Currently, to obtain the necessary experience to

Currently, a “certificate only” is mostly used by foreign applicants who do not reside in the US and have difficulty getting a US CPA to attest to their experience to meet the requirements for a permit to practice, but Montana residence can and do apply for the “certificate only” too. The Board considers the two-tier system confusing to the public and is trying to eliminate the confusion. The public doesn’t necessarily understand the qualification and restrictions for a “certificate only” and assumes a CPA is a CPA.

Some “certificate only” licensees don’t necessarily understand the restrictions either. The draft language contains a transition period for current “certificate only” licensees to obtain thenecessary experience to elevate to the permit to practice level of licensure. The experience requirement to obtain a permit to practice is 2000 hours of accounting and auditing functions ordinarily required in the practice of public accounting within the preceding 3 years. Experience can come from private, governmental, academic, or public accounting work.All applicable experience must be attested to by a US CPA in good standing with an active license at the time of attestation. The CPA attesting to the experience does not need to be a supervisor, but must be familiar with the applicant’s work and be able to attest that the work meets professional standards.

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The Board may also consider military experience by evaluating information provided by the applicant’s commanding officer, outlining the duties and responsibilities of the applicant while in military service.