Washington CPE Courses for CPAs

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Washington CPE: Your Ultimate Option to Expedite Professional Growth

Are you searching for a detailed page that will provide you with every single piece of vital information related to Washington CPE? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’ve obtained your CPA license in the state recently or joined the elite league years ago, it's a must for you to meet Washington State continuing education (CPE) requirements.

Even if you’re an initial license applicant or are trying to convert your inactive certificate to an active license, you need to fulfill some specific Washington State CPA CPE requirements.

If all these sound a little complicated, this page will simplify them for you. After reading it, you’ll be able to embark on your Washington continuing education (CPE) journey with confidence.

Let’s start with the basics.


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What Are the General Washington CPE Guidelines?

Here’re the general Washington CPE requirements that you need to remember.

  • Washington State has a triennial license renewal period.
  • The CPE reporting period in the state is also triennial. So, if your license expires on June 30, 2025, your CPE reporting period is from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2024.
  • You need to obtain 120 CPE credits every three-year period.
  • In the case of your first reporting period, you must obtain 120 CPE credits between the date of issuance of your license and 31st December of the third calendar year.
  • You need to earn at least 20 CPE credits each year.
  • Your 120 credits need to include four credits earned by completing an ethics course approved by the Washington State Board.

What Are the Washington State CPE Requirements Related To Ethics?

Whether you’re renewing your CPA license, converting your inactive certificate to an active one, or are a non-licensee firm owner, you’re required to complete an ethics course approved by the Washington State Board.

Note that, if you take ethics courses that aren’t approved by the board, your credits may not get accepted toward meeting your Washington CPE ethics requirements. Instead, the board will accept them as credits for fulfilling your Washington CPA CPE requirements in technical fields of study.

You can see a list of ethics courses approved by the board here.

What Are the Washington State CPA CPE Requirements for Initial License Applicants?

If you’re an initial license applicant, you need to remember the following things when pursuing CPE in Washington State.

  • If you cleared the CPA Exam more than four years ago, you’re required to obtain 120 CPE credits.
  • You must earn these credits within three years before your application date.
  • You must complete the Washington CPE ethics course within six months before your application date.

What Are the Washington CPE Requirements for CPAs Converting Inactive Certificates to Active Licenses?

If you’re planning to convert your inactive certificate to an active CPA license, you’re required to comply with these Washington State CPE guidelines.

  • You’re required to earn 120 CPE credits which include a board-approved ethics course.
  • These credits must be earned within three years before your application date.
  • You must earn your credits in Washington ethics within six months before your application date.
  • If you’re converting your certificate to a license in the first year of your renewal cycle, you need to obtain 80 CPE credits including an ethics course approved by the board. You also need to earn at least 20 credits each year.
  • If you’re obtaining your active license in the second year of your renewal cycle, 40 CPE credits need to be earned including a board-approved ethics course. At least 20 credits need to be obtained each year.
  • If you’re converting your certificate to an active license in the third year of your renewal cycle, you only need to complete an ethics course approved by the board.

Credit Limitations to Remember When Fulfilling Washington CPA CPE Requirements

To pursue Washington CPE efficiently, remember the following Washington State Board of Accountancy CPE credit limitations.

  • Among the required 120 credits, you can obtain a maximum of 60 credits in non-technical subjects.
  • If you choose nano learning to meet Washington State CPE requirements, you’re allowed to earn a maximum of 12 credits.
  • If you choose one or more of the following categories, the combined total of your credits shouldn’t be more than 60. Note that, credits in these categories won’t be counted toward the minimum yearly requirement of 20 credits.
    • First-time developer or instructor of a university/college course that qualifies for CPE credit.
    • First-time developer or instructor of a CPE course.
    • Authorship of published books, articles, or other publications that are related to the accounting profession.

Calculation of Credits When Pursuing CPE in Washington State

Here’re the methods to calculate your credits when meeting Washington State CPA CPE requirements.

  • Partial credits

You can receive half credits after obtaining your first full credit. However, in the case of nano learning, you can obtain credits in 0.2 increments before earning your first full credit.

  • Self-study programs

If you take interactive self-study Washington CPE courses to fulfill Washington CPE requirements, you can get full credits. Or else, you’re eligible for half credits.

  • University/college courses

Whether you complete graduate or undergraduate courses, you’ll get 15 CPE credits for one semester credit and 10 credits for one quarter credit.

What Are the Qualifying Programs for Washington State CPE?

Features of Qualifying Programs

Here’re the features of the programs that you can take to meet your Washington CPA CPE requirements.

  • Programs of which outlines are created in advance and attendance is recorded.
  • The minimum length of these programs needs to be 50 minutes. However, this rule doesn’t apply to nano-learning courses.
  • These programs need to enhance your professional knowledge and competence.
  • You need to receive certificates of completion after finishing these programs

CPE Providers to Choose From

You can choose from the following providers to pursue CPE in Washington State. It’s important to note that the state board doesn’t authorize any CPE providers or their programs.

  • Sponsors that are registered in NASBA’s National Registry of CPE Sponsors
  • State societies
  • Technical sessions held at state societies, AICPA, and chapters
  • In-house programs
  • College or university courses
  • Professional or trade associations
  • Training required or offered by the employer
  • Training offered in countries other than the United States
  • Programs that are offered commercially

Technical and Non-Technical Subjects to Choose From

We’ve already mentioned the credit limitations related to technical and non-technical subjects that you need to remember when pursuing Washington State CPE. Here’re the lists of technical and non-technical subjects that you can choose from.

Technical Subjects

  • Accounting and auditing
  • Review and compilation of financial statements
  • Auditing procedures or standards
  • Attestation procedures and standards
  • Preparation and disclosures of financial statements
  • Forecast and projection procedures or standards
  • Taxation
  • Personal financial planning
  • Management advisory services
  • Budgeting and cost analysis
  • Management information services
  • Professional ethics (apart from the mandatory board-approved ethics)
  • Asset management
  • Human resource management
  • Specialized areas of industry
  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Business management and organization
  • Statistics, mathematics, as well as quantitative applications in business
  • Dispute resolution or negotiation programs
  • Information technology management and planning, computer software training, general computer skills

Non-Technical Subjects

  • Interpersonal management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Client and public relations
  • Personal development and leadership skills
  • Behavioral and motivational courses
  • Practice development
  • Memory building
  • Speed reading

CPE Documentation When Pursuing Washington State Board of Accountancy CPE

Since you’re solely responsible for demonstrating that a specific program is acceptable for Washington CPE, it’s a must to consider CPE documentation a top priority.

So, be sure to consider these when maintaining your CPE documentation.

Documentation That Will Be Accepted By the Board

The board will accept completion certificates issued by the providers as long as they contain these pieces of information:

  • The name of the CPE provider
  • The name of the participant
  • The program’s title
  • The date(s) on or during the program was attended
  • The number of CPE credits obtained

Here’re some examples of documentation in relation to different types of CPE programs.

  • Self-study programs

You must keep the original certificate of completion. When reporting your Washington CPE, you need to use the date of completion that’s mentioned on your certificate. If you completed online CPE programs to meet Washington State CPE requirements, you’re allowed to submit a copy of your online certificate of completion as long as it has all the pieces of information mentioned above.

  • Group programs

If you completed group programs to fulfill your Washington State CPA CPE requirements, you need to keep the following documentation:

  • Annual CPE summaries of the WSCPA (Washington State Society of CPA)
  • Original certificates of completion
  • Original summary signed by the sponsor. The summaries have to be generated from the original sign-in and sign-out sheets that prove the statements’ accuracy and provide the contact information of the sponsor.
  • Instruction credit

If you earn Washington CPE credits through the instruction of materials, you need to consider two things. You can obtain CPE credits for the actual preparation time but it can be up to two times your presentation hours. And you need to compile and sign the summary of your preparation time.

To claim credits for your presentation time, you need to keep the original statement signed by the sponsor.

  • Accredited college or university courses

If you take credit courses to meet your Washington CPE requirements, you need to keep the official transcript or the original official grade report. If you take non-credit courses, you need to keep the original statement signed by your instructor.

  • Published books or articles

You’re required to keep the original books or articles.

Retention of Documentation

If you’re a first-time applicant for the license or want to reinstate your license, you need to retain the documentation for three years from your application date. If you’re renewing your license, the documentation should be retained for three years from the end of your CPE reporting period in which you claim the credits.

Submitting CPE Documentation to the Board

The board doesn’t need you to submit your Washington CPE documentation at the time of renewing your license. However, the board audits the CPE reports of individual CPAs each year and CPAs are selected randomly.

In case you get selected for audit, the board will need you to submit all your acceptable CPE documentation to it. Note that, the board may also ask you to submit additional pieces of information that prove your adherence to its rules.

Methods to Request CPE Extensions When Pursuing Washington CPE

If, for whatever reason, you cannot obtain enough Washington CPE credits to meet your Washington State CPE requirements, you can request CPE extensions between January 1 and June 30 using your renewal application form.

You can request a CPE extension on the following grounds.

  • You didn’t obtain your required CPE credits by your CPE reporting period’s end, but you earned them before your expiration date of June 30.
  • You failed to earn at least 20 credits in one or multiple years during your reporting period.

Here’re the limitations to CPE extensions you need to keep in mind.

  • You can get only one extension in any two successive CPE reporting periods.
  • If you requested a CPE extension and received it for your last renewal, you cannot get an extension for your present renewal.

Note that, if you fail to request a CPE extension on or prior to June 30, your credential will be lapsed on July 1. Once it has lapsed, you can start the process of reinstating your license at any time.

Wrapping Up

We hope that this page has covered every important aspect of Washington CPE. If you feel confident enough, start browsing our collection of CPE courses to meet your Washington State CPE requirements. If you want more information about Washington State CPA CPE requirements or how to meet them efficiently, feel free to contact us.



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