Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are some of the most sought-after professionals. They provide a range of services that are invaluable to any business. These include bookkeeping, accounting, taxation services, etc.

CPAs need to go through some requirements to get their CPA license in every state. Usually, these include education, exam, and experience requirements.

For Washington D.C., candidates must get their license through similar requirements. They must first get their proper education. Once they do so, they must take the CPA exam.

However, only passing the exam won’t get them the license. They must also satisfy some experience requirements to obtain their Washington D.C. CPA license.

How to become a CPA in Washington D.C.?

Aspiring CPAs in Washington D.C. must meet the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy requirements for their license. These include the following education, exam, and experience requirements. Once applicants meet all these requirements, they can apply for their CPA license.

Education Requirements

CPAs in Washington D.C. must meet some educational requirements to get their CPA license. These include the following.

  • Aspiring CPAs must enroll in a university offering accounting programs. The school must be accredited by one of the board’s approved organizations.
  • They must complete 150 semester hours.
  • They must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Candidates from an education outside the U.S. must have their transcripts evaluated by a National Associated of Credential Evaluation Services member organization.
  • They must take the appropriate courses. The 150 semester hours that applicants must take must include 3 semester hours in commercial law. Similarly, it must consist of 24 semester hours in accounting, including auditing, federal income taxes, financial accounting, and cost accounting.

Uniform CPA Exam

CPAs must take the Uniform CPA Exam as a part of the board’s requirements. For that, they must hold a bachelor’s degree and the full 150 hours necessary for CPA licensure. These must include at least 27 credit hours of accounting and related coursework as follows.

  • Three credit hours in auditing
  • Three credit hours in commercial business law
  • Three credit hours in cost (managerial) accounting
  • Three credit hours in Federal income taxes
  • Three credit hours in financial accounting
  • Twelve credit hours of other accounting and accounting-related subjects

Once they fulfil the above requirements, they can apply for the exam. They must follow the steps below to do so.

  • Candidates must schedule the Uniform CPA Exam through the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy website. They must do so through the PULSE Online portal, managed by Pearson Education.
  • They must wait for the notification of their eligibility.
  • They must schedule their exam through the Prometric test center.
  • They must take the exam on the scheduled day.
  • They must pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They must send an official copy of their college transcript with a seal and a copy of their college diploma to Pearson Vue.
  • They must wait for the exam score.

Experience Requirements

Once CPAs go through the exam and pass it, they must also acquire official experience. This experience allows them to use their knowledge in practical situations and apply themselves.

The District of Columbia is a two-tier jurisdiction. Therefore, once applicants pass their exam, they can get their CPA certificate. However, that is not equivalent to the license.

Applicants with a CPA certificate can use the CPA credential. However, they cannot practice independently as a CPA or represent their professional services. They must still go through the experience requirements to get their CPA license, which includes the following.

  • Applicants must have at least one year (or 2,000 hours) of accounting experience. This experience must meet the following requirements.
    • It may be full- or part-time paid employment.
    • It may be in government, academia, public practice, or industry.
    • It must be verified by a licensed CPA.
  • The experience must come within one of the following competencies.
    • Accounting services
    • Attest services
    • Compilation
    • Consulting skills
    • Financial advisory
    • Management advisory
    • Tax skills
  • They must choose a validly licensed CPA from the District or one of the states.
  • They must give the Certificate of Experience to their verifying CPA to complete. They must then send the certificate to Pearson Vue for review and processing with an address and stamped envelope.


Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Washington D.C.

  1. Candidates must enroll in a D.C.-approved accredited institution and meet their educational requirements.
  2. They must take the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it.
  3. They must fulfill the experience requirements.
  4. They must apply for their Washington D.C. CPA license.


  1. “District of Columbia Board of Accountancy” – https://www.dcopla.com/accountancy/
  2. “PULSE Portal” – https://www.pulseportal.com
  3. “National Association of Credential Evaluation” – https://www.naces.org