CPA–Inactive Bill Aims to Promote Clarity and Benefit Licensees

by Mike Nelson | Dec 21, 2021

In preparation for the upcoming Legislative Session the WSCPA has worked with legislators to propose HB 1648 and SB 5519. These bills would set a timeline for phasing out certificate status while also creating a new CPA–Inactive license status.

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.

These bills will be considered in the 2022 Legislative Session which runs from January through March. For more information, please reach out to me at


Mike Nelson is WSCPA Manager of Government Affairs. 

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