Iowa CPA requirements

This page serves as a resource for your state's CPA licensure requirements and is current as of December 2019. Always consult with your state or jurisdiction's board of accountancy for the most current information.

Degree requirements
bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university

Minimum education requirements
150 semester hours including:
24 semester hours in upper-level accounting courses(excluding internships) covering:

  • auditing
  • financial accounting
  • management accounting
  • taxation

24 semester hours in upper-level business courses (excluding internships) covering:

  • business law
  • finance
  • marketing
  • management
  • economics

Online, CLEP and CPA review courses count for credit with the board if you receive credit for them at an accredited college or university.

Commercial CPA review courses do not count for credit with the board.

Community or two-year college courses count for credit with the board.

Developmental and/or remedial courses do not count for credit with the board.

Internships and life experience may count towards the total requirement of 150 hours.

Minimum experience requirements
Minimum of 12 months in duration (does not have to be consecutive), either part or full-time.

Minimum of 2,000 hours of practical accounting experience as described below verified by a licensed CPA.

Any type of service concerning the use of accounting, attestation, management, advisory, financial, tax, or consulting skills.

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).

Competencies that must be practiced within your experience include:

  • compilation and review of financial statements
  • knowledge of management advisory functions
  • taxation, budgeting, cost analysis, and asset management
  • preparing financial statements and budgets
  • understanding accounting information systems
  • projection and forecast of standards and procedures

Ethics exam
Must complete “Professional Ethics – AICPA’s Comprehensive Course,” with a minimum grade of 90.

A CPA or LPA 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.

First year - no CPE required on or before December 31 of the first year after obtaining your CPE license.

Second year - 40 CPE hours must be completed on or before December 31st of the second year of your second CPE reporting period.

Third year - 80 CPE hours must be completed in the two year period ending December 31 prior to the July 1 renewal.

After third year - 120 CPE hours every three years to maintain CPA licensure.

See website for approved CPE program formats

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


Education, ethics exam

CPE, renewals

Iowa Accountancy Examining Board, Chapter 542 (Public Accountants)

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