Iowa addresses accountant shortage, expands eligibility for state jobs

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Accountants and auditors with the Office of Auditor of State no longer need a four-year degree.

“There’s currently a nationwide shortage of accountants and auditors, and Iowa’s no exception,” said Jennifer Bradley, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Kirkwood Community College.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be about 136,000 jobs in accounting and auditing every year for the next ten years.

Rob Sand, Iowa Auditor of State, added, “The auditing and the accounting industries in the United States have experienced a 17% drop in the workforce over the last three years. We are searching for bodies, we need people in our office to do the work.”

Monday, Sand visited Kirkwood Community College to announce that, to get those bodies, people with an associate’s degree in accounting can now get a job in the state auditor’s office.

“Our office historically has employed around 100 individuals, the vast majority of them being accountants. Historically, we have required those accountants to have a four-year college degree. Why?” asked Sand.

Bradley clarified that a person still does need a four-year degree and more to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), but a person can still be considered an accountant with the CPA designation.

“To be a CPA, yes, you have to have a four-year degree and sit for a national exam,” said Bradley. “But to be an accountant in a variety of businesses and industries in our city, you do not need a four-year degree, no.”

TV9 reached out to several accounting firms with locations in Eastern Iowa to see if they are also experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, and to learn if they’d be open to hiring people without a bachelor’s to address that shortage. The firms were either too small to be impacted by the shortage or they did not agree to an interview.