Ohio CPA requirements

Wondering how to become a CPA in Ohio? Your first step should always be to check the Ohio CPA requirements, because the Ohio Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. 

CPA Exam requirements in Ohio

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, the state requires candidates to meet certain CPA Exam requirements in Ohio, including: 

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must present themselves to be of good moral character.
  • Minimum education requirements, as detailed below.
Minimum education requirement

In order to meet the CPA Exam requirements in Ohio candidates must complete 120 semester hours in various course subjects, including:

  • 24 semester hours in business subjects
    • Acceptable business courses include finance, management, economics, and marketing, as well as other business-focused courses designated as such by a college or university (business law, business communications, business statistics, etc.).
  • 24 semester hour in accounting including at least one course in each:
    • Financial accounting
    • Cost/managerial accounting
    • Auditing
    • Taxation

18 semester hours of graduate accounting credit will substitute for 24 semester hours of undergraduate accounting credit. However, credits earned in graduate business courses are equivalent to undergraduate business courses in meeting the 24-hour business course requirement. Graduate accounting courses do not reduce the overall credit requirement below 120 to sit for the CPA Exam or 150 semester credits needed to be certified.


Ohio CPA Exam candidates can also earn a minimum score of 670 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), complete 24 semester hours in business subjects and 24 semester hours in accounting at the undergraduate level. 18 semester hours of graduate credit in accounting will qualify as meeting the requirement. The accounting hours must include at least one course in each of the following:

  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Auditing with coverage of GAAS (Internal auditing may not be used for auditing, but may be used as an elective)
  • Taxation

Note: Four (4) years of accounting experience will be required for CPA licensure if you were approved under the GMAT. Please consult the GMAT Information link for further information.

Ohio CPA license requirement

In order to earn a certified public accountant license in Ohio, applicants must meet the following requirements.

All CPA Exam candidates in Ohio must have a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university.

Minimum experience requirement

One year of accounting experience will be required for CPA licensure if the candidate first sat for the CPA Exam prior to completing 150 semester credits, and four years of accounting experience is required for CPA licensure for candidates approved under the GMAT.

Experience performing one or more accounting services, as defined by Revised Code section 4701.06 (D) and Administrative Code 4701-7-05.  NOTE:  Four (4) years of accounting experience is required for CPA licensure for candidates approved under the GMAT.  Please consult ORC 4701.06 for more information.

Approved BCI and FBI criminal records checks are also required.

Ethics exam

A board-approved course in professional standards and responsibilities (PSR), completed within the last year, which emphasizes Ohio accountancy law and board rules.

Ohio CPA license renewals

Ohio CPAs must renew their license every three years. The cycle occurs early October and ends on December 31 triennially. 

Ohio CPA CPE requirements

Continuing professional education (CPE) must be completed in the three calendar years prior to the year during which the license is to be renewed. All CPAs must complete no less than 120 hours of CPE credits during the previous three-year period preceding renewal. New licensees are required to earn 40 CPE credits in their initial two-year reporting period.

An Ohio Permit holder must also complete a minimum of twenty (20) credits annually.  Failure to complete the minimum twenty credits will result in a fine of $10 per each credit deficient.


Residency, education, fees, experience


Residency, experience, ethics

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