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License Application Requirements

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Applicants must pass all sections of the Uniform CPA examination and pass the AICPA ethics exam before applying for the CPA license in Oregon.


EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR CPA LICENSE:

Applicants for the CPA license must obtain the experience competencies as described below and have a minimum of 12 months full-time employment or a total of 2,000 hours of equivalent part-time experience obtained over a period of 12 or more months.

All experience must be directly supervised by a qualified supervisor licensee.  A supervisor licensee is a person who holds an active CPA license issued by any state or a PA license issued under ORS 673.100 during the period of supervision and for at least five of the past seven years immediately prior to such supervision.  NOTE:  A PA may not act as a supervisor licensee or verify an applicant's experience relating to attest services.

The supervisor licensee must directly supervise the applicant by having regular and meaningful interaction with the applicant in terms of planning, coordinating, guiding, inspecting, controlling, and evaluating activities, and have authority over the employee being supervised.  A licensee acting as a consultant or independent contractor to the applicant's employer will not meet the requirement of direct supervision.   The Oregon Board does not accept verification of unsupervised experience.

Qualifying experience, successful completion of the AICPA ethics exam, and successful completion of the CPA exam must be obtained within 8 years immediately preceding the date the application is received in the Board office.

Public Accountant (PA)

Rules regarding the requirements for becoming a Public Accountant

PA Applicants must take and pass the required sections of the CPA examination, obtain experience competencies as described below, and have a minimum of 12 months of full-time employment or a total of 2,000 hours of equivalent part-time employment obtained over a period of 12 or more months.

EXAM SECTIONS:

Applicants who applied for and sat for the exam prior to January 1, 2002 are required to take and pass the Audit (AUD) and Regulation (REG) sections of the exam and must continue to sit at least once each year until both sections are passed.

Applicants who applied for and sat for the exam after January 1, 2002 are required to take and pass the Business Economic & Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG) sections of the exam.

EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

All experience must be under the direct supervision of a qualified supervisor licensee.  A supervisor licensee must hold an active CPA license issued by any state or a PA license issued under ORS 673.100 during the period of supervision and for at least five of the past seven years immediately prior to such supervision.  Please note that a PA may not act as a supervisor licensee or verify an applicant's experience relating to attest services.

Direct supervision of the applicant is shown by having regular and meaningful interaction with the appliccant in terms of planning, coordinating, guiding, inspecting, controlling, and evaluating activities, and having authority over the employee being supervised.  A licensee acting as a consultant or independent contractor to the applicant's employer will not meet the requirement of direct supervision.

Qualifying experience, successful completion of the AICPA ethics exam, and successful completion of the CPA exam must be obtained within 8 years immediately preceding the date the application is received in the Board office.

Core Competencies - Attest
ATTEST EXPERIENCE

The experience required under ORS 673.040 consists of activities generally performed by Oregon licensed CPAs and PAs engaged in public practice.  Typical public practice experience includes attestation engagements, tax return preparation, financial advisory services and/or compliance and internal control evaluation.  Experience obtained while performing financial advisory services or tax advisory services must be performed while employed at a public accounting firm.
  
A. Understanding the Code of Professional Conduct. 
  
B.  Ability to assess the achievement of a client's objectives by demonstrating knowledge of various business organizations, understanding of the objectives and goals of business entities, ability to develop and analyze performance measures and critical success factors, and understanding of the economic and regulatory trends that affect the environment of a business entity. 
  
C. Experience in preparing working papers that include sufficient, relevant data to support the analysis and conclusions required by the applicant´s work. 
  
D. Understanding transactions streams and information systems, including the ability to understand how individual transactions aggregate at the organizational level, to infer how transactions impact the organization as a whole, and to evaluate the integrity and reliability of various client information systems, including relevant computer aspects.. 


E. Skills in risk assessment and verification demonstrated by a sufficient understanding of accounting and other information systems to (1) assess the risk of misstatement in an information system and (2) obtain sufficient, relevant data based on the risk of misstatement and the nature of the engagement to determine the appropriateness of underlying data in terms of its completeness, existence and occurrence, valuation and allocation, rights and obligations and presentation and disclosures. 
  
F. Skills in decision making, problem solving and critical analytical thinking, including the ability to evaluate and interpret sufficient, relevant data in a variety of engagements and settings. For example, the applicant must evaluate an entity´s cash flow, profitability, liquidity, solvency, operating cycle, achievement of management´s plans, and accomplishment of service efforts of systems reliability. 
  
G. Ability to express scope of work, findings and conclusions, including the ability to determine the appropriateness of reports on financial statements, system reliability, or reports expressing scope of work, findings and conclusions.

Demonstration of the competencies prescribed above while the applicant is employed in public practice on the staff of a certified public accountant or a firm of certified public accountants where a peer review is required or if such employment is with:  Audit Agencies, Internal Audit Departments, or other organizations where a peer review is conducted and the audit agency, internal audit department or other organization is independent of the entity.

Experience under the Attest path must include:
- Conducting attest-oriented functions where third party reliance is an objective of the report;
- Preparing opinions in accordance with professional standards;
- Preparing financial statements with footnotes to generally accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting; and
- Accounting and review services.
 
 "Third party reliance" as used in this rule means:
 
- Actual third party reliance, such as takes place with respect to the reader of financial statements upon which an audit opinion has been rendered by a public accountant licensed in Oregon or a certified public accountant;
 
- Audits performed by government agencies, including tax authorities, on organizations which are not subject to management control by the auditing agency; or
 
- Financial audits performed by independent working groups where the purpose of the audit is reliance by the board of directors on the fairness of the presentation of internally generated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting.Financial audits performed by independent working groups where the purpose of the audit is reliance by the board of directors on the fairness of the presentation of internally generated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting.

Attest experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure that experience meets the criteria of the stated competencies.


What is expected from a written narrative?
The Board often receives questions from applicants and supervisor licensees with regard to the written narrative that is required in order to become licensed in Oregon.  

Tips to keep in mind:
•    It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to the satisfaction of the Board.   
•    Written narratives should be written in first-person and should include a detailed discussion/description of the applicant’s understanding of each competency (A-G), encompassing all concepts outlined in each competency heading. 
•    It is helpful to have the competency heading included at the top of each section for clarity.  
•    Each competency section should include at least one or two examples of work experience that demonstrates full comprehension of the competency.  
•    The narrative should be written in plain English and be inclusive of all relevant details while being concise and direct.   
•    Enough detail should be provided so that the information can be easily understood by a person who is not an accountant.
•    Too many references to work performed by a team should be avoided, instead highlighting the applicant’s role on engagements and personal level of responsibility.
•    A list of engagements is not a substitute for detailed discussion - greater depth of detail is needed to demonstrate competency.
•    Applicants may find it helpful to make a list of concepts in the competency headings to be sure the narrative touches on each.
    
In the case of narratives, less is not always more.   Narratives that do not demonstrate competency will be returned to the applicant for revisions, which must be signed by the supervisor licensee prior to submission to the Board.   Applicants are allowed three months from the date the application is received by the Board to complete the application process.  

If you have questions about the licensing requirements or need further clarification on the level of detail needed in the written narrative, please contact one of the Board's licensing specialists or call the Board office at 503-378-4181.


Core Competencies - Tax
TAX EXPERIENCE

The experience required under ORS 673.040 consists of activities generally performed by Oregon licensed CPAs and PAs engaged in public practice.  Typical public practice experience includes attestation engagements, tax return preparation, financial advisory services and/or compliance and internal control evaluation.  Experience obtained while performing financial advisory services or tax advisory services must be performed while employed at a public accounting firm.  The written narrative must address the following concepts and demonstrate competency to the satisfaction of the Board:

A. Understanding the Code of Professional Conduct. Per OAR 801-010-0065(4)(b)Tax experience related to Competency A will include the practice of tax with integrity, objectivity, independence, professional judgement, due professional care and professional skepticism.  

B.  Ability to assess the achievement of a client's objectives by demonstrating knowledge of various business organizations, understanding of the objectives and goals of business entities, ability to develop and analyze performance measures and critical success factors, and understanding of the economic and regulatory trends that affect the environment of a business entity. Tax experience will be in the context of federal and state tax law, federal and state tax regulation, judicial precedence and other technical tax sources applied to a variety of taxable and nontaxable business entities, non-business entities, individuals, families, estates and trusts.
  
C. Experience in preparing working papers that include sufficient, relevant data to support the analysis and conclusions required by the applicant´s work.  Tax experience will be in the context of records that are clearly organized, complete, cross-referenced and with adequate documentation and support for positions taken or proposed within the context of federal and state tax law, federal and state tax regulations, judicial precedence and other technical tax sources.
  
D. Understanding transactions streams and information systems, including the ability to understand how individual transactions aggregate at the organizational level, to infer how transactions impact the organization as a whole, and to evaluate the integrity and reliability of various client information systems, including relevant computer aspects.  Tax experience will be in the context of the application of tax law to various types of transactions both individually and in the aggregate and both actual and proposed.

E. Skills in risk assessment and verification demonstrated by a sufficient understanding of accounting and other information systems to (1) assess the risk of misstatement in an information system and (2) obtain sufficient, relevant data based on the risk of misstatement and the nature of the engagement to determine the appropriateness of underlying data in terms of its completeness, existence and occurrence, valuation and allocation, rights and obligations and presentation and disclosures.  Tax experience will be in the context of the evaluation of the reasonableness of data provided by clients and the sufficiency and adequacy of the data to support reasonable tax positions and conclusions.
  
F. Skills in decision making, problem solving and critical analytical thinking, including the ability to evaluate and interpret sufficient, relevant data in a variety of engagements and settings. For example, the applicant must evaluate an entity´s cash flow, profitability, liquidity, solvency, operating cycle, achievement of management´s plans, and accomplishment of service efforts of systems reliability.   Tax experience will be in the context of identifying tax issues, researching technical guidance, choosing appropriate courses of action and proposing solutions.
  
G. Ability to express scope of work, findings and conclusions, including the ability to determine the appropriateness of reports on financial statements, system reliability, or reports expressing scope of work, findings and conclusions.  Tax experience will be in the context of researching and preparing supporting documents for technical tax positions.
Demonstration of the competencies prescribed above must be obtained while the applicant is employed in public practice on the staff of a certified public accountant or a public accountant, or a firm of certified public accountants or public accountants.


What is expected from a written narrative?
The Board often receives questions from applicants and supervisor licensees with regard to the written narrative that is required in order to become licensed in Oregon.  

Tips to keep in mind:
•    It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to the satisfaction of the Board.   
•    Written narratives should be written in first-person and should include a detailed discussion/description of the applicant’s understanding of each competency (A-G), encompassing all concepts outlined in each competency heading. 
•    It is helpful to have the competency heading included at the top of each section for clarity.  
•    Each competency section should include at least one or two examples of work experience that demonstrates full comprehension of the competency.  
•    The narrative should be written in plain English and be inclusive of all relevant details while being concise and direct.   
•    Enough detail should be provided so that the information can be easily understood by a person who is not an accountant.
•    Too many references to work performed by a team should be avoided, instead highlighting the applicant’s role on engagements and personal level of responsibility.
•    A list of engagements is not a substitute for detailed discussion - greater depth of detail is needed to demonstrate competency.
•    Applicants may find it helpful to make a list of concepts in the competency headings to be sure the narrative touches on each.
    
In the case of narratives, less is not always more.   Narratives that do not demonstrate competency will be returned to the applicant for revisions, which must be signed by the supervisor licensee prior to submission to the Board.   Applicants are allowed three months from the date the application is received by the Board to complete the application process.  

If you have questions about the licensing requirements or need further clarification on the level of detail needed in the written narrative, please contact one of the Board's licensing specialists or call the Board office at 503-378-4181.

Core Competencies - Industry & Government

INDUSTRY/GOVERNMENT Experience

The Qualifications Committee meets once each quarter to review industry and government license applications.  Please CLICK HERE for the 2020 submission deadlines for the Qualifications Committee.


The experience required under ORS 673.040 consists of activities generally performed by Oregon licensed CPAs and PAs engaged in public practice.  Typical public practice experience includes attestation engagements, tax return preparation, financial advisory services and/or compliance and internal control evaluation.  OAR 801-010-0065(4)(c) Industry Accountancy. Experience that demonstrates the competencies described below may also be obtained while the applicant is employed under the direct supervision of a public accountant or certified public accountant as provided under this rule.  The written narrative for industry applicants must address the following concepts and demonstrate competency to the satisfaction of the Board:

A. Understanding the Code of Professional Conduct.  Industry experience will include the practice of accountancy with integrity, objectivity, independence, professional judgment, due professional care and professional skepticism.
  
B.  Ability to assess the achievement of a client's objectives by demonstrating knowledge of various business organizations, understanding of the objectives and goals of business entities, ability to develop and analyze performance measures and critical success factors, and understanding of the economic and regulatory trends that affect the environment of a business entity.  Industry experience will be in the context of assessing the objectives and goals, performance measures, critical success factors and the economic and regulatory trends affecting the applicant’s company and industry.
  
C. Experience in preparing working papers that include sufficient, relevant data to support the analysis and conclusions required by the applicant´s work.  Industry experience will be in the context of documenting an analysis of a financial accountancy issue affecting the applicant’s company from the collection and summarization of financial data to the identification of alternative conclusions such that others of equal training and experience can trace information to source data and draw similar conclusions.
  
D. Understanding transactions streams and information systems, including the ability to understand how individual transactions aggregate at the organizational level, to infer how transactions impact the organization as a whole, and to evaluate the integrity and reliability of various client information systems, including relevant computer aspects.  Industry experience will be in the context of evaluating an accounting system within the applicant’s company, performing internal control and substantive testing (analytical procedures, technical research and conclusion), and providing a written conclusion on the reasonableness of the procedures conducted, specific controls that were missing or ineffective, and the measures taken to corroborate data accuracy and conclusions drawn.

E. Skills in risk assessment and verification demonstrated by a sufficient understanding of accounting and other information systems to (1) assess the risk of misstatement in an information system and (2) obtain sufficient, relevant data based on the risk of misstatement and the nature of the engagement to determine the appropriateness of underlying data in terms of its completeness, existence and occurrence, valuation and allocation, rights and obligations and presentation and disclosures.  Industry experience will be in the context of evaluating risks of misstated financial data within the applicant’s company and performing tests to substantiate data accuracy.
  
F. Skills in decision making, problem solving and critical analytical thinking, including the ability to evaluate and interpret sufficient, relevant data in a variety of engagements and settings. For example, the applicant must evaluate an entity´s cash flow, profitability, liquidity, solvency, operating cycle, achievement of management´s plans, and accomplishment of service efforts of systems reliability.  Industry experience will be in the context of identifying significant data trends and the impact of the trends on the applicant’s company on both a short and long term basis.
  
G. Ability to express scope of work, findings and conclusions, including the ability to determine the appropriateness of reports on financial statements, system reliability, or reports expressing scope of work, findings and conclusions.  Industry experience will be in the context of both written and oral presentation of financial information and related accounting conventions within the applicant’s company that include the significance of the financial information, applicable accounting rules and consideration of alternatives and conclusions drawn.

Demonstration of the competencies prescribed above must be obtained while the applicant is employed in industry or government on the staff of a public accountant or certified public accountant engaged in employment that is equivalent to public practice, including internal tax departments.  


What is expected from a written narrative?

The Board often receives questions from applicants and supervisor licensees with regard to the written narrative that is required in order to become licensed in Oregon.   Industry applicants must use the Industry Experience Worksheet to complete the written narrative.

Tips to keep in mind:
•    It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to the satisfaction of the Board.   
•    Written narratives should be written in first-person and should include a detailed discussion/description of the applicant’s understanding of each competency (A-G), encompassing all concepts outlined in each competency heading. 
•    It is helpful to have the competency heading included at the top of each section for clarity.  
•    Each competency section should include at least one or two examples of work experience that demonstrates full comprehension of the competency.  
•    The narrative should be written in plain English and be inclusive of all relevant details while being concise and direct.   
•    Enough detail should be provided so that the information can be easily understood by a person who is not an accountant.
•    Too many references to work performed by a team should be avoided, instead highlighting the applicant’s role on engagements and personal level of responsibility.
•    A list of engagements is not a substitute for detailed discussion - greater depth of detail is needed to demonstrate competency.
•    Applicants may find it helpful to make a list of concepts in the competency headings to be sure the narrative touches on each.
    
In the case of narratives, less is not always more.   Narratives that do not demonstrate competency will be returned to the applicant for revisions, which must be signed by the supervisor licensee prior to submission to the Board.   Applicants are allowed three months from the date the application is received by the Board to complete the application process.  


If you have questions about the licensing requirements or need further clarification on the level of detail needed in the written narrative, please contact one of the Board's licensing specialists or call the Board office at 503-378-4181.


Ethics Exam

Applicants for licensure in Oregon must take and pass a written examination on the Code of Professional Ethics for accountants. The following organizations each offer an exam that meets this requirement:
 

AICPA
AICPA Professional Ethics: The AICPA's Comprehensive Course
1211 Ave of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-8775
212-596-6200
(only the text course and the online course indicated for licensure will be accepted)
 
Oregon Society of CPAs
Ethics Exam
PO Box 4555
Beaverton OR 97076
503-641-7200


All requirements for licensure must be completed within an 8 year period immediately preceding the date the application is received by the Board.  

If you have questions about licensing requirements or need further information about the ethics exam, please contact one of the Board's licensing specialists or call the Board office at 503-378-4181.

Reciprocity

An individual who wishes to establish a principal place of business in the State of Oregon is required to obtain a CPA license in Oregon.   For the purposes of licensure in Oregon, a person's principal place of business means the office location where the licensee performs public accounting services, and designated by a person for purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity.   A licensee working remotely (outside of Oregon) for an Oregon firm is considered to have a principal place of business in Oregon and must be licensed in Oregon.
 
Applicants must complete an application form and certify that they hold an active license in good standing as a Certified Public Accountant issued by another jurisdiction whose requirements are substantially equivalent to Oregon.  Per OAR 801-010-0080(2)(h), licenses that were obtained witout qualified direct supervision are not considered substantially equivalent. 

Applicants are required to provide interstate exchange forms from every jurisdiction in which they have held a CPA license, regardless of the status of the CPA license.
 
Applications based on an active CPA license that is in good standing that do not meet the requirements described above, are eligible if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that during four of the ten years immediately preceding the application under ORS 673.040, the applicant:

  • Held an active CPA license issued by another jurisdiction that is in good standing at the time the application is made;
  • Has four years of full-time experience of public accounting experience or the equivalent thereof, after completing the CPA exam and during the ten year period immediately preceding the application; and
  • Successfully completed the CPA exam.  

Applicants who do not have four years of full-time public accounting experience as a CPA will need to request official educational transcripts to determine that the educational requirements set forth by the Board, for licensure, have been met.


Foreign Credentials

Applicants for reciprocity under OAR 801-010-0085 must pass the International/Qualifications Examination (IQEX) Uniform CPA exam.
 
The NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) is the link between the US accounting profession and that of other General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) signatory countries.  Through a mutual recognition agreement (MRA), qualified professional accountants from another country can practice in the United States without having to completely re-credential.  
 
Please apply directly to the address listed below to have credentials evaluated or to take the IQEX examination.
 

        IQEX Coordinator
        NASBA PO Box 198469
        Nashville, TN 37219-8469
        Telephone: (615) 880-4250
        E-mail: iqex@nasba.org

Municipal Auditor License

Applicants for Admission to the Municipal Roster required by ORS 297.425 shall meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be a licensee under ORS 673.150 in good standing
  • Submit an application for admission
  • Submit proof of completion for least 40 hours of CPE accrued within 2 years immediately preceding the date of application.  All courses must be at Level 1 (basic) or Level 2 (intermediate).
  • Submit a table of contents and/or course objective(s) with each proof of completion.
  • Submit the application fee of $150 paid via credit card or check.


At least four hours of CPE must be accrued in each of the following subjects:

  • Audits of state and local governmental units
  • Governmental accounting and financial reporting standards
  • Generally Accepted Governmental Auditing Standards (GAGAS)
  • Single Audit Act and related circulars and supplements published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Office of Management and Budget
  • Oregon Local Budget Law
  • Minimum standards of audits and review of Oregon municipal corporations

Upon approval of an application to the municipal roster, the Board will notify the applicant in writing that the application is approved and enter the applicant´s name on the municipal roster.
 
Course Guide
The programs on the following link are provided only as a guide for consideration in fulfilling the municipal roster application requirements.  It is not intended to be an inclusive list of eligible courses, nor is it intended to identify the number of qualifying hours by subject.  The applicant will need to determine the number of hours from each CPE course that fulfill the objectives of the six subjects included in the application.  The hour allocations will need to be supported by the course objectives, outline, or course materials.  It is up to the applicant to demonstrate that the minimum required number of hours of CPE has been obtained in each subject matter.

Fees

INDIVIDUAL LICENSING FEES

The following fees apply for initial licensure in Oregon:

  • Application fee for initial CPA/PA, reciprocity, temporary military license - $225 (non-refundable)
  • Municipal Auditor application fee - $150 (non-refundable)
  • Initial CPA/PA, reciprocity, temporary military license (permit fee) - $255 (permit fee will be prorated based on the month of licensure)
  • Municipal Auditor license - $150 (permit fee will be prorated based on the month of licensure)

The following fees apply for renewal in Oregon:

  • Active status - $255
  • Inactive status - $50
  • Retired status - $50
  • Municipal Auditor - $150
  • Active status late fee - $255
  • Inactive status late fee - $50
  • Retired status late fee - $50
  • Municipal Auditor late fee - $150

The following fees apply for reinstatement in Oregon:

  • Lapsed to active status (varies depending on the length of lapse)
  • Lapsed to inactive status - $225 application fee + $50 permit fee = $275
  • Lapsed to retired status - $225 application fee + $50 permit fee = $275
  • Inactive to active status - $225 application fee + $255 permit fee = $480


FORMS OF PAYMENT

The following forms of payment are accepted by the Board:

  • Checks or Money Orders made payable to "Oregon Board of Accountancy"
  • Credit card payments using VISA or MASTERCARD only


Reinstatement requirements

CPA/PA LICENSE REINSTATEMENT

Licensees may reinstatement a license that has lapsed or that is inactive or retired.   Expired licenses may only be restored upon the Board's determination that there is good cause.   To obtain a reinstatement application, please contact a member of the licensing department.   Licensees with last names ending in A-L should contact Stacey Janes (stacey.janes@oregon.gov or 503-378-2264) and licensees with last names ending in M-Z should contact Ashlie Rios (ashlie.m.rios@oregon.gov or 503-378-2268).

To reinstate a "lapsed" permit the holder of such permit shall:

  • Request a reinstatement application form from a Licensing Specialist.
  • Submit the application for reinstatement, along with appropriate fees and appropriate CPE (see details).
  • All CPE hours submitted for reinstatement must meet the general requirements for CPE credit.


To reinstate a permit that is inactive, the holder of such permit shall:

  • Meet the requirements for reinstatement of lapsed permits (see details).
  • Credit for CPE reported for the last two biennium for inactive status will be credited to the total CPE requirement (maximum of 64 hours; 32 hours per renewal period if inactive more than 2 years)


To reinstate a permit that is retired, the holder of such permit shall meet the requirements for reinstatement of retired permits (see details).


To reinstate a permit that is suspended, the holder of such permit shall:

  • Provide evidence of satisfaction or completion of all terms and conditions stated in the Order of Suspension, and
  • Meet the requirements for reinstatement of a lapsed permit (see details).


Chart of Reinstatement Requirements


MUNICIPAL AUDITOR LICENSE REINSTATEMENT

Licensees must be reinstated to the Roster by paying the fee and completing 24 hours of CPE plus 16 penalty hours in subjects directly related to the governmental environment and governmental auditing.

CPE must be completed within two years immediately preceding the date the reinstatement application is received in the Board office.

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