How To Become a CPA in Montana: Step By Step Guide
Montana, sometimes called the Treasure State, is home to several precious minerals, including gold and silver. It is also known for its seven state forests and 53 state parks.
On being the fourth largest state in the U.S, Montana is a great state for accountants. Farming remains a key economic activity followed by mining and energy production with plenty of employment opportunities for certified public accountants.
Before you start your career as an accountant in Montana, you’ll need to meet the minimum qualifications. Let’s review the MT CPA requirements so you can sit for the CPA exam and become a licensed CPA in Montana.
Minimum Tennessee CPA Requirements for Certification
Aspiring CPAs only have to meet these basic requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Montana:
- Have a bachelor’s degree with 120 hours of college education
- Show proof of 12-month work experience
- Minimum Age: not required
- Montana residency: not required
- US Citizenship: not required
- Social security number: not required
Montana has some of the most lenient requirements for becoming a certified public accountant. You don’t need to be an American citizen or a Montana resident to take the exam. Similarly, there is no age requirement or must one have a social security number, as is the case in most states.
This makes Montana an ideal state for international CPA candidates. There are no citizenship, residency, or social security requirements.
Montana CPA Certification Education Requirements
Aspiring CPAs in Montana must meet specific education requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. For starters, candidates need at least 120 hours of undergraduate semester credits.
Of the 120 credit hours, 24 hours must be in upper-level undergraduate or graduate accounting coursework. The coursework must include courses in each of the following subjects:
- financial accounting
- Management accounting
General Business Coursework
CPA Candidates also need 24 hours covering business-related courses, including
- Business law
- Communication skills
It’s suggested that all international CPA candidates have their education and degree programs approved by the Montana State Board to make sure they meet the minimum Montana CPA requirements before they apply to take the CPA exam.
If you don’t meet the minimum education CPA requirements, you will likely have to pay an additional application fee when you are forces to re-apply after your education is complete.
Montana CPA Exam Requirements
Only candidates who have met the Montana CPA education requirement can apply for the Uniform CPA exam. The CPA exam being a rigorous professional test, requires adequate preparation. It’s a good idea to have a CPA study plan going into the CPA exam otherwise you will have a hard time passing.
Those who have adequately prepared and feel confident about taking the CPA examination can do so. The application process is pretty straightforward as it involves sending all the academic credentials to the CPA Examination Services.
The NASBA board examines all the submitted documents to ensure basic education requirements are met.
If everything checks out, the Board will send a ‘Notice to Schedule,’ which is essentially permission to apply and schedule a CPA exam.
An application is only complete and confirmed upon paying the required CPA examination fees.
MT CPA Exam Costs & Fees
The total cost of taking the CPA exam in Montana is $743 plus an initial $195 application fee.
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): $195.35
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): $176.25
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): $195.35
- Regulation (REG): $176.25
- Application Fee: $195
Likewise, the re-examination fees vary depending on the number of sections one is taking, as shown below.
Montana CPA License Requirements
Becoming a licensed CPA in Montana is straightforward as long as one meets the following requirements.
- Completed 150 hours of college education and earned a bachelor’s degree
- Taken and passed the Uniform CPA exam
- Taken and passed the AICPA Ethics exam
- Fulfilled the Board’s requirement for work experience
Candidates who meet the requirements can apply for a Montana CPA certificate and Permit to Practice. An application should be made through the Montana Board of Public Accountants with documents showing proof of the above-listed CPA exam requirements. Likewise, an application should be followed by a $150 fee, payable to the Board.
Upon paying the fee and submitting all the documents, candidates will receive a confirmation receipt. The Board usually takes 15 or more days to process license applications.
AICPA Ethics Exam
Upon taking and passing the Uniform CPA Exam, aspiring CPAs should also take the Ethics exam as a licensure requirement. While not as rigorous as the CPA exam, the ethics exam requires a score of more than 90% for a pass.
Work Experience Requirements
Being a two-tier state, passing the CPA and Ethics does not automatically guarantee one a CPA license in Montana. Aspiring CPAs must fulfill at least one year of accounting experience. The work experience can be fulfilled in public accounting, government accounting, academia, or the private sector.
Likewise, it should be carried out under the supervision of a licensed CPA who is required to fill out the Evidence of Satisfaction of Experience Requirements.
Montana CPA License Application & Renewal
In Montana, CPA licenses are renewed every year. The state requires holders to have completed at least 120 hours of continuing professional education and at least two hours of ethics for renewal.
Montana CPA Salary
The annual average Montana CPA salary is $66, 170 which is less than the national average of $79,000. The highest CPA salaries in the treasure state are found in the Great Falls area and average as 81,000 a year.
Given the nature of the state’s economy, certified public accountants can work in diversified fields carrying out various accounting duties. For instance, some pursue CPA careers as financial consultants and analysts, as others become forensic accountants tasked with curbing financial fraud.
Steps to Become a CPA in Montana
Here are the steps to become a certified public accountant in Montana:
- Getting an education in the state
- Taking and passing the uniform CPA exam
- Accruing the necessary work experience majoring in accounting
- Applying for the Montana CPA license
- Continuing with education in the state
Additional Montana CPA Resources
Here are several CPA exam resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Montana and become a certified public accountant.