Washington CPA Experience Requirements [2022]

Washington CPA Experience Requirements

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To meet the Washington CPA experience requirements and become a CPA, candidates will have to comply with a minimum of 12 months of experience, 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. Experience must be obtained through the practice of public accounting and/or employment in industry or government. Employment in academia may also provide experience to obtain some or all of the competency requirements.

The experience may also be obtained through one or more employers, with or without compensation, and may consist of a combination of full-time and part-time employment. It must be verified by a licensed CPA who holds a valid license to practice public accounting in a U.S. jurisdiction for a minimum of five years prior to the date of verifying the experience.

This article will help you to become a CPA in Washington and is a requirement for you to take the Washington CPA exam.

Summary of Washington CPA Requirements

Credit Hours to sit for the CPA Exam150
Credit Hours in Accounting subjects to sit for the CPA Exam (*including below)24
*Credit Hours in Upper-level Accounting subjects to sit for the CPA Exam15
Credit Hours in Business subjects to sit for the CPA Exam24
Bachelor’s Required to sit for the CPA ExamYes
Ethics ExamYes
Work Experience1 Year
Required CPE Hours Every Three Years120

Education Requirements

The first and likely essential process is making sure the Washington State Board of Accountancy accredits your college or university. While some states allow candidates to sit in the exam for 120 semester hours, here are the Washington CPA educational requirements needed to qualify for the CPA Uniform Examination:

  1. At least 150 semester hours of college education
  2. A bachelor’s degree or higher
  3. A concentration or major in accounting which includes these acceptable accounting courses:
    • Successful completion of 24 semester hours in accounting subjects with at least 15 semester hours at the upper level course or graduate level.
    • Successful completion of 24 semester hours in business administration subjects at undergraduate or graduate level.

Outside US Education and Non-Accredited US College or University

Washington State does accept candidates outside the US and those with non-accredited US colleges or universities. Submit your education documents and have your school evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES).

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…

Washington CPA Exam Cost Breakdown

The Washington CPA exam cost consists of three main fees: an initial application fee of $170 for all sections of the exam, the $226.15 per CPA exam section totaling $905 for all four sections, and a renewal fee of $230.

First-time applicants are required to pay both the application fee and examination fee upon first application. For re-examination candidates, you will need to pay both a registration fee and an examination fee at the time of registration.

Domestic Exam Fees

Application Fee$170.00
Re-Examination Registration Fee$90.00
Examination Fees
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$226.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$226.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$226.15
Regulation (REG)$226.15
Renewal Fee$230.00
Late Renewal Fee$100.00

International Exam Fees

Application Fee$170.00
Re-Examination Registration Fee$90.00
Examination Fees
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)$371.55
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)$371.55
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)$371.55
Regulation (REG)$371.55

Supporting documents may be requested and applications are usually processed two or four weeks from the time you have completed all required documents and paid the necessary fees.

Washington CPA Ethics Exam Requirements

To meet the Washington CPA ethics exam requirements, a candidate will need to complete the course and ethics exam from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) titled Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure). An exam will be administered and the required score is 90% or higher.

Getting Your Washington State CPA License

After having passed the CPA exam, these next steps will have to be done in acquiring your first certified public accountant license as a Washington CPA Exam candidate:

  1. Applicants will have to verify that they have met the good character requirements by answering the attestation questions on the online CPA license application.
  2. The experience qualification must also be confirmed and the experience affidavit complete. This affidavit and a resume copy or summary of key job responsibilities must be uploaded to your application.
  3. A course completion certificate covering all of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct with a 90% score or higher. This will also be uploaded to your application.
  4. Watch the video, Washington CPA Essentials, and certify on the application that you have completed this requirement.
  5. Complete the required Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Only do this if it has been more than four years since you passed the CPA exam.
  6. Certify on your application that you have reviewed an example of what your CPE reporting period will be for your first renewal.
  7. Complete and submit the license application through the Online Services.

Remember that you are only allowed to use your CPA title once your license has been approved by the Board.

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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