Washington, D.C. CPA requirements

Ready to become a certified public accountant (CPA) in Washington, D.C.? This page serves as a resource for Washington D.C. CPA and CPE requirements. Always consult with the Washington D.C. Board of Accountancy for the most current information.

Washington, D.C. CPA exam requirements

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. All CPA Exam candidates in the District of Columbia must meet the following CPA Exam requirements in Washington, D.C.

Minimum education requirement

All CPA Exam candidates in Washington, D.C. must have a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university with a concentration or major in accounting. All candidates are required to complete 120 semester hours, which must include:

  • 3 semester hours in commercial law
  • 24 semester hours in accounting subjects, including:
    • Financial accounting
    • Auditing
    • Cost accounting
    • Federal income taxes

Washington, D.C. CPA license requirements

In order to earn a certified public accountant license in Washington, D.C. applicants must meet the 150 credit hours for licensure, as well as the following requirements:

Minimum experience requirement
  •  One year of experience shall consist of full or part-time employment that extends over a period of no less than a year and no more than three years and includes no fewer than 2,000 hours.
  • Experience gained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice shall qualify.
  • Experience may consist of providing any type of business services or advice using accounting, attestation services, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills.

Washington, D.C. license renewals

Washington, D.C. CPAs must renew their license every even two years. The cycle occurs January 1 - December 31 biennially.

Washington, D.C. CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) must be completed in the two calendar years prior to the year during which a license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete 80 hours of CPE per 2 year reporting period. More Washington, D.C. CPE requirements include: 

  • A licensee seeking to renew an initial license issued for less than two years is not required to submit proof of CPE for the first renewal.
  • A licensee is required to complete four hours of professional ethics instruction per licensing cycle as part of the CPE requirement.


Education, experience, CPE, renewals

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