4701.14 Unauthorized practice.

(A) Except as permitted by rules adopted by the accountancy board, no individual shall assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," "certified accountant," "chartered accountant," "enrolled accountant," "licensed accountant," or "registered accountant," or any other title or designation likely to be confused with "certified public accountant," or any of the abbreviations "CPA," "PA," "CA," "EA," "LA," or "RA," or similar abbreviations likely to be confused with "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the individual is a certified public accountant, unless the individual holds a CPA certificate and holds an Ohio permit. However, an individual who possesses a foreign certificate, has registered under section 4701.09 of the Revised Code, and holds an Ohio permit may use the title permitted under the laws of the individual's other licensing jurisdiction, followed by the name of the jurisdiction.

(B) Except as permitted by rules adopted by the board, no individual shall assume or use the title or designation "public accountant," "certified public accountant," "certified accountant," "chartered accountant," "enrolled accountant," "registered accountant," or "licensed accountant," or any other title or designation likely to be confused with "public accountant," or any of the abbreviations "PA," "CPA," "CA," "EA," "LA," or "RA," or similar abbreviations likely to be confused with "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the individual is a public accountant, unless the individual holds a PA registration and holds an Ohio permit, or unless the individual holds a CPA certificate. An individual who holds a PA registration and an Ohio permit may hold self out to the public as an "accountant" or "auditor."

(C) Except as provided in divisions (C)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section, no partnership, professional association, corporation-for-profit, limited liability company, or other business organization not addressed in this section that is practicing public accounting in this state shall assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," "public accountant," "certified accountant," "chartered accountant," "enrolled accountant," "licensed accountant," "registered accountant," or any other title or designation likely to be confused with "certified public accountant" or "public accountant," or any of the abbreviations "CPA," "PA," "CA," "EA," "RA," or "LA," or similar abbreviations likely to be confused with "CPA" or "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the business organization is a public accounting firm.

(1)

(a) A partnership may assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," the abbreviation "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the partnership is composed of certified public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its partners who are individuals hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a partner hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate.

(b) A partnership may assume or use the title or designation "public accountant," the abbreviation "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the partnership is composed of public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its partners who are individuals hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a partner hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate.

(2)

(a) A professional association incorporated under Chapter 1785. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," the abbreviation "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the professional association is composed of certified public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its shareholders who are individuals hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a shareholder hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate.

(b) A professional association incorporated under Chapter 1785. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "public accountant," the abbreviation "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the professional association is composed of public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its shareholders who are individuals hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a shareholder hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate.

(3)

(a) A corporation-for-profit incorporated under Chapter 1701. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," the abbreviation "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the corporation is composed of certified public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its shareholders who are individuals hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a shareholder hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate.

(b) A corporation incorporated under Chapter 1701. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "public accountant," the abbreviation "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the corporation is composed of public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of the shareholders who are individuals hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a shareholder hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate.

(4)

(a) A limited liability company organized under Chapter 1705. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant," the abbreviation "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the limited liability company is composed of certified public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of its members who are individuals hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a member hold a CPA certificate or a foreign certificate.

(b) A limited liability company organized under Chapter 1705. of the Revised Code may assume or use the title or designation "public accountant," the abbreviation "PA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the limited liability company is composed of public accountants if it is a registered firm, if a majority of the members who are individuals hold a PA registration, CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate, and if a majority of the owners of any qualified firm that is a member hold a PA registration, a CPA certificate, or a foreign certificate.

(D) No individual shall sign, affix, or associate the individual's name or any trade or assumed name used by the individual in the individual's profession or business to any attest report with any wording indicating that the individual is an accountant or auditor, or with any wording accompanying or contained in the attest report that indicates that the individual has expert knowledge in accounting or auditing or expert knowledge regarding compliance with conditions established by law or contract, including, but not limited to, statutes, ordinances, regulations, grants, loans, and appropriations, unless the individual holds an Ohio permit. However, this division does not prohibit any officer, employee, partner, or principal of any organization from affixing the officer's, employee's, partner's, or principal's signature to any statement or report in reference to the financial affairs of that organization with any wording designating the position, title, or office that the individual holds in that organization. This division also does not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of the public official's or public employee's duties.

(E) No person shall sign, affix, or associate the name of a partnership, limited liability company, professional association, corporation-for-profit, or other business organization not addressed in this section to any attest report with any wording accompanying or contained in the attest report that indicates that the partnership, limited liability company, professional association, corporation-for-profit, or other business organization is composed of or employs accountants or auditors or persons having expert knowledge in accounting or auditing or expert knowledge regarding compliance with conditions established by law or contract, including, but not limited to, statutes, ordinances, regulations, grants, loans, and appropriations, unless the partnership, limited liability company, professional association, corporation-for-profit, or other business organization is a registered firm.

(F) No individual who does not hold an Ohio permit shall hold self out to the public as an "accountant" or "auditor" by use of either or both of those words on any sign, card, or letterhead, in any advertisement or directory, or otherwise, without indicating on the sign, card, or letterhead, in the advertisement or directory, or in the other manner of holding out that the person does not hold an Ohio permit. An individual who holds a CPA certificate and an Ohio permit may hold self out to the public as an "accountant" or "auditor." However, this division does not prohibit any officer, employee, partner, or principal of any organization from describing self by the position, title, or office the person holds in that organization. This division also does not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of the public official's or public employee's duties.

(G) No partnership, professional association, corporation-for-profit, limited liability company, or other business organization not addressed in this section that is not entitled to assume or use the title "certified public accountant" or "public accountant" under division (C) of this section shall hold itself out to the public as a partnership, professional association, corporation-for-profit, limited liability company, or other business organization not addressed in this section as being composed of or employing "accountants" or "auditors" by use of either or both of those words on any sign, card, or letterhead, in any advertisement or directory, or otherwise, without indicating on the sign, card, or letterhead, in the advertisement or directory, or in the other manner of holding out that the partnership, professional association, corporation-for-profit, limited liability company, or other business organization is not a registered firm and is not permitted by law to practice as a public accounting firm.

(H) No person shall assume or use the title or designation "certified public accountant" or "public accountant" in conjunction with names indicating or implying that there is a partnership or in conjunction with the designation "and Company" or "and Co." or a similar designation if, in any of those cases, there is in fact no bona fide partnership entitled to designate itself as a partnership of certified public accountants under division (C)(1)(a) of this section or as a partnership of public accountants under division (C)(1)(b) of this section. However, a sole proprietor or partnership that was on October 22, 1959, or a corporation that on or after September 30, 1974, has been, lawfully using a title or designation of those types in conjunction with names or designations of those types, may continue to do so if the sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation otherwise complies with this section.

(I)

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an individual whose principal place of business is not in this state and who holds a valid foreign certificate as a certified public accountant shall be presumed to have qualifications substantially equivalent to this state's CPA requirements and shall have all of the privileges of a holder of a CPA certificate and an Ohio permit without the need to obtain a CPA certificate and an Ohio permit if the accountancy board has found and has specified in its rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4701.03 of the Revised Code that the CPA requirements of the state that issued the individual's foreign certificate are substantially equivalent to this state's CPA requirements.

(2) Any individual exercising the privilege afforded under division (I)(1) of this section hereby consents and is subject, as a condition of the grant of the privilege, to all of the following:

(a) The personal and subject matter jurisdiction of the accountancy board;

(b) All practice and disciplinary provisions of this chapter and the accountancy board's rules;

(c) The appointment of the board that issued the individual's foreign certificate as the individual's agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the accountancy board against the individual.

(3) The holder of a CPA certificate and an Ohio permit who offers or renders attest services or uses the holder's CPA title in another state shall be subject to disciplinary action in this state for an act committed in the other state for which the holder of a foreign certificate issued by the other state would be subject to discipline in the other state.

(4) The holder of a foreign certificate who offers or renders attest services or uses a CPA title or designation in this state pursuant to the privilege afforded by division (I)(1) of this section shall be subject to disciplinary action in this state for any act that would subject the holder of a CPA certificate and an Ohio permit to disciplinary action in this state.

Cite as R.C. § 4701.14

History. Effective Date: 03-30-1999