How’s it going, aspiring Washington CPAs? You passed AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG! Congratulations on showing the CPA Exam who is boss! When you began the journey to become a licensed CPA, you probably felt that becoming a licensed CPA was unobtainable, similar to the elusive Lombardi Trophy.
Fortunately for you, you are one step closer to becoming a licensed CPA. Read on to find out about the Washington CPA licensing process.
The Evergreen State Licensing Process
Step 1: Pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam
This AICPA Professional Ethics Exam is composed of 40 multiple choice questions and is open book. A passing score is 90 percent or higher. In addition, you need to pass the Washington State Ethics & Regulations for CPA Applicants Exam. This online exam has an eight-hour time limit and is also open book. To ensure that you receive credit for your Washington State Ethics & Regulations for CPA Applicants Exam, you also need to score a 90 percent or higher. For more information about the ethics requirement, please visit this site and check out the Washington State Ethics & Regulations for CPA Applicants Study Guide.
Step 2: Ensure that you have the work experience
Washington requires that you have a minimum of one year (12 months) and 2,000 hours of accounting related experience. You can earn related accounting experience in public accounting, industry, government, or academia. Upon obtaining your work experience, please have your employer complete the Experience Affidavit. As the form indicates, you will be evaluated against six competencies:
- Ability to Plan Work to Achieve Specific Results or Conclusions
- Obtain and Document Sufficient Data to Support Analyses and Conclusions
- Understand Transaction Streams & Information Systems
- Determine Risks and the Actual or Likely Effects of those Risks
- Think Critically in the Process of Developing Solutions to Overcome Challenges to Successful Outcomes
- Effectively Communicate Plans, Processes, Scope of Work, Findings, and Conclusions.
Step 3: Apply online
Once you have your work experience completed, you are on your way to becoming a CPA. All that is left for you to do is to complete the application online through SecureAccess Washington. Please keep in mind that you will need 150 credit hours to become a licensed CPA. Although you could have taken and passed the CPA Exam within 180 days of completing the 150 credit hours, you will need to ensure that you earn all 150 credit hours before becoming licensed. You can also visit www.thiswaytocpa.com and your state board for up to date information. As always, remember to breathe.