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Certification Requirements

CPA Certification Requirements and Procedure

 

General Requirements for the CPA Certificate:

  • Ohio resident.  Must meet residency requirement if applying for CPA certification by Examination, or, Transfer of Grades.  A candidate must fulfill the residency requirement by passing a section of the exam as an Ohio resident and the credit is valid, or, be a resident of Ohio at the time of application for the CPA certificate.  Those applying for CPA certification via Reciprocity are not required to meet the residency requirement.
  • Successful completion of the CPA examination, or possession of a CPA certificate issued by another state.
  • A Board approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, which emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and Board rules. Course sponsors who offer these PSR courses are listed on the "Ohio Specific PSR" tab on the Board’s PSR page.
  • Experience performing one or more accounting services, as defined by Revised Code section 4701.06 (D) and Administrative Code 4701-7-05.  NOTE:  Four (4) years of accounting experience is required for CPA Certification for candidates approved under the GMAT.  Please consult ORC 4701.06 for more information.
  • Approved BCI and FBI criminal records checks.
  • Completed and approved application. Please visit eLicense Ohio to apply.

Applications for certification are reviewed in the order they are received.  Our office will notify applicants of missing documents or information.  Our office approves applications for certification on the 15th of each month except for the month of December.  Upon license issuance, new licensees receive information on their initial two-year reporting period, CPE requirements, and instructions on obtaining a wall certificate, if desired. Wall certificates are signed at Board meetings, and mailed to the licensee’s address of record.

Applying for an Original Ohio CPA Certificate

To apply for certification after passing the CPA exam as an Ohio candidate, please complete the following:

  • Application
  • Criminal records check (results sent directly to the Board by vendor).  See below section on Criminal Background Check Information.
  • Passing grades on the CPA examination, provided to the Board by CPA Examination Services (CPAES).
  • Official college transcript(s) showing completion of 150 semester hours of college credit (provided to the Board by CPA Examination Services).
  • Record of Experience Form (uploaded with the application).
  • Statement of Verifying CPA (uploaded with the application; required only if the supervisor who completes the Record of Experience Form is not a CPA).
  • A Board approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, which emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and Board rules. Course sponsors who offer these PSR courses are listed on the "Ohio Specific PSR" tab on the Board’s PSR page. (uploaded with the application).

Applying for an Ohio CPA Certificate by Reciprocity (Use if you already hold a CPA certificate in another state.)

  • Application and payment of an application fee of $100.
  • Criminal records check (results sent directly to the Board by vendor).  See below section on Criminal Background Check Information.
  • Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure Information, showing passing grades on the CPA Exam (provided to the Board by the state in which applicant passed the CPA examination).
  • A Board approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, which emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and Board rules. Course sponsors who offer these PSR courses are listed on the "Ohio Specific PSR" tab on the Board’s PSR page. (uploaded with the application).

Applying for an Ohio CPA Certificate by Transfer of CPA Examination Grades (Use if you have passed the CPA exam as the candidate of another state, but have not been licensed in any other state.)

  • Application and payment of an application fee of $100.
  • Criminal records check (results sent directly to the Board by vendor).  See below section on Criminal Background Check Information.
  • Proof of Ohio residence. Examples: copy of Ohio driver license, copy of lease/mortgage, or a letter from Ohio employer verifying full-time employment in Ohio. (uploaded with the application).
  • Authorization for Interstate Exchange of Examination and Licensure Information, showing passing grades on the CPA Exam (provided to the Board by the state in which applicant passed the CPA examination).
  • Official college transcript(s) showing completion of 150 semester hours of college credit (for CPA candidates who first sat for the CPA examination after January 1, 2000). (provided to the Board by the college/university).
  • Record of Experience Form (uploaded with the application).
  • Statement of Verifying CPA (uploaded with the application; required only if the supervisor who completes the Record of Experience Form is not a CPA).
  • A Board approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, which emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and Board rules. Course sponsors who offer these PSR courses are listed on the "Ohio Specific PSR" tab on the Board’s PSR page. (uploaded with the application).

Criminal Background Check Information

Board rule 4701-7-01 requires a criminal records check in order to receive an Ohio CPA certificate, whether by original issuance, reciprocity, or transfer of CPA examination grades. CPA candidates also should consult Revised Code sections 4701.08, and 4776.01 to 4776.04.

Ohio applicants are required to utilize WebCheck, Ohio's fingerprint system, to electronically submit their fingerprints to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Sheriff's offices in most 88 Ohio counties participate in national WebCheck. A list of all WebCheck vendors, searchable by county, is available online at Ohio Attorney General WebCheck Locations.

When locating an electronic fingerprinting site on this web page, please note you MUST use the services of a vendor that lists "BCI & FBI" after the vendor's name. The Board does not endorse or recommend any specific electronic fingerprinting company or agency.

Out-of-state applicants (persons living outside Ohio) will receive instructions and fingerprint cards if requested on the application for CPA certification.

In addition to the BCI fee (currently $22) and FBI fee (currently $25.25), the electronic fingerprinting company or agency will charge an additional handling fee to process the fingerprints.

By law, the Board cannot complete the processing of an application until it receives background check reports from both BCI and FBI.

Steps for WebCheck

1. Identify a “BCI & FBI” vendor that participates in national WebCheck.

2. Submit your fee directly to the vendor.

3. Request the criminal records check results from both BCI and FBI be sent directly to:

Accountancy Board of Ohio, 77 S. High St., 18th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215-6128

4. Indicate the reason for fingerprinting as, “Required for licensure per section 4701.08 ORC.”