ABO: Mind that check box

Written on May 01, 2020

OSCPA staff report

As part of its college outreach program, the Accountancy Board of Ohio held its Sept. 9 meeting on the campus of Miami University, with students from multiple universities invited to attend.

Dr. Andrew Reffett, PhD, Miami University chairman and professor of accountancy, discussed the incorporation of data analytics in the accountancy curriculum, noting that preparation for the profession involved not just learning how to use the latest technology tools, but how to apply judgment and communicate insights.

ABO Executive Director John Patterson reminded students that the ABO is not the “accounting police,” but is there to help CPAs stay in compliance with applicable rules. He encouraged candidates and licensees to call the ABO whenever they had questions and the board would be happy to assist.

Colleen Conrad, CPA, executive vice president and COO of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, discussed developments in the path to becoming a CPA and preparation for the CPA examination, encouraging candidates not to procrastinate in sitting for the exam.

Laura Hay, CPA, executive vice president of The Ohio Society of CPAs, discussed the foundation of trust for the CPA profession and how the Society and ABO work together to help candidates with resources to prepare them for their role in serving the public interest.

Individual Accountancy Board members shared their personal stories of why they became a CPA, showcasing the diversity of available paths to the credential.

Other takeaways from the September meeting included:

  • The box that you check in renewing your permit to practice is an attestation, and if you have not met the requirements for renewal, the rule under which the offense is published is “fraud and deceit in obtaining an Ohio permit.” Over the years, numerous CPAs had to pay significant fines and now have a permanent record of disciplinary action taken against them, and some lost their license to practice as a CPA. If you have not completed the CPE requirements for licensure by the time you are due to file for renewal, call the ABO first rather than checking the box to resolve later.
  • The same best practice applies to firm registration renewals. Keeping in contact with the ABO staff on the status of fulfilling requirements for firm registration can help prevent a CPA from having to appear before the board in a formal hearing.

Five formal hearings were held for individual and firm licensing non-compliance, and for one felony charge. Total fines of $3,250 were assessed and at least one of the individuals had his license revoked – three others will see their licenses revoked if they don’t take specific actions by Nov. 30.

The next meeting of the ABO is scheduled for Oct. 18.

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