The next version of the exam is based on a practice analysis, an extensive research project overseen by the AICPA’s Board of Examiners, which included input from key stakeholders across the accounting profession. The result maintains the strong commitment of the profession to protect the public interest. The next exam remains current, relevant, reliable and legally defensible. The exam meets the needs of boards of accountancy by providing reasonable assurance that individuals who pass the exam have the technical knowledge and skills necessary for CPA licensure.
Among the changes to the next version of the CPA Exam:
Increased assessment of higher-order cognitive skills that include, but are not limited to, critical thinking, problem solving and analytical ability.
Additional task-based simulations (TBSs) will be included on the exam, which are an effective way to assess higher order skills.
New exam blueprints containing approximately 600 representative tasks across all four Exam sections will replace the Content Specification Outline (CSO) and Skill Specification Outline (SSO). These blueprints are more robust than the CSO and SSO, identifying content knowledge linked directly to representative tasks performed by newly licensed CPAs.
Total CPA Exam testing time will increase from 14 to 16 hours – four sections of four hours each.
The Exam will remain composed of the four existing sections – Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG).
“The next version of the CPA Exam, will continue to help protect the public interest by ensuring that newly licensed CPAs have the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of a business environment that is increasingly complex,” said Michael Decker, AICPA vice president of examinations. “On behalf of the AICPA, I’d like to thank all of the key stakeholders for their role in the rigorous process of creating the next version of the CPA Exam. I believe that, as a profession, we have created an exam that is relevant, reliable and current in today’s world.”
To increase candidate convenience, there will be a 10-day extension of the testing window each quarter in the months of March, June, September and December. The 10-day extension will not be available during June 2017, as additional time will be required to analyze exam results and set new passing scores. In addition, administration of the new exam will include a 15-minute standardized break during each section that will not count against a candidate’s testing time. Any combination of passing current Exam sections and passing next Exam sections (within the 18-month window following passing one section) will count toward licensure.
You probably know I am a Star Wars Fan. Why else would I dress up like Princess Leia for the opening of the AICPA PractitionersTECH+ a few years ago?
I remember when we took our young son to see the first movie. I didn’t expect much…. but life in our family changed. Star Wars toys became a Christmas must and our grandson must have scores of Star Wars Lego sets. His dad sometimes still gets Star Wars gifts.
This week I watched some of the teasers and trailers for the new episode coming out in December – Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Here’s the official Teaser Trailer #2. Escape the “everyday” and become part of the Force. Today’s quote is one every leader in a CPA firm should embrace.
I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment about the many misconceptions CPAs have about networking, such as it should be tackled only when billable work isn’t pressing and never during busy season. A networking plan should consider each of the following groups:
Follow the link, above, to read more about each of these groups.
Know – Referral sources need to know (understand) your expertise and what differentiates you. Use LinkedIn!
Like – You need your referral sources to like you because you are counting on them for introductions. Clients must like you and staff/co-workers must like you. Make yourself likable by simply being helpful.
Trust – Earn their trust (keep your word, it’s as simple as that).
Refer – If you receive a referral, you owe a referral. If you refer, you should expect one in return – it’s how the game is played.
On behalf of my friends at AICPA/PCPS, I urge you to take part in the National MAP Survey…..
Ready…set…GO, CPAs: This is the final push to gain the most reliable benchmarking survey data; we need to reach as many Public Accounting Firms as possible. If you want to compare your firm’s performance to other firms like yours, take a couple hours to complete the2014 AICPA PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Surveywhich is closing August 15th.
Use the personalized results to pinpoint what it will take for your firm to perform “above average” in the categories most important to you. The information gathered benefits the profession as well – please participate if you haven’t already and ask your peers to do the same.
When you control the mail... you control information.
I made my first trip to Key West last week. It was hot and humid. Quite a change from the often sub-zero of Ohio this winter.
The AICPA HR Forum attracted an amazing group this year. The purpose is to gather a small group of HR Directors, Learning Directors, COOs and some partners that are focused on the human resource area of their firm.
We had 31 (just the right size for networking and getting to know each other) people in attendance. The largest firm represented has 7,000 people and the smallest has 8. Guess what? Many of the same challenges, issues and frustrations. While there are challenges, these firms are focused on making their firms a place where people will want to stay and build their career in public accounting.
Thanks to PCPS for allowing me to be a part of this for the third consecutive year. Most of us attended the group dinner on Thursday evening and then enjoyed a stroll on Duval Street.
As the AICPA continually reminds you, YOU are the trusted advisor. That means your clients not only trust you to be their accountant, they trust you to advise them on major decisions about their business. The AICPA PCPS even provides a Trusted Business Advisor 2.0 Toolbox.Look around your partner group. Successful partner groups have evolved from number crunchers to consultants.
For partners to be advisors, they leave the hands-on, technical accounting work to the senior and staff accountants. Look around your office. Do you have skilled technicians at the staff level who provide you with the information you need to bring valuable advice to your clients?
In too many firms, managers do not manage. They are technicians doing a lot of the work that senior and staff accountants should be doing. Managers, if they want to be owners, should be bringing in business and inspiring staff. Look around your manager group. Are they managing or doing?
The best clients make your life a joy. The worst clients drag you down. Look around. Do you have clients who don’t pay you on a timely basis. Do you have clients that pay you just before the next years work is about to begin? Do you have clients who never seek your advice? Do you have clients that in some way mistreat your staff?
Enjoy this 4th of July week. Take some time off to simply enjoy summer. Then next Monday as you go into the office – look around (then take action).
You will become like the five people you associate with the most – this can be either a blessing or a curse.
Koziel talks about the financial reporting framework for SMEs, the diversity project and other AICPA initiatives. He also discusses something coming out of the Fall Council meeting – – I am pleased to hear that the new AICPA Chair, Rich Caturano, wants to focus on diversity in the profession.
Now, for a lighter topic. Many of you know Mark Koziel. Many of you may know the recently retired CEO of the Ohio Society and Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting, Clarke Price.
Maybe it’s just me but I think Koziel and Price look a lot alike.
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to meet-up with Lisa Benson, Executive Director of iShade while I was in St. Louis (iShade’s home) speaking on behalf of the AICPA at the Interchange Conference for state society staff members.
Benson and I have been trying to find a few minutes together for the last couple of months so she could show me all of the new features (and older features) of iShade. Our schedules aligned and we made it happen in person rather than on the phone.
During my travels, I am still finding many CPAs who are not aware of iShade. Simply put, it is like a one-stop resource with unique tools you won’t find anywhere else.
Just a very small list of resources you will find on iShade:
The iShade Bulletin where you can get all of the news of the day.
Referral Tracker – a tool to track all of your important referrals
Tap the iShade Faculty – Over 8,000 people are using this one.
You can’t see any of this unless you sign-up then everything is free!
This year’s keynote speaker at the AICPA PractitionersTECH+ AAM was Sally Hogshead. Have you heard of her? She is an expert (speaker and author) in persuasion and personal branding. She is the Chief Fascination Officer of Fascinate, Inc. Guess what? Her presentation was fascinating!
How fascinating are you? Fascination is an intense emotional focus. When clients are fascinated by you and your message, they’re more likely to trust, believe and respect you.
Did you know that in our hectic times, people’s attention span is 9 seconds?
What impact can you make in 9 seconds? Fascination is an intense emotional focus. You can fascinate with:
Power, Passion, Mystique, Prestige, Alarm, Rebellion or Trust.
The conference attendees has the opportunity to take Hogshead’s test prior to the event and it was fascinating to hear her explain the results.
There were two main take-aways for me:
It is more important to contemplate how the world sees me (rather than how I see the world).
You don’t learn how to be fascinating, you learn how not to be boring.