Ohio CPA Exam & License Requirements 2017

The accountancy field is constantly growing and changing and each state has unique standards for CPAs.

OhioThe accountancy field is constantly growing and changing. Over time, the field has seen a number of refinements, from discovering the value of zero to negative values, to the refinements in the ways in which you can practice within the field. There are many certifications that accountants can choose from, including risk management, forensics and auditing. However, the top certificate is a state-issued Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Since every state has its own standards for licensure, be sure to study up on the requirements for your chosen state prior to embarking on your path to the license. Keep reading to learn how to become a CPA in Ohio.

General Requirements

Like most states, Ohio’s CPAs must meet requirements for academics, experience, ethics and the revered CPA exam. While Ohio does not require that you be a full U.S. Citizen, you must have state residency, a Social Security number and 150 hours of semester credit, inclusive of a bachelor’s degree. To satisfy the state residency requirement, you must maintain a permanent residence in the state or work full-time in the state, while maintaining a permanent residence elsewhere. For those who feel they can make a special case for an exception, the Accountancy Board of Ohio is happy to consider your plea. You can send your case to:

Accountancy Board of Ohio
77 South High Street, 18th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6128

Academic Standards

Apart from the exam, education is the highest hurdle to becoming a CPA. Before you can sit for the examination, you must have completed 150 semester hours of college work. Your work must also meet one of these four sets of criteria:

Option 1

Achieve an undergraduate degree from a school accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the Accountancy Board of Ohio (ABO.) Your coursework must include:

30 hours of Accounting work with a course in each of the following:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Professional Ethics
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Management/Cost Accounting

24 hours studying business, including these subjects:

  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Business Communications
  • Corporate Finance

Option 2

Achieve a master’s degree in Accounting from an institution accredited by the AACSB or acknowledged by the CHEA.

Option 3

Achieve a master’s degree in business from an institution accredited by the AACSB or acknowledged by the CHEA. Your degree must include 30 hours of undergraduate credit in accounting, or 18 of accounting in grad school. You must also have taken at least one course covering each of the following topics:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Management/Cost Accounting
  • Auditing–must cover Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (internal auditing is not eligible)
  • Professional Ethics

Option 4

You can opt out of the 150 hour requirement by scoring 620 on the Graduate Management Admission Test. However, you must also have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s that includes 30 semester hours in accounting. You will also need 24 hours of general business courses.

CPA Examination

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) administers and maintains the CPA examination, a 4-part test that is considered among the most difficult professional exams. Many, if not most, candidates for a license must retake part or all of the test prior to passing. It is vital to prepare diligently through an accredited or commercial CPA review course, using independent materials or working with a CPA study group from your community.

You will need a minimum score of 75 on each of the following sections:

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Regulation (Ethics and Responsibilities)
  • Business Environment and Concepts

The Ohio Board also requires that you take its course in professional standards and responsibilities which will hone your knowledge of Ohio’s laws governing accounting, as well as the board’s rules. Upon completion, ensure that the board is notified that you have completed this portion of your licensure application.

Finally, you will need one year’s worth of full-time experience, which equates to approximately 2,000 hours. You can elect to work in academia, public accounting, a private firm or government, but

all work must be done under the supervision of a licensed CPA, and you must include notarized statements from three of your largest clients. Your supervisor, or some other CPA, must verify and confirm your time, including date ranges and an statement of the hours you worked during that time frame.

Once you have your CPA license in Ohio, you will surely have a long and rewarding career. The state is bustling with economic activity and there are many great cities to live and practice in. For more information on licensure and continuing education, visit the board’s website: Accountancy Board of Ohio.

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