CPA – Inactive Legislation Passes

by Mike Nelson | Mar 28, 2022

Update: On March 17, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5519 into law. The bill will become effective on June 9.

On Friday, March 4, 2022, House Bill 1648 and Senate Bill 5519 were each passed unanimously in the State Legislature. These bills were previously passed unanimously as they worked their way through the legislature. Both bills are identical and will implement a new CPA – Inactive license status while phasing out the previously issued Certificates. They have been sent to Governor Jay Inslee where he is expected to sign one of the bills into law in the coming weeks.

“We appreciate the Legislature recognizing the benefits of creating the new CPA–Inactive status and cleaning up the confusion around our state’s certificate designation,” said Kimberly Scott, President & CEO of Washington Society of CPAs.

In 2001 the Washington State Board of Accountancy (WBOA) ceased issuing certificates to candidates that had passed the CPA exam but not yet completed the work experience requirements for a CPA license. The inactive certificate is a status in our state for those who had received a certificate. Almost every other state has a CPA–Inactive license status without a certificate equivalent. This has caused some confusion as other states work with CPAs from Washington.

Adding a new inactive license status will create parity among the other states. This will also give current CPA licensees an alternative to letting their license lapse or retire.

Individuals who still have a certificate will have until 2024 to complete the remaining requirements to transition to a CPA license. If they do not complete that process their status will become the new CPA–Inactive status. These individuals will be able to continue performing the non-CPA work that they have been eligible to do under their current certificate.

Mike Nelson is WSCPA Manager of Government Affairs. You can contact Mike via email here.


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