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The WSCPA will be closed Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day.

Summer Advocacy is Heating Up

August 17, 2022

by Mike Nelson

While the profession has navigated through the health and economic turmoil of the last few years, the WSCPA Advocacy Team has spent the last several months monitoring the legislative session and preparing for the future. 

Like the profession we are adapting to changes as well with a new Executive Director at the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA) and the retirement of many of the legislative leaders we work with on legislation that governs the regulation of the profession.

CPA Exam and CPA Evolution

The WBOA has been working to lower the threshold of college hours required for a candidate to sit for the CPA exam from 150 hours to 120 hours. This would not change the 150-hour requirement for licensure but would allow students to begin their CPA journey before they graduate. During the last 10 years a majority of states have moved to this lower threshold for the exam, and it has led to more students passing the exam and applying for their CPA license.

In addition to allowing students to sit for the exam sooner, a revised CPA exam will be launched in 2024 as part of the CPA Evolution framework that has been in the works for the last several years. Model curriculum is being released to colleges now that align with this new exam format so that students can receive the education that best prepares them for the new elements of the exam.

CPA-Inactive

The Advocacy Team worked with the WBOA and our legislative sponsors to pass a CPA-Inactive bill this past session. This law phases out the inactive certificates which have been available since 2001. These certificates did not have counterparts in other states and caused confusion when our WBOA had to work with other states. These certificate holders will be transferred to a new CPA-Inactive license status in July of 2024 and at that time the status will be available to all current licensed CPAs as well who would like to retain their license while not actively practicing and being free from required CPE, instead of letting their license lapse or retire.

Future UAA Realignment Legislation

The Advocacy Team also has been starting the process of drafting legislation which would widely realign Washington’s accountancy laws with the latest version of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA). The last time that Washington adopted a large part of the UAA was in 2001. Since then there have been changes to these national standards. To bring Washington laws back into alignment we will be sponsoring new legislation that will take a wholistic approach to all aspects of the law. We will be working with groups like the WBOA and the Washington State Auditor’s Office and others who work with the UAA.

If you have any questions or would like to get more involved with the Advocacy Team and shape the future of the profession, please feel free to reach out to us and we can find ways for you to participate moving forward.

Mike Nelson is the WSCPA Manager of Government Affairs. You can contact Mike at mnelson@wscpa.org.

This article appears in the summer 2022 issue of the Washington CPA magazine. Read more here.