Introduction

Known as the North Star State, Minnesota is known for its beautiful scenery … and its growing job market. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, locals and new graduates alike have found solace with a budding career up north. Among available careers include accountants, who create a huge impact on the state’s economy.

Its big players include flour mills and agriculture, which make up a large portion of the state’s business. Minnesota is also a large producer of iron ore, and home of the country’s largest and most profitable shopping mall.

Illinois employs approximately 24,000 CPAs, and hosts 25 top firms with a worldwide reach, seven of whom employ more than 100 CPAs in-house.

Minnesota at a glance

Population 5,457,173
Per Capita Income $46,227
Unemployment Rate 3.7%
Fortune 500 Companies 18
Licensed CPA Firms 918

Accounting Programs in Minnesota

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Minnesota, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Over the next decade, accountants’ jobs are slated to rise by more than 7% in the state of Minnesota alone. Great news for those who specialize (or who want to specialize) in agriculture or factories. In the entire United States, that number is expected to raise by 13.1%, leaving an impressive growth rate for the state.

Accountants make up more than 36% of the working population, and average $31.70 per hour, for a yearly salary of around $65,940 — with a low end of $40,850 and a high end of $115,950 as a national average. Minnesota sits closely in that range at $38,220 for bookkeepers and auditing clerks and up to $127,500 for financial managers.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

25,750 Employees2012
27,610 Employees2022
Minnesota 6.7% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Minnesota Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$38,220
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$42,480
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$44,250
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$61,020
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$58,590
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

$68,660
$72,500

Budget Analysts

$64,960
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

$98,140
$99,920

Actuaries

$96,040
$107,740

Financial Managers

$127,150
$126,660
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Duluth, MN-WI
    $72,610
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    $70,010
  3. Mankato-North Mankato, MN
    $68,490
  4. Rochester, MN
    $63,680
  5. St. Cloud, MN
    $62,580
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Minnesota

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Co.Minneapolis, MN$27
2BoulayMinneapolis, MN$23
3Olsen Thielen & Co.St. Paul, MN$14

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting today "Top 100 Firms"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Minnesota

Like most states, in Minnesota, potential CPAs must pass a few layers of qualifications. After first completing the necessary educational requirements, they must take a CPA exam, an ethics exam, and complete certain hours of experience before they’re able to obtain an actual license. Oftentimes those without their own CPA accreditation can practice under seasoned CPAs until their paperwork is finished.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Minnesota

Education requirements in Minnesota include a bachelor’s degree, including at least 24 hours of accounting at an upper or graduate course level. There must also be 24 hours of undergrad level hours, with the option of an internship (though six is the maximum number of hours that can be included from internship-type credits). Potential CPAs can then take the CPA and ethics exam; their CPA test will differ, depending on where one obtained their degree, specifically the accreditation level.

Age RequirementNone
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in AccountingGraduate degree from a business school with 24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in undergraduate or 15 hours in graduate level accounting or B.A. or higher degree with 24 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in accounting at the upper or graduate level.
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. or completion of B.A. within 120 days
Experience Requirements1 year experience in public practice, government, industry or academia.
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Minnesota

Total:$920
  • Application Fee $190
  • Auditing & Attestation $192
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $192
  • Regulation $173
  • Business Environment & Concepts $173

Additional fees: $115 per exam section — four total, though applicants are required to take different numbers, depending on their level of education or where they obtained their degree.

Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014

RankLogoSchool NameCandidatesPass RateAverage Score

Schools are ranked by pass rate unless otherwise noted. Results are comprised of scores from both first-time test takers and those returning to take the whole exam or specific sections of it again. Source: National State Boards of Accountancy

Certifying and Professional Organizations

For more information on becoming a CPA in the state of Minnesota, reach out to the below. The Board of Accountancy can help you obtain your CPA and follow the necessary steps, as well as where to go for continuing education. The Society has information about educational programs, what entities to reach out to, and more. Head to their websites for specific information, or contact them to ask specific questions.

Minnesota Board of Accountancy

Address

85 E. 7th Place, Suite 125
St. Paul, MN 55101

Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

Address

1650 West 82nd Street, Suite 600
Bloomington, MN 55431

Phone Number

(952) 831-2707