2019 winner of the AICPA Outstanding CPA in Government Award

August 12, 2019

Andy Nielsen, CPA, CGMA
Andy Nielsen, CPA, CGMA

The winner of the 2019 Outstanding CPA in Government Award was announced at the AICPA National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington, DC on August 12, 2019.

Andy, as Deputy Auditor of State, has been proudly serving and dedicating his professional career to the State of Iowa since he was first employed by the Iowa Auditor of State’s Office in 1981. What makes Andy unique and the best candidate for this award is his continued commitment to the profession through his training and mentoring efforts that impact a wide variety of governmental CPAs, auditors, accountants, city and county clerks, and elected officials. Every year, he leads a variety of training efforts across the state of Iowa that are a tremendous benefit to state and local government officials – whether elected, appointed or hired. One of the most significant services that Andy performs is the implementation of GASB statements. Andy has spent countless hours developing GASB statement implementation tools, establishing task forces to study the necessary components of new GASB statements to assure correct execution, working with governmental entities to early implement new statements, and traveling the state to explain the impact of new GASB statements to state and local officials while providing them with resources and tools to help in the implementation process. What stands out is his personal drive to make Iowa a leader in the nation when it comes to GASB implementation.

Andy also devotes a lot of his time to training and mentoring young CPA professionals in government auditing and accounting roles. He leads a lot of the training efforts for new Auditors in the Auditor of State Office, which is invaluable to the continued professionalism, expertise and productivity of that Office. He demonstrates a strong passion and desire to help recognize new CPAs to encourage young professionals to stay in our profession. To appeal to young professionals, Andy willingly stepped outside of his comfort zone and made a YouTube video about GASB 68, to help educate governmental CPAs on GASB pension issues. It is not always easy to find experienced and willing mentors in this sector, but Andy has mentored hundreds of governmental finance professionals. It comes naturally to him. Andy makes a challenging and complex profession fun and exciting to be in.

Andy received the Iowa Society of CPAs Public Service Award in May 2019.  This award recognized his long-term involvement in the Society and the Iowa State Auditor’s Office. His strong degree of responsibility to all Iowa CPAs has been visible and significant. Andy is a lifetime member of the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants (ISCPA) — he has been a member of the Society for over 40 years. He has served as Chair or Program Coordinator or whatever leadership position is asked of him on numerous occasions throughout his career. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Government Accountants, the State of Iowa’s County Finance Committee and the State of Iowa’s Mental Health Risk Pool Board. As you can see, Andy is a person of outstanding character with a strong commitment and passion for the profession.

Andy retired this past December and lives in Ankeny, Iowa with his wife Lori.  They have 2 married daughters and 7 wonderful grandchildren.