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May Accountancy Board meeting addresses workforce issues

Written on May 31, 2024

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. The May 24, 2024, meeting included a variety of topics: 

  • ABO reported 28 new CPAs have been certified in Ohio since April 26. 

  • Much discussion is taking place in Ohio and at the federal level about how best to improve the shrinking CPA pipeline. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will hold regional conferences in June, and several ABO members will attend to discuss this hot topic. One item that likely will receive significant attention is NASBA’s Professional Licensure Task Force’s recommendations: creation of an alternative licensure pathway including a bachelor’s degree and one-to-two years of an off-transcript, yet-to-be-detailed “structured professional program” offered by employers. AICPA’s National Pipeline Advisory Group will also be presenting their recommendations in June (See related story.)  

  • OSCPA presented a series of expanded workforce- and pipeline-related programs it can provide with financial assistance from the ABO. In recognition of its current balance of Education Assistance Fund dollars, the ABO voted to approve a significant contribution to grow workforce-related programs targeting high school and college students. 

  •  Madelin Esquivel was hired as the ABO’s new investigations supervisor. She will lead investigations into potential licensing violations.  

  • As occurs at most ABO meetings, two CPAs were called to appear before the ABO for disciplinary hearings. (A third was deferred to the next meeting.) 

  • A CPA was referred to the ABO by the Department of Labor regarding an employee benefit plan audit. The DOL also notified the AICPA Ethics Committee. The DOL didn’t issue any future restrictions on his audit work, and the AICPA Committee had closed the case. The ABO voted to revoke this CPA’s license but stayed that motion pending payment of a $1,000 fine and taking Ohio’s Professional Standards and Responsibilities course by June 30.  

  • A CPA whose license was revoked several years ago due to a DUI-related felony aggravated vehicular homicide appeared at his request to update the ABO on his status and emphasize his desire to earn back his CPA license. He shared continued remorse for his past actions, noted he had been released early from prison for good behavior, had been sober for several years and continued to make AA a priority, was employed and had a strong support network. He said he knew he was not yet eligible for reinstatement as he was still working to complete the required 120 hours of CPE. The ABO voted to take no action. 

  • Two CPAs formally requested a waiver of fines: as with past ABO meetings, the requests were from an individual who renewed their practice permit late, and an individual who had CPE deficiencies. The late renewal had extenuating international circumstances, so the ABO voted to waive $150 of their $200 fine. The $500 fine was not waived for an individual who upon audit was found to be short of the required 120 CPE hours. Of note: each letter is read out loud at the ABO meeting, so if you want to request a waiver, only include details you are comfortable sharing as part of the public record. 

The next ABO meeting will take place on Friday, July 26, 2024, in Columbus. While the meetings are held in person, watching it via Teams is an option, as well. To receive a link, contact the ABO at 614-466-4135. If you have questions about these or other licensing issues, feel free to reach out to OSCPA at 614-764-2727. 

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