Montana CPA Exam and License Requirements

Updated on March 22, 2024
Article byHimani Bhatt
Edited byHimani Bhatt
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Montana CPA Exam

Montana Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License accredits a professional to pursue public accounting in the U.S. jurisdiction of Montana. For successful CPA licensure, you must fulfill the exam and license requirements specified by the Montana state board of accountancy. 

Montana CPA Exam & License Requirements

Montana is a one-tier state. Therefore, there is no need to apply for the CPA Certificate. Instead, you may directly apply for the CPA license after fulfilling the CPA Exam and experience requirements. The Montana Board of Public Accountants issues the license to qualified candidates on meeting all the requirements. 

Here’s the outline of the license requirements in Montana.

AgeNo minimum age
U.S. CitizenshipNot required
ResidencyNot required
Social SecurityNot required
Education requirement for CPA ExamUpper-division course with
• Minimum 24 semester hours of accounting courses
• Minimum 24 semester hours of business courses
Education requirement for licensure150 semester hours
Experience requirement for licensure2000 hours of accounting or auditing service within 1 year
Ethics examAICPA Professional Ethics Exam 

Please note that the state also participates in the International Examination Program. Now, let’s view Montana CPA Exam and License Requirements in detail. 


Montana CPA Exam Requirements

Montana CPA License Requirements

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Montana Exam Information & Resources

Montana CPA Exam Requirements

CPA Exam is a computer-based series of tests (16-hour long) developed to evaluate your accounting knowledge and skills. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) jointly administer the CPA Exam.

You must pass all four exam sections within the 18-month testing period. This timeline starts from the testing date of the first passed section and ends on the last day of the last month of the 18-month period. Ensure to score at least 75 points on a scale of 0-99 in each section. 

All CPA Exam sections constitute five testlets with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). Only BEC includes an additional segment, written communication tasks (WCTs). 

Eligibility Requirements

CPA Exam applicants must complete an upper-division course with: 

  • A minimum of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours of accounting courses in the following subjects:
    • Financial accounting
    • Auditing
    • Taxation  
    • Management accounting
  • A minimum of 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in general business courses in the following subjects:
    • Information systems
    • Business law
    • Finance
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Ethics
    • Organizational behavior
    • Quantitative applications in business
    • Communication skills

Please note that an upper-division course is usually an advanced course taken at the junior or senior level. It excludes introductory accounting courses. 

You must apply for the exam online through CPA Examination Services (CPAES) with the required fee and educational transcripts. Also, ensure direct submission of your documents or foreign evaluations from the academic institute or the evaluation service. 

Furthermore, applicants may utilize NASBA Advisory Evaluation Service to identify any academic inadequacies in the transcripts before the final submission. Kindly visit the NASBA’s website for the complete CPA application process


First-time applicants

ParticularsAmountTotal Fees
Application Fee$245
Examination Fees  
Total Fees$1,197.6

Re-exam candidates

ParticularsAmount Total Fees
Application Fee$100
Examination Fees  
Total Fees$1,052.6

Both application and examination fees are non-refundable. Also, you can’t withdraw from the examination or request a Notice-to-Schedule (NTS) extension. Hence, ensure to sit for the applied section(s) within six months (NTS validity period). Or else you will have to re-apply. 

However, candidates may request an NTS extension or partial refund of the exam fees under extreme situations. They can submit the Exception to Policy form for the same.

Required Documents

The following table mentions the documents to be submitted to the CPAES:

Required documents Submission
Official school transcriptsYour school
International Evaluation Summary (if applicable)You or the evaluation agency
Testing Accommodations Request Form (if applicable)You

You may also submit the official transcripts electronically. 

Montana CPA License Requirements

Here are the pre-requisites for a Montana CPA License:

  • Education – Bachelor’s degree with 150 semester hours
  • Exam – Pass the Uniform CPA Exam with at least 75 points
  • Experience – 1 year (at least 2000 hours) in accounting and/or auditing  
  • Ethics – Pass the AICPA Professional Ethics course with at least 90%

Note that there is no minimum age, residency, social security, or citizenship requirement to be met. 

Montana CPA License Pre-requisites

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Education Requirements

You must earn 150 semester hours, including 

  • a baccalaureate degree with an accounting major or its equivalent from a nationally or regionally accredited institution
  • at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses 
  • at least 24 semester hours of business-related courses 

Exam Requirements

Candidates must pass all four CPA Exam sections within the rolling 18-month testing period. As specified above, they are required to score at least 75 points in each section. Please check out the Exam Requirements section for detailed information. 

Experience Requirements

CPA Licensure candidates must gain one year (at least 2000 hours) of accounting and/or auditing experience. Here are more details. 

Qualified areasPublic Accounting, Industry, Government, and/or Academia
Required hours/timeA minimum of 2000 hours (one year)
Experience acquiredWithin three years immediately before the license application date
Experience verification
  • By an active U.S. CPA Permit/License holder, or
  • By a professional licensed with an accounting body having a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with NASBA/AICPA

Ethics Requirements

Lastly, ensure to pass the AICPA-developed Professional Ethics for CPAs course with at least 90%. The details are outlined in the table below. 

What to StudyProfessional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course 
TypeSelf-study course
ModeOnline and text version
Price• AICPA members – $179
• Non-members –$189
Topics covered• AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
• Conceptual framework
• Principles of ethics and independence
• Regulatory rulesImportance & organization process of the AICPA Code
How to Study • Take the course
• Purchase the online or text version of the course
• Go through the learning material
• Attend the exam
Minimum passing mark 90%

Licensing Fees

Submit your licensure application with the required fees to the Montana State Board.

Initial license$150
Reciprocal license$200
Transfer of grades from a substantially equivalent state for licensure$200

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Montana CPA License holders must earn 120 CPA CPE credit hours every three years. They should earn credits through only the programs offered by the NASBA National Registry of CPE Sponsors.

Go through this brief checklist to know everything.

License Renewal DateDecember 31 (Annually)
CPE Reporting PeriodJanuary 1 – December 31 (Triennial Rolling)
CPE Requirements120 CPE hours (3 years)
Ethics Requirement2 hours (AICPA’s Professional Ethics Course)
Other Requirements60 hours in technical fields (You may include the Ethics Requirement)
Credit LimitationsInstructionMaximum 60 hours
 Published MaterialsMaximum 30 hours
 ReviewerMaximum 16 hours
 Technical ReviewerMaximum 60 hours

Credit Calculation

ProgramsCPE Hours
Instruction1 Credit hour = Presentation + Preparation (maximum 2 times of presentation)
Must be claimed once per course triennially
University/College Credit1 Semester Hour = 15 CPE Hours (Credit courses)
1 Classroom Hour = 1 Qualifying Hour (Non-credit courses)
Self-StudyCE Credits = Amount granted by the sponsor (for NASBA-recognized Sponsors)
CE Credits = Half of the amount granted by the sponsor (for other Sponsors)
Partial CreditGroup programs & blended learning programsAt least 1 hour & then in 0.5 or 0.2 increments
Self-studyAt least half credit initially & then in 0.5 of 0.2 increments
Nano learningAt 1/5th credit hour

Now that you know how to become a CPA in Montana start prepping up ASAP! First, devise an intelligent study schedule and equip yourself with suitable prep material. Then, take the CPA Exam and meet other state-specific requirements of Montana before applying for the license.

Remember to keep a tab on AICPA, NASBA, and the State Board website for updated information. Contact the concerned department in case of any queries. Once you attain the license, ensure its renewal and keep enjoying the rewards of being a CPA! 

Montana CPA Exam Information & Resources

1. Montana Board of Public Accountants (Montana Department of Labor & Industry) (https://boards.bsd.dli.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


Ph: (406) 444-6880

2. Montana Society of CPAs (https://www.mscpa.org/)

46N Last Chance Gulch Ste 2D

PO Box 138

Helena, MT 59601/59624

3. AICPA (https://www.aicpa.org/)


888-777-7077 (U.S. toll free)

+ 1 919 490 4300 (international)

Fax Server:


Mailing Address:

220 Leigh Farm Road
Durham, NC 27707-8110

4. NASBA CPA Licensing Services (https://nasba.org/)

NASBA Licensing Services
PO Box 198589
Nashville, TN 37219
Toll Free: (866) 350-0017

5. NASBA CPA Exam Services for Montana (https://nasba.org/)

Mail Inquiries:

Montana Coordinator
CPA Examination Services
PO Box 198469
Nashville, Tennessee 37219-8469

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