Accounting Schools in Iowa

Accounting Schools in Iowa

Accounting is a profession that involves recording, organizing, analyzing, and reporting on the finances within a business or organization. Maintaining budgets and understanding cost and revenue are essential for all businesses, and thus accountants can typically find employment in a wide variety of industries. Earning a degree in accounting may help you enter the non-profit sector, government, or private business. Graduates of accounting programs in Iowa may pursue a variety of career opportunities, from budget analyst to financial examiner, revenue agent to tax preparer.

Accounting schools in Iowa may offer different educational programs at multiple degree levels, including certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor's and master's degrees. Accounting programs generally have coursework in such subjects as financial reporting, managerial accounting, ethics, cost and revenue analysis, taxes and tax accounting, and budgeting.

Iowa Schools: Accounting Programs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the colleges and universities listed below are just several of the many schools that offer certificate, diploma, and degree programs in such areas as accounting, accounting and business management, accounting and finance, bookkeeping, accounting technology, and auditing.



School Website

University Type

Net Price (2011-2012)

AIB College of Business

Des Moines

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Ashford University


4-year, Private for-profit


Briar Cliff University

Sioux City

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Brown Mackie College-Quad Cities


4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Buena Vista University

Storm Lake

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Central College


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Clarke University


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Coe College

Cedar Rapids

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Des Moines Area Community College


2-year, Public


Dordt College

Sioux Center

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Drake University

Des Moines

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Eastern Iowa Community College District


2-year, Public


Ellsworth Community College

Iowa Falls

2-year, Public


Graceland University-Lamoni


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Grand View University

Des Moines

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Hawkeye Community College


2-year, Public


Indian Hills Community College


2-year, Public


Iowa Central Community College

Fort Dodge

2-year, Public


Iowa Lakes Community College


2-year, Public


Iowa State University


4-year, Public


Iowa Wesleyan College

Mount Pleasant

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Iowa Western Community College

Council Bluffs

2-year, Public


Kaplan University-Cedar Falls Campus

Cedar Falls

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus

Cedar Rapids

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Kaplan University-Council Bluffs Campus

Council Bluffs

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Kaplan University-Davenport Campus


4-year, Private for-profit


Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus


4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Kaplan University-Mason City Campus

Mason City

4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit


Kirkwood Community College

Cedar Rapids

2-year, Public


Loras College


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Luther College


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Maharishi University of Management


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Marshalltown Community College


2-year, Public


Morningside College

Sioux City

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Mount Mercy University

Cedar Rapids

4-year, Private not-for-profit


North Iowa Area Community College

Mason City

2-year, Public


Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar


2-year, Public


Northwest Iowa Community College


2-year, Public


Northwestern College

Orange City

4-year, Private not-for-profit


Saint Ambrose University


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Simpson College


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Southeastern Community College

West Burlington

2-year, Public


Southwestern Community College


2-year, Public


University of Dubuque


4-year, Private not-for-profit


University of Iowa

Iowa City

4-year, Public


University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls

4-year, Public


Upper Iowa University


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Wartburg College


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Western Iowa Tech Community College

Sioux City

2-year, Public


William Penn University


4-year, Private not-for-profit


Source: National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, 2013,

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Iowa Accountants

The Iowa Accountancy Examining Board is the licensing body for both Licensed Public Accountants (LPA) and Certified Public Accountants (CPA). According to the Iowa Workforce Information Network, LPAs must have one or more of the following requirements: two years continuous work experience supervised by a CPA or LPA, a four-year accounting degree from a North Central Accreditation Association-recognized college or university and/or a degree in accounting from a business or correspondence school sanctioned by the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools or the National Home Study Council. Within a three-year renewal period for licensure, LPAs must complete 120 hours of continuing education.

CPA applicants must earn at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or an equivalent subject area, complete 150 semester hours of study, pass the Uniform CPA Examination and work one full year, gaining qualifying experience before licensure. CPAs in Iowa are also required to complete 120 hours of continuing education within a three-year certification renewal period.

Those looking into either campus or online accounting degrees in Iowa should make inquiries into necessary requirements for all accounting certifications. Students are encouraged to talk to a college admissions counselor regarding options after graduating from accounting schools in Iowa.

Career Opportunities for Graduates of Accounting Schools in Iowa

Graduates with accounting degrees in Iowa may have several potential career paths to follow. Three of the "Big Four" accounting firms have offices in Iowa. Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Deloitte have branches in Des Moines. Deloitte also has offices located in Cedar Rapids and Davenport. Regional and national firms such as McGladrey & Pullen and CliftonLarsonAllen also operate in Iowa.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that as of May 2012, 9,920 accountants and auditors were employed throughout the state. According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa's capital city, Des Moines, has the fifth-highest concentration of financial services in the U.S., and the city's metropolitan area has the highest concentration of financial services employment in the country.

Besides entering traditional accountant positions, graduates of accounting schools in Iowa may also pursue employment in a variety of industries, from government accounting to auditing, tax preparation to credit analysis. The state is also home to accounting firms in cities like Polk City, Des Moines and Spencer, which present another potential employment opportunity for accounting degree holders.

Accounting Firms in Iowa



McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith

Des Moines

Norman K. Pixler


Hogan - Hansen

Cedar Falls

Buckley & Company

Des Moines

Ryun, Givens Wenthe & Co.

Des Moines

Pittman Company

Des Moines

Erpelding, Voigt & Co.


Tax Doctor, Inc.

Des Moines

Gardiner Thomsen & Co.

Des Moines

Lindahl Financial Services

Polk City

Employment Outlook for Accounting Careers in Iowa

Nationally, between 2010 and 2020, employment growth for accountants and auditors is projected by the BLS to reach 16 percent. However, the Iowa Workforce Development Department estimates employment of accountants and auditors in the state of Iowa should grow by 18 percent during the same period, outpacing national growth projections.

Other positions expected to experience job growth in Iowa between 2010 and 2020 include bookkeepers, financial analysts and credit analysts.


Mean Annual Wage, Iowa (May 2012)

Mean Annual Wage, United States (May 2012)

Projected State Employment Growth, 2010 - 2010

Projected National Employment Growth, 2010 - 2020

Accountants and Auditors





Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks





Financial Analysts





Credit Analysts





Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Projections, 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013; Iowa Workforce Development Department

* Salaries and employment opportunities may vary based on experience, education, location and other factors.


Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013

Accountants Association of Iowa

American Institute of CPAs

Certified Public Accountant, Occupational Information Center, Iowa Workforce Information Network

Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau

Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants

Iowa, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

Licensed Public Accountant, Occupational Information Center, Iowa Workforce Information Network

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy

National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Industry Cluster, Iowa Economic Development Authority

National Web Directory, Iowa Accounting Firms

Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Occupational Projections 2010-2020

College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, 2013

National Employment by Occupation, Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012