What Kind of Regulation Do CPAs in Washington Have to Follow?

CPAs in Washington must follow the regulations set by the Washington Board of Accountancy (WSBA). These regulations include:
  • Education requirements: CPAs must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university with a concentration or major in accounting. They must also complete 150 semester hours with a concentration in accounting which must include:
    • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in accounting subjects, of which at least 15 semester (22.5 quarter) hours are at the upper level or graduate level.
    • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours in business administration subjects at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Examination requirements: CPAs must pass the Uniform CPA Examination, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
  • Experience requirements: CPAs must have one year of experience working under the supervision of a licensed CPA.
  • Continuing professional education (CPE) requirements: CPAs must complete at least 120 hours of CPE every three years. CPE hours must be approved by the WSBA and must cover a variety of topics, including ethics, auditing, and taxation.
  • Code of ethics: CPAs are required to follow the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, which sets forth ethical standards for CPAs. These standards cover areas such as integrity, objectivity, competence, and confidentiality.

In addition to the regulations set by the WSBA, CPAs in Washington may also be subject to other laws and regulations, such as those governing the financial services industry.

Here are some of the specific regulations that CPAs in Washington must follow:

  • Public Accountancy Act (RCW 18.04): This law establishes the WSBA and sets forth the requirements for CPA licensure in Washington.
  • Board Rules (WAC 4-30): These rules provide more detailed information on the requirements for CPA licensure, including education, examination, experience, and CPE.
  • Board Policies: These policies provide guidance on how the WSBA interprets and enforces the laws and rules governing CPAs.

CPAs who violate the regulations may be subject to disciplinary action by the WSBA, which can include fines, suspension, or revocation of their license.