CPA Exam Feed

Students taking CPA Exam

To practice as a CPA, one must have a valid certificate issued by the board of accountancy in one of the country’s 55 jurisdictions, which consists of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Each jurisdiction has individual requirements for licensure in terms of experience and education, but the one common denominator is the Uniform CPA Examination, which the AICPA creates and grades. In addition to testing knowledge of accounting and auditing, regulation and business concepts via multiple-choice questions, the CPA Exam includes simulations and written communications.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

In the News: AICPA Conference Focuses on Developing Female Leaders

Leadership-compassA recent AccountingWEB article by Deanna White highlighted the steps the AICPA is taking to develop more female leaders in the accounting profession.

"If you look at people coming up in the ranks over the last thirty years, 50 percent of the people in the profession are women but only 19 percent of leadership in the accounting and finance professions right now is female," says Mary L. Bennett, chair of the AICPA Women's Initiatives Executive Committee and founder of MLBennett Consulting LLC.

Bennett said that there is a perception that more female leadership in the accounting profession is an issue that will take care of itself - but that's not the case.

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AICPA Report Finds Record Hiring for Accounting Grads

Trends
in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting
RecruitsAccounting has always been a popular major as well as a great career choice, and a new report has shed some light on just how hot the accounting profession is right now.

The AICPA recently released the results of the Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits, which showed a record 40,350 accounting graduates hired by public accounting firms in 2012 and 89 percent of those firms forecasting the same or increased hiring of graduates this year.

In addition to promising demand, the pipeline of future accountants is stronger than ever, with historic levels of student enrollments in accounting programs and record numbers of accounting graduates in 2012.

To gain insight into why accounting is more popular than ever, and to better understand the content of the Trends report, I sat down with Scott Moore – AICPA Director of Students and Professional Pathways, who led the effort to compile the Trends report.

James Schiavone: One of the things that really struck me about the report is that the number of students who are earning their master’s degree in accounting has doubled in the last ten years. Can you explain why we’ve seen such a sharp increase?

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CPA Exam Q3/Q4 2013 Score Release Timetables

Cpa-exam-score-release-timetableCPA Exam score release timetables have been such a hot topic amongst candidates that we have decided to post regular updates. Updated score release timelines are announced twice annually on AICPA Insights and also posted on the CPA Exam website. Since we would rather have candidates study for the CPA Exam than spend time notching off business days on a calendar, we have contained the score release timeline in a table below for candidates to easily find their score release dates.

Scores for the CPA Exam are released by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to individual boards of accountancy based upon the target score release dates listed in the table below. 

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Sells Winners: 39 Candidates Score 95.50 or Higher on CPA Exam

CPA ExamThe 2012 Elijah Watt Sells Award winners were announced on March 26. Just a total of 39 individuals performed so well on the CPA Exam in 2012 to have earned this prestigious title. Considering there were more than 92,000 candidates who sat for the CPA exam in 2012, the 39 recipients have made an immense achievement indeed! Perhaps congratulations are in order?

What does it take to be a Sells winner? The award is presented to candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA Exam, completed testing during the 2012 calendar year and passed all four sections of the CPA Exam on their first attempt.

The talented individuals listed below are the 2012 Sells Award winners in alphabetical order, followed by their state board affiliation, education and present employer.

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CPA Exam 2013 Q1/Q2 Score Release Timetables

CPA Exam score release timetables have been such a hot topic amongst candidates that we have decided to post regular updates. Updated score release timelines will be announced twice annually on AICPA Insights® and will also be posted on the CPA Exam website. Since we would rather have candidates study for the CPA Exam rather than spend time notching off business days on a calendar, we have contained the score release timeline in a table below for candidates to easily find their score release dates.

In the first half of 2013, scores for the CPA Exam will be released by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to individual state boards of accountancy based upon the target score release dates listed in the table below. 

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CPA Exam Scores Will Be Delayed Due to Hurricane Sandy

The AICPA Examinations Team’s office is located in Ewing, NJ and has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Although the offices were not damaged, extended loss of power and telecommunication affected systems and staff. As a result, the release of CPA Exam scores for results received day 1 – 20 by the AICPA and were scheduled to be released on Nov. 5 had to be delayed.

Below is the revised score release timetable for the first round of score release for the October/November 2012 testing window.

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In the News: Accounting Firms Regain 87% of Jobs Lost During the Recession

This week’s ‘In the News’ post comes from the AICPA and CPA/SEA Interchange conference in St. Louis. I’ve been learning a lot at the sessions and having a good time networking with my colleagues at the state societies and sharing ideas and information. There has been a lot going on in the profession recently and I’ve been trying my best to stay on top of it all. I’ve highlighted a few of the more interesting articles I’ve seen in the past week and shared them with you below. If you see something that you think was particularly important, send me an email or let me know in the comments section.

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In the News: Preparing for the CPA Exam is Now Easier

The AICPA has recently taken steps to make preparing for the Uniform CPA Exam easier for international students and candidates on the go with two exciting new developments.

Recently, the AICPA announced it had expanded its website, ThisWaytoCPA.com to students overseas who may now register and create profiles.

The website, designed to educate college students and CPA-exam candidates about the path to becoming a CPA, now contains information to help international students understand the process of registering for the CPA exam and becoming a U.S. CPA while living overseas.

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New CPA Exam Score Release Timetable for Q3/Q4 2012

The U.S. CPA Exam score release timelines have been such a hot topic amongst candidates that we have decided to post regular updates. Updated score release timelines will be announced every quarter on AICPA Insights and will also be posted on the CPA Exam website. Below is the score release timeline for candidates to easily find their score release dates.

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Behind the Scenes with Volunteers on Making the CPA Exam

Volunteer

Passing the U.S. Uniform CPA Examination is one of three crucial requirements to obtaining licensure for one of the most respected professions in the world, the other two being education and experience.

A great deal goes into ensuring the CPA Exam is of the highest quality. A team of more than 75 dedicated volunteers, sitting at the top of the CPA profession and representing areas such as small and large firms, education, government and non-profit, work in collaboration with the AICPA’s professional staff. These volunteers serve as members of the Board of Examiners, the oversight volunteer board for the CPA Exam, and its seven sub-committees, covering such topics as content, scoring and state board of accountancy communications.

The AICPA Communications and Media Channels team had an opportunity to speak with two AICPA volunteers on how their experience has benefited the CPA profession and their careers:

  • Wendy Perez, CPA, current chair of the Board of Examiners, retired Ernst & Young partner and past president of the California Board of Accountancy; and
  • Mari DeVries, CPA, chair of the CPA Exam’s Content Committee and member of the Board of Examiners, managing shareholder of DeVries CPAs of Arizona, P.C. and past president of the Arizona State Board of Accountancy.

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5 Essential CPA Exam Study Resources

During tax season, preparing for the CPA Exam can be even more challenging than usual. Here are a few resources for that will help CPA candidates with the preparation process.

    Cpa exam studying
  • Uniform CPA Exam Candidate Bulletin:  Aside from being a great general resource for any CPA candidate, the Candidate Bulletin is especially useful when you’re getting close to your testing date.  A few days before taking the CPA Exam, be sure to review the section - Step 4: Take Your Examination – for information on the test center check-in process, ID requirements and time allocation. All it takes is a quick review to help you focus on actually taking the CPA Exam.

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2012 CPA Exam Score Release Timetable Q1/Q2

In late 2011, we announced that U.S. CPA Exam scores would begin to be reported earlier and published the U.S. CPA Exam score reporting timeline for Q4’2011. Early score reporting is possible due to the implementation of a major U.S. CPA Exam update known as CBT-e, launched in January 2011. Today we’re excited to announce the Q1 and Q2 2012 U.S. CPA Exam score reporting timeline. 

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Your Questions: CPA Exam Score Release Timeline

CPA Exam Score Release QuestionsAICPA Insights was buzzing in late September with excitement over the announcement of an improved score reporting timeline that would release CPA Exam scores with greater frequency and predictability. As the first testing window under the new score release draws to a close, we are pleased to see that the score release timeline has been well received and is moving along as planned.  

We have been actively listening to inquiries from CPA candidates, and here are answers to the common questions we have received regarding the 2011 faster score reporting timeline:

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Social Media and Job Seekers

Dear Smarty Pants, Braggarts and Potty-Mouths… A word to the wise: you never know who is listening.

I am often taken aback by the things I see people posting on social media. I understand the need to vent or an attempt to be funny, but what you put out there in the public domain could be costing you your career. In a recent survey, 95% of employers said they use social media to screen potential employees. Yes, 95%! Yikes. From inappropriate photos and comments about previous employers to proof an applicant was less than truthful about qualifications… employers are getting an eye full!

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Where do CPA Exam Research Questions Come From?

Students taking CPA ExamSo, how well do you know the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification? Can you recite it from beginning to end without missing a beat? Is committing the standards to memory even a reasonable or practical expectation? A similar question posed one of the primary challenges that led to the development of research questions on the U.S. CPA Exam.

In a periodic assessment of accounting practice known as the Practice Analysis (1999), the AICPA CPA Exam team found that accounting references were becoming increasingly lengthy and complex, and were also available in an electronic format. Essentially, in the real world, CPAs were only memorizing sections of the standards that they used on a daily basis and used an electronic search to find any additional information they required. At the time of the 1999 Practice Analysis, the CPA Exam was still in pencil and paper format, so testing the application of accounting references that reflected real-world accounting practice posed an obvious challenge for CPA Exam developers.

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In the News: US and HK sign MRA, Other CPA News

US and Hong Kong Sign Mutual Recognition AgreementThe Knoxville Daily Sun reported that the United States and Hong Kong have signed a five-year mutual recognition agreement establishing reciprocity between CPAs in the U.S. and Hong Kong. The agreement was signed at NASBA's 104th Annual Meeting in Nashville. "This new agreement will allow qualified accountants in the U.S. and Hong Kong to work across borders," said Barry Melancon, CPA, AICPA president and CEO. "Globalization is rapidly changing the way business is done across the globe and CPAs will continue to play a vital role in the financial systems in the U.S. and abroad." Mutual Recognition Agreements facilitate the process for qualified professionals with accounting credentials to become certified and licensed in each other's countries. The agreements are subject to individual state board of accountancy acceptance.

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New Score Release Timeline for the CPA Exam

CPA Exam Score Report AnswersStarting in the fourth quarter of 2011 the U.S. CPA Exam will begin releasing scores earlier and more predictably. Initially this may not seem very interesting; however, the change will mark a major shift in the U.S. CPA Exam experience and the strategies that prospective CPAs employ as they work toward passing the exam.

With the transition from a pencil and paper exam to the computerized format in 2004, came a shift in the strategies and expectation of CPA candidates. In particular, the ability to take one exam section at a time and nearly year-round scheduling opportunities has dramatically changed the way CPA candidates prepare and plan for the exam. After the transition to computer based testing, one of the most common requests received from CPA candidates is for faster score releases so they can start planning the next steps in their test taking process.

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In the News: Financial Literacy, Mobility, CPA Exam

Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS

The Times Daily in Alabama spoke with Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS, and member of AICPA’s Financial Literacy Commission, about preparing college students to handle the responsibility of managing their own money. Without an understanding of the impact of their decisions, young adults can easily fall victim to overwhelming credit card debt and get behind on their student loan payments. McNeill says that one of the best ways to avoid that outcome is to begin teaching children about money long before they leave for college. “Our patterns about money are set before college, so if your kids are savers or spenders, you'll know before then; however, that doesn't mean you can't become better aware of the behavior and make difference choices,” she said.

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