A State By State Accounting Guide
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5 Steps to Becoming a CPA in Oregon

  1. Get your Education in Oregon
  2. Take the Uniform CPA Exam in Oregon
  3. Gain the Necessary Experience in Oregon
  4. Get your Oregon CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice
  5. Continuing Education in Oregon

1. Get Your Education

a. Request information from Oregon’s four-year universities offering accounting programs. The Oregon Board of Accountancy requires all certified public accountants in the state to have 150 semester hours of college credit and a bachelor’s degree.

b. Select a school and go through the application process. When choosing a school, confirm that it is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies listed below:

**If your education credentials were obtained from a foreign university, they must undergo a course-by-course evaluation by NASBA International Evaluation Services. Contact the agency directly to arrange an evaluation.

c. Enroll in the proper classes for credit. The Oregon Board of Accountancy requires you to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours of college credit. This must include:

  • 24 semester hours, or 36 quarter hours, in accounting, AND
  • 24 semester hours, or 36 quarter hours, in accounting or related subjects, such as:
    • Business,
    • Economics,
    • Finance
    • Communication (written and/or oral)

Credit from community or two-year college courses are acceptable, as long as those credits are transferrable to a four-year college.


2. Take The Uniform CPA Exam

Once you have completed 150 semester hours of college credit and earned a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible under Oregon Board of Accountancy rules to take the Uniform CPA Exam.

a. Download and complete the Oregon Board of Accountancy CPA Exam Application.

  • You must also download and complete a Candidate Release Form, authorizing the Oregon Board of Accountancy to release your information to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
  • Enclose a 2” x 2” passport-sized photo of yourself
  • Enclose a check or money order for $100, payable to the Oregon Board of Accountancy (or complete the authorization section of the application to charge your credit card)
  • Note the method of contact you prefer to receive testing information (fax, email or postal mail)
  • Sign the application and have it notarized
  • Mail all of the above to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, 3218 Pringle Rd SE #110, Salem, OR 97302

b. Request an official college transcript from your school. This must be sent directly to the Oregon Board of Accountancy office at the address noted above.

c. Wait to receive an authorization to test. Upon receiving an Authorization to Test from Oregon’s Board of Accountancy by the method you selected on your exam application, and a subsequent payment coupon from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), pay NASBA's exam fees within 90 days.

d. Wait to receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) You will receive your Notice to Schedule by the method you selected on your exam application. Go to Prometric’s website to schedule your test at an Oregon site. Centers are within the cities of Portland, Eugene, Bend, La Grande, and Medford.

e. Arrive on exam day prepared to test.

f. Receive exam grades by the method of contact you specified above (fax, postal mail or email) once they are tabulated.

Click here for detailed information on the Uniform Public Accountancy Examination.


3. Getting The Necessary Experience

After passing the Uniform CPA Exam, Oregon’s Board of Accountancy requires 12 months of full-time practical experience or 2080 hours of employment under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. (If you took the CPA Exam prior to January 1, 2000, you must have 24 months (4160 hours) of employment).

a. Contact your college’s career center to help you find suitable experience. You may choose one of the following experience standards:

  • Attestation or assurance
  • Industry/government /related businesses
  • Other Professional standards

b. Be sure to get the right kind of experience for the experience standard you choose:

  • If your experience standard is in attestation or assurance, one of the following situations must apply:
    • You must be employed in public accounting
    • You must be employed in a situation equivalent to public accounting, like internal auditing
    • You must be employed in an audit agency, internal auditing department or other organization in which peer review is conducted
  • If your experience standard is in government/industry/related business, the following must apply:
    • You must obtain an understanding of your employer’s industry and competitors
    • You must obtain an understanding of competitiveness factors
    • The following skills and services apply:
      • Tax practice
      • Consulting skills
      • Internal audits
      • Personal financial planning
  • If your experience standard is in other professional standards, employment must be:
      • Obtained in public accounting practice
      • Obtained in industry, government, other business settings

c. Make sure that you can demonstrate proficiency in each of these seven core competencies:

  • Understanding the Code of Professional Conduct
  • Assessing the objectives of an organization through:
    • Showing knowledge of business organizational styles
    • Understanding objectives/goals of business entities
    • Develop/analyze critical success factors and performance measures
    • Understanding regulatory and economic trends affecting the business
  • Prepare working papers with data that supports analyses/conclusions
  • Understand information systems and transaction streams, including:
    • How individual transactions collect in an organization
    • How transactions impact an organization
    • The reliability of client information systems/computer records
  • Risk assessment and verification skills, including:
    • Assessing risk of misstatement in an information system
    • Obtain data based on risk of misstatement
  • Decision making, critical analysis and problem solving skills, including:
    • Evaluating and interpreting data (profitability, liquidity, cash flow, operating cycle, solvency, achieving plans and accomplishing service efforts of system reliability)
  • Expressing the scope of work and one’s findings and conclusions through reports

d. Give your verifying CPA the Board’s Instructions to Supervisor/Licensee Employer, explaining in detail how the CPA must verify your experience.

e. Give your verifying CPA the Certificate of Experience, which he or she must complete in full and return to the Board to verify your experience. A sample document is included online, but you must request an original from the Board at (503) 378-2264. Provide an addressed, stamped envelope for him or her to return the Certificate of Experience to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, 3218 Pringle Road SE #110, Salem, OR 97302-6307

f. Complete an ethics exam through a home study course offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Ethics is an essential function of a CPA, and after all of your training passing such an exam will be second nature.


4. Obtaining Your Oregon CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice

Once you have completed your education, exam and experience, you are ready to apply for your Oregon CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice Public Accounting.

a. Make sure that you meet all of the application requirements. This includes:

  • You have earned a bachelor’s degree
  • You have completed 150 total semester hours of college education
  • You have obtained passing scores on the Uniform CPA Exam
  • You have obtained 12 months of qualifying accounting experience
  • You have completed the AICPA Professional Ethics course

b. Download the Application for Issuance of CPA Certificate or PA License and Permit to Practice Public Accounting. Along with the completed application, you must submit:

  • The Employment Record form (located within the application packet) documenting your employers for the past 10 years. (Each qualifying accounting employer must submit a Certificate of Experience)
  • The Social Security Number form, which must be completed, signed and notarized
  • An application and permit fee of $159 (or $165 if you are requesting a large wall certificate)
  • If you are paying the fees via check, mail all of the above to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, Unit 05, P.O. Box 4395, Portland, OR 97208-4395
  • If you are paying the fees via credit card, mail all of the above to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, 3218 Pringle Rd SE #110, Salem, OR 97302

Interstate Reciprocal License

If you hold a CPA license or certificate in another state and are seeking a reciprocal Oregon CPA certificate, you may obtain one if your jurisdiction is deemed substantially equivalent under the Uniform Accountancy Act.

  • As of now, only the Virgin Islands are deemed not substantially equivalent to the requirements of other jurisdictions.
  • Download and complete the Application for Reciprocity form
  • Download and complete the Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Exam and License Information form. Send this form to the Board(s) that holds your license and/or where you passed the Uniform CPA Exam
  • Follow the rest of the regular certification procedure above, including completing the Employment Record, Social Security Number form, and enclosing the appropriate fees.
  • If you are paying the fees via check, mail all of the above to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, Unit 05, P.O. Box 4395, Portland, OR 97208-4395
  • If you are paying the fees via credit card, mail all of the above to: Oregon Board of Accountancy, 3218 Pringle Rd SE #110, Salem, OR 97302

International Reciprocal License

If you hold a Chartered Accountant license from one of the following international jurisdictions, your qualifications have been deemed by NASBA and the Oregon Board of Accountancy as being substantially equivalent to those of Oregon:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
  • CPA Australia
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
  • Instituto Mexicano De Contadores Publicos (IMCP)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)

If your license is from one of the above jurisdictions:

  • Ask your jurisdiction’s credentialing agency to send a Letter of Good Standing to NASBA
  • Apply here to take the IQEX. Mail your application, fees and any supporting documentation to: NASBA, Attn: IQEX Coordinator, P.O. Box 198469, Nashville, TN 3724419-8469
  • NASBA will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS) the IQEX by mail or email, at which time you may schedule your test through Prometric.
  • Test results will be mailed to you as they are available.

If you are licensed in a foreign jurisdiction other than the one listed above, you must still have your academic credentials evaluated by NASBA International Evaluation Services. Contact the agency directly to arrange an evaluation.


5. Stay Current Through Continuing Professional Education in Oregon

As a licensed CPA in Oregon, you are required to meet continuing education requirements every two years to renew your license.

a. Complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every two years.

  • 24 CPE hours must be completed each year.
  • 20 CPE hours can be carried forward to the next two-year period
  • 4 CPE hours must be in professional conduct and ethics
  • For your first renewal period, you must complete four hours of CPE in Profesionnal Conduct & Ethics in a course by an approved sponsor registered with the OBA.
  • Hours carried forward cannot count towards yearly minimums.

b. Make sure that the ethics course you choose is recognized by the Board, and is:

c. Enroll in CPE programs in Board-approved formats, such as:

  • National, state or local accounting programs professional education programs
  • In-firm educational programs
  • University or college credit courses (one semester hour = 15 CPE hours)
  • University or college noncredit courses (one semester hour = 1 CPE hour)
  • Distance learning programs that are either provided by members of NASBA Quality Assurance Service or provided by a registered sponsor
  • Individual study programs that are either provided by members of NASBA Quality Assurance Service or provided by a registered sponsor
  • Correspondence courses (must be provided only by members of NASBA Quality Assurance Service)
  • Serving as a lecturer, discussion leader or speaker
  • Publishing articles
  • Reviewing Peer Review reports (may only count for 16 CPE hours every two years)
  • Serve as a member of the Oregon Joint Ways and Means Legislative Committee (may only count for 16 CPE hours every two years)

d. Enroll in Board-approved subject matter, such as (but not limited to):

  • Technical subjects including:
  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Consulting
  • Specialized applications/knowledge
  • Taxation
  • Management
  • Professional ethics
  • Other subjects that contribute to a CPA’s professional competence
  • Non technical subjects if they contribute to a CPA’s professional competence (may only make up 16 CPE hours every two years), including but not limited to:
    • Public relations
    • Interpersonal management
    • Practice administration
    • Practice development

e. Maintain documentation of your CPE for at least five years, including:

  • Sponsor of course
  • Dates of attendance
  • Location
  • Course title and description
  • Certificates of completion
  • Number of CPE hours claimed

f. Report your CPE hours every two years when you renew your CPA Certificate

Now that you're a CPA in Oregon

Congratulations on all of your hard work! As a licensed professional, consider joining the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oregon Society of CPA’s. Membership to these organizations will provide you with access to CPE programs, member advocacy services and publications that will help you maintain your professional status and stay up to date on current accounting issues.

Now that you have put your time in, you can take your pick of specialized accounting professions, including but not limited to tax accounting, financial planning, valuation services, or even forensic accounting.

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