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The experience must:

  • Be obtained through the practice of public accounting 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. The experience 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.
  • Be a minimum of 12-months, consisting of at least 2,000 hours, through the use of accounting, issuing reports on financial statements, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, tax advisory or consulting skills. The 2,000 hours are work hours; the hours are not limited to billable hours.
  • Occur in a work environment and include tasks that provide an opportunity to obtain the competencies.
  • Provide the opportunity for the applicant 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 obtained no more than eight years prior to the date the Board receives a complete license application.
  • Be verified by a licensed CPA who holds a valid license to practice public accounting in a US jurisdiction for a minimum of five years prior to the date of verifying the experience. The verifying CPA does not need to be a supervisor or coworker of the applicant and the five years do not need to be consecutive.


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
  • Communicate scope of work, findings and conclusions effectively

Responsibilities of the Applicant

The applicant is responsible for:

  • Determining that the verifying CPA meets the Board’s requirements (WAC 4-30-070(5)).
  • Submitting an experience affidavit form and resume or summary of key job responsibilities to a qualified verifying CPA for review.
    • Pages 1 and 2 of the experience affidavit must be completed, signed, and dated by you before submitting to your verifying CPA.
  • Including in your resume or summary of key job responsibilities:
    • Your name
    • Dates worked
    • Place(s) where your experience was obtained
    • Details of how your experiences and duties have reasonably provided you the opportunity to obtain the specific competencies to meet the experience requirements
  • 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 any supporting documentation needed to support that the jobs listed provided the required experience to obtain each specific competency
  • Verify the applicant’s relevant employment history
  • Interview the applicant or otherwise obtain sufficient information to understand the skill sets applied, tasks performed, and time spent in the applicant’s listed work experience
  • Assess whether the skill sets applied, tasks performed, and time spent in the listed work experience would likely provide the applicant with 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