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ABO meeting continues focus on CPA pipeline

Written on Nov 4, 2022

By Barb Benton, CAE, vice president of government relations 

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. That is why OSCPA represents the profession at every ABO meeting, and advocates for best-practice rulemaking.  

Each year the ABO goes on the road to meet at an Ohio college or university so Ohio students can see firsthand what the ABO does and learn more about the process of becoming a CPA. In September they met at Youngstown State University. In October, the ABO doubled down at its Columbus meeting by inviting area colleges and universities to join them. Significant actions included: 

  • A number of Otterbein University accounting students were welcomed, and each Board member explained their path to becoming a CPA and what their career path has been, highlighting that there are many options available to CPAs 

  • Patricia Hartman, NASBA’s Director of Client Services, explained what CPA Exam candidates will experience when they take the test, and how it will be changing effective January 2024 with the CPA Evolution revisions. She encouraged current students to finish as much of the exam as they can before the switch to avoid transitional challenges. Any parts passed prior to the change will still count as one of four new parts.  Of note, NASBA is encouraging all state Accountancy Boards to “freeze” expiration of any parts passed within 18 months of Jan. 1, 2024 until June 30, 2025, as they don’t want CPA candidates to lose previously passed parts of the current exam in the event of delays caused by switching to the new exam.  The Ohio Accountancy Board already adopted this provision.   

  • A unanimous vote took place on ABO officers for 2023:  Brendan Fitzgerald, chair; Scott Blake,  vice chair; and Louise Jackson, secretary.   

  • ABO Executive Director John Patterson applauded his staff for their education efforts to reduce the caseload of disciplinary cases. He noted that greater use of social media, email updates, etc. on how to stay out of licensure trouble was having a positive impact. He also noted that ABO meetings are available to the public via Teams so can be watched live online for anyone interested. To receive a Teams link, contact the Accountancy Board. 

  • ABO public member Scott Blake was recognized for being honored as one of 40 under 40 in financial planning. 

  • The ABO’s education (scholarship) fund has awarded $201,000 in fifth-year scholarships for the first 3 months of this fiscal year. That compares to $216,000 for all 12 months of the prior fiscal year.  Current accounting students are encouraged to go to the ABO website at https://acc.ohio.gov/  to explore how to apply. Funds are generated through a portion of CPA permit fees. 

  • One formal hearing took place: an individual who had voluntarily surrendered his license in 2015 after being barred by the SEC for wire fraud was seeking reinstatement of his CPA certificate.  He had completed his prison sentence and post-release supervision, and was in the process of paying off the multi-million dollar restitution requirement.  A 2020 request for reinstatement was not approved, and neither was this 2022 request.  A second motion passed 5-3 to allow him to again request reinstatement in five years. 

The next ABO meeting, their annual retreat, will take place on Dec. 7 – 8.  If you have questions about these or other licensing issues, feel free to reach out to OSCPA.