Virginia CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Virginia CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Virginia CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates are required at least 2,080 work hours, or equivalent to one year of full-time employment. The experience requirement includes being employed in academia, a firm, government, or industry involving the substantial use of accounting, financial, tax, or other skills that are relevant.

Summary of Virginia CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam120
Credit Hours in above the Introductory/Foundational Level Accounting course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Credit Hours in Business course to sit for the CPA Exam24
Bachelors with an accounting concentration or equivalent required to sit for the CPA Exam?Yes
Credit Hours to receive a CPA License150
Ethics ExamYes
Work Experience1 Year
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years120

Education Requirements

Before you may sit for the CPA Licensure exam, you will have to meet several prerequisites. The first step is education and for Virginia CPA requirements, you must obtain one or more of these in accredited institutions:

  • For education, at least 150 semester hours are required.
  • Baccalaureate or higher degree with an accounting concentration or equivalent.

An accounting concentration or equivalent comprises:

  • 24 semester hours of accounting courses above the introductory/foundational level including courses in Auditing, Financial Accounting, Managerial/Cost Accounting and Taxation.
  • 24 semester hours of business courses with no more than six semester hours of what could be considered upper-level accounting courses.

While 120 semester hours is the standard hours of education, to be eligible to take the CPA examination, you must meet 150 semester hours with a minimum number of semester hours in accounting courses and business courses. It is recommended that students prepare and choose their courses wisely. Virginia’s board of accounting recommends applicants to incorporate at least some graduate-level study in accounting.

Core Accounting Courses

The Virginia Board of Accountancy requires core course subjects such as Auditing, Taxation, Cost or Managerial and Financial Courses that meet this requirement include but are not limited to Intermediate Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting I and II. Each core course must consist of 3 semester hours.

Accounting Course

Other accounting courses can be accepted and can be used to make up the 12 semester hour accounting requirement. These include but are not limited to:

  • Federal Taxation
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Government/Not For-Profit Accounting
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounting Internship
  • Accounting Seminar
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Government Accounting and Reporting
  • Accounting Systems and Control
  • Accounting Theory
  • Assurance Services
  • Accounting Analytics
  • Information Systems Assurance and Advisory

Business Courses

There are also business courses accepted for the business requirement, namely:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Business Information Systems

Alternative courses accepted toward the business requirement include, but are not limited to:

  • Business Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Legal Environment of Business
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Financial Management
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Personal Financial Planning

Virginia board encourages candidates to use the Education Handbook to evaluate the education needed to qualify for the CPA exam.

Accredited Institutions and Universities

The Virginia board recognizes accredited organizations and institutions and these are:

  1. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  2. New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  3. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  4. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  7.  Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – Any institution accredited by its recognized accrediting organization or its successor.

If your institution isn’t included above, the Virginia Board of Accountancy may approve organizations provided that their accreditation process and standards are considered equivalent to the accreditation process and standards of the above major regional accrediting organizations.

It is best to contact an unlisted institution directly to determine if it is accredited through one of the recognized accrediting agencies. Most institutions have their list of accreditations on the back of their transcripts.

International Education Eligibility

The board can consider a degree or coursework earned at a non-accredited institution located outside of the United States, once the degree or coursework is evaluated by an education evaluation firm.

Pass the Uniform CPA Examination

The “Uniform CPA Examination”, which is a 4-part exam, is developed by the AICPA – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by NASBA – the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

The Four CPA Exam Sections are:

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the essential knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing audit engagements, attestation engagements or accounting and review service engagements.

Newly licensed CPAs are required to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional responsibilities, including ethics, independence and professional skepticism. Professional skepticism reflects an iterative process that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence.
  • understand the entity including its operations, information systems (including the use of third-party systems) and its underlying business processes, risks and related internal controls.
  • understand the flow of transactions and underlying data through a business process and its related information systems.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate when performing:

  • Audit, attest, accounting and review services
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Other professional services

The content areas tested under the BEC section of the Exam encompass five diverse subject areas. These content areas are enterprise risk management, internal controls and business processes, economics, financial management, information technology and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for assessment within the FAR section of the Exam include the standards and regulations issued by the:

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Regulation (REG)

The Regulation (REG) section of the Uniform CPA Examination (the Exam) tests the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate with respect to:

  • U.S. federal taxation
  • U.S. ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice
  • U.S. business law

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 CPA, 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…

Ethics Exam

After passing the exam, candidates are required to complete the AICPA self-study Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure) with a score of 90% or higher. The applicant can mail, fax or email a copy of the course certificate with the score to the VBOA upon license application.

Exam Fees

First-time candidates and re-exam candidates are required to pay certain fees for the application and the exam fees. A non-refundable application fee of $120 is required upon submission of the online application. Each of the section’s costs are seen below. These fees are paid directly to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15

For a re-exam application, there is a fee of $20 for every re-exam request submitted. This is each time a candidate applies for one or multiple CPA exam sections.

As for CPA exam score transfers, there is a fee of $25 for candidates requesting an exam score to be transferred from Virginia to another state. Complete the CPA Exam Score Transfer Form and submit it to the VBOA along with the fee. Note that this fee is non-refundable.

The Candidate Bulletin is given by the board as an official handbook. This handbook will serve as a preparation for the candidates as it outlines a candidate’s responsibilities and how the examination process works.

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…

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