Montana CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in Montana? Your first step should always be to check the Montana CPA requirements, because the Montana Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for Montana's requirements to take the CPA Exam, earn CPA licensure and keep licensure with CPE. 

Montana CPA Exam requirements

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, the state requires candidates to meet certain Montana CPA Exam requirements, including the following.

Residency Requirement 

There is not a residency requirement for the state of Montana 

Minimum education requirement

As a first-time applicant, you must have: 

  • 24 semester (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
  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in non-accounting, general business courses which may include:
    • Information systems
    • Business law
    • Finance
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Ethics
    • Organizational behavior
    • Quantitative applications in business
    • Communication skills

Montana CPA license requirements

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.
  • Complete the AICPA Ethics Professional Course with a score of 90% or higher.

Minimum experience requirement

  • One year (2,000 hours) of acceptable accounting and 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.
  • Experience may be in the private, governmental, academic or public accounting areas.
  • All applicable experience must be attested to by a US CPA in good-standing, or a supervisor licensed from a professional accounting body with an 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

Montana CPA license renewals

Montana CPAs must renew their license every three years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 31 triennially.

Montana CPA CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) hours must be completed in the three calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. The three calendar years are referred to as the "reporting period." All CPAs must complete no less than 120 hours of CPE credits that comply with the Montana Board of Accountancy rules, during the three-year preceding renewal, including:

  •  A minimum of two hours in ethics.
  • No CPE hours shall be permitted for attending or instructing college or university courses considered to be basic or introductory accounting courses or exam preparation/review courses.

Examples of generally acceptable subject matter (this list is not all-inclusive):

  • Technical fields of study, including:
    • Accounting, including governmental accounting
    • Auditing, including governmental auditing
    • Taxation
    • Management services
    • Information technology
    • Statistics
    • Economics
    • Business law
    • Finance
    • Specialized knowledge (e.g., film industry, real estate, farming, etc.)
    • Ethics
  • Nontechnical fields of study, including:
    • Computer science
    • Communication arts
    • Production
    • Marketing
    • Personnel relations
    • Business management and organization
    • Personal development

Areas other than those listed above may be acceptable if the licensee can demonstrate that they contribute to their professional competence.

Examples of group programs that qualify for credit (this list is not all-inclusive):

  • Professional education and development of programs of national, state and local accounting organizations
  • Technical sessions at meetings of international, national, state and local accounting organizations and their chapters or a governmental entity that supports professional services or industries that require unique and specific knowledge in accounting or tax compliance
  • University or college courses (both credit and noncredit courses)
  • Formal in-firm education programs
  • Programs of other organizations (accounting, industrial, professional, etc.)
  • Committee meetings of professional societies which are structured as formal educational programs
  • Dinner, luncheon and breakfast meetings which are structured as formal educational programs
  • Firm meetings for staff and/or management groups which are structured as formal educational programs


Montana Board of Accountancy 

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