Ohio CPA Exam & License Requirements

Updated: May 23, 2023 You’re our #1 priority.
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In Ohio, becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) requires adherence to strict standards set by the Accountancy Board of Ohio (ABO) and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA). Recently, the ABO announced a significant change: the extension of the CPA Exam testing window from 18 to 30 months.

This decision, aligned with national trends and addressing the CPA workforce shortage, reflects Ohio’s commitment to maintaining robust licensure standards while adapting to the evolving needs of the profession. Still, the process of becoming a CPA in Ohio isn’t an easy one. As one actual CPA candidate put it:

“I am really confused on what the next steps are. I know you go to Ohio, but they give you little information on how you submit your education and work experience.”

This article explores the guidelines, changes, and implications for Ohio’s CPA candidates

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, candidates must first fulfill these qualifications and requirements:

  1. Minimum age: 18
  2. U.S. Residency Required
  3. State Residency: Required

In Ohio, to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), one of the key requirements is residency. Candidates must be residents of Ohio or have a place of business in the state. This residency requirement ensures that those seeking CPA licensure in Ohio have a vested interest in the state’s business and regulatory environment.

Education Requirements

CPA candidates must fulfill 150 credit hours plus ONE of the following:

(a) Graduate degree in accounting:

  • You are automatically qualified as long as your institution is recognized by CHEA or accredited by AACSB

(b) Graduate degree in business:

  • 30 semester hours in undergraduate course; OR
  • 18 semester hours in graduate course
  • Either one of the above should include at least 1 course in the following: financial accounting, management accounting, auditing used along with GAAS, taxation, professional ethics, and responsibilities.

(c) Undergraduate degree in accounting:

  • 30 semester hours in accounting course with at least one course in each of the following: financial accounting, management accounting, auditing with coverage of GAAS, taxation, and professional ethics and responsibilities
  • 24 semester hours in business subjects
  • If you have taken the GMAT with a score of 620 or higher, then there is no need to fulfill the required 24 hours in business
  • A Board-approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and Board rules. 

*Important Note: Internal auditing course may be used as an elective only, not towards auditing requirement

Other OH CPA License Requirements

Work Experience

  • The experience can be in public or non-public accounting. Your supervisor should normally be a US CPA, but CPA/CA from other countries may be accepted by the board.
  • Experience earned in the past may be counted toward the experience requirement. The law does not differentiate between “recent” experience and any other experience.
  • Please refer to the Ohio CPA Work Experience code for more details.

Ethics Exam

  • Passing of the Ohio Professional Standards and Responsibilities (PSR) is required.

Ohio CPA Exam Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in Ohio is $1,379.20 ($344.80 per section) plus the initial $90 education evaluation application fee. The re-examination application fees vary depending on the number of sections you are retaking.


**Important Note: You should not apply and pay for exam sections that will not be taken within six months because your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in Ohio expires 6 months after issuance.

Additional CPA License Requirements

  1. Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
  2. Complete verified accounting work experience
  3. Pass the Ethics course
  4. Approved BCI and FBI criminal records checks
  5. Fill out and submit all required CPA license application paperwork
  6. Pay the CPA license application fee

OH Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

77 South High Street, 18th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6128
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 614-466-4135
Fax: 614-466-2628

What’s Next?

Now that you have started the CPA exam application process, your next step is to find a CPA review course that fits your budget, learning style, and schedule. It can take several weeks for your application to be processed, so don’t waste that valuable time waiting to hear back from your state board.  If you start studying now, you will get a nice jump start on the material and will be better prepared to pass your first CPA exam!

Ohio CPA Licensure FAQs

Are there any ethics requirements for Ohio CPAs?

Yes, Ohio requires candidates to pass a Professional Standards and Responsibilities (PSR) course that focuses on Ohio accountancy law and professional ethics. This course must be completed before licensure.

Can I transfer my CPA license to Ohio from another state?

Yes, Ohio accepts CPA license transfers through reciprocity. However, applicants must meet Ohio’s licensure requirements and may need to fulfill additional criteria, such as passing the PSR course.

How much work experience is required for Ohio CPA licensure?

Applicants are required to have at least one year (2,000 hours) of work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. This experience can be in public accounting, industry, government, or academia.

Is residency in Ohio required for CPA licensure?

Yes, candidates must either be residents of Ohio or have a place of business in the state to be eligible for licensure.

What are the educational requirements for CPA licensure in Ohio?

To qualify for CPA licensure in Ohio, candidates must have a minimum of 150 semester hours of college education, including a bachelor’s degree or higher. This education must include specific accounting and business-related courses.