A State By State Accounting Guide

Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Minnesota

By Susan Maphis, AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015

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According to the Minnesota Department of Labor’s projected job outlook for the state, accounting and auditing are among the professions that will be adding the most jobs within the current decade ending 2022. Between the years 2014 and 2022, a 7.1% increase in the number of accounting jobs is expected in the state, which amounts to an additional 2,779 jobs. 

The Minnesota Board of Accountancy is responsible for issuing CPA licenses in the state to qualified candidates with bachelor’s degrees at minimum with 150 semester hours of college credit, one year (2000 hours) of accounting experience and passing scores on all sections of the Uniform CPA exam. With most bachelor’s programs consisting of about 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting is one of the best ways to earn the additional credit hours in advanced accounting coursework required for a CPA license in Minnesota.

Featured Undergraduate Program

*Accredited accounting programs are available in a flexible online format that puts an undergraduate degree in accounting well within reach. Prepare to earn your CPA license and develop the skills employers are looking for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Featured Graduate Program

*Qualifying for a CPA license requires a bachelor’s degree at minimum and a total of 150 semester hours of college credit to include coursework in accounting, business and ethics. Since bachelor’s programs typically result in just 120 semester hours of credit, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) maintains that earning a Master of Science in Accounting is the best way to achieve the full 150 semester hours you need to become licensed.

Major employers of CPAs in the Twin Cities area include all of the “Big Four” CPA firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Deloitte. International assurance services and consulting firm, RSM McGlardey, Inc. has offices in Bloomington and is also recognized as a major employer of accounting and finance professionals in the state.

Major Employment Industries for Accountants in Minnesota

Minnesota is a major contributor to global commerce and is home to a number of multinational professional services firms that serve as the areas biggest employers of financial analysts and risk advisors. Chief among these globally recognized companies that have a strong presence in Minnesota is Cargill, a private firm with annual revenues of $134.9 billion with locations in Hopkins, Savage, Wayzata, Minneapolis, Alberta, Maynard, and more.

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development recently published a report listing the Fortune 500 companies with locations in the state. Minnesota is recognized as being very friendly to business and industry with tax laws that offer great incentives for businesses to locate here. The state boasts the distinction of having corporate offices for more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other state in the nation, making Minnesota a prime locale for state residents interested in becoming corporate accountants. Chief among these fortune 500 companies are United Health Group, retailers like Target Corporation and Best Buy, as well as 3M, which has been a household name in the state for decades. These corporations are Minnesota’s leading employers of managerial accountants, financial controllers, and internal auditors who manage many tens of billions of dollars in yearly revenue. 

Salaries for Accountants in Minnesota

Minnesota Wage Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the highest-paying area of the state, as of 2014, as the Duluth metropolitan area, which pays an annual average salary of $72,610, while top earners in this area earn an average of $103,570. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington area, accountants took home an average of $70,101 annually that year. The 90th percentile in this area earns $101,840 each year. In the St. Cloud area accountants make a mean wage of $62,580 annually, while the top 10 percent earn $86,510.

Minnesota Accountancy and Tax Laws in the News

Recently a bill was introduced in the Minnesota legislature to institute an online sales tax. This law, if passed, would require online retailers to collect Minnesota sales tax when selling goods and services to the state’s residents. This bill is trying to redefine the term “nexus” as used in a 1992 Supreme Court ruling. Under proposed interpretations of the term, a nexus would be any physical presence a business has in a state, even if this presence is only in the form of warehouses and distribution centers. Under this interpretation businesses must collect sales tax from all states in which they have a “nexus.” They hope to force affiliates of major online retailers like Amazon.com, who have a physical presence in Minnesota, to collect sales tax from state resident customers.