Virginia only requires you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and 120 credits in order to sit for the exam. You do, however, have to complete 150 semester hours to be eligible for a CPA license. These rules are pretty standard among most states today and allow a good deal of flexibility.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
Virginia CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in Virginia, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.
- No minimum age limit
- Not Required to be a US citizen
- Not Required to be a VA resident
- Valid Social Security Number Required
- VA does participate in the International Examination Program
Educational Requirements to Sit
Like many states, Virginia allows you to take the exam after you complete an undergraduate degree as long as you have met the 120 semester hour limit. The full 150 credit hours only needs to be met in order to become licensed. Here is what you will need to sit for the exam.
Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (at least 120 semester hours) including:
- 24 hours of Accounting courses like financial or cost accounting, auditing, and taxation
- 24 hours of General Business courses like economics, finance, and law
Currently there isn’t a provision to allow students to sit for the exam before graduation.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in Virginia is $849.08 including an initial one-time $120 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.
|AUD – Audit||$192.03|
|FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting||$192.03|
|BEC – Business Environment and Concepts||$172.51|
|REG – Regulation||$172.51|
The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.
IMPORTANT – I know you are excited to sign up and get started, but don’t try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. This will end up costing you more in the long run. Your notice to sit will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months. This means you will have to re-register and pay an additional registration fee. Re-registration application fees are $20, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.
CPA License Requirements
The CPA exam process is involved and overwhelming for first time applicants. I know you can do it! Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in VA. Trust me. We’ve all have been there. It is a right of passage. Once you pass the exam, here are the things you need to do before you can truly call yourself a Certified Public Accountant.
Pass the Exam
You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.
Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.
Pay the license/certification fees with your application.
Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam (found on the AICPA website)
After you pass the exam, you will still need to finish the required 150 credit hours of college courses in order to become certified.
Work Experience Requirements
Virginia has a standard 1-year work experience program. You must obtain:
1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting, auditing, and principles skills in Public Accounting, Private Industry, or Academia supervised and verified by an active CPA
Unfortunately, self employment will not count toward your experience hours. You must work directly under a CPA.
More Exam Resources and Information
The initial application process is kind of intimidating particularly if you attended more than one school. The Virginia state board must have confirmation of all of your education. You will need to mail in transcripts from each college you’ve attended.
That’s the reason why I recommend contacting the state board during the application process. They will let you know what they have on file and what they need before your application can be accepted. Believe me. There is nothing is worse than finding out you overlooked something at the end of the process.
State boards rarely notify you that something is missing. Things can get lost in the mail. Unfortunately, I know this firsthand. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice from one of my colleges! It was a big pain and added two weeks on the process.
Directly contacting the board is the easiest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in your application.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- 9960 Mayland Drive Suite 402
- Henrico, VA 23233
- Phone: 804-367-8505
- Fax: 804-367-217
Time to Get Busy!
OK. So you have all the information to get signed up for the exam. Now you need to find a study guide that will work for you. Depending on how you learn, your overall time frame goals, and budget, picking the right CPA review course can be tricky. Don’t waste any time though. Jump into it right away.
Generally, state boards take anywhere from one to three months to review and approve your application. You can spend this time to choose your first CPA exam section and study to pass the CPA exam your first try.