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ABO recap: Board reviews conforming rule changes for HB 442

Written on Feb 11, 2021

By Laura Hay, CPA, CAE, OSCPA executive vice president 

The Accountancy Board of Ohio met Feb. 5 in a virtual format to review matters of licensing, regulating, and when necessary, disciplining CPAs. Here are highlights from the February meeting: 

  • A request for reconsideration for CPE credit drew attention to an emerging practice in which online providers are offering free continuing education with the ability to purchase a certificate, but no CPE credit is conferred. Online continuing education providers are required to meet the ABO rules for Ohio credit, including a record of attendance, a qualified presenter, and an interactive element for live online, or an examination for self-study. 
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  • Board members reviewed proposed administrative rule updates, including requirements for the Education Assistance Fund which provides scholarships for the fifth year of education toward qualifying for the CPA. The ABO is considering specifying courses that qualify for the EAF, or other courses of study approved by the Executive Director.
  • The ABO also reviewed conforming rule changes for the passage of HB 442, providing the option for candidates to sit for the CPA exam with 120 hours of education. Board members discussed an existing rule that would prohibit candidates who are eligible to sit for the CPA exam from receiving EAF scholarships. That discussion was referred to the Education Assistance Committee meeting to be held on March 12.
  • The ABO continues to see an increase in inactive CPAs converting back to active permit status.
  • A public hearing was held for failure to return client records and failure to respond to ABO communications. The CPA’s certificate was revoked.
  • The ABO approved a request for CPA reinstatement after completion of the terms of a prior revocation.
  • The Executive Director discussed an increase in requests for extensions of the CPA examination window, and the reasons permitted in administrative rule which can be approved, including active military service, serious illness of a family member and problems with visas. Requests purely related to workload are not approved.
  • A national proposal to provide a protocol for administering the CPA exam remotely is progressing toward pilot testing. It is undetermined if this process will be for emergency circumstances only or will ultimately be rolled out on a widespread basis.
  • The annual budget was discussed.
  • The proposal for approving individual professional standards and responsibilities courses was discussed, noting that providers are not given blanket approval for all future courses (they need to be submitted for approval.)