Washington CPA Requirements (Rules on Exam and Licensing)

Washington CPA requirements

Washington state board follows the “3E” requirement, but the rules related to verification of experience is among the most flexible among all states.

If you are an auditor with experience from outside of US, a part-time work or even a volunteer, take a closer look.

Washington CPA Requirements

1. Education Requirements to Sit for the Exam

  • Bachelor degree or above.
  • 150 credit hours from an accredited university or educational institution.
  • Accounting courses: 24 credit hours, of which 15 should be in “upper division” (i.e. 3rd and 4th year classes):
    • Introductory/Elementary Accounting;
    • Intermediate Accounting;
    • Advanced Accounting;
    • Cost/Managerial Accounting;
    • Audit;
    • U.S. Federal Taxation/ Accounting law (this does not include business law);
    • Accounting Information System.
  • Business courses: 24 credit hours, which can include the following:
    • Macro- and Micro-economics;
    • Budgeting;
    • Investments;
    • Business law;
    • Statistic (no more than 6 undergraduate semester hours);
    • Money & Banking;
    • Finance course;
    • Management and administration;
    • Accounting courses in excess of the required 24 semester hours.

Special note: May sit 180 days prior to meeting educational requirements.

2. Additional Washington CPA Requirements to Obtain the License


  • Same as the exam requirement.

Work Experience

  • 1 year of public accounting work experience.
  • At least 2,000 hours of work experience.
  • Role can be in accounting, attest, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, tax advisory or consulting.
  • The experience has to verified by:
    • A CPA in Washington; or
    • A CPA qualified for practicing privileges for a min of 5 years prior to the verification;
    • The verifier does not need to be your supervisor.
  • Part-time and even volunteer work can be counted.
  • Additional CPE courses are required if the license application has passed the CPA exam for more than 4 years.

*Launched in Apr 2016* The NASBA Experience Verification service is now available to those who do not have access to an active U.S. CPA for verification.

Ethics Qualification

3. Washington CPA Requirements on Residency & Age

  • US citizenship not required
  • Washington residency not required
  • Minimum age: none

4. Fees

  • First-timers: $774 + application fee
  • Repeaters: exam fees + $72-131 repeat application fees

5. Continuing Education

CPE is needed for license holders. Click here for Washington CPA CPE requirements.

6. Other Useful Information

7. Contact

Washington State Board of Accountancy
PO Box 9131
Olympia, WA 98507-9131

  • Email: customerservice@cpaboard.wa.gov
  • Phone: (360) 753-2586
  • Fax: (360) 664-919

What if the Washington CPA Requirements don’t Work?

Check out these pages to learn about the educational and experience requirements, with my recommendation at the end of the posts:

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or visit my Facebook page.

* Photograph courtesy of stuseeger

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

follow me on:
  • Jill says:

    You need to be within 180 days of completing the 150 semester (225 qtr) credits when you sit for the first exam; it does not need to be completed upon sitting for the first exam.

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Jill,
    That’s right – thanks for this additional piece of info! Stephanie

  • Stephanie says:

    Dear all,
    I have set up a new comment box powered by Facebook to let me answer your questions more efficiently. It can be found right after each article. Thanks! Stephanie

  • Shaheryar says:

    I am B.com, MBA (Finance) and CFA Charter Holder with 7 years Approved and 10 years total corporate work experience. AM i eligible for Any state of US for CPA exams?

    Please help me in selecting state, i will be grateful to you.



    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Shaheryar, your BCOM + MBA should be good for the degree requirements. You are likely ok with the accounting courses with your BCOM, but depending which state you go to you may need to make up for some credit hours. CFA is unfortunately not useful in this regard.

      If you are serious about the CPA exam, you can get a credential evaluation report to know for sure. Here is more info: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/foreign-credential-evaluation/

  • Prakash says:


    Is SSN a requirement for washington? Do you recommend this state to international candidates over others w.r.t licensing?

  • Priya says:

    I’m I Canadian. Interested in US CPA. I have B.com degree and finished all of my CPA courses with Canadian CPA except CFE (very last exam). I was initially a CGA student before CGA, CPA merger. I may discontinue with Canadian CPA. What should I do to transfer my credits. Can I just write final exam
    With US CPA?

  • Arsal Habib says:

    Does anyone know if the 24 credits for Business Requirement can all be met via Economics courses? Or do they need to be spread out in different categories of business?

  • Dwrites says:

    Hello Stephanie,
    My Far exam credit expires on April 14th. Should I have got the result for my last exam before April 14th or should I have attempted the exam before April 14th. I tried googling and had no luck. I also wrote an email to Washington state board. Have not got an answer yet. Could you please help me get an answer.

    Thank you

  • >