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2021 VBOA-approved ethics course provider applications now open

The 2021 VBOA-approved ethics course provider application is now available online.

The VBOA will approve all providers and courses ahead of time and it will be the CPAs responsibility to choose an ethics course from a VBOA-approved provider starting on Feb. 1, 2021.

Providers and CPAs can review the frequently asked questions about the new ethics format along with questions about the application process for new providers.

Virginia-Specific Ethics Course – Changes coming in 2021

Board members voted on May 21, 2020, to provide more options to the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course beginning Feb. 1, 2021.

The two-hour annual requirement will remain the same. All licensees (excluding those approved for the Inactive status) will still complete a VBOA-approved ethics course that complies with VBOA regulation 18VAC5-22-90

Every VBOA-approved ethics course will now include the VBOA Segment. The VBOA Segment will be a video covering one or more topics the VBOA has determined should be covered in every VBOA-approved ethics course. The VBOA Segment will include timely regulatory and/or policy changes, as necessary

The VBOA will approve all providers and courses ahead of time and it will be the CPAs responsibility to choose an ethics course from a VBOA-approved provider.

This revised format appeals to CPAs in different types of practices and industries and is consistent with what other state boards of accountancy offer.

Currently, there is only one Virginia-Specific Ethics Course offered each year and all CPAs are required to take the same course.

More information will be available later this year.

Governor names Bernas to Board

Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Jay Bernas, of Virginia Beach, as the newest Board member of the Virginia Board of Accountancy.

Bernas was appointed as the Public Board Member and serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at HRSD. HRSD serves 20% of Virginians by ensuring future generations inherit clean waterways.

He handles all finance and budget activities while integrating his engineering expertise with financial modeling and analysis.

Bernas began his four-year term on July 1, 2020, and succeeded previous Board member Matthew Bosher.

Summer 2020 newsletter now available

The Virginia Board of Accountancy’s newsletter, Accrued Interest, is now available online. The summer 2020 issue is filled with news and updates from the last few months. Articles include information tailored to individual licensees, firms and CPA exam candidates.

The summer issue includes information on the newest Board members, changes coming to the 2021 Virginia-Specific Ethics Course, impacts of COVID-19 on the profession, the launch of CPA exam continuous testing and much more.

The newsletter remains one of the VBOA’s central sources of communicating to licensees and exam candidates. The VBOA distributes Accrued Interest twice each year, in January and in July.

Contact Kelli Anderson, VBOA Communications Manager, at or at (804) 367-1586 with any comments and suggestions.

Also, please don’t forget to take a look back at the VBOA’s previous newsletters.

Virginia Governor appoints new Board member

Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Wendy Pace Lewis, CPA, as the newest Board member of the Virginia Board of Accountancy. Lewis, of Hanover, is a Partner at KPMG.

Lewis begins her four-year term on July 1, 2020, and will succeed current Board member Stephanie Saunders, CPA.

Gov. Northam also announced Laurie Warwick, CPA, Managing Director of Ernst & Young in McLean, as reappointed for a second term on the VBOA that begins on July 1.

Pass/fail courses for CPA exam candidates

The VBOA will accept any course taken as Pass/Fail as long as the student receives earned semester hours for the successful completion of the course. The completed course must be on an official transcript from an appropriately accredited university, college or community college.     

Other educational requirements can be found at  

Join the VBOA Ethics and Peer Review Oversight Committees

The VBOA is looking for volunteers to serve on the Ethics Committee and the Peer Review Oversight Committee.

Both committees encourage Active CPAs who have experience with ethics and peer review to serve in this volunteer role. Learn more and apply for the Ethics Committee or PROC online through the VBOA website.

The Ethics Committee meets at least annually to develop and make a recommendation to the VBOA for a proposed outline for next year’s Virginia-Specific Ethics Course. Members on the committee serve 3-year terms with the next term beginning July 1, 2020. Ethics Committee members cannot be current VBOA members or members of the Virginia Society of CPAs Board of Directors. Members must also be in good standing with all governing bodies, including state boards of accountancy.

The Peer Review Oversight Committee monitors sponsoring organizations to provide reasonable assurance that peer reviews are being conducted and reported on in accordance with the relevant standards. The Committee reports the conclusions and recommendations to the VBOA annually. Members serve 3-year terms. PROC members should have extensive experience in accounting and auditing and currently or recently be in the practice of public accountancy at the partner level or an otherwise appropriate level, as determined by the VBOA. They must be members of the VSCPA and AICPA but cannot be current members of the VBOA or its committees, the VSCPA Board of Directors, Peer Review or Professional Ethics Committee or the AICPA’s Peer Review Board or the Professional Ethics Executive Committee, including any subcommittees.

License renewals now open

License renewals opened on March 1, 2020, for individual and firm licenses.

CPAs and CPA firms have until June 30, 2020, to renew an individual or firm license. The annual renewal fee for an individual license is $60 and the renewal fee for a firm license is $75.

Login to renew on the VBOA website at

Please contact the VBOA by email at or by phone at (804) 367-8505 with any questions.

Virginia-Specific Ethics Course 2020

The Virginia Board of Accountancy has contracted with the Virginia Society of CPAs as the sole provider of the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course content and material for the 2020 course.

All sponsors of the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course must be pre-approved annually by VBOA staff before offering the course to CPAs. Sponsors will be required to demonstrate their compliance with the VBOA’s policy on content/material and instructor requirements prior to approval. Beginning in 2020, all instructors must also be pre-approved by the VBOA.

Potential sponsors and instructors must follow the guidelines for the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course including certifying the ethics material will be obtained from the VSCPA, provide a list of course instructors and submit it to the VBOA for approval.

Once approved, the sponsor and instructors will appear on the VBOA website.

The VBOA will not accept any Virginia-Specific Ethics Course completed from a non-approved sponsor and the licensee will be penalized for not completing the approved course.

Please contact the VBOA by phone at (804) 367-8505 or by email at with any questions.