Iowa CPA Exam and License Requirements

Updated on March 22, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Iowa CPA Exam

Iowa Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License is an accounting credential earned after meeting the Iowa-specific CPA Exam, education, and other requirements. It entitles an individual to practice as a certified professional in the state.  

Iowa CPA Exam & License Requirements

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The U.S. jurisdiction supports a one-tier licensing procedure. Therefore, candidates don’t receive a certificate upon successful CPA exam completion. Instead, they receive the CPA license only after meeting all the prerequisites. 

Moreover, the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board (IAEB) is in charge of granting the license. The state also undertakes international administration of the CPA Exam. Here is everything you must know about the Iowa CPA exam and license requirements. 

ParticularsDetails
CPA Exam requirementsFulfill the eligibility criteria
Submit the documents, fees, and exam application to CPA Examination Services (CPAES)
Score a minimum of 75 points in each exam section
CPA License RequirementsComplete your education
Pass the Uniform CPA Exam
Gain 1 year of work experience
Pass the Ethics exam
Obtain a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
Apply for the license through the Iowa State Board website
License-issuing authorityIowa Accountancy Examining Board
Licensing approach1-tier
International Examination ProgramAvailable

Contents

Iowa CPA Exam Requirements

Iowa CPA License Requirements

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Iowa Exam Information & Resources

Iowa CPA Exam Requirements

To earn the CPA License in Iowa, you must pass the 16-hour long computerized examination. Passing the test ensures that you have the required amount of ability and technical know-how for initial licensure. 

Candidates have a rolling 18-month period to complete the exam. It starts from the date you took up the first passed section. You are required to pass all four exam sections with a minimum of 75 points in each, on a scale of 0-99.  

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), and Prometric jointly organize and conduct the test. 

CPA Exam sectionsTestlets                    Question TypeExam Duration
Multiple-choice QuestionsSimulationsWritten Communications
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)5YesYesNo4-hour
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)5YesYesYes4-hour
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)5YesYesNo4-hour
Regulation (REG)5YesYesNo4-hour

Eligibility Requirements

Iowa CPA exam applicants must be of good moral reputation and character. Also, they must fulfill one of the following degree requirements. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting from a program approved by a board-recognized accrediting agency 
  • Bachelor’s degree in business from a program approved by a board-recognized accrediting agency with,
    • Minimum 24 semester hours in accounting with at least one course each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting (except elementary or principles level courses) 
  • Bachelor’s degree in business or accounting from a program approved by a board-recognized accrediting agency with,
    • Minimum 24 semester hours in accounting with one or more courses each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting (except elementary or principles level courses) 
  • At least a bachelor’s degree from a program approved by a board-recognized accrediting agency with,
    • Minimum 24 semester hours in accounting with one or more courses each in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting (except elementary or principles level courses)
    • Minimum 24 semester hours in business-related courses like finance, management, marketing, economics, and business law. 
Iowa CPA Exam Education Requirements

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Please note that courses in life experiences or internships are unacceptable. Applicants currently enrolled in college must complete the education within 120 days immediately after the testing date of their first exam section. 

Apply for the CPA exam through CPA Examination Services (CPAES). To know the complete application procedure, kindly visit the CPA Central portal. 

Iowa also allows the applicants to use NASBA Advisory Evaluation to recognize any academic inadequacy in the documents before submitting the initial application. 

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Fees

Both initial and re-exam applicants must submit the fees to CPAES. 

Particulars Examination Fees (non-refundable) First-time Applicant Fees Re-examination Candidate Fees
Application Fee (non-refundable)$170
Registration Fee (non-refundable)$90
Exam sections
AUD$238.15
BEC$238.15
FAR$238.15
REG$238.15$952.6$952.6
Total Fees$952.6$1,122.6$1,042.6

You can’t withdraw from the CPA exam or request an NTS extension. However, Iowa allows you to request a partial exam fee refund or an NTS extension under critical conditions. Furthermore, ensure to attempt the applied CPA exam sections within six months of the NTS issuance date. 

Required Documents

Submit the below-mentioned documents to CPAES:

DocumentsSubmission
Official academic transcript(s)Your school
Completed Certificate of Enrollment (if applicable)Your school
International Evaluation Report (if applicable)You/NASBA International Evaluation Services/Foreign Academic Credentials Service
Testing Accommodations Request Form (if applicable)You

Know that CPAES does not accept photocopied transcripts.

Iowa CPA License Requirements

Iowa CPA aspirants must follow the following steps for successful licensure:

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Iowa does not require you to fulfill the minimum age, citizenship, or residency requirements. Ensure to complete and submit your initial licensure application with the required fees and transcripts to IAEB. Please go to the official portal for the complete process.

Education Requirements

Candidates must complete 150 semester hours. It includes a bachelor’s degree with accounting courses (except introductory level accounting or principles of accounting). Further details are specified in the Eligibility Requirements section. 

Exam Requirements

The Uniform CPA Exam includes four sections (each being four-hour long). Applicants must score 75 points in each within the 18-month rolling period. Refer to the Iowa CPA Exam Requirements section for more details. 

Experience Requirements

You must obtain one year (full-time/part-time) of relevant work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Ensure to complete at least 2000 hours within a period of more than one year but less than three years. Candidates may gain the required experience in more than one employment situation, including internships and co-ops. 

Qualified ServiceQualified Area
AccountingGovernment
AttestationIndustry
CompilationAcademia
Management advisoryPublic accounting
Financial advisory 
Tax services
Consulting services

Applicants with employment in academia must teach at least 24 semester hours of accounting courses in higher education. Moreover, to be able to perform attestation services, you must obtain two years of qualifying experience. It includes one year each of general accounting and attestation. 

Ethics Requirements

Iowa CPA licensure applicants must complete and pass the self-study ethics exam. The passing score is at least 90%. Now, let’s check out all the details. 

ParticularsDetails
Where to buy the ethics course from?Iowa Society of CPAs
VendorAICPA
Study MaterialProfessional Ethics: AICPA’s Comprehensive Exam (for licensure)
Course contentAICPA Code of Professional Conduct
Conceptual Framework
Independence
Ethics
Activities discreditable to the CPA profession
Exam durationApproximately 1 hour
Course validity period1 calendar year from the date of purchase
Exam format/Questions/Time duration to finish the examOnline, on-demand
45 Questions
Less than 1 business day to listen/read and finish (Option to stop & re-start the exam anytime available)
Passing score90%
Fee$120+tax
Maximum attempts4

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Iowa CPA titleholders must earn 120 CPE credit hours annually. In addition, they are required to mention which of the two CPE reporting dates they will use for license renewal. Please note that you may select a different deadline for each renewal cycle.  

Take a look at all the details.

Particulars Details
License renewal date June 30 (Annually)
CPE reporting period January 1-December 31 (3 years before the license renewal date)
July 1-June 30 (3 years before the license renewal date)
General CPE requirement 120 hours
Ethics requirement 4 hours
Other subject area requirements 8 hours in accounting and auditing (if supervising &/or signing compilation reports on financial statements)
Other state policies Credits acceptable for programs offered by National Registry sponsors
Non-resident licensee requirement Meet the essential CPE requirement of the resident state
Credit limitations Certification exams Maximum 50% of total hours
Dinner/Luncheon/Breakfast meetings Maximum 25% of total hours
2 credits per instance
Firm meetings Unacceptable
Instruction Maximum 50% of total hours
Published materials Maximum 25% of total hours
Self-study Maximum 50% of total hours
Subject areas Maximum 50% of total hours (non-technical subject areas)
Fields of Study Limitations on specific subject areas

After you fulfill all the steps mentioned above, you can call yourself a CPA. So, start your journey to the Iowa CPA License right away! Attaining the credential will let you enjoy some exclusive accounting rights. Moreover, check with the Iowa State Board for significant updates on the CPA exam and license requirements.

Iowa Exam Information & Resources

1. Iowa Society of CPAs (https://www.iacpa.org/)

1415 28th Street, Suite 450, West Des Moines, IA 50266-1419

Phone: 515-223-8161

Toll-free in Iowa: 800-659-6375

Fax: 515-223-7347

E-mail: [email protected]

2. NASBA (https://nasba.org/)

150 Fourth Ave. North

Suite 700

Nashville, TN 37219-2417

Tel: 615-880-4200

Fax: 615-880-4290

3. Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau (https://plb.iowa.gov/)

200 East Grand Ave, Ste 350

Des Moines, IA 50309

Ph: (515) 725-9022
Fax: (515) 725-9032

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