Washington CPA Requirements

A CPA is a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state board of accountancy.

To earn the prestige associated with the CPA license, you are required to demonstrate knowledge and competence by meeting high educational standards, passing the CPA exam and completing a specific amount of general accounting experience.

The two most important aspects of becoming a CPA are passing the Uniform CPA Exam and meeting licensing requirements in the state where you want to practice.

Washington CPA licensure Requirements – Overview
Educational Hours Required for Licensure120 Semester Hours
Residency RequiredU.S. citizen or legal resident
Degree RequiredBachelor’s or Master’s
Minimum AgeNot required
Application Fee$150.00
Additional RequirementsWashington Board of Accountancy Site

Educational Hours Required for licensure

The Certified Public Accountant certification is one of the most prestigious professional certifications available. It indicates that the accountant has satisfied a demanding set of educational, professional, and ethical standards. In addition, candidates must pass the rigorous CPA exam in order to earn the distinction of this credential. Before candidates can sit for the exam, they must satisfy their Washington CPA requirements and qualifications. Each state has its own set of eligibility requirements for the CPA licensure, which should not be confused with CPA exam requirements. Below we will be discussing the requirements for the state of Washington.

  • Pass the CPA exam.
  • Verify that you have met the good character requirements by answering the attestation questions on the online CPA license application. Verify that your experience is qualified and complete an Experience Affidavit.
  • The completed Experience Affidavit and a copy of your resume or summary of key job responsibilities must be uploaded to your application.
  • Complete a course covering all of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and obtain a score of 90% or better on the examination (8 hour minimum course length).
  • The course completion certificate indicating a score of 90% or better must be uploaded to your application.
  • Complete the required Continuing Professional Education (CPE), only if it has been more than four years since you passed the CPA exam.
    • 120 hours of CPE
    • Including a Board Approved Washington State Ethics Course
    • The CPE hours must be completed within the 36 months prior to your application date. The WA ethics course must be completed within the 6 months prior to your application date.

Minimum age required

Minimum age not required. Applicant must be a citizen of the United States or legally present in the United States.

Professional Ethics

Candidates who have successfully passed the examination will be required to complete the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s continuing professional educational course “Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course On-Demand (For Licensure).”

Fees

$150 for the individual application and $330 for firm annual permit.

Work Experience

Be a minimum of 12-months, consisting of at least 2,000 hours, through the use of accounting, issuing reports on financial statements, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, tax advisory or consulting skills. The 2,000 hours are work hours; the hours are not limited to billable hours.

A firm license process

Each firm and office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accountancy in this State shall register with the Board within 30 days after it is opened, and annually thereafter, on a form prescribed by the Board.

Each office shall be under the direct supervision of a resident manager who must be registered with this Board and the holder of a valid annual permit.

Washington CPA firm Registration

Additional Information

While we do our best to keep all of this information up to date you are welcome to visit and or contact that Washington Board of Accountancy with any other questions you might have.

Washington State Board of Public Accountancy
Address: PO Box 9131
Olympia WA 98507
Phone: (360) 753-2586
Fax: 360-664-9190
Email: customerservice@acb.wa.gov
Web: www.acb.wa.gov
CPA Certification form: Washington CPA Certification Form
Annual Registration form: Washington Annual Registration Form

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