Iowa CPA requirements

Are you ready to earn your CPA license in Iowa? Your first step should always be to check Iowa CPA requirements, because the Iowa Board of Accountancy will ultimately license you. This page serves as a resource for Iowa's CPA Exam and licensure requirements and is current as of June 2021. Always consult with Iowa's board of accountancy for the most current information.

CPA Exam requirements - Iowa

Getting a CPA in each state mandates different requirements for taking the CPA Exam. There is no residency requirement to take the CPA Exam in Iowa. In order to be eligible for the CPA Exam, candidates must meet the following requirements.

Minimum education requirements in Iowa

All CPA Exam candidates in Iowa must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. In order to meet CPA requirements in Iowa, candidates must meet ONE of the following educational requirements: 

  1. Earn a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board.
  2. Earned a graduate degree in business from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board. 
    • Completed at least 24 semester hours in accounting with at least one course in each of the following: 
      • Financial accounting
      • Auditing
      • Taxation
      • Management accounting
  3. Earned a bachelor's degree in business or accounting from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board.
    • Completed at least 24 semester hours in accounting with at least one course in each of the following: 
      • Financial accounting
      • Auditing
      • Taxation
      • Management accounting
    • Completed at least 24 semester hours in business-related courses, such as: 
      • Finance
      • Management
      • Marketing
      • Economics
      • Business Law

CPA license requirements in Iowa

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

  • Pass all four sections of the CPA Examination.
  • Meet the Iowa CPA ethics requirements, which mandates that applicants complete the AICPA ethics exam and pass with a 90% or higher.
  • Complete a minimum of 12 months of work experience (does not have to be consecutive), either part-time or full-time.
  • Complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of practical accounting experience in any type of service concerning the use of accounting, attestation, management, advisory, financial, tax or consulting skills. Must be verified by a licensed CPA.  
  • If your experience is in academia, you must teach a minimum of 24 semester hours of accounting courses in higher education. If you wish to perform attestation, you will need two years of qualifying experience (one year of attestation and one year of general accounting experience). 

Iowa CPA license renewal requirements

A CPA may self-select December 31 or June 30 as the date by which continuing education requirements must be satisfied in order to be eligible to renew the license or certificate. Online renewal will require the renewal applicant to declare whether the continuing education was satisfied within the three-year period preceding December 31 or the three-year period preceding June 30.

When declaring a June 30 date, licensees must be cautious to ensure the continuing education is fully completed on or prior to the date the renewal application is submitted. Licensees who renew with penalty during the 30-day grace period following June 30 must declare either December 31 or June 30 and may not extend the deadline beyond June 30.

Iowa CPA CPE requirements

In order to maintain a certified public accountant license in Iowa, applicants must meet the following CPE requirements:

  • No CPE is required on or before December 31 of the first year that permit holders obtain their CPE license.
  • In the second year, 40 CPE hours must be completed on or before December 31st of the second year of the permit holder's second CPE reporting period.
  • In the third year, 80 CPE hours must be completed in the two-year period ending December 31 prior to the July 1 renewal.
  • After the third year, 120 CPE hours are required every three years to maintain CPA licensure.
  • No more than 24 CPE hours every three years may be in non-technical subjects, including (but not limited to):
    • Interpersonal management
    • Communications
    • Leadership/personal development
    • Marketing
    • Practice development
    • Public/client relations
    • Motivational and behavioral
    • Memory building/speed reading
  • 4 CPE hours every three years must be in ethics and rules of professional conduct.
  • The rest of your CPE hours must be in technical accounting subjects including (but not limited to):
    • Accounting
    • Auditing
    • Assurance
    • Consulting
    • Specialized applications/knowledge
    • Taxation
    • Management

Sources:

Education, ethics exam

CPE, renewals

Iowa Accountancy Examining Board, Chapter 542 (Public Accountants)

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