AICPA seeks input on proposed CPA Exam changes

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The American Institute of CPAs has issued an Exposure Draft and Invitation to Comment on Monday, following a months-long practice analysis on the Uniform CPA Exam.

The Exposure Draft focuses on the impact that data analytics and technology have on newly licensed CPAs, re-assessing the core knowledge and skills of those entering the profession. The Exposure Draft includes the feedback of 80 AICPA subject matter experts and more than 130 CPAs who directly oversee newly licensed professionals.

The AICPA hopes to have the Exposure Draft updates appear in its CPA Exam Blueprints study materials no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

“The last practice analysis laid a solid foundation with the creation of the CPA Exam Blueprints and the existing Exam structure,” said Michael Decker, AICPA vice president of examinations, in a statement. “During this year’s multi-phased research, we used a targeted approach that included working with firms of all sizes and their insights into technology, data analytics, and core competencies will help us ensure the Exam remains current and relevant.”

Major themes covered in the practice analysis include:

  • The current Exam structure and Blueprints are ready to accept changes for more technology and data analytics content.
  • Newly licensed CPAs must have a better understanding of business processes, information systems, data flows and internal controls.
  • Newly licensed CPAs must have a digital and data-driven mindset.
  • The profession is placing greater reliance on SOC reports as clients are outsourcing more accounting processes, impacting the work of newly licensed CPAs.

The AICPA proposes 46 changes in all to CPA Exam Blueprints, including new content to be added to the Exam in response to the above themes. The AICPA also suggests content removed or assessed differently to better focus on the core knowledge and skills required of newly licensed CPAs.

Comments will be accepted on both the Exposure Draft and the Invitation to Comment through April 30, 2020. For more information, head to the AICPA's site here.

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