search question-circle-o log-in megaphone arrow-right2 facebook twitter youtube linkedin2 phone plus-circle2 minus-circle2 play2 menu3 cross

Licensed out of state

An individual who holds a license of another state or jurisdiction and meets the substantially equivalent requirements of the Code of Virginia § 54.1-4411, is not required to hold a Virginia license, provided that either of the following is true:

  • The licensee provides services to the public and the principal place of business in which those services are provided is in another state or jurisdiction.
  • The licensee does not provide services to the public.

To use the CPA title in Virginia, a licensee from another state or jurisdiction agrees to be subject to:

  • Code of Virginia and VBOA regulations that apply to Virginia licensees.
  • All disciplinary proceedings arising out of matters related to the use of the CPA title in Virginia.
  • The authority of the VBOA to revoke or suspend the privilege to use the CPA title in Virginia and to impose penalties for violations of Code of Virginia statutes and regulations.

The VBOA considers a licensee from another state or jurisdiction to have met requirements for substantial equivalence if the education, CPA exam and experience requirements of the state or jurisdiction are substantially equivalent to those prescribed by the VBOA and the licensee has demonstrated meeting those requirements.

An individual from another state or jurisdiction agrees to cease using the CPA title in Virginia if no longer licensed.

Substantial equivalency

A licensee in another state or jurisdiction may apply for a Virginia license under the substantially equivalent licensure requirements of Section 23 of the Uniform Accountancy Act. The licensee must confirm the CPA licensure requirements of the state or jurisdiction in which the license is held has been reviewed by the National Qualification Appraisal Service of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and determined to be substantially equivalent to the UAA.

The NQAS recognizes the following categories of substantially equivalent on the NASBA website.

For a state or jurisdiction that is listed as substantially equivalent without an asterisk:

  1. Create an online account to apply for licensure in Virginia.
  2. Submit a certificate of completion with exam score of 90% or better to the VBOA of the self-study course (8 credit hours) from the American Institute of CPAs, Professional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course.
  3. Request that a copy of the license status and CPA exam scores be sent to the VBOA from each board of accountancy where the CPA license is currently held.

For a state or jurisdiction that is listed as substantially equivalent with one asterisk:

The licensee may proceed for licensure in Virginia only if he or she holds an Active CPA license with that state or jurisdiction. Follow steps 1-3 above. If the individual does not hold an Active CPA license with that state or jurisdiction, substantial equivalence does not apply and the individual must apply for an initial CPA license in Virginia.

For a state or jurisdiction that is listed as substantially equivalent with two asterisks:

Substantial equivalence does not apply and the individual must apply for an initial CPA license in Virginia.

Substantially equivalent Virginia licensee in another state or jurisdiction

A licensee from Virginia in another state or jurisdiction under substantially equivalent statutes or regulations is subject to disciplinary action by the VBOA for an act or omission committed in that state or jurisdiction. The VBOA may investigate any complaint made to or by the board of accountancy related to the use of the CPA title in that state or jurisdiction.

Licensed in another country

The VBOA recognizes applicants for Virginia licensure who are members of professional bodies that have entered into mutual recognition agreements with the AICPA and NASBA.

Currently, agreements are in effect with:

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • CPA Australia
  • CPA Canada (CPAC)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
  • Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)

A member of one of these professional bodies may apply for a Virginia CPA license by following these steps:

  1. Create an online account to apply for licensure.
  2. Read the International Qualification Examination (IQEX) Candidate Bulletin for qualifications and how to schedule the IQEX.
    International Qualifications Examination (IQEX) Candidate Bulletin
  3. Pass the IQEX exam administered by NASBA and request NASBA send the IQEX exam score to the VBOA.
  4. Request the professional body provide verification of the applicant’s international credentials to the VBOA.
  5. Complete the AICPA self-study Professional Ethic: AICPA’s Comprehensive Course with a score of 90% or better. Request during the registration process with the AICPA that the certification of completion with course score be mailed directly to the VBOA or the applicant may mail, fax or email a copy of the course certificate with the score to the VBOA.
  6. Complete the Experience Verification Form and mail to the VBOA to verify experience qualifications.
  7. Verify the VBOA CPE requirements for initial licensure in Virginia. No CPE is required for initial licensure if obtained in the same calendar-year in which the applicant passed the IQEX exam. If the applicant has not held a CPA license of any other state and applies for a Virginia license after the end of the calendar-year in which the applicant passed the IQEX exam, CPE must be obtained prior to applying for a Virginia license.

The VBOA may cooperate and share information with appropriate authorities in other states or jurisdictions in regards to investigations or enforcement matters concerning violations of the Code of Virginia statutes and regulations and comparable statutes or regulations of other states and jurisdictions.