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ABO meeting results in revocation of CPA permits

Written on Apr 28, 2022

The Accountancy Board of Ohio (ABO), the state government entity charged with licensing, regulating, and when necessary, disciplining CPAs, can significantly affect the practice of all CPAs. This is why OSCPA represents the profession at every ABO meeting, and advocates for best-practice rulemaking. The ABO met on April 22 to discuss a variety of topics. Significant actions included:

  • OSCPA presented its annual peer review program update and was approved to continue as the ABO’s authorized peer review agent. OSCPA noted that 254 reviews are slated for 2022.
  • The ABO will again take its meeting on the road to help college students better understand the CPA profession. In September, that meeting will take place at Youngstown State University. Their October meeting will be in Columbus and invitations will be extended to all central Ohio university accounting students. Typically the ABO discusses its role as a regulator, NASBA presents the latest information on the CPA Exam, and OSCPA discusses its role in the profession, including student and YCPA membership programs.
  • Two proposed ABO rule changes were heard by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review: 4701-11-07 deals with a requirement that licensees notify the ABO within 30 days when certain government entities or courts take disciplinary or legal action against licensees, and 4701-7-01 reinstates that all individuals must complete 30 hours of accounting coursework as part of the overall 150 hour requirement to be licensed in Ohio. This follows the change last year that allows individuals to begin taking parts of the CPA Exam when they have completed at least 24 accounting hours (plus 24 business hours and at least 120 semester hours overall).
  • A puzzling, possibly emerging issue the ABO noted was the IRS denying a PTIN registration for an individual licensed in another state but not licensed in Ohio – even though that person was in good standing in the other state and was not required to be licensed in Ohio due to interstate mobility laws. The ABO said they will be watching this closely, as will OSCPA.
  • Nineteen requests for waiver of fines and late fees were discussed. Most dealt with a failure to complete the minimum required 20 CPE hours a year or late renewals. Four of the individuals had those fines/fees waived due to significant health challenges.  The remaining 15 had their requests denied.
  • Three formal disciplinary hearings took place and resulted in the revocation of individual CPA permits for all three and revocation of two firm registrations. 
    • The first case involved a CPA who failed to complete his peer review before the July 1, 2021 deadline, and therefore to renew his firm registration. The individual did not appear before the ABO to explain his actions and had both his firm registration and individual permit to practice as a CPA revoked.
    • The second case involved a CPA who was charged with unlawful practice, violation of the rules of professional conduct, and failure of a public accounting firm to obtain a firm registration. This individual’s permit to practice expired in 2018, and she said she wasn’t aware of that.  She had assumed the ABO had her correct email address (they didn’t as she had changed email addresses at some point) and that her permit was valid.  She also shared that she wasn’t aware of the requirement to complete 20 hours of CPE each year, or of the process to renew. The ABO revoked her individual permit and firm registration, but stayed the revocation as long as, by June 30, 2022, she paid a $1,000 fine plus any required late fees and penalties; took the three-hour Ohio Professional Standards and Responsibilities course; and sent a letter to a client withdrawing a review report. The ABO reinforced that it is the responsibility of licensees to make sure the ABO has current email and mailing addresses so they can make contact as needed, and to be aware of all licensing laws and rules.
    • The third case involved a CPA who last August was suspended from practice before the Securities and Exchange Commission. The ABO almost always revokes the license to practice as a CPA for anyone suspended by the SEC, IRS or other relevant government agency. This person cannot apply for reinstatement until he satisfies all requirements imposed by the SEC.
    • The next ABO meeting will take place on June 10.  If you have questions about these or other licensing issues, feel free to reach out to OSCPA.