virginia cpa and license requirements

Virginia CPA requirements are important to know if you’re thinking about studying for the CPA exam to start your career as a CPA.

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia has a lot of great potential. You can earn good money and fulfill a lot of different roles in public companies and even non-profits. There are specific requirements to become a CPA in Virginia. Whether this is your first choice or you’re changing careers, all of these guidelines apply and will help clarify the steps you need to take.

Read on to learn more about the Virginia CPA exam and license requirements.

Virginia CPA requirements

virginia cpa requirements exam

Before you even begin, it’s best to know what’s required. Where you go to school, what you study, how long you have to work before you’re licensed and more essential details are part of the process.

To become a CPA in Virginia, you must fulfill:

  • Education requirements
  • Pass all four sections of the CPA exam (within 18 months)
  • Take and complete the AICPA Professional Ethics course (to get licensed)
  • Fill out the CPE Requirements Certification Form
  • Fill out the Experience Verification Form

There are important details you need to know each step of the way.

Virginia CPA education requirements

Becoming a CPA in Virginia means some education. The Virginia CPA education requirements are:

  • Minimum of 150 hours of college education

This should consist of:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting or equivalent concentration

Some of the accepted accounting, finance, and business courses are:

  • Auditing
  • Financial Courses
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Taxation
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Statistics
  • Finance
  • Commercial Law
  • Financial Management
  • Investments
  • Personal Financial Planning

To meet that 150-hour requirement, the Virginia Board of Accountancy recommends graduate-level study in accounting.

Age and residency requirements

The state of Virginia has no requirements or restrictions on age, residency or even whether you are a citizen of the United States. You do need a social security number in order to be a CPA in Virginia.

Virginia CPA exam fees

In the state of Virginia, the VBOA charges the CPA exam fees, which include:

  • $120 application fee. This will be sent to the Virginia Board of Accountancy through your online account when you apply for the CPA exam. Once they’ve received your payment, you’ll get a Notice to Schedule (NTS).
  • Each section of the CPA exam in Virginia has the same fee. You will pay:
    • $224.99 for Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
    • $224.99 for Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
    • $224.99 for Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
    • $224.99 for Regulation (REG)

If you have to take the CPA exam over, there will be a $20 fee for each new request. There is also a fee of $25 if you want to transfer your CPA exam score to another state.

These are pretty standard fees, but they are just one part of the total CPA exam costs you should be prepared for. One of the most important additional costs will be your CPA review course. 

The CPA exam is difficult and requires dedicated study. Most people buy an online CPA course that comes with video sessions, practice tests, textbooks, and coaching. For many people, this is the only way to pass the CPA exam. It can cost between $750-$1,500 for a quality program, and you can find a comparison of the best CPA review courses here.

Virginia CPA exam schedule

Since July 1, 2020, NASBA implemented continuous testing. This means that you can take the CPA exam year-round. Scheduling a CPA exam under this new policy means you won’t have to wait to get scores or work around testing windows. 

This is an active policy in 52 jurisdictions, including Virginia. Because you want to take the CPA exam in Virginia, you’ll be allowed to take it any time at a Prometric testing site.

Keep in mind that you will need a score of 75 or higher on each of the four sections in order to pass. You have 18 months to complete and pass all sections.

Virginia CPA license requirements

virginia cpa license requirements

Passing the CPA exam is the first major milestone in your journey toward becoming a CPA in Virginia. The next is licensure. To actually obtain a license to practice accounting as a CPA in Virginia, you’ll have to complete some additional steps. These are:

  • Verified work experience
  • License application (with paid fees and board membership)
  • Ethics requirement

There are some specific criteria for each of these.

Virginia CPA experience requirements

Once you have passed the CPA exam, you should be prepared to enter into work experience. In the state of Virginia, you can work in a variety of fields to fulfill this CPA work requirement. These include:

  • Academia
  • An accounting firm
  • Government entities

Anywhere you work should be confirmed by the Virginia Board of Accountancy. You will have to complete 2,080 work hours. This is about equal to a year of full-time work. This employment must be overseen by a licensed CPA and actively use accounting skills. Self-employment will not qualify.

Once your year of work is complete, you will fill out an Experience Verification Form and submit it to the Virginia Board of Accountancy. There is a $75 application fee to apply for a CPA license in Virginia. Once approved, you will be able to begin working as a licensed CPA.

Virginia CPA license renewal

Licensed Virginia CPAs must renew annually. Individual CPA licenses expire on June 30 each year. Starting March 1 of each year, you can apply for a CPA license renewal. 

You must meet CPE requirements or risk an expiration of your license. These CPE requirements are a minimum of 20 hours a year, with two hours being in a Virginia Ethics Course. If your license does expire, it costs $350 to apply for reinstatement.

Virginia CPA ethics requirement

To get a CPA license in Virginia, you must meet ethics requirements. Along with your CPA exam, you must complete the AICPA Ethics Course. For license renewal, you must complete the Virginia-specific Ethics Course.

How to Transfer a CPA License to Virginia

If you started out as a CPA in a different state, you can follow guidelines to obtain licensure in VA. Some of what you must complete will depend on whether you come from a substantially equivalent or non-substantially equivalent state. Virginia follows the equivalency delineations outlined by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

According to Virginia legal codes, there are some accounting roles and work that won’t require a Virginia license. If you are trying to transfer a CPA license to Virginia, you’ll take one of the two paths below.

From an equivalent state, you will simply have to:

  1. Create an online account with the VBOA
  2. Complete the AICPA Professional Ethics Course, scoring 90% or higher
  3. Request Verification of Licensure from your previous state

From a non-equivalent state, you will have to:

  1. Create an online account with the Virginia Board of Accountancy
  2. Complete the AICPA Professional Ethics Course, scoring 90% or higher
  3. Request Verification of Licensure from your previous state
  4. Provide college transcripts
  5. Provide required CPE
  6. Provide an Experience Verification Form

It’s important that you have and submit all of the requested paperwork so the process can go forward without a hitch. In case you’re interested in more info, read on for some additional resources on becoming a CPA in Virginia.

more useful virginia links

Here are some more great resources to inform you about the Virginia CPA requirements:

Virginia Board of Accountancy

Virginia CPA Requirements

NASBA on Virginia and the Uniform CPA Examination

AICPA Virginia CPA Resources and Information