You are here

Home » Individual Licensing » Experience


To qualify for CPA licensure, you must meet the Board’s experience requirements and submit a complete Experience Affidavit with your online initial license application.


The experience must:

  • Be a minimum of 12-months, consisting of at least 2,000 hours.
  • Provide you the opportunity to obtain the following competencies. All competencies must be fulfilled to meet the experience requirements for licensure.
    • 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.
  • Be obtained no more than eight years prior to the date the Board receives a complete license application.
  • Be verified by a qualifying licensed CPA.

Qualifying Experience

Qualifying experience may be obtained through:

  • The practice of public accounting.
  • Employment in industry or government.
  • In certain situations, employment in academia may also provide experience to obtain some or all the competency requirements.

Experience may be:

  • Completed through one or more employers.
  • With or without compensation.
  • A combination of full-time and part-time employment.

Employment experience must occur in a work environment that provides the opportunity to utilize skills generally used in business, 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.

Qualification of a Verifying CPA

To serve as a verifying CPA, the licensee must:

  • Hold an active and valid CPA license to practice public accounting at the time the experience affidavit is signed either:
    • In the state of Washington; or
    • In another U.S. jurisdiction and qualify for practice privileges as defined in RCW 18.04.350(2).
  • Have held a valid CPA license for a minimum of five years prior to verifying the candidate's experience. The five years do not need to be consecutive.

Responsibilities of the Applicant

The applicant is responsible for:

  • Providing information and evidence to support the applicant's assertion that their job experience could have reasonably provided the opportunity to obtain the specific competencies, included on the applicant's Experience Affidavit form presented for the verifying CPA's evaluation.
  • Producing that documentation and the completed Experience Affidavit form to a qualified verifying CPA of their choice.
  • Determining that the verifying CPA meets the requirements of WAC 4-30-070(5).
  • 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.
  • Determine, by interview or course completion certificate, etc., that the applicant is knowledgeable of the Public Accountancy Act and related Board Rules applicable to individuals licensed in the state of Washington.
  • 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.