Criminal Background Checks

A new rule became effective July 31, 2008 that requires a criminal records check for all CPA certificate applicants. CPA candidates should consult section 4701.08 of the accountancy law as well as sections 4776.01 to 4776.04 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The criminal records check is now required for all CPA certificate candidates effective September 15, 2008. 

The statute requires an applicant for a new CPA license or a reciprocal CPA license to submit to a criminal records check by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI) . The criminal records check will include an FBI criminal records check.

Ohio applicants are required to utilize “WebCheck”, Ohio's electronic fingerprint system, to electronically submit their fingerprints to BCI. The Board will typically receive the results of criminal records check submitted via “WebCheck” within 7 to 10 business days.

Out-of-state applicants (persons living outside Ohio) will receive instructions and fingerprint cards upon receipt of the CPA certificate application.

In addition to the BCI fee (currently $22) and FBI fee (currently $24), the electronic fingerprinting company or agency will charge an additional handling fee to process the fingerprints.

Since the law requires applicants for licensure to submit a criminal records check completed by both BCI and the FBI, applicants MUST use the services of a vendor that participates in the “National WebCheck”. The Sheriff's offices in most 88 Ohio counties participate in the “National WebCheck”. A list of all “Webcheck” vendors, searchable by county, is available online at the following link:

Ohio Attorney General WebCheck Listings

When locating an electronic fingerprinting site on this web page, please note that you MUST use the services of a vendor that has "BCI & FBI" listed after the vendor's name . Only these entities participate in “National WebCheck”.

The Board does not endorse or recommend any specific electronic fingerprinting company or agency.

You need both the BCI and FBI criminal records check for initial licensure and license restoration. By law, the Board cannot complete the processing of your application until it receives the background check reports from both BCI and FBI. 

Steps for “WebCheck”

1. Identify a “BCI & FBI” vendor that participates in the “National WebCheck”. Of the vendors that submit information to the Board, only the "BCI & FBI" vendors will be listed on our website.

2. Submit your fee directly to the vendor. DO NOT SEND YOUR FINGERPRINTS OR FEE TO THE BOARD.

3. Request that the criminal records check results from both BCI and FBI be sent directly to:

Accountancy Board of Ohio 77 S. High St., 18th Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215-6128

4. Indicate the reason for fingerprinting as indicated below:

For Certified Public Accountants list the reason for fingerprinting as:

“Required for licensure per section 4701.08 ORC ”

Board rule 4701-7-01 now lists the criminal records check as a requirement for all persons receiving the CPA certificate, whether by original issuance, reciprocity, substantial equivalency, or transfer of CPA examination grades.


  John E. Patterson, Executive Director

Accountancy Board of Ohio

77 South High Street, Suite 1820

Columbus, Ohio  43215-6128

Accountancy Board of Ohio Contact List


Main Line:  614.466.4135

Fax Line:  614.466.2628