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326A.03 CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT QUALIFICATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Qualifications. The certificate of certified public accountant shall be granted
to persons of good moral character who meet the education, experience, and examination
requirements of this section and rules adopted under it and who apply under section 326A.04.
Good moral character for purposes of this section means lack of a history of dishonest or
felonious acts. The board may refuse to grant a certificate on the ground of failure to satisfy this
requirement only if there is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of
the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a licensee and if the finding by the board of
lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence. When an applicant is
found to be unqualified for a certificate because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall
furnish the applicant a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the
evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the applicant's right of appeal.
    Subd. 2. Examination before July 1, 2006; education and experience. Until July 1, 2006,
the examination must be administered by the board only to a candidate who:
(1) holds a master's degree with a major in accounting from a college or university that is
fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of
Education;
(2) holds a baccalaureate degree, with a major in accounting, from a college or university that
is fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of
Education or who has in the opinion of the board at least an equivalent education;
(3) holds a baccalaureate degree from a college or university that is fully accredited by a
recognized accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of Education, or who
has in the opinion of the board at least an equivalent education, provided that at least one year of
experience of the type specified in subdivision 8 has been completed;
(4) provides evidence of having completed two or more years of study with a passing
grade average or above from a college, university, technical college, or a Minnesota licensed
private school that is fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency listed with the United
States Department of Education, or who has in the opinion of the board at least an equivalent
education, provided that at least three years experience of the type specified in subdivision 8 has
been completed; or
(5) holds a diploma as a graduate of an accredited high school, or who has in the opinion of
the board at least an equivalent education, provided that at least five years experience of the type
specified in subdivision 8 has been completed.
    Subd. 3. Examination after July 1, 2006; education. On or after July 1, 2006, the
examination must be administered by the board only to a candidate who has a baccalaureate or
higher degree, with a major in accounting or a major in business with accounting emphasis, or
an equivalent education, from a college or university that is fully accredited by a recognized
accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of Education or an equivalent
accrediting association.
    Subd. 4. Examination requirements. (a) The examination required to be passed as a
condition for the granting of a certificate must be held as often as convenient, in the opinion of the
board, and must test the applicant's knowledge of the subjects of accounting and auditing, and
other related subjects that the board may specify by rule, including but not limited to business
law and taxation. The time for holding the examination must be determined by the board and
may be changed from time to time. The board shall prescribe by rule the methods of applying
for and conducting the examination, including methods for grading and determining a passing
grade required of an applicant for a certificate. However, the board shall to the extent possible
ensure that the examination itself, grading of the examination, and the passing grades, are uniform
with those applicable in all other states. The board may make such use of all or any part of
the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and Advisory Grading Service of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and may contract with third parties to perform
administrative services with respect to the examination that it considers appropriate to assist it in
performing its duties under this paragraph.
(b) The board may charge, or provide for a third party administering the examination to
charge, each applicant a fee.
    Subd. 5. Certificate before July 1, 2006; experience. Until July 1, 2006, those persons who
have passed the examination required by this section and who meet all other requirements for a
certificate, including payment of required fees, must be granted certificates as certified public
accountants, providing that they have completed the following experience requirements of the
type specified in subdivision 8 in addition to any experience already required in subdivision 2:
(1) for those whose educational qualifications meet the requirements of subdivision 2, clause
(1), the experience requirement is one year;
(2) for those whose educational qualifications meet the requirements of subdivision 2, clause
(2), the experience requirement is two years;
(3) for those whose educational and experience qualifications meet the requirements of
subdivision 2, clause (3), the additional required experience is two years;
(4) for those whose educational and experience qualifications meet the requirements of
subdivision 2, clause (4), the additional required experience is two years; and
(5) for those whose educational and experience qualifications meet the requirements of
subdivision 2, clause (5), the additional required experience is one year.
    Subd. 6. Certificate after July 1, 2006; education and experience. (a) On or after July
1, 2006, those persons who have passed the examination required in this section must be
granted certificates as certified public accountants provided they certify to the board that they
have completed at least 150 semester or 225 quarter hours at a college or university that is fully
accredited by a recognized accrediting agency listed with the United States Department of
Education, or an equivalent accrediting association, and have completed at least one year of
experience of the type specified in paragraph (b).
(b) An applicant for initial issuance of a certificate under this subdivision shall show that the
applicant has had one year of experience. Acceptable experience includes providing any type
of service or advice involving the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory,
financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills, as verified by a licensee and meeting requirements
prescribed by the board by rule. Acceptable experience may be gained through employment in
government, industry, academia, or public practice. Experience as an auditor in the Office of the
Legislative Auditor or State Auditor, as verified by a licensee, shall be acceptable experience.
    Subd. 7. Equivalent education criteria. The board, in consultation with the University of
Minnesota, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, private colleges, and private career
schools regulated under chapter 141, shall establish criteria to assess equivalent education for
purposes of subdivision 3.
    Subd. 8. Qualifying experience until July 1, 2006. Until July 1, 2006, qualifying experience
includes public accounting experience:
(1) as a staff employee of a certified public accountant, or a firm;
(2) as an auditor in the Office of the Legislative Auditor or State Auditor, or as an auditor or
examiner with any other agency of government, if the experience, in the opinion of the board, is
equally comprehensive and diversified;
(3) as a self-employed public accountant or as a partner in a firm; or
(4) in any combination of the foregoing capacities.
History: 2001 c 109 art 1 s 5