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New SBO Authorization
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As of July 1, 2012 every School District in the state must be served by a School Business Official with an approved "authorization."   A school business official authorization allows an individual to perform, supervise, and be responsible for the overall financial operation of a local school district. Those school business officials who were serving in that capacity prior to July 1, 2012 were allowed to be "grandfathered" and could receive a "standard" authorization, which is valid for three years.  Those employed after July 1, 2012 must meet entry level requirements to receive an "initial" authorization and have two years to complete an approved training and mentoring program to be awarded a "standard" authorization.

Entry Level Requirements for an "initial" authorization:

Applicants must have a minimum of an associate’s degree in business or accounting or 60 semester hours of coursework in business or accounting of which 9 semester hours must be in accounting.
If the applicant has not completed 9 semester hours in accounting but has 6 or more semester hours in accounting, the applicant may be issued a temporary school business official authorization valid for one year.
A temporary initial school business official authorization may be issued if requested by the district. A district administrator may file a written request with the executive director for an exception to the minimum content requirements on the basis of documented need and benefit to the district. The executive director will review the request and provide a written decision either approving or denying the request.
If the 9 semester hours of accounting are not completed within the time allowed, the applicant will not be eligible for the initial school business official authorization.
If the applicant received a temporary school business official authorization, then the initial school business official authorization shall not exceed one year.
b. Applicants must have attained a minimum age of 18 years.
c.Applicants must have successfully completed an Iowa division of criminal investigation background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant.
d. Applicants must have successfully completed a national criminal history background check. The background check fee will be assessed to the applicant.

Applicants must complete 9 semester hours or the equivalent (1 semester hour is equivalent to 15 contact hours) in an approved program in the following areas/competencies:
1. Accounting (GAAP) concepts: fund accounting, account codes, Uniform Financial Accounting.
2. Accounting cycles: budgets, payroll/benefits, purchasing/inventory, cash, receipts, disbursements, financial reporting, investments.
3. Technology: management of accounting systems, proficiency in understanding and use of systems technology and related programs.
4. Regulatory: Uniform Administrative Procedures Manual, school policies and procedures, administrative procedures, public records law, records management, school law, employment law, construction and bidding law.
5. Personal skills: effective communication and interpersonal skills, ethical conduct, information management, ability to analyze and evaluate, ability to recognize and safeguard confidential information, and accurate and timely performance.

Applicants shall demonstrate completion of or competency in the following:
1. A board of educational examiners ethics program.
2. A mentoring program as described in 281—Chapter 81.
3. The promotion of the value of the school business official’s fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer.


The only currently approved program is available through the Iowa School Business Management Academy at Iowa State University.  Information on this program is available by contacting Dr. Craig Hansel at 

Authorization information and applications forms can be found at the Board of Educational Examiners website at: