How to Become a CPA in Iowa? (2022 Requirement Updated)

The CPA licensure process in Iowa comes under the Iowa State Board of Accountancy’s responsibilities. As with other states, aspiring CPAs that want to work as CPAs must get their license first.

The process of becoming a CPA in Iowa is similar to other states. However, the Iowa State Board of Accountancy has some specific requirements that applicants must satisfy.

How to Become a CPA in Iowa?

Prospective CPAs in Iowa have to go through three steps to get their CPA license in Iowa. The first step is obtaining formal education. Next, they must apply for the Uniform CPA Exam and pass it with satisfactory grades.

Lastly, they must go through a period of practical experience to apply their knowledge. Following this process is crucial for aspiring CPAs.

The above process is standard for all states. However, candidates must also meet the Iowa State Board of Accountancy’s requirements for each step. These requirements are what differentiate the process for various states.

Educational Requirements

The first step, as mentioned, for aspiring CPAs in Iowa is to go through a formal education period. This education is necessary for them to acquire knowledge of fundamental accounting concepts.

Once aspiring CPAs go through the process, they should be able to sit for their Uniform CPA Exam. Similarly, they can apply their knowledge in their practical experience period.

As previously stated, aspiring CPAs must meet the Iowa State Board of Accountancy’s educational requirements. These are as below.

  • Aspiring CPAs must enrol in an accredited college or university that offers accounting programs. During this period, they must fulfil two requirements. These include obtaining a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours of college credit.
  • Those who have already completed their education or are in the process can also apply. However, these applicants must ensure the Iowa State Board of Accountancy will recognize their accounting program or degree.
  • Similarly, those who have obtained education from foreign universities can also apply. However, they must get their credentials evaluated by the Foreign Academic Credential Services, Inc. (FACS) or NASBA International Evaluation Services. It is crucial to determine if there are eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • Aspiring CPAs must complete the 150 semester hours requirement in one of the board’s laid out scenarios as follows.
    • They must earn a graduate degree from an accredited program with an accounting concentration.
    • They must earn a graduate degree from an accredited business program in the business concentration. However, it must include 24 semester hours of accounting courses that cover the following areas.
      • Auditing
      • Financial Accounting
      • Management Accounting
      • Taxation
    • They must earn a bachelor’s degree from a school with an accredited program in business or accounting. It must include 24 semester hours of accounting courses in the following areas.
      • Auditing
      • Financial Accounting
      • Management Accounting
      • Taxation
    • They must earn a bachelors or higher degree that has the following.
      • 24 semester hours of above elementary or principles level accounting courses in the following.
        • Auditing
        • Financial Accounting
        • Management Accounting
        • Taxation
      • 24 semester hours of courses in business above the elementary level, excluding internships or life experience. It must include the following.
        • Business law
        • Economics
        • Finance
        • Management
        • Marketing
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Uniform CPA Exam

The next step for aspiring CPAs is to apply for the Iowa Uniform CPA Exam. This exam is crucial for obtaining an Iowa CPA license. Aspiring CPAs must go through the following process to sit for their Iowa Uniform CPA Exam.

  • Aspiring CPAs must register online or offline with the Certified Public Accountants Examination Services (CPAES).
  • They must submit their official and sealed college transcript with their application.
  • They must also include the relevant fee with their application.
  • They must register for the test after receiving their Notice to Schedule. They can do so through Prometric’s website and have the choice to select between four testing locations.

Experience Requirements

Lastly, aspiring CPAs must obtain relevant work experience in their field before applying for their Iowa CPA license. The Iowa State Board of Accountancy requires them to meet the following requirements during this period.

  • Aspiring CPAs must take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct comprehensive self-study course. They must pass it with at least a 90% score.
  • They must obtain qualified work experience with supporting documents. It must be in one of the following areas.
    • Academia
    • Government
    • Private Accounting
    • Public Accounting
  • Aspiring CPAs must complete at least 12 months (or 2,000 hours) of either part- or full-time experience. This experience must be verified by a CPA and meet the following requirements.
    • It must be in services that include one of the following.
      • Accounting
      • Advisory
      • Attestation
      • Consulting
      • Financial
      • Management
      • Tax
  • For aspiring CPAs getting experience through academia, it is compulsory to teach a minimum of 24 semester hours in higher education accounting courses.
  • For those getting experience through attestation, it is mandatory to complete two years of qualifying experience. It must include one year of experience in general accounting and one in the attestation.
  • The experience must involve the following competencies.
    • Compilation and review of financial statements
    • Knowledge of management advisory functions
    • Preparing financial statements and budgets
    • Projection and forecast of standards and procedures
    • Taxation, budgeting, cost analysis, and asset management
    • Understanding accounting information systems
  • Aspiring CPAs must also get their supervising CPA to verify their work experience. They must complete the Verification of Experience and Attest Qualification forms.
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Summary

Given below is a summary of how to become a CPA in Iowa.

  • Aspiring CPAs must meet the Iowa State Board of Accountancy’s educational requirements.
  • They must apply for the Iowa Uniform CPA Exam and pass it.
  • They must meet the Iowa State Board of Accountancy’s experience requirements.
  • They must apply for the Iowa CPA license.

References

  1. “Accountants” – https://plb.iowa.gov/board/accountants
  2. ‘“CPA Licensees” – https://plb.iowa.gov/cpa-licensees
  3. “Iowa | NASBA” – https://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam/iowa/