Experience

Requirements

The experience 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.  It 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.
  • The employment experience should demonstrate that it occurred in a work environment and included tasks sufficient to have provided an opportunity to obtain the competencies and:
    • Total a minimum of 12-months (this time period does not need to be consecutive);
    • Total minimum of 2,000 hours;
    • Provided the opportunity to utilize the skills generally used in business and accounting and auditing including, but not limited to, accounting for transactions, budgeting, data analysis, internal auditing, preparation of reports to taxing authorities, controllership functions, financial analysis, performance auditing and similar skills;
    • Be verified by a licensed CPA who holds a valid CPA license to practice public accounting in a US jurisdiction for a minimum of five years prior to verifying the experience, including the date that the experience is verified. The five years do not need to be consecutive.
    • Be obtained no more than eight years prior to the date the Board receives your complete license application.

Competencies

Before you may apply for your initial Washington State CPA license, the experience should demonstrate that the work environment and tasks you performed, provided you an opportunity to obtain the following competencies:

  • Assess the achievement of an entity's objectives;
  • Develop documentation and sufficient data to support analysis and conclusions;
  • Understand transaction streams and information systems;
  • Assess risk and design appropriate procedures;
  • Make decisions, solve problems, and think critically in the context of analysis; and
  • Communicate scope of work, findings and conclusions effectively.

Responsibilities of the Applicant

The applicant is responsible for:

  • Providing information and evidence to support the assertion that their job experience could have reasonably provided the opportunity to obtain the specific competencies, included on the Experience Affidavit form presented for the verifying CPA’s evaluation;
  • Producing documentation and a completed Experience Affidavit form to a qualified verifying CPA;
  • Determining that the verifying CPA meets the Board’s requirements; and
  • Maintaining the documentation for a minimum of three years.

Responsibilities of the Verifying CPA

The verifying CPA is expected to:

  • Obtain the applicant's completed Experience Affidavit form and supporting documentation to support the jobs the applicant held which provided the experience supporting the applicant’s assertion that by performing the specific job functions, she/he was provided the opportunity to obtain each specific competency (This expectation may be met if the applicant is employed by the verifying CPA’s firm or organization.);
  • Verify the applicant’s relevant employment history;
  • Interview the applicant or otherwise obtain or possess knowledge sufficient to understand the skill sets applied, tasks performed, and time spent in the applicant's represented job functions;
  • Assess whether the skill sets applied, tasks performed, and time spent would likely provide an opportunity to obtain each specific competency;
  • Document this process and the basis for the conclusions reached by the verifying CPA relative to each specific competency, and maintain this documentation for a minimum of three years.