The Accountancy Licensing Library

Iowa


Iowa offers the following types of accounting licenses and privileges. Click on the tabs above to learn more about the requirements and procedures for each type of license.

Initial Certificate, Transfer of Exam Scores, LPA


Initial License

Initial Certificate. Applicants who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination for any state and are not licensed to practice public accounting in any jurisdiction may apply for an Initial Certificate in Iowa. Iowa also offers a Licensed Public Accountant (LPA) license. For information about the Iowa LPA license, please refer to Iowa Admin. Code r. 193A.4.


MILITARY BENEFIT: Iowa's Department of Commerce, Professional Licensing & Regulation Bureau may grant credit to Military Service Applicants for honorable military service education and/or training, to count toward fulling the education or experience requirement for CPA licensing. Such credit may not be applied to CPA Examination requirements. Iowa also offers expedited licensure for spouses of Active Duty Military Service Members.


Click Initial Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Reciprocal License


Reciprocal License

Reciprocal CPA Certificate. A CPA who holds a certificate or license to practice as a CPA in another state or a substantially equivalent designation from a foreign jurisdiction who plans to practice accounting in Iowa as a CPA or for Iowa clients or otherwise desires to establish the person's principal place of business as a CPA in Iowa must apply to Iowa for a Reciprocal CPA Certificate.

MILITARY BENEFIT: Iowa's Department of Commerce, Professional Licensing & Regulation Bureau may grant credit to Military Service Applicants for honorable military service education and/or training, to count toward fulling the education or experience requirement for CPA licensing. Such credit may not be applied to CPA Examination requirements. Iowa also offers expedited licensure for spouses of Active Duty Military Service Members.

Click Reciprocal Licensure in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Practice Privilege


Practice Privilege / Mobility / Interstate Practice

Practice Privileges. Effective July 1, 2009, Iowa allows practice privileges. For additional information regarding Practice Privilege for CPAs, please visit Iowa Admin. Code r. 193A 20. For additional information regarding Practice Privilege for CPA Firms, please visit Iowa Admin. Code r. 193A 21.


A CPA whose principal place of business is outside of Iowa may provide services in Iowa if such person holds a valid, unexpired license in good standing in the state of their principal place of business that is substantially equivalent to a comparable license issued in Iowa.

  • The other state's licensing standards must be substantially equivalent to those required by Iowa, or the individual must have individual qualifications that are substantially equivalent to Iowa's licensing requirements. The basic qualifications for an Iowa CPA certificate include 150 semester hours of education, a baccalaureate or higher degree, passing the national CPA examination, and one (1) year of qualifying experience or, for an attest practice, two (2) years of qualifying experience. Click here for a list of substantially equivalent jurisdictions.
  • Out-of-state CPAs who were not issued a CPA certificate from a state which is substantially equivalent to Iowa and who do not otherwise satisfy substantially equivalent qualifications, are eligible to exercise a practice privilege in Iowa if they satisfy the "four-in-ten" rule in Iowa Code § 542.19(1)(c).


Individuals or firms must be licensed to lawfully perform in its principal place of business all public accounting services offered or rendered under a practice privilege in Iowa.


Practice privileges do not prevent governmental officials or bodies, or other clients from requiring that public accounting services performed in Iowa or for an Iowa client be performed by a person or firm holding an Iowa license.


Practice privileges extend to any individual who offers or renders professional services, whether in person, by mail, telephone or electronic means, in Iowa, and no notice or other submission shall be provided by the individual.


Individuals Ineligible for Practice Privileges

Practice privileges in Iowa are not applicable if:

  • The individual has been convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction.
  • The individual has been convicted of any crime under the laws of any jurisdiction if an element of the crime involves dishonesty or fraud. See Iowa Code §542.5(2) .
  • The individual's license to practice public accounting has been suspended, revoked or otherwise disciplined by a licensing authority in this or another state, territory or country, for any cause other than failure to pay appropriate fees.
  • The individual's right to practice public accounting before any state or federal agency or the PCAOB has been suspended or revoked.
  • The individual has applied for licensure as a CPA in Iowa or other jurisdiction and has been denied.
  • Civil penalties have been imposed against the individual pursuant to Iowa Code § 542.14 .
  • The individual's authority to exercise a practice privilege has been revoked in Iowa or other jurisdiction.


Consent to Jurisdiction

As a condition to exercising the practice privilege in Iowa, the individual and firm consent to the following:

  • The personal and subject matter jurisdiction and regulatory authority of the Iowa Board;
  • The appointment of the regulatory body of the state that issued the license in the principal place of business as the agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the Iowa Board against the individual and/or firm;
  • To supply the Iowa Board, upon request and without subpoena, with information or records licensees are similarly required to provide the Iowa Board; and
  • To promptly cease offering or providing public accounting services in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa if the license in the individual/firm's principal place of business expires or is otherwise no longer in good standing, or if any of the conditions for exercising the practice privilege are no longer satisfied, or if the Iowa Board revoked the practice privilege.


The practice privilege in Iowa is temporary and will cease if the license in the person's or firm's principal place of business expires, is no longer valid or in good standing, or otherwise no longer lawfully supports the conditions of practice privileges in Iowa.


The Iowa Board may revoke a practice privilege, impose a civil penalty, issue an order to secure compliance, may refer a complaint to the home licensing authority or take additional actions if a person or firm acting under a practice privilege violates Iowa's laws or rules.


Firm Registration Requirements May Apply

  • Individuals providing audit, review or other attest services in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa must practice through a CPA firm that holds an active Iowa permit to practice, or through an out-of-state CPA firm exercising a practice privilege as long as the out-of-state firm is validly licensed in the state of its principal place of business, complies with Iowa’s statutory practice privilege requirements and associated rules, and complies with Iowa’s peer review and ownership provisions.
  • Unless Iowa certification is specifically required by a governmental body or client, individual CPAs performing such attest services through an out-of-state CPA firm may either hold an active Iowa CPA certificate or exercise a practice privilege.
  • Iowa licensure is required if the firm has one or more offices in Iowa at which the firm uses the title “CPAs,” “CPA firm,” “certified public accountants,” or “certified public accounting firm.”


Firms Ineligible for Practice Privileges

The practice privilege in Iowa is not applicable if:

  • The firm or any of the firm's owners has been convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction.
  • The firm or any of the firm's owners has been convicted of any crime under the laws of any jurisdiction if an element of the crime involves dishonesty or fraud.
  • The license to practice public accounting of the firm or any of the firm's owners has been suspended, revoked or otherwise disciplined by a licensing authority in this or another state, territory or country, for any cause other than failure to pay appropriate fees.
  • The right of the firm or any of the firm's owners to practice public accounting before any state or federal agency, or the PCAOB has been suspended or revoked.
  • The firm or any of the firm's owners has applied for licensure as a CPA firm or a CPA in Iowa or other jurisdiction and the application has been denied.
  • Civil penalties have been imposed against the firm or any of the firm's owners.
  • The authority of the firm or any of the firm's owners to exercise a practice privilege has been revoked in Iowa or another jurisdiction.


For mobility purposes, "CPA license" means a CPA license granted by the state board after all education, exam and experience requirements have been met. A CPA performing services through mobility may only perform the same level of services (attest or non-attest) in the mobility jurisdiction as he or she is permitted to perform in the home jurisdiction. Please note the following if you are coming from one (1) of the jurisdictions listed:

  • An Alabama certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • A Connecticut certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • An Illinois certificate or registered certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • Both a Hawaii CPA license and permit are required in order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • A Kansas certificate holder may not hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • Both a Montana CPA certificate and permit are required in order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • Both a Nebraska CPA certificate and permit are required in order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.
  • An Oklahoma registrant must hold an active permit In order to hold out or practice as a CPA in a mobility jurisdiction.


Click Practice Privilege in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Firm Permit to Practice


Firm Registration

Firm Permit to Practice. Any firm or office thereof established or maintained for the practice of public accounting in the State of Iowa must register with the Iowa State Board.


Click Firm Registration in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.

Relinquish a License


Relinquish a License

License Relinquishment: Although the Iowa Board of Accountancy rules are silent regarding license relinquishment, an individual CPA licensed in Iowa who no longer wishes to hold said license/permit to practice may voluntarily relinquish their license.


Click Relinquish a License in the menu bar at the top of this page for additional information.