District of Columbia CPA Exam Requirements 2022: Detailed Breakdown

District of Columbia CPA Exam Requirements

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District of Columbia CPA Exam Requirements

If you want to become a CPA in the District of Columbia, we’ve summarized the District of Columbia CPA exam requirements. Read below to know the exact steps and needs to be a licensed CPA in D.C.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Summary of District of Columbia CPA Requirements

Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam120
Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA examYes
Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam (*including below)24
*Credit hours in Financial Accounting3
*Credit hours in Auditing3
*Credit hours in Cost or Managerial Accounting3
*Credit hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax3
Credit hours in Commercial or Business Law3
Total credit hours to receive a CPA license150
Work experience required to receive a CPA license1 year
CPC – U.S. Corp/Partnership (CPC) ApplicationYes
Ethics exam required to get a CPA licenseNo

Education Requirements

The 150 semester hours of instruction you accomplish through a mix of your bachelor’s degree, any concurrent accounting certificate, and graduate studies. Work with your adviser to ensure that you take the appropriate courses as you go through your research. You will need to meet not only your college’s graduation requirements but also the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy’s requirements, which have particular guidelines:

  • 24 semester hours in accounting, to include: 3 semester hours in Financial Accounting
    • 3 semester hours in Auditing
    • 3 semester hours in Cost or Managerial Accounting
    • 3 semester hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax
  • 3 semester hours in Commercial or Business Law
  • Taxation courses must cover U.S. Federal Tax. Taxation courses focused on another country’s tax will be accepted as an accounting elective. These courses will not be accepted toward the Taxation requirement.
  • Auditing courses must cover internal or external auditing. Other auditing-related subjects are not acceptable toward the Auditing requirement.
  • Commercial and Business Law courses must cover U.S. commercial and business law. Courses focused on another country’s commercial and business law will not be accepted.
  • Credit for CPA Review courses is not acceptable.
  • Credit by examination is not acceptable toward the Accounting or Commercial or Business Law requirements.
  • Credit earned from a junior college is acceptable.
  • Transferred credits, including those transferred from an international school, are acceptable.

Education requirements must be met at the time of application.

Transcripts may be submitted electronically provided they are official. Some schools do not offer this service. Contact your Registrar’s office for additional information. If an email address is required for electronic delivery, use etranscript@nasba.org. Electronically delivered transcripts must be submitted directly from the institution(s).

Accepted Educational Institutions

The District of Columbia Board of Accountancy will accept any accounting degree and additional business and accounting credits acquired from any institution or university in the United States that has standard regional accreditation from one of the following agencies:

Materials to be Submitted

  1. DC Photo Form to include a 2X2 photo.
  2. Copy of Government Issued ID.
  3. An official transcript from each school listed on your application. Transcripts must be sent directly from your school to CPA Examination Services.
  4. International Evaluation, if applicable. Submission by you or evaluation agency to CPAES.
  5. Testing Accommodations Request Form, if applicable. Submission by you to CPAES.

Please allow two to four weeks from your file completion date (when application, fees and all additional required materials have been received) for your application to be processed. Acknowledgment of receipt of application will be sent to you via email, unless otherwise indicated. This notice is sent only as acknowledgment of receipt of application.

International Education

Have your credentials evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services. obtain the form to request this service from the evaluation service agency, submit a translated copy of each international transcript used for the evaluation, require the agency to evaluate as follows:

  • An equivalency summary that indicates the analogous academic degrees in the U.S. you hold;
  • A credential analysis that specifies:
    • The name of the country;
    • The degree awarded;
    • The year the degree was awarded; and
    • The entity that awarded the degree;
  • A course-by-course listing; and
  • A course credit analysis that includes:
    • Total credits earned toward the degree as stated on transcripts submitted;
    • Total accounting credits earned; and
    • Total business credits earned.

Applicants with Disabilities

In accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, examination administration accommodations are available, should you qualify. Please download the Testing Accommodations Request Form for more information.

Uniform CPA Examination

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam, which is required for a CPA license in all 50 states, is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

After completing the education requirements, applicants may apply to take the Uniform CPA exam. Applicants may sit for the CPA exam and then continue their education for the remaining 30 semester hours once taking it.

The application process will be as follows:

  1. Apply through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) CPA Examination Services (CPAES) to take the Uniform CPA Examination. Applications may be submitted online or downloaded from CPAES. Applicants can register online with CPAES or download application forms here.
  2. Submit the appropriate complete documents and transcripts to CPAES with the application. Applicants can apply either online or by mail.
  3. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will issue the Notification to Schedule (NTS) the Uniform CPA Examination within two days of paying for the examination fee.

The NTS will be issued in the manner chosen when the applicant applied for the test. This will include a password for each of the four parts of the examination for which the applicant has registered and the dates that the applicant is eligible to take each part of the exam.

  1. Visit Prometric’s website where applicants can schedule for the exam at a participating Delaware testing site.
  2. Report to the exam site on the day of the examination and make sure that everything is prepared for testing.
  3. NASBA’s CPA Exam Services will send the exam scores to the board. In turn, the board will send the scores via mail.

The passing score for each section is 75. Applicants shall pass all four examination sections within a rolling 18-month period that begins on the testing date the first examination section is passed.

Applicants who do not pass all four examination sections within the 18-month period shall lose credit for each section passed outside the period and must retake the section(s). Applicants cannot retake a failed section(s) within the same testing window.

CPA Exam Coverage

The District of Columbia CPA exam is divided into four portions, each of which must be taken separately. The four sections of the exam cover different areas of the accounting profession, and there is no specified order in which the exam sections need to be taken. The four sections of the CPA exam include:

  • Auditing and Attestation.
    • This exam section covers the basics of financial and attest services, such as audits, reviews, compilations, and preparation agreements.
  • Business Environment and Concepts.
    • This exam section covers general business concepts, such as economics, business communications, and related business courses. 
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting.
    • This exam section covers financial accounting topics for all business entities, including the government and nonprofits.
  • Regulation.
    • This exam section covers federal taxation, tax services, professional ethics, and business law for individuals and business entities.

The applicant must score 75 for all four examination parts within an 18-month window to pass the CPA exam.

Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

The CPA exam covers so many topics that you will need to study specifically for each section, usually for 6-8 weeks per section. Even a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t adequately prepare you to just walk in and pass the 4 CPA exams.

You will need a full review course such as Becker, Wiley CPAexcel, Gleim, Roger, etc, and you will need to dedicate several hours a day over the course of months to even have a chance at getting passing scores.

How to Save Yourself MONTHS of Time and Frustration
Keep in mind that the CPA exam is the one part of getting your CPA license that you can control how long it takes. The education and experience requirements take as long as they take, but the CPA exams can take you as little as 6 months, or as long as multiple years… depending on how effective your study process is from the beginning.
Learn how to study strategically so you can save yourself tons of time and retake fees with this free training…

Application and Uniform CPA Exam Fees

For first-time applicants, they are required to pay both an application fee and an examination fee upon submission of the first-time application.

For re-examination candidates, they are required to pay both a registration fee and an examination fee at the time of registration.

Applicants are able to apply for one or more sections of the examination at a time; however, it is advised to only apply for a section of the examination if they are ready to take it within the next six months.

Application for the CPA exam$170
Registration for the CPA exam$85
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15

On the Uniform CPA Exam application process, there is an area where you can declare if you want special testing accommodations. To make these adjustments or for further formation, please contact the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy Exam Coordinator at (304) 558-3557.

Experience Requirements

Candidates require at least one year of experience. One year of experience shall consist of full or part-time employment that extends over a period of no less than a year and no more than three years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours performing the services.

An applicant for the initial issuance of a license shall show that he or she has had at least one year of experience. One year of experience shall consist of full or part-time employment that extends over a period of no less than a year and no more than three years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours performing the services.

Acceptable experience may consist of providing any type of business services or advice using accounting, attest services, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting skills.  The Board shall consider such factors as the complexity and diversity of the work.

Experience gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice shall qualify.

The applicant shall have his or her experience verified to the Board by a CPA licensed in the District of Columbia or another State.

Applicants must fill out the Experience Verification Form which is to be uploaded at https://www.accountancy.dcopla.com.

Ethics Exam

Candidates for the District of Columbia should take the ethics course as part of a requirement for becoming a CPA. It is mandatory to take at least three credit hours of ethics classes.

Getting your CPA License

Now that you have passed all four sections of the CPA exam, applicants must meet the following requirements to apply for their CPA license:

  • One 2”x2” passport-style photo (.jpeg format)
  • Un-expired government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license)*
  • Debit or credit card to pay application, exam, or license fees
  • CPC – U.S. Corp/Partnership (CPC) Application – Letter of Good Standing must be requested from DC Corporations. Must be requested from the state board of accountancy where the applicant is licensed to be sent directly to the Board

Once you have the following requirements ready, you’ll need to go through the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) website to apply for your CPA license.

You can also go through this link: https://govservices.dcra.dc.gov/newoplalicenses

Licensing Fees

CPA License Application$110
Verification of Records$30

License Renewal

The District of Columbia requires CPA licenses to be renewed every two years. Licenses expire on December 31st of even numbered years and are renewed biennially.

CPE Requirements

All licensed CPAs in the District of Columbia must complete 80 hours of approved continuing education biennially during the license period.

The eighty hours of acceptable continuing professional education submitted must have been completed in the immediately preceding two-year period and must include at least 4 hours biennially in a qualifying ethics course.

Renewal Fees

Renewal$110
Late Renewal$50

District of Columbia CPA Exam F.A.Q.s

Below are the commonly asked questions about the District of Columbia CPA exam and CPA license requirements:

What Are the Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam in the District of Columbia?

To sit for the CPA exam in the District of Columbia, you must meet the education requirements which require at least 120 semester hours of college with 24 semester hours in accounting which include the following:
3 semester hours in Financial Accounting
3 semester hours in Auditing
3 semester hours in Cost or Managerial Accounting
3 semester hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax
and 3 semester hours in Commercial or Business Law

How Long Does it Take to Become a CPA in the District of Columbia?

While you can sit for the CPA exam once you have 120 semester hours, you will still need to attain the full 150 semester hours required nationwide. This is roughly five years of education, then one year to take and pass the CPA exam, and then one year to meet the experience requirement. That makes a total of 6-7 years to get your CPA license. Once you have met all the requirements and have submitted your application to receive your CPA license from the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy, if approved you will receive your license in the mail within 3-4 weeks.

How Much Does It Cost to Take the CPA Exam in the District of Columbia?

The total cost of the CPA exam for an aspiring CPA in the District of Columbia is $1159.60, this is considering that you pass all exams on the first try. The breakdown of the cost is $170 for the application, $85 for the registration, and $904.6 for all four sections of the exam ($226.15 per section).

How Many CPAs are in the District of Columbia?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as per the 2021 data, there are currently around 9,200 accountants in the District of Columbia with an annual salary of $110,240.

When Can I Take the CPA Exam in the District of Columbia?

You can take the CPA Exam anytime as long as you have met the requirements of at least 120 semester hours of college with 24 semester hours in accounting and 3 hours in commercial or business law.

Do CPA Scores Expire in the District of Columbia?

Regardless of the state, once a CPA candidate passes their first CPA exam section, they then have 18 months to pass the remaining three CPA exam sections to complete the Uniform CPA Examination. Once a CPA candidate has passed the Uniform CPA Examination, their scores never expire in the District of Columbia.

How Do I Register to Take the CPA Exam in the District of Columbia?

To be able to take the CPA exam, apply and submit your application and transcripts through NASBA. Once your complete application is approved, NASBA will issue a Notice to Schedule (NTS). The NTS lets you schedule your exams with Prometric and is one of the important documents to be presented upon taking the exam.

How Many Accounting Credits Do you Need to Sit for the CPA License in the District of Columbia?

You must complete at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses which include 3 semester hours in Financial accounting, 3 semester hours in auditing, 3 semester hours in cost or managerial accounting, 3 semester hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax, and at least 3 semester hours in commercial or business law.

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