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Recent graduate to sit for CPA Exam under new 120 credit hour rule

Written on Apr 18, 2024

By Cecilia Yontz, OSCPA marketing and communications intern 

Having always been mathematically inclined, Kaden Bay already knew when he was in high school that he was going to pursue a career in accounting or finance.  


“I kind of forged my own path,” said Bay. “I didn't know anybody in the profession, and nobody really pointed me in that direction. I just took a class in high school of my own volition, and it turned into my focus.” 

When it came to choosing accounting, Bay said he found a purpose in the concept of being an essential part of any business.  

Bay attended Marietta College and graduated in December with a BA in Accounting. Under Ohio’s new CPA Exam rules, he can now sit for the Exam with his completed 120 credit hours and earn his final 30 credit hours while working full-time. 

Originally, Bay expected to graduate and enter a master’s program. However, after talking to a mentor, Libby Cullins, CPA, Bay learned about the new rules and changed his plan.  

“Why not get the hard part out of the way first and then continue with pursuing the master’s,” Bay said regarding his sentiment on the topic.    

Bay was first connected with Cullins when he was a senior in high school, and since then, she has served as a mentor to him.  

Through speaking with Cullins and professors who have had firsthand experience in the profession, Bay said he was able to form a more realistic perspective of the profession and learn the importance of pursuing the CPA designation. 

“It is paramount to find someone in the industry, maybe specifically someone who works in an area that you like,” he said. “Find someone in the position you see yourself in one day and pick their brain about what they like about the position, and what makes them successful in it.” 

Currently, Bay is undergoing the application and interview process with multiple companies. He hopes to find a company that he can work at long term while he studies for and completes the CPA Exam. Then, he aims to pursue a master's degree.  

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