WSCPA Urges Governor Inslee to Add Accounting to 'Essential Services'

by Kimberly Scott | Mar 23, 2020

Update: Governor Inslee implemented a "Stay at Home, Stay Healthy" order for Washington on March 23 at 5:30 pm. Financial services are categorized as "essential". You can learn more about the announcement here.

During these uncertain times when federal and state rules and procedures are changing daily because of COVID-19, the WSCPA has received inquiries from members regarding adding accounting as “essential services” should Governor Inslee issue a statewide shelter-in-place mandate. Several cities have indicated a desire to implement shelter-in-place orders, which would create a myriad of city and/or county-specific rules and guidance to navigate. Many businesses that are working overtime to stabilize and adjust to a new norm depend on accounting services.

In a letter sent this morning, the Washington Society of CPAs has asked Governor Inslee to consider adding accounting services to the list of essential services should a statewide shelter-in-place go into effect, or provide guidance on this issue for cities and counties to ensure uniformity in their mandates.

We realize that many members, whether they are part of small, mid-size, or large firms, have implemented remote work policies and taken other steps to mitigate the potential spread of coronavirus. However, there are often tasks that cannot be completed remotely, or that require extra security and require key staff to be in the office to help ensure continuity.

Our request to add accounting to essential services does not mean that we are encouraging individuals to jeopardize their health or the health of others by going to offices; however, categorizing accounting services as essential services will allow firms to continue providing services to clients who are depending on them for critical support.

Accounting services are instrumental to local businesses and our financial health as a nation. Although our first request is that you stay safe and healthy, we also want to remove barriers that would prohibit CPAs from providing critical services.

Kimberly ScottKimberly Scott, CAE, is WSCPA President & CEO. You can contact her at




Related Resources:

WSCPA Coronavirus Resource Center 

Covid- 19 Business Challenges Resource Group - Join this group on Connect (WSCPA's new private community)

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