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Steps to CPA

Join the WSCPA

Become a WSCPA student member to unlock an array of benefits designed to support you at every stage of your professional development:

  • Discounts on CPA Review Courses: Get ahead in your studies with our exclusive discounts on comprehensive review materialss
  • CPA Exam Support: From understanding the exam format to providing essential resources, we're here to guide you through the CPA exam process.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow students and established CPAs at fun networking events like pub trivia, murder mysteries, meet the firms, or other meet and greets around the state. Participate in online discussions via the WSCPA Connect platform.
  • Build Your Professional Community: Being a part of the WSCPA means you're not alone on this journey. Engage with like-minded individuals who share your passion and ambition. Join a resource group or committee.
  • Keep Informed: Stay on top of trends and changes in the profession through WSCPA members-only publications.

Meet the Education Requirements

All candidates for the CPA Exam must have completed at least 120 semester hours of college education, and have a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting from an educational institution recognized by the Washington State Board of Accountancy.

A concentration in accounting includes:

  • 24 semester-hour credits (36 quarter hour credits) in accounting subjects, of which at least 15 semester hours (22.5 quarter hours) are at the upper or graduate level
  • 24 semester-hour credits (36 quarter hour credits) in business administration subjects.

For more detailed information regarding educational requirements, transfer of credits, or other certification/licensing information, please visit the website for the Washington State Board of Accountancy.

Study for the CPA Exam

Schedule Your CPA Exam

  • The Uniform CPA Examination
    At the official CPA Exam website, you can take an online tutorial for the exam, learn about test changes, locate testing centers, and more. For details on how to register for the CPA Exam in Washington, click here.
  • The CPA Exam is changing! Learn more about key exam dates

Take the Professional Ethics Exam

Recently passed the CPA exam? Student members pay a discounted price for the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam, which is required to obtain an initial CPA license in Washington.

Document Your Experience

In addition to having the necessary education and passing the CPA Exam, it is also necessary to have at least one year's worth of experience working in accounting before getting your CPA license. The experience must:

  • Cover a minimum 12-month period (does not need to be a consecutive 12 months).
  • Consist of a minimum of 2,000 hours.
  • Be obtained by working in the areas of accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, tax advisory or consulting.
  • Be verified by a licensed CPA.
  • Be obtained within 8 years prior to filing a complete application for a license.
  • Fill out the WA State Board of Accountancy's Experience Affidavit form

This information will then need to be submitted to the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA). For questions regarding certification/licensing, continuing education requirements, and requirements for international students, contact the Washington State Board of Accountancy at (360) 753-2586 or

To find a job, visit the WSCPA Job Board or attend networking functions and meet professionals looking to hire.

Internship Planning Tips

Looking to get real world accounting experience? An accounting internship is an excellent way to do it!

Plan ahead! Most publicly held companies and public accounting firms recruit for spring and summer internships during the previous September and October. To give yourself the best advantage start planning to find an internship 9 to 12 months in advance. You should:

  • Research firms/companies where you may wish to intern
  • Update your resume
  • Practice your interviewing skills

Most internships last between 2 to 4 months. Tax season internships generally take place from mid-January through late April.

Note: Some schools allow for paid internships during your enrollment, while others are for college credit only. Before committing to any type of internship, it is crucial that you go through the correct channels at your school.

Apply for your CPA License!

Career Advancement