Washington CPA requirements

This page serves as a resource for your state's CPA licensure requirements and is current as of December 2019. Always consult with your state or jurisdiction's board of accountancy for the most current information.

Degree requirement
bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university

Minimum education requirement
150 semester hours with a concentration in accounting which must include:
24 semester hours (36 quarter) in accounting subjects, of which at least 15 semester (22.5 quarter) hours are at the upper level or graduate level.

The following are examples of acceptable accounting courses:

  • introductory/elementary accounting
  • intermediate accounting
  • advanced accounting
  • cost/managerial accounting
  • audit
  • tax courses
  • accounting information systems

The following are examples of acceptable upper level accounting courses:

  • intermediate accounting
  • advanced accounting
  • managerial accounting
  • cost accounting
  • governmental accounting
  • auditing
  • tax courses
  • accounting information systems
  • Not-for-profit accounting
  • accountant theory
  • forensic accounting
  • financial statement analysis
  • any accounting courses taken as part of a master’s program

24 semester hours (36 quarter) in business subjects at the undergraduate or graduate level in business and general education courses, that can include:

  • macro- and micro-economics
  • budgeting
  • investments
  • business law
  • statistics
  • money and banking
  • finance courses
  • management and administration

Washington State does not accept credits earned from a volunteer membership, unless either a US college or university or an equivalent foreign college or university accepts those credits.

Minimum experience requirement
A minimum of 12-months, 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. The 2,000 hours are work hours; the hours are not limited to billable hours.

Must be obtained through the practice of public accounting and/or employment in industry or government.  In certain situations, 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.

Experience must be verified by a licensed CPA who holds a valid license to practice public accounting in a US jurisdiction for a minimum of five years prior to the date of verifying the experience.

Residency requirement
No residency requirement.

Every three years.

120 hours of CPE required per three-year reporting period.

No more than 24 non-technical hours.

Includes a state ethics course (four hours).


Education, residency, fees



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