overall and encourage hardworking, diverse talent to join the profession.”

Bob Cedergren, MNCPA board chair added, “I can tell you from my own experience, through conversations with colleagues throughout the country and the members of the MNCPA, that we have a significant shortage of CPAs. The work continues to grow but the supply of CPAs to do the work isn’t keeping up. … We need to move forward. The situation is critical.”

Pat Plamann, MP at St. Cloud, Minn.-based Schlenner Wenner & Co. (FY22 net revenue of $15.1 million), commented, “It’s been our experience that hiring students with 120 credit hours makes absolutely no difference in their performance versus hiring students with 150 credits. This bill is the pipeline for the life of our firm.”

Sen. Mark Koran expressed support. “Hopefully you’ll get it across the finish line.”

The House companion bill, House File 1749, has not received a hearing date.


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