CPA Firm Permit
When do I need a CPA firm permit to practice?
193A—7.1(542) When licensure is required.
7.1(1) Except as provided in subrule 7.1(6), a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or any other form of organization shall apply for a permit to practice as a firm of certified public accountants prior to:
a. Performing or offering to perform audit, review or other attest services in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa; or
b. Establishing an office in Iowa at which the firm uses the title “CPAs,” “CPA firm,” “certified public accountants,” or “certified public accounting firm.”
7.1(2) A firm which is not subject to subrule 7.1(1) may practice public accounting in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa without a permit issued by the board in conformance with Iowa Code section 542.20 and 193A—Chapter 21.
7.1(3) Unless individual Iowa licensure is required by the auditor of state, the department of agriculture and land stewardship, other governmental official or body, or a client, the public accounting services provided by a CPA firm holding an Iowa permit to practice may be performed in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa by Iowa CPAs or wholly by persons exercising a practice privilege under Iowa Code section 542.20.
7.1(4) If a CPA firm that is issued a permit to practice by the board has one or more offices in Iowa, the public accounting services performed at each such office must be supervised by an Iowa CPA with an unexpired certificate issued under Iowa Code section 542.6 or 542.19.
7.1(5) A CPA firm issued a permit to practice by the board is accountable to the board and subject to discipline by the board for the acts of its owners or other agents, pursuant to 193A—subrule 14.2(4), whether or not such persons are individually licensed by the board. In order to ensure public accountability, all CPA firms issued a permit to practice under Iowa Code section 542.7 shall:
a. Designate an Iowa CPA or a person with a practice privilege under Iowa Code section 542.20 who is responsible for the proper licensure of the firm and the firm’s compliance with all applicable laws and rules of the state;
b. Designate an Iowa CPA or Iowa CPAs who are responsible for the proper registration of each Iowa office and each office’s compliance with all applicable laws and rules of this state;
c. Designate an Iowa CPA or person with a practice privilege under Iowa Code section 542.20 who is responsible for supervising attest services or who will sign or authorize someone to sign the accountant’s report on behalf of the firm, as such attest services will be performed in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa; and
d. Designate an Iowa CPA or LPA or person with a practice privilege under Iowa Code section 542.20 who is responsible for supervising compilation services or who will sign or authorize someone to sign the accountant’s compilation report on financial statements, as such compilation services will be performed in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa.
7.1(6) An out-of-state CPA firm exercising a practice privilege may perform review services in Iowa or for a client with a home office in Iowa without first obtaining a firm permit to practice in Iowa as long as the firm complies with Iowa Code section 542.20, subsections 5 and 6, as amended by 2012 Iowa Acts, Senate File 2122, and associated rules.
How do Firms apply?
193A—7.2(542) Application process.
7.2(1) Application forms may be obtained on the board’s Web site. The board shall only process fully completed applications accompanied by the proper fee. A nonrefundable application fee shall be charged.
7.2(2) Fraud or deceit, by commission or omission, in obtaining a firm permit to practice is a ground for discipline, including permanent revocation of the firm’s permit to practice, the individual certificate of an Iowa CPA, or an individual’s practice privilege, as applicable to the entity or persons responsible.
7.2(3) An initial or renewal application for a firm permit to practice may be denied:
a. Upon any ground that would form a basis for discipline against the firm pursuant to Iowa Code section 542.10 or 193A—Chapter 14; or
b. Based on the firm’s failure to comply with the requirements of Iowa Code section 542.7 including, but not limited to, a failure to make the designations described in subrule 7.1(5) or a failure to sustain the simple majority of ownership required by Iowa Code section 542.7(3).
When do firms renew?
193A—7.4(542) Annual renewal of permit. Permits to practice must be renewed annually and shall expire on June 30 of each year. Applications to renew a permit to practice may be obtained from the board office or on the board’s Web site or through electronic on-line renewal. While the board generally mails a renewal notice in the May preceding permit expiration, neither the board’s failure to mail a notice nor a permit holder’s failure to receive a notice shall excuse the requirement to timely renew and pay the renewal fee.
How do firms renew?
193A—7.5(542) Renewal procedures.
7.5(1) The permit holder shall submit an electronic on-line renewal.
7.5(2) The permit holder shall list on the renewal application all states in which the applicant has applied for or holds a permit as a certified public accounting firm and list any past denial, revocation, suspension, refusal to renew or voluntary surrender to avoid disciplinary action of a permit to practice or practice privilege. Renewal applications may request such additional information as the board requires, including all of the information described in rule 193A—7.3(542).
7.5(3) Within the meaning of Iowa Code chapters 17A, 272C and 542, a timely and sufficient renewal application shall be:
a. Received by the board in person or electronic form or postmarked with a non-metered United States Postal Service postmark on or before the date the permit is set to expire or lapse;
b. Signed by the licensee in charge of the firm’s practice if submitted in person or mailed, or certified as accurate if submitted electronically;
c. Fully completed and accompanied with the proper fee. The fee shall be deemed improper if, for instance, the amount is incorrect, the fee was not included with the application, the credit card number provided by the applicant is incorrect, the date of expiration of a credit card is omitted or incorrect, the attempted credit card transaction is rejected, or the applicant’s check is returned for insufficient funds or a closed account.
Please read and understand Iowa Administrative Rules 193A and Iowa Code 542