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How to Become a CPA in Oregon

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Becoming a CPA can be an excellent career choice if you are looking for a fulfilling career in Oregon. Achieving this certification demands hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn the legal and regulatory framework that governs the profession. To qualify for the CPA license in Oregon, you’ll need to meet specific educational requirements, pass the rigorous CPA exam, and obtain an Oregon CPA license. With proper preparation, you can achieve success and thrive as a CPA in Oregon.

Portland Oregon

Becoming a CPA in Oregon

Oregon’s industry, livability, and favorable growth make it an ideal place for future CPAs to set up shop. U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net reports that the Beaver State will be developing its accounting job rate at 13 percent. Professionals in the field will enjoy an estimated 1,500 job openings annually. The market growth comes from a mixture of new positions and the turnover of existing roles. It adds up to a genuine opportunity for all new CPAs.

Once you learn how to become a CPA in Oregon, you’ll discover many possibilities opening. Nike is the state’s famous Fortune 500 company. The powerhouse brand relies on accounting expertise in all areas, including international trade and manufacturing to retail aspects of the garment business. The Beaver State’s agriculture industry feeds into a booming legal cannabis market. Accounting experts can specialize in everything from environmental accounting to inventory management.

IBISWorld is a research and analytics firm. It reports that Oregon has the second-highest GDP growth rate in the nation. That fuels plenty of demand for small businesses and individual accounting roles. Certified CPAs in Oregon can open up a shop or go to work for regional or national organizations like Moss Adams, Kernutt Stokes, and KPMG. Corporate offices are scattered from Portland and Klamath Falls to Salem. Accounting pros can settle anywhere for a well-paying and solid position.

Here are the Steps to Become a CPA in Oregon:

  1. Getting Your CPA Education in Oregon.
  2. Taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Oregon.
  3. Gaining the Needed Experience in Oregon.
  4. Getting Your CPA License and Continuing Education in Oregon.

Getting your Education in Oregon

CPAs start by requesting information from Oregon universities that feature accounting programs. The Oregon Board of Accountancy requires certified public accountants to complete 150 credit hours of college coursework and hold an undergraduate or higher degree.

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An undergraduate degree in accounting consists of 120 credit hours. Accountants typically pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate or Master’s in Accounting degree programs to fulfill the additional thirty credits. Many of these accounting programs are available online. Future Oregon CPAs can find specialized five-year CPA programs that offer a combined bachelor’s and master’s curriculum. These programs give students the 150 credit hours they need to meet CPA requirements in Oregon.

The college credit semester hours must consist of the following:

  • Twenty-four credit hours (thirty-six quarter hours) in accounting.
  • Twenty-four credit hours (thirty-six quarter hours) in accounting or related subjects, including:
    • Business.
    • Economics.
    • Finance.
    • Communication (written or verbal).

Community or two-year college course credit is acceptable. Credits must be transferred to a four-year college that grants a bachelor’s degree.

Taking the Uniform CPA Exam in Oregon


First, future CPAs earn a bachelor’s degree and complete 150 semester hours of college credit. They are then eligible for the Uniform CPA Exam under Oregon Board of Accountancy rules.

Candidates can download and fill out the Oregon Board of Accountancy CPA Exam application. They can also download and complete the Candidate Release Form. Test takers should enclose a passport-sized headshot photo of themselves and a $100 fee. Next, request all official college transcripts from previously attended schools. Transcripts are sent directly to the Oregon Board of Accountancy office.

Candidates wait to receive approval to test. They will receive an Authorization to Test from Oregon’s Board of Accountancy. Next, they wait to receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). They receive their Notice to Schedule by the method they selected on their exam application. 

The Prometric website is excellent for scheduling tests at an Oregon site. Test centers are in the following Oregon cities:

BendLa Grande
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Studying for the CPA exam in Oregon can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and execution, it can be made manageable. Firstly, familiarize yourself with the exam format, and then create a study plan that covers all sections of the exam, allocating sufficient time for each part. Utilize review courses, textbooks, and practice exams to gain an understanding of the exam content. Take practice exams to simulate the real exam environment and gauge your level of understanding. Join a study group, hire a tutor or seek advice from experienced CPAs. Finally, stay focused, disciplined and dedicated throughout your study journey.

Test takers should arrive on exam day prepared to test. They receive exam grades by fax, postal mail, or email once they are tabulated.

Getting the Needed Experience in Oregon

You must pass the Uniform CPA Exam before becoming a Certified Public Accountant in Oregon. The Board of Accountancy requires one year of full-time practical experience/2,080 hours of employment under the supervision of a licensed CPA.

Accounting students can contact their college’s career center to help them find relevant experience. They can choose one of these experience standards:

  • Attestation or assurance.
  • Government/industry/related businesses.
  • Other Professional standards.

Future CPAs in Oregon must get the correct type of work for the experience standard they choose.

Attestation or Assurance

To meet the experience standards for attestation or assurance, workers must fit into one of the following scenarios:

  • Be employed in public accounting.
  • Be employed in a position similar to public accounting or internal auditing.
  • Work in an internal auditing department, audit agency, or any other organization that employs peer review.

Government/industry/related businesses

If the experience standard is in industry/government/related business, accountants must obtain an understanding of the employer’s industry, competitors, and competitive factors.

The following services and skills apply:

Personal financial planningTax practice
Internal auditsConsulting skills
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Other Professional Standards

Oregon CPAs must demonstrate proficiency in assessing the Code of Professional Conduct. They must also understand the objectives of an organization through the following actions:

  • Show knowledge of business organizational styles.
  • Understand the objectives/goals of business entities.
  • Develop/assess critical success factors and performance measures.
  • Know how regulatory and economic trends affect the business.
  • Prepare working reports with data that supports analyses/conclusions.

CPAs need to have a comprehensive understanding of information streams and transaction systems. This includes knowledge of how individual transactions are processed within an organization and how they impact the overall operations. They should also be familiar with client information systems and computer record reliability to ensure accuracy and effectiveness.

It is important for CPAs to have a solid grasp of risk assessment and verification, including the ability to assess the risk of misinformation and obtain information based on the risk of misstatement. Additionally, they need to possess strong decision-making and problem-solving skills, which involve evaluating and interpreting data, as well as reporting the scope of work, findings, and conclusions through reports.

Obtaining an Oregon CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice and Continuing Education

Certificate Application

Once applicants have completed their education, exams, and work experience, they can apply for their Oregon CPA Certificate and Permit to Practice Public Accounting.

Oregon CPAs meet all of the application requirements. These requirements include the following:

  • They have earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • They have completed 150 credit hours of college education.
  • They possess passing scores on the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • They have obtained one year of qualifying accounting experience.
  • They have completed the AICPA Professional Ethics course.

Candidates can download the Application for PA License and Permit to Practice Public Accounting or Issuance of CPA. Applicants must mail in the completed application. The following materials must be submitted:

  • Oregon’s Employment Record form. It is located within the application packet. The form documents employment for the past ten years. Each qualifying employer submits a Certificate of Experience.
  • The Social Security Number form. This document must be completed, signed, and notarized.
  • A permit fee of $159. A fee of $165 is required for those requesting a large wall certificate.


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CPAs in Oregon must stay current through continuing professional education. Licensed CPAs must meet continuing education standards every two years to renew their licenses.

Accounting professionals complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every two years. The following standards must be met:

  • Twenty-four CPE hours completed annually.
  • Twenty CPE hours can be carried over to the next two-year period.
  • Four CPE hours are in professional conduct and ethics.

A CPA’s first renewal period must include four hours of CPE in Professional Conduct & Ethics. The course must be approved by a sponsor registered with the OBA. Hours carried over cannot count towards yearly minimums.

The ethics courses chosen must be recognized by the Board and offered by state-approved sponsors or a NASBA-approved sponsor.

Are you going to be the next CPA in Oregon?

Procuring an Oregon CPA is hard work. These licensed professionals should consider joining the Oregon Society of CPAs and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Membership in these quality organizations provides CPAs access to CPE programs and member advocacy services. These resources help CPAs maintain their professional status and stay current on accounting issues.

Oregon CPAs who put their time in can take their pick of specialized accounting positions. Jobs in environmental accounting, tax accounting, or forensic accounting are as rewarding as they are robust. Do yourself a favor and consider becoming a CPA in Oregon.

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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?