The following education is required from an accredited institution:
- At least 150 semester hours of education
- A baccalaureate or higher degree
- An accounting concentration or equivalent
There are four component parts to the Uniform CPA Examination:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – 4 hours
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 4 hours
- Regulation (REG) – 3 hours
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – 3 hours
A minimum score of 75 on each exam section is required to pass the CPA exam. You must take any unpassed sections of the exam within 18 months of passing one or more sections. In the event that all four sections of the exam are not passed within the 18-month period, credit for any section(s) passed before the 18-month period will expire and that section(s) must be retaken.
If you passed the CPA exam in another state or jurisdiction, you must request the respective state board of accountancy to transfer their CPA exam scores to the VBOA.
Apply to take the CPA exam
Candidates must create an online account with the Board of Accountancy to apply to take the CPA exam and must meet the education requirements before applying to take the exam in Virginia.
On April 1, 2017, the AICPA launched the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination. Learn more about all the details of the CPA exam changes and view the frequently asked questions on the AICPA’s website.
Prior to applying for a license, an individual must have been employed in academia, a firm, government, or industry in any capacity involving the substantial use of accounting, financial, tax, or other skills that are relevant, as determined by the VBOA, to providing services to the public or to an employer for a period that is the full-time equivalent of one year. Whether other skills are relevant shall be determined by the VBOA on a case-by-case basis. Self-employment does not meet the definition of experience.
Applying for initial license
In order to use the CPA title in Virginia, you must be licensed in Virginia or a substantially equivalent state or jurisdiction. You must hold a CPA license in Virginia if providing services to the public and the principal place of business in which those services are provided is in Virginia.
All CPA license applicants must provide a U.S. Social Security number or control number issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Applicants without a SSN or control number issued by the Virginia DMV are not eligible for a Virginia CPA license.
Steps to apply for an initial CPA license in Virginia:
- Pass all four sections of the CPA exam within an 18-month time period
- Create an online account to apply for an initial CPA license
- Complete a one-time professional ethics course offered by the AICPA
- The VBOA requires a non-refundable application fee of $75 upon submission of the online application.
After completing the online application, the applicant will be notified to submit supporting documentation regarding education requirements, experience qualifications and continuing professional education, including the annual Virginia-Specific Ethics Course.
Professional Ethics Course
Complete the AICPA self-study Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (For Licensure) with a score of 90% or better. The applicant may mail, fax or email a copy of the course certificate, with the score, to the VBOA.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
CPE requirements for licensure include:
- No CPE is required for initial licensure if application is submitted within the same calendar-year in which you passed the CPA exam.
- If you have not held a CPA license in any other state and applied for a Virginia license after the end of the calendar-year in which the you passed the CPA exam, CPE must be obtained prior to applying for a Virginia license. CPE includes the annual Virginia-Specific Ethics Course.
- A copy of the certificate(s) of completion from the CPE sponsor(s) that include the sponsor(s) name, applicant’s name, course/content name, date taken and CPE hours earned must be submitted to the VBOA.
- The minimum required number of hours of CPE to obtain a Virginia CPA license shall be:
- 40 hours if you apply for licensure by the end of the first calendar-year after the calendar-year in which you passed the CPA exam.
- 80 hours if you apply for licensure by the end of the second calendar-year after the calendar-year in which you passed the CPA exam.
- 120 hours if you apply for licensure more than two calendar-years after the calendar-year in which you passed the CPA exam.
Virginia-Specific Ethics Course
The two-hour Virginia-Specific Ethics Course is a separate and distinct annual requirement from the one-time eight-hour AICPA ethics course needed for initial licensure. The VBOA has contracted with the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) as the only provider of content/material for the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course. The TCVSCPA offers this course FREE with your membership.
Use of the CPA title is not permitted until approval of the license (shown as Active) is posted on the VBOA’s Licensee Search and, therefore, made available for public confirmation.