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West Virginia CPA Exam Requirements
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.
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Summary of West Virginia CPA Requirements
|Credit hours to sit for the CPA exam||120|
|Bachelor’s required to sit for the CPA exam||Yes|
|Credit hours in accounting subjects to sit for the CPA exam (*including below)||30|
|*Credit hours in ethics course||3|
|Credit hours in business law course||3|
|Credit hours in business subjects to sit for the CPA exam||27|
|Total credit hours to receive a CPA license||150|
|Work experience required to receive a CPA license||1 Year|
|Ethics exam required to get a CPA license||Yes|
To meet the West Virginia CPA education requirements, candidates must have 150 semester credit and a bachelor’s degree that consists of 30 semester hours of accounting, 3 semester hours in ethics, 3 semester hours in business law and 27 semester hours in business and related courses; however, you may take the CPA exam after completing your bachelor’s degree, which typically requires 120 hours.
Credit Requirements for West Virginia CPA License
With most bachelor’s degrees in accounting requiring 120 semester hours, pursuing a master’s degree in accounting or a post-baccalaureate certificate is the most common route to obtain the 30 more credits needed to become a CPA in West Virginia.
Many of these programs are entirely online. You can also locate specialized five-year CPA track programs with a hybrid bachelor’s and master’s curriculum tailored exclusively to provide you with the 150 semester hours required to achieve West Virginia CPA standards.
Accepted Educational Institutions
The West Virginia 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:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Comply with CPA degree and study 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 West Virginia Board of Accountancy’s requirements, which have particular guidelines:
- 30 semester hours of accounting courses consisting of:
- Six semester hours of financial or intermediate accounting
- Six semester hours are split between auditing and accounting information systems.
- Six semester hours on taxation
- Three semester hours on managerial, cost, not-for-profit, or governmental accounting
- Nine semester hours of accounting electives
- Three semester hours of business law courses
- 27 semester hours of business and business-related courses consisting of:
- Three semester hours of economics
- Three semester hours of finance
- Three semester hours of marketing
- Three semester hours of statistics
- Three semester hours of management
- 12 semester hours of business-related electives
- One three-semester hour course in ethics is required and may count among either your accounting electives or business-related electives
Any credits earned in a foreign college or university must be reviewed and validated. Assume you are enrolled in or a graduate of an unaccredited program.
In such instance, the West Virginia Board of Accountancy must review it to ensure that it meets the state’s standards for you to sit for the CPA Examination. Transcripts from foreign schools must be assessed by Foreign Academic Credentials Services, Inc. or NASBA International Evaluation Services for graduates.
West Virginia Uniform CPA Examination
Applying for the CPA Exam
After achieving West Virginia’s educational requirements and completing the West Virginia Board of Accountancy’s Initial Application Packet, you are qualified to take the Uniform CPA Exam. They can be reached via phone at (304) 558-3557.
Include the following documents with your application:
- Your college must submit your transcripts directly to the Board at West Virginia Board of Accountancy, 106 Capitol Street, Suite 100, Charleston, WV 25301-2610
- Character witness statements from two non-relatives and one CPA must be included with your application.
- You must submit a 2” x 2” photo of your head and shoulders.
- Complete the Intent to Sit form and pay exam fees according to the form
Responsibilities of the Applicant
You must select a registered public accountant or CPA licensed in West Virginia or another state (excluding Colorado, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands), provide your verifying CPA with the Experience Verification Form, and mail the Experience Verification Form to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy, 106 Capitol Street, Suite 100, Charleston, West Virginia 25301, along with your Application for Certification.
Studying for the CPA Exam
The test is challenging, so make sure you are as prepared as possible. Because up to half of all test takers must retake all or part of the exam, don’t worry if you discover you need to redo a section. Each of the four components is taken and scheduled independently, and you will have 18 months from the date of your first testing session to complete and pass them. The four sections are as follows:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting–This covers financial reporting frameworks from several industry experts. Candidates are asked to compare statements that reflect different reporting standards.
- Auditing and Attestation–This section tests your knowledge of the International Standards of Auditing and U.S. standards.
- Regulation–Your ethics and professional and legal responsibilities are covered in this test.
- Business Environment and Concepts–This portion covers general business concepts and international business. Be prepared to use your writing skills to pass this exam section.
Choose a CPA Review Course
The most time-consuming and challenging aspect is studying for the CPA Exam. You’ll also need to invest in a CPA review course that fits your learning style and budget. That is why we compiled a list of the most popular CPA review courses:
- Becker CPA Review
- Surgent CPA Review
- Gleim CPA Review
- UWorld Roger CPA Review
- Wiley CPAexcel
Signing Up for the CPA Exam
After you’ve selected the CPA you want to take, you should receive your Notification to Schedule (NTS) for the CPA Examination from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) within five days of the Board receiving your Intent to Sit and fees once you’ve chosen the CPA test you want to take.
You can then go to Prometric’s website, www.prometric.com, to arrange your exam. Morgantown and Charleston are the West Virginia testing locations. (Call the Board’s Exam Coordinator at 304-558-3557 if you do not get your NTS within five days of when the Board should have received your Intent to Sit.) Check-in at the exam site on the testing day, ready to take the test.
West Virginia CPA Exam Cost Breakdown
The West Virginia CPA exam cost consists of four 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, the initial certification/license fee of $120 and a renewal fee of $85.
|Initial Exam/Re-Exam Fee||$10.00|
|Exam Registration per part||$40.00|
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD)||$226.15|
|Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)||$226.15|
|Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||$226.15|
|Total for all 4 CPA Exam Sections||$905.00|
|Late Renewal Fee||$50.00|
Passing the CPA Exam
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).
Applicants should transmit their transcripts to the Board and download and print the online character reference form before completing the Certified Public Accountant Examination application. Once the application has been completed and approved, candidates may plan and complete the four components of the exam in any sequence, albeit all four sections must be passed with a score of 75 or above within an 18-month rolling period. Candidates must submit the Intent to Sit form on the Board’s website for each section.
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 West Virginia Board of Accountancy Exam Coordinator at (304) 558-3557.
West Virginia Experience Requirements for the CPA License
How to Meet West Virginia Work Experience Requirements
After passing the Uniform CPA Exam, you’ll need to meet the West Virginia CPA experience requirements. You must demonstrate that you have at least one year of experience in the four years preceding your application for West Virginia certification/licensure. The career department at your school can assist you in finding suitable jobs. The following are the working conditions for this position:
- This employment experience may occur in government, private practice, non-profit organizations, industry, public practice, or academia.
- This employment must be verified by a registered public accountant in West Virginia (or one who holds out-of-state certification)
- This employment must be documented on an Experience Verification Form
The following competencies should be practiced during this experience:
- Management advisory
- Audit, review, and compilation of financial statements
- Tax (including preparation of tax returns)
- Tax research
- Financial advisory
- Consulting skills
- Keeping books and records
Responsibilities of the Verifying CPA
Employment must be verified by a registered or certified West Virginia public accountant or active CPA licensee in another state; the verifying CPA must state the applicant’s dates on the Experience Verification Form and the number of hours and months worked.
On the Experience Verification Form, the certifying CPA must describe the categories of experience earned by the applicant during this time. An experience certification attesting to the applicant’s experience must be signed and notarized by the confirming CPA.
Apply for Your West Virginia CPA License
Submit Your Application for Issuance
While most states require ethics before licensing, West Virginia candidates can become a CPA without it as there are no West Virginia CPA ethics exam requirements. However, part of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirement is to attend and complete 4 hours of acceptable professional ethics during the third calendar year.
Now that you have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and fulfilled the practical experience requirement of the state of West Virginia, you may apply for certification. Make sure that you have completed the following steps on the checklist below:
- Satisfy the educational requirement of 150 semester hours. College transcripts (with the raised seal of the institution) must be provided directly from your school to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy, 106 Capitol Street, Suite 100, Charleston, West Virginia 25301.
- Apply via the West Virginia Board of Accountancy to take the Uniform CPA Examination
- Fulfill the state’s practical experience requirement of one year’s work experience in the field. Have a CPA or registered public accountant in West Virginia verify this experience on the Experience Verification Form.
- Submit the signed and notarized Experience Verification Form along with your West Virginia certification application to the West Virginia Board of Accountancy
b. Apply for your Initial CPA Certificate/License in West Virginia. Use the Application for Initial Certificate/License.
Forms for this application may be downloaded from the West Virginia Board of Accountancy website.
Interstate Reciprocal License
Individuals with CPA certification and licensure from other states must meet West Virginia’s Substantial Equivalency standards. Except for the Virgin Islands, all conditions are similar to West Virginia. To secure a West Virginia license:
- Assume you have an out-of-state certificate from a state with a high degree of equivalence to West Virginia. In that situation, you must file the Application for Reciprocal Certificate form for those from essentially equivalent conditions. Send a 2″ x 2″ photo of yourself with your application, have your college transcripts submitted directly to the Board, and include the appropriate payments. You must contact the Board at (304) 558-3557 to determine whether you must submit an Experience Verification Form with your application.
- If you have an out-of-state certificate from a state that does not have substantial equivalency with West Virginia, you must demonstrate that you meet the state’s certification standards. You can get NASBA’s National Qualification Appraisal Service verification, which shows that your CPA qualifications are equal to the Uniform Accountancy Act’s CPA license standards. For individuals from non-substantially equivalent states, you must also fill out the Application for Reciprocal Certificate form and provide the same information after phoning the Board to see whether further information is required.
International Reciprocal License
NASBA will acknowledge accounting qualifications from other countries if licensed in specified jurisdictions. Among these jurisdictions are:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Instituto Mexican de Contadores Publicos
- Chartered Accountants in Ireland
- New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
To demonstrate a thorough understanding of U.S. law, you must take and pass the NASBA’s International Qualification Examination (IQEX). Professional standards, taxation, and company law are all areas of expertise. You may find information on the IQEX exam here.
Assume you’re a chartered or certified public accountant from a non-approved overseas jurisdiction. In that situation, if you are a chartered accountant or CPA from a non-approved international jurisdiction, you must have your educational credentials reviewed by Foreign Academic Credentials Services, Inc. or NASBA International Evaluation Services and then take the Uniform CPA Exam.
Receiving Your West Virginia CPA License
After the Board has approved the application, the Uniform CPA Exam scores have been received, and the fingerprint background check has been completed, candidates will be awarded a certificate and license. They will be able to begin practicing as CPAs.
West Virginia Continuing Education Requirements
Continuing Education Requirements
The West Virginia Board requires CPAs in West Virginia of Accountancy to complete continuing professional education (CPE) requirements each year. Only programs that directly add to a CPA’s competence are eligible for credit. Annually, complete at least 40 hours of CPE (except for your first licensing period, during which time you are exempt from this requirement):
- Include 4 hours of ethics credits every three years
- Only approved ethics courses include state-specific statutes, ethical reasoning, and professional conduct standards.s
- Obtain your ethics credits from the following Board-approved entities:
- West Virginia Society of CPAs
- West Virginia Public Accountants Association
- West Virginia Tax Institute
- Local chapters of state CPA societies
- Other state CPA societies
- College and university ethics courses
- Ethics courses approved by NASBA
- Ethics courses approved by AICPA
- Ethics courses approved by other state boards of accountancy
- Ethics courses provided by state or federal governmental agencies
Meet the following Board guidelines for CPE programs:
- Do not claim programs in which you provide services to clients.
- Do not claim presentations to nonprofessional groups.
- Do not claim informal reviews of professional journals.
- Ensure your chosen CPE programs meet the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs issued jointly by AICPA and NASBA.
- Claim self-study programs as long as you receive a certificate after completing an examination
- Claim published articles, books, or CPE programs as long as you are named a writer or contributor and have a statement from an independent reviewer or publisher.
- Verify your program’s eligibility, as the Board does not review programs for CPE credit
c. Document your CPE hours on the Board’s CPE reporting form (found here). Maintain at least four years maintain records of CPE, including attendance, course dates, course titles, completion certificates, and other supporting documents
Annual CPA License Renewal in West Virginia
CPAs in West Virginia must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every three years following licensing. New CPA licenses must complete at least 40 CPE hours during their first full year as a CPA and at least 20 hours during their second full year. The Board recommends 40 hours of annual CPE in general, but only 20 hours are required in any calendar year and must be reported by January 31. Four of the 120 hours must involve an ethics program from an approved course provider. Licenses expire each year and must be renewed by the yearly June 30 deadline.
West Virginia CPA Exam F.A.Q.s
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding West Virginia’s CPA exam and CPA licensure requirements.
Do CPA scores expire in West Virginia?
Once you’ve received a passing score, you have 18 months to complete the remaining three parts before your first passing score expires.
How long does it take to get the CPA license in West Virginia?
The CPA course typically takes 7-12 months to complete; all CPA applicants must complete 27 semester hours of accounting, 27 hours of business courses, 6 hours of business law courses, and one year (2000 hours) of accounting job experience. CA, on the other hand, takes at least three years to accomplish.
What are the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in West Virginia?
A baccalaureate degree is required, as well as a minimum of 27 semester hours in accounting, 27 hours in business courses, and 6 hours in business law courses. Three semester hours in ethics must be included on the applicant’s transcript. Lastly a requirement of 150 hours for licensing, but there is no requirement of 150 hours to sit for the exam.
How do I register to take the CPA exam in West Virginia?
To register for the CPA exam, you must first review the requirements, submit the exam application, request and forward transcripts because applications in West Virginia will not be accepted or processed until all transcripts have been received and verified by the State Board, pay the exam fees, once the application is processed, a payment coupon will be mailed to the applicant. Schedule your exam; our NTS enables you to begin scheduling your exams. Exam dates and times are determined with Prometric and can be reserved online at www.prometric.com/cpa.
How many accounting credits do you need to sit for the CPA license in West Virginia?
The West Virginia Board of Accountancy requires CPA applicants to complete 150 semester hours for full licensure; however, you may take the CPA exam after completing your bachelor’s degree, which typically requires 120 hours.
Does West Virginia require an ethics exam for the CPA?
Yes. The ethics exam is a requirement for becoming a CPA. It is mandatory to take at least three credit hours of ethics classes.
How much is the CPA exam in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, the cost of taking all four portions of the CPA test is $784.50, plus a $170 application fee. The charge for re-examination is $40 per part.