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CPAs add higher-level analysis, simulations, and two hours to licensing exam

In response to the increasing number of new responsibilities CPAs are taking on in their practice, the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) has proposed alterations to the Uniform CPA examination. Backed by research data and professional input, the changes associated with the exam would include “enhanced testing of higher-order cognitive skills.” Critical thinking, problem solving, analytical ability, and professional criticism all fall under the highest-order cognitive skills category, according to an article published by the AICPA.

The exam’s four primary sections, Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG), will remain. The AUD section of the exam will test skills of the highest level, evaluation, notes the AICPA article.

Other changes to the exam include the testing length (from 14 hours to 16 hours) and an implementation of more “task-based simulations.”

The article asserts that the proposed changes to the exam are backed by researchers and professionals, citing comments made by an anonymous state board of accountancy member who suggested that as work tasks for CPAs continue to evolve, so must the preparations.


Read the AICPA article here.