Iowa CPA Exam & License Requirements: How to Become a CPA in Iowa

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Obtaining a CPA license can lead to a significant salary increase. For instance, Scranton University stats show the median salary for a staff accountant is $51,607, but this jumps to $68,517 with a CPA, marking a $16,910 or 25% increase in salary. This statistic underscores the tangible benefits of pursuing CPA certification in terms of earning potential. Iowa, like many states, sets the bar high for aspiring CPAs.

Iowa CPA License Requirements

To earn a CPA license in Iowa, candidates must complete 150 credit hours. However, the journey to becoming a CPA can begin earlier, as you are eligible to sit for the CPA exam after obtaining a bachelor’s degree and completing 24 semester hours in accounting courses. The work experience requirements in Iowa align with standard expectations, necessitating one year of public or non-public accounting experience. Meeting these qualifications and requirements is the first crucial step for students embarking on the rewarding path of a CPA career.

Because CPA licensure requirements are ever-changing and vary from state to state (i.e., MS has a residency requirement while IA does not), our experts have dug deep to find all the details you need to know about Iowa CPA Licensure requirements. Here are the most important ones:

  1. Minimum age: None
  2. U.S. Residency NOT not required
  3. State Residency NOT required

Education Requirements

Candidates should fulfill ONE of the following:

(1) Graduate degree in accounting:

(2) Graduate degree in business:

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting
  • At least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting

(3) Undergraduate degree in accounting or business:

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting
  • At least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting

(4) Undergraduate degree

  • 24 credit hours in Accounting with at least one course in each of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting
  • Courses such as finance, management, marketing, economics, and business law

Work Experience

  • 1 year (2,000 hours) of public or non-public accounting experience verified by an active CPA (does not need to be supervisor)
  • Teaching experience in the accounting field qualifies as 24 semester hours of accounting courses
  • Work in government, industry, public service, or academia is qualified
  • Part-time work is allowed, but you must complete 2,000 hours within 1-3 years.

Ethics Exam

  • The passing of the AICPA ethics exam (Cost of course is $299 or $245 for AICPA members)

Iowa CPA Requirements Recap

  1. Pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher
  2. Complete verified accounting work experience
  3. Pass the AICPA ethics exam
  4. Fill out and submit all the required CPA license application paperwork
  5. Pay the CPA license application fee

Iowa CPA Exam Fees

The cost to take all four sections of the CPA exam in Iowa is $1,419.20 plus the initial $90 education evaluation fee. The re-examination registration fee varies depending on the number of sections you are signing up for.

**Important Note: You should not apply and pay for exam sections that will not be taken within six months because your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in Iowa expires 6 months after issuance.

CPA Exam Updates in Iowa: The CPA Evolution Initiative

The CPA Evolution initiative, a joint effort by NASBA and the AICPA, is set to significantly transform the CPA licensure model. This initiative is in response to the rapidly evolving skills and competencies needed in the accounting profession. A major component of this transformation is the introduction of a new core + discipline CPA licensure model, which aims to better equip CPAs for the dynamic demands of modern accounting.

Slated for launch in 2024, the new Uniform CPA Exam will reflect these changes, placing a greater emphasis on technology and analytical skills. This shift acknowledges the growing importance of these areas in the accounting and auditing fields. NASBA and AICPA are committed to continuously updating and providing resources to assist educators, students, and candidates in adapting to this new exam format. For comprehensive information on the CPA Evolution initiative and the upcoming changes to the CPA Exam, you can refer to the NASBA Transition Policy, AICPA’s revised CPA Evolution Model Curriculum, Evolving CPA, and AICPA Insights for valuable insights.

Educational institutions and CPA review courses are expected to update their curricula and study materials to reflect these changes, providing candidates with the necessary tools to succeed.

Expert Tips to Become a CPA in Iowa

As an aspiring CPA in Iowa, it’s essential to immerse yourself in the core principles of accounting while also embracing the evolving landscape of the profession. The CPA Evolution initiative is set to redefine the skillset required for modern accountants, placing a significant emphasis on technology and analytics.

My advice is to integrate these emerging areas into your study regimen early on. This approach will not only prepare you for the CPA Exam but also equip you with the competencies needed for a successful career in accounting. Remember, the journey to becoming a CPA is rigorous but immensely rewarding, so stay committed and always be open to learning.

In today’s rapidly changing accounting environment, particularly in Iowa, adaptability and continuous learning are crucial for CPA candidates. Focus on building a strong foundation in accounting principles, but don’t stop there. Engage with the latest industry trends, especially in digital technologies and data analysis, as these will be integral parts of your role as a CPA.

Additionally, leverage the resources available through professional networks and CPA organizations in Iowa. They can provide invaluable guidance and support as you navigate your path to becoming a CPA. The road may be challenging, but with dedication and the right approach, it leads to a fulfilling career.

Local Professional CPA Organizations and Networks

Iowa is home to several professional CPA organizations that offer resources, networking opportunities, and professional development for accounting professionals.

The Iowa Society of CPAs (ISCPA) is the largest organization dedicated to CPAs in the state. It provides members with continuing education, advocacy, and community involvement opportunities.

Another notable organization is the Accountants Association of Iowa, which focuses on representing the interests of accountants and offering resources for professional growth.

These organizations play a crucial role in supporting the CPA community in Iowa, offering platforms for collaboration, learning, and advancement in the accounting profession.

Iowa Exam Information and Resources

For more details, please contact:

6200 Park Avenue
Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50321
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (515) 281-7102
Fax: 515-281-7411

What’s Next?

Now that you have started the CPA exam application process, your next step is to find a CPA prep course that fits your budget, learning style, and schedule. It can take several weeks for your application to be processed, so don’t waste that valuable time waiting to hear back from your state board.  If you start studying now, you will get a nice jump start on the material and will be better prepared to pass your first CPA exam!


How many credit hours are required to earn a CPA license in Iowa?

Iowa requires a total of 150 credit hours to earn a CPA license.

What are the work experience requirements for a CPA license in Iowa?

Iowa requires one year of public or non-public accounting experience for CPA licensure.

Is there a minimum age requirement to sit for the CPA exam in Iowa?

No, there is no minimum age requirement to sit for the CPA exam in Iowa.

Do I need to be a U.S. or state resident to sit for the CPA exam in Iowa?

No, U.S. residency and state residency are not required to sit for the CPA exam in Iowa.

Are there certain passing percentages for Iowa CPA licensure?

Yes, you must pass all 4 sections of the CPA exam with a score of 75% or higher.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes,, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades.   As Seen On Forbes