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New CPA Exam 2017

A new version of the CPA Exam is on its way. Why change up the exam? In early 2014, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) launched a research project to identify the knowledge and skills required for newly licensed CPAs, and included in the next version of the CPA Exam. The AICPA found that in order to protect the public interest, those seeking licensure as a CPA must demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge and skills necessary to perform more advanced tasks
  • Ability to contribute to complex accounting projects early in their careers
  • Possess higher order cognitive skills and professional skepticism

The AICPA is launching a new version of the Uniform CPA Exam on April 1, 2017. The professional content knowledge will remain fundamental to protecting the public interest. In addition, it is critical that newly licensed CPAs also be competent in:

Recognizing issues

Identifying errors

Challenging assumptions

Applying both professional judgement and skepticism

In order to test these competencies, the CPA Exam will have an increased emphasis on testing higher order skills, more tasked-based simulations will be used, and the length of the CPA Exam will increase from 14 to 16 hours - four sections of four hours each. The exam will also be slightly more expensive.

The examiners are looking for critical thinking, problem solving, analytical ability, and professional skepticism; as well as a strong sense of ethics and professionalism. This means less rote memorization and more analysis, and even evaluation.

More than just studying for the CPA Exam, test-takers will need to put on their “critical-thinking caps”!