Regulation of Accountants – Ohio

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.06, the accountancy board shall grant the certificate of “certified public accountant” to any person who satisfies the following requirements:

  • The person is a resident of Ohio or has a place of business in Ohio or, as an employee, is regularly employed in Ohio.
  • The person has attained the age of eighteen years.
  • The person is of good moral character.
  • The person meets the requirements of education and experience.  The person must have completed graduation with a baccalaureate or higher degree that includes successful completion of 150 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate education.  The experience requirement for candidates meeting the educational requirements is one year of experience satisfactory to the board in a public accounting firm; or Government; or business; or academia.
  • The person has passed an examination that covers the subjects that the board prescribes by rule.  A candidate for the certificate of certified public accountant who has successfully completed the has no status as a certified public accountant, unless and until the candidate has the requisite experience and has received a certificate as a certified public accountant.

Any person who has received from the board a certificate as a certified public accountant and who holds an Ohio permit shall be styled and known as a “certified public accountant” and also may use the abbreviation “CPA.” The board shall maintain a list of certified public accountants.  Any certified public accountant also may be known as a “public accountant.”

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.061 the accountancy board shall grant a certificate of “certified public accountant” to any public accountant who meets all the following requirements:

  • The public accountant applies to the board for the certificate.
  • At the time of application and the time that the certificate is granted, the public accountant holds an Ohio permit.
  • At the time of application, any public accounting firm that employs the public accountant or in which the public accountant has an interest is registered and meets the applicable peer review requirements of the board.
  • For not less than 120 months, the public accountant has held an Ohio permit and has completed and reported to the board all applicable continuing education hours.

ORC Ann. 4701.07 deals with requirements for registration as public accountant.  The accountancy board shall register as a public accountant any person who meets all the following requirements:

  • The person is a resident of Ohio or has a place of business in Ohio.
  • The person has attained the age of eighteen years.
  • The person is of good moral character.
  • The person holds a baccalaureate or higher degree conferred by a college or university recognized by the board, with a concentration in accounting, or with what the board determines to be substantially the equivalent of the foregoing; or with a non accounting concentration supplemented by what the board determines to be substantially the equivalent of an accounting concentration, including related courses in other areas of business administration.
  • The person has completed two years of public accounting experience, except that the experience requirement is only one year for any candidate holding a master’s degree in accounting or business administration from a college or university recognized by the board, if the candidate has satisfactorily completed the number of credit hours in accounting, business administration, economics, and any related subjects that the board determines to be appropriate and if either of the following applies:
    (1) The person has passed the uniform national society of public accountants examination or a comparable examination approved by the public accountant members of the accountancy board.
    (2) The person has passed the accounting practice and auditing sections of the uniform CPA examination.

The board in each case shall determine whether the applicant is eligible for registration.  Any individual who is so registered and who holds an Ohio permit shall be styled and known as a “public accountant” and may use the abbreviation “PA.”

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.11, the accountancy board may adopt rules requiring that each applicant for an Ohio permit shall have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the board that the applicant has maintained a high level of professional competence by the completion of programs of continuing education satisfactory to the board during the period immediately prior to the application for the permit.  The board shall not require more than 120 hours of those programs over any three-year period for applicants possessing an Ohio permit.  The Ohio permit shall be conditioned upon the completion of all required continuing education hours during the period for which the Ohio permit is issued.

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.13, the accountancy board shall publish annually a printed register containing in separate lists the names and business addresses of all certified public accountants and public accountants holding Ohio permits as of the date of preparation of the register.

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.14, no individual shall assume or use the title or designation “certified public accountant,” “certified accountant,” “chartered accountant,” “enrolled accountant,” “licensed accountant,” or “registered accountant,” or any other title or designation likely to be confused with “certified public accountant,” or any of the abbreviations “CPA,” “PA,” “CA,” “EA,” “LA,” or “RA,” or similar abbreviations likely to be confused with “CPA,” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the individual is a certified public accountant, unless the individual holds a CPA certificate and holds an Ohio permit.  According to ORC Ann. 4701.99, whoever violates section 4701.14   is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.17, upon application in writing and after hearing pursuant to notice, the accountancy board may reissue or reinstate a certificate to a certified public accountant whose certificate has been revoked or suspended or reregister anyone whose registration has been revoked or suspended.

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.18, when any person has engaged, or is about to engage, in any acts or practices which constitute, or will constitute, a violation of section 4701.14 of the Revised Code, the board may make application to the appropriate court for an order enjoining such acts or practices, and upon a showing by the board that such person has engaged, or is about to engage, in any such acts or practices, an injunction, restraining order, or such other order as may be appropriate shall be granted by such court without bond.

Pursuant to ORC Ann. 4701.29, the accountancy board may investigate whether a person has violated any provision of this chapter or rule adopted under it before commencing a disciplinary proceeding or taking legal action. The board may appoint a committee of board members or staff employed by the board to conduct an investigation.  During an investigation, the board may administer oaths, order the taking of depositions, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance and testimony of a person at a deposition, and compel the production of any form of documentary evidence or record. Subpoenas and orders to compel may be served by a designee of the board or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the residence or place of business of the individual, professional association, firm, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or other business organization named in the subpoena or order.  If a person fails to comply with a subpoena or order issued by the board, the board may apply to the Franklin county court of common pleas for an order compelling compliance with the board’s subpoena or order.  Upon application by the board and upon evidence of the person’s failure to comply, the court shall compel the appearance of the persons or the production of the documents named in the board’s subpoena or order in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.  The court also may issue any contempt citation and sanction the court deems appropriate.


Inside Regulation of Accountants – Ohio