West Virginia does require 150 semester hours to obtain a CPA license, but they only require an undergraduate degree with 120 credit hours to sit for the exam. Unlike most states, WV also requires that you become a resident before you take the test. This could be an obstacle for some out-of-state students.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.
West Virginia CPA Exam Requirements
In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in West Virginia, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Not Required to be a US citizen
- Must be a WV resident
- Valid Social Security Number Required
- WV does participate in the International Examination Program
Educational Requirements to Sit
West Virginia’s 150 credit rule only applies to licensure. You may sit for the exam after you have completed your bachelor’s degree with 120 college credits. Here is what you need.
Bachelor’s Degree or higher (at least 120 semester hours) including:
- 27 hours of Accounting courses
- 27 hours of General business courses
- 6 hours of Business Law
- 3 hours of Ethics
Unfortunately, students can’t take the exam before they complete an undergraduate degree.
The total cost to take the CPA exam in West Virginia is $893.08 including an initial one-time $170 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, but don’t register for all four sections at once. This will end up costing you more in the long run because your notice to sit will expire in 6 months if you don’t take the exam. This means you will have to re-register and pay an additional registration fee. Re-registration application fees are $40, 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 especially for first time applicants. Don’t get discouraged; you can do it! Your application is just the first step in becoming a CPA in WV. It will be over soon. We’ve all have been there. It is a right of passage. After 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.
No ethics exam is required.
You will need to complete 150 semester hours of education before you will be eligible for licensure. Most applicants accomplish this by either double majoring in a related field like finance or getting a master’s degree is tax or business.
Work Experience Requirements
West Virginia has a standard one-year work experience qualification. Here are the details.
1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting, auditing, and principles skills in Public Accounting, Private Industry, or Academia verified by an active CPA.
WV also includes part time work hours in the 2,000-hour total.
More Exam Resources and Information
Your first application process is kind of intimidating particularly if you attended more than one school. The West Virginia state board must have confirmation of all of your education. You will need to mail in transcripts from each college you’ve attended.
This is the main reason why I recommend getting a hold of 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. Nothing is worse than finding out you overlooked something at the end of the process.
State boards rarely notify you that something is missing. Sometimes mail gets lost. 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 huge pain. Not to mention, it added two weeks on the process.
Directly contacting the board is the best way to make sure they have everything they need before you get too far along in your application.
Here is the contact info for the state board.
- 106 Capitol Street Suite 100
- Charleston, WV 25301-2610
- Phone: 304-558-3557
- Fax: 304-558-1325
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.