The AICPA Uniform CPA exam is challenging on its own, but this is further complicated by the fact that each state also has its own set of requirements that must be met before you can qualify to sit their CPA exam. Below, we have compiled a detailed overview of what the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy’s requirements for sitting the CPA exam and maintaining licensure, so as to make this process easier for you. However, we recommend contacting the Board to make sure you qualify, and to verify that the charges have not been updated since this piece was published.

Age

The District of Columbia has a minimum age requirement of 18 to sit the CPA exam.

Residency

There are no residency requirements for the District of Columbia.

Citizenship

There are no US citizenship requirements for the District of Columbia.

CPA Exam Requirements

  • Meet education requirements
  • Create an online account
  • Apply for a credentials evaluation where necessary
  • Create an account with NASBA through CPA Central
  • Request submission of official transcripts directly from every post-secondary institution you attended to be sent directly to NASBA
  • Once approved, purchase an NTS payment coupon

Education

The District of Columbia has a credit requirement of 120 semester hours to sit the exam and a 150-semester hour requirement for licensure. The applicant must also have a bachelor’s degree or higher with either an accounting concentration or the equivalent of an accounting concentration that includes related courses in business administration. The institution must either have been accredited by the D.C. Education Licensure Commission or under one of the recognized accrediting bodies listed below.

The exam semester hour requirements are:

  • 24 semester hours in accounting, to include:
    • 3 semester hours in Financial Accounting
    • 3 semester hours in Auditing
    • 3 semester hours in Cost or Managerial Accounting
    • 3 semester hours in U.S. Federal Income Tax
      • Must include US Federal Tax courses
      • Courses on other country’s tax laws will count towards an accounting elective, but not towards Taxation
  • 3 semester hours in Commercial or Business Law. This must cover US commercial and business law.
  • Transcripts must be sent directly from all institutions to the CPAES from the issuing institutions Registrar. This can be done either by post or by email to etranscript@nasba.org.

Board-recognized regional accrediting agencies

Foreign Educations

Accountants who graduated from international institutions may apply to have their transcripts evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES). You should have the registrar of every issuing institution to submit official copies of your transcripts directly to the NIES. You must request that the NIES to provide:

  • An equivalency summary that indicates the analogous academic degrees in the U.S. you hold
  • A credential analysis that specifies:
    • The name of the country
    • The degree awarded
    • The year the degree was awarded
    • The entity that awarded the degree
  • A course-by-course listing, and
  • A course credit analysis that includes:
    • Total credits earned toward the degree as stated on transcripts submitted
    • Total accounting credits earned, and
    • Total business credits earned

These evaluations must then be submitted directly to the CPAES.

Work Experience

CPA applicants need to acquire least 2,000 hours of work experience before they can apply for CPA licensure in the District of Columbia. This must be fulfilled within a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years prior to application. Acceptable experience may consist of providing any type of business services or advice using accounting, attest services, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting. It must be verified by a CPA who is either licensed in the District of Columbia or in another State.

Ethics

The District of Columbia does not require an ethics exam.

Fees

Domestic Credentials Evaluation$170.00
Auditing & Attestation (AUD) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Regulation (REG) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) Exam (NASBA)$226.15
State exam application fee (4 x $85)$160.00
AICPA ethics exam course ($189.00 for members)$340.00
Total$1,414.60

Fees are non-refundable. Most exams can be rescheduled. 

Locations

  • Prometric Testing Centers in any state
  • International Prometric sites vary annually

Practice Privilege for Out-of-State License Holders

A CPA who holds an out-of-state license recognized as substantially equivalent to that of the District of Columbia can practice as a CPA without applying for licensure in the District of Columbia provided that:

  • They hold a valid license considered to be substantially equivalent to that of the District of Columbia’s by the NASBA National Qualification Appraisal Service (NQAS)
  • Their principal place of business is not in the District of Columbia
  • They will be compliant with the Board’s rules and regulations
  • They will cease practicing should their license expire in the issuing state or jurisdiction
  • Their license must be with good standing in the issuing state or jurisdiction

Reciprocal Application

Interstate License Reciprocity

The District of Columbia recognizes interstate reciprocity. On condition that the license and licensing requirements are considered to be substantially equivalent to that of the District of Columbia’s. Additionally, the applicant will need to:

  • Prove that their license is valid and in good standing with the issuing state or jurisdiction’s
  • Pay the application fee

If the license is from a state or jurisdiction that is not considered to be substantially equivalent to that of the District of Columbia’s, they may appeal to the board on an individual basis. They may still receive reciprocity if they can provide proof that their education and experience is substantially equivalent to that of the Board’s requirements.

International License Reciprocity

The District of Columbia recognizes all associations that form part of NASBA’s Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA.) These license holders are permitted to write NASBA’s International Qualification Exam (IQEX) in lieu of the full CPA exam. The IQEX exam fee is $835.

NTS Validation Period

After being approved to sit the CPA exam, you will receive a notice to schedule. You will then have 6 months from the date of issuance in which to write your exam, or the NTS will expire. You will then need to reapply for the exam. Therefore, before trying to save money by applying for multiple exams at once, make sure that you will be able to study for them and schedule them in beforehand.

License Renewal Requirements

Active license holders

The District of Columbia requires CPA license holders to renew their licenses biennially by December 31st of even years. During this time, licensees are required to fulfill a continued professional education (CPE) requirement of 80 hours.

These must be fulfilled as follows:

  • Ethics – 4 hours
  • Unspecified – 76 hours

The Board may exempt a licensee from CPE requirements for reason of individual hardship including health, military service, foreign residence, retirement, or other good cause if the licensee does not hold oneself out to the public as a CPA and does not issue audit reports or certify other reports and statements. However, they must apply for this no late than 60 days before the expiration of their current license. The other specifications and limitations are detailed on the CPE Report form.

Renewal Fee: $110.00

Inactive license holders

In active or expired licenses that have been inactive for less than 5 years can request for it to be reinstated by the restoration from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) without a renewal package. However, if it has expired or been placed on inactive 5 years or more, you must contact IDFPR for a restoration packet to be mailed to you.

In order to reactivate an expired license, you will need to send the IDFPR a letter containing:

  • You license number
  • Proof of 120 hours of CPE as above taken within the last 3 years
  • You will need to supply proof that you are not in arrears of child support or any other misdemeanors
  • Pay the reinstatement fees of $170 (this includes the $120 renewal fee)

State Board

District of Columbia Board of Accountancy