Ohio CPA Requirements

How To Become a CPA in Ohio: Step By Step Guide

ohio-cpa-exam-requirementsLearn How to Become a Licensed Certified Public Accountant In Ohio

Ohio, often called the Buckeye State, is known for its coal and steel production with a state GDP of $649.1 billion. Ranked #6 in opportunity, Ohio’s economy is booming with real estate, insurance, and financial services in high demand.

Ohio is a great state to start your career as a CPA. With its growing economic environment and friendly business climate, Ohio is a place where you can build an exciting and rewarding career as a certified public accountant.

In order to start your career as an accountant in Ohio, you’ll first need to meet the minimum qualifications. Let’s review the OH CPA requirements for taking the CPA exam and becoming a licensed CPA in Ohio.

Minimum Ohio CPA Requirements for Certification

Aspiring CPA candidates must meet the following minimum CPA requirements to take the CPA exam and become a licensed certified public accountant in Ohio:

  • Must be at least 18 years
  • Must be an Ohio resident
  • Must have a valid social security number
  • Must complete bachelor’s degree (150 semester hours)
  • US Citizenship: not required

Ohio requires candidates to be OH residents but does not require them to be US citizens. They also have a morality clause in their application requiring you to be “of good moral character” in order to qualify to sit for the exam.

Ohio CPA Education Requirements

Before sitting for the CPA exam, the candidate should complete a bachelor’s degree that includes 150 credit hours. You can schedule to sit the exam immediately after the month you complete your bachelor’s program.

Your 150 college credit hours must include both accounting and business courses. There are three options to fulfill the 150 credit hours:

Option 1: Earn Degree In Accounting:

If you complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you will qualify automatically for the CPA exam provided your institution has AACSB or CHEA accreditation and you have 150 credit hours.

Option 2: Graduate with Business Degree:

You should complete 30 credit hours in accounting or 18 credit hours in a graduate-level accounting course.

For either option, you should complete at least one course in the following:

  • Financial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Management accounting
  • Professional ethics
  • Taxation

Option 3: Undergraduate Accounting Degree:

You need to complete 150 semester hours of university/college education with at least 30 credit hours in the following:

  • Management accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxations
  • Professional ethics

Additionally, you’ll need to complete 24 business course hours.

However, if you scored more than 620 on your Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT test), you are not required to take the 24 credit hours in business courses.

Besides meeting the above requirement, the Ohio State Board of Accountancy recognizes degrees from accredited institutions. Therefore, to ensure the board recognizes your education, you can check your institution’s accreditation status.

This way you know that your education meet the Ohio CPA requirements before you apply to sit for the CPA exam.

Ohio CPA Exam Requirements

CPA candidates who complete a bachelor’s degree (150 credit hours) that meets the Ohio State Board’s education requirements will be eligible to take the CPA exam as long as the also meet the personal qualifications of age and residency.

Ohio is one of the more strict states that does not let your sit for the exam before you graduate or before you complete your 150 credit hours. You will need to complete both to qualify for the exam.

After you’ve completed that, you can apply for the exam through the NASBA website. You will also need to submit the following documents to the Ohio State Board of Accountancy:

  • College transcripts
  • Official ID
  • Proof of Residency
  • Social Security Number
  • Application fees

There is no requirement in Ohio to take any in-person CPA exam lessons to qualify to sit for the CPA exam, but most candidates do take some type of study course to prepare for the exam.

Once the board approves your application, you will be able to pay the application fees and schedule your exam dates.

OH CPA Exam Costs & Fees

The cost to take the CPA exam in Ohio is $743.20, not including registration or application fees. Listed below are the costs for all 4 sections of the exam.

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $195.35
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $176.25
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $195.35
  • Regulation (REG) $176.25
  • Application Fee: $140

First-time applicants will also have to pay an application fee of $140 and then submit transcripts to NASBA to schedule the exam.

It’s important not to apply for more exam sections than you will be able to take in a 6 month period because the Notice to Schedule (NIT) expires after six months. Thus, you will need to re-register for the exam sections that you didn’t get a chance to take. The re-Registration fee is $70 for one section, but it varies depending on the number it sections you want to re-register.

Equally, you should note that you must pass each section with a score of 75 within 18 months to meet the 18-month testing window CPA requirement.

Ohio CPA License Requirements

After completing your education and passing the CPA exam, you are ready to apply for your CPA license. In order to qualify to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in OH, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an approved bachelor’s degree (150 credit hours)
  • Pass the CPA exam
  • Pass the AICPA ethics exam
  • Complete a work experience program
  • Pay Certification/license fee

Although Ohio emphasizes people of good character for CPA, the state does make exceptions and can hear appeals from felons by looking at academic qualifications, experience, and other activities and responsibilities.

You will need to submit the following documents to the Ohio State Board of Accountancy along with your CPA license application:

  • CPA license application
  • College transcripts
  • Work experience proof

They will already have your exam results, so you won’t need to send those in to meet the CPA license qualifications.

AICPA Ethics Exam

In addition to passing the CPA exam, Ohio requires candidates to pass the AICPA ethics exam. This open-book test is administered online and can be purchased directly from the AICPA. It’s an easy test, but you do need to get at least 90% on it to pass.

Work Experience Requirements

Ohio requires CPA candidates to have one-year work experience in auditing and general accounting in the private industry, public accounting, academic teaching, or government.

You should earn the experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Although Ohio prefers candidates to complete work in the US, you can work abroad, and the board will evaluate your work accordingly.

Most importantly, the experience should cover at least one of the following:

  • Corporate tax filing
  • Management advisory
  • Personal financial planning services
  • Auditing
  • Consultancy
  • Financial statements preparation
  • Financial advisory

Ohio CPA License Application & Renewal

The Ohio State Board requires licensed certified public accountants to renew their licenses each year. The CPA renewal application can be completed on the Ohio State Board website. You will need to submit the following documents each year for the renewal process:

  • CPA license renewal forms
  • CPA renewal fees
  • CPE proof

Along with paying the renewal fees and filling out the renewal applications, the Ohio State Board requires active CPAs to complete at least 80 hours of CPE credits (continuing professional education) every two years.

The purpose of these credits is to ensure that CPAs are actively learning and staying current on emerging topics.

Ohio CPA Salary

The average Ohio CPA salary is $74,614 per year according to the Ohio State Department of Labor. The average salaries depend greatly on the location and industry with the major metro areas of Cleveland and Columbus being among the highest wage earners.

Other contributing factors include work experience and public vs private accounting positions.

Additional Ohio CPA Resources

Below is a list of resources you can use to learn how to take the CPA exam in Ohio and become a certified public accountant.