Registration is now open for theAccreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) Spring 2015 exams for accountants, tax preparers and students seeking to earn the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) credentials.

Earning the ABA or ATP credential exempts practitioners from taking and passing Annual Federal Tax Refresher courses and exams each year, which are a component of the IRS's Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy (ABA), the Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) exam, Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) exam can be taken between June 1-30, 2015 at PSI test sites across the United States. Students completing the semester-long accounting course at one of the ACAT “Capstone” colleges can take the proctored ABA exam at the end of the course.

“There has never been a better time to earn an ACAT credential,” stated ACAT president Roy Frick. “Why take an annual Federal tax refresher course every single year when you can earn a credential you can actually use year after year?”

The ABA is a high-level credential that tests the technical proficiency of accounting and tax professionals in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics. Emphasis is on a practical approach to public accounting. Achieving the ABA designation DE, IA, and MN meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy.

The exam is divided into two parts: Practice 1 and Practice 2. Practice 1 covers financial accounting and financial statement preparation, presentation and reporting. Practice 2 covers the taxation, business law, business accounting and ethics.

The ATA is a leading national credential for tax practitioners who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.

The exam tests for sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans, and performing estate tax planning.

The ATP is also a leading national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.

The ARA is a national credential that recognizes professionals with expertise in retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates and trusts, and applying skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients.

The exam fee for both Practice 1 and Practice 2 of the ABA exam is $285 or $200 for one Practice of the exam, plus a $50 registration fee. The ATA, ATP and ARA exam fees are $200 plus a $50 registration fee. The National Society of Accountants (NSA) offers preparatory course study guides for both the ABA, ATA, and ATP exams and preview exams, which mirror the topics and question format of the ACAT exams.

For more information about ACAT credentials and to register, visit ACAT's site here.