The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) restructured the exam into a new CPA core + discipline licensure model. This restructuring is now known as CPA evolution. This US CPA Exam Evolution will come into effect from 1st January 2024.
CPA Evolution – Changes In US CPA 2024
The new model makes CPA is more tech competent. According to the new model, a core + disciplined model will be implemented. The candidate has to pass each of these 3 Core exam sections:
- Financial Auditing and Accounting (FRA)
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
- Taxation and Regulation (REG)
As per the new model, aspiring CPAs also have to choose one discipline section. Discipline section exams demonstrate deeper skill and knowledge. CPAs have to take one out of the 3 exams mentioned below:
- Business Analysis and Reporting
- Information system and control
- Tax Compliance and Planning
Irrespective of the discipline that a section chooses, a candidate can even practice other disciplines. The new CPA model will make CPAs more tech competent. Questions about technology will be infused throughout the entire exam.
Both the core and disciplined exams will be a combination of multiple-choice questions and task-based questions.
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Key Benefits of the New CPA Model
There are umpteen benefits of the new model
Makes the Candidates Future Ready
The new model is adaptive and flexible, making the CPAs ready to embrace what’s next in their profession.
One License for Everything
The new model only proposes a single license for all things a CPA does.
Under the new model, the candidates who become CPAs will have a thorough understanding of their job. This superior understanding will empower them to do high-quality work that keeps the public safe.
Continuous Learning & Improving
The new model focuses on feedback and pushes the candidates to keep getting better. The core subjects touch upon topics like accounting, tax, auditing and technology.
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Curriculum Changes for CPA Exam 2024
Here’s an overview of the CPA new curriculum changes in the core subjects:
- Auditing and Attestation section is unchanged. Some new topics, like basic economic concepts, business processes and internal controls, have been added to the AUD section.
- Some topics from the subject of FAR like R&D costs, Business Combinations, Stock Compensation, Public Policy Reporting, etc have been moved to BAR.
- Some topics from the REG section, like gross income concepts, have been moved to TCP discipline.
Here’s an overview of the curriculum changes inn the discipline subjects:
- The BAR section has difficult technical accounting topics like lease accounting and revenue recognition. It also covers other topics like managerial and cost accounting, variance analysis and financial valuation decision models.
- The ISC section will test the candidate’s knowledge on IT audit and advisory services.
- The TCP section evaluates the candidate’s skills on federal tax compliance policies.
CPA Exam Pattern Changes 2024
In terms of exam pattern, it can be divided into 3 categories: Section time, scoring weight and question count.
The new model has not made any significant changes in terms of the scoring weight. Except ISC discipline subject, each subject will have 50% MCQs and 50% Task based questions.
Only the Information System and Control will have 60% MCQs and 40% TBSs.
The section time of 4 hours per section will remain the same in the new model.
Here’s a breakdown of the question count per section:
- AUD – 78 MCQs and 7 task based simulations
- FAR – 50 MCQs and 7 task based simulations
- REG – 72 MCQs and 8 task based simulations
- BAR – 50 MCQs and 7 task based simulations
- ISC – 82 MCQs and 6 task based simulations
- TCP – 68 MCQs and 7 task based simulations
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CPA Changes 2024 – Key Dates
There are two important dates to remember:
- 15th November 2023 is the last date the NASBA gateway system will accept requests to take BEC exam.
- The final day to attempt the AUD, FAR, BEC, and REG sections before the CPA Evolution changes is December 15, 2023. If you manage to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam before this date, you won’t be affected by the upcoming changes in content or how the exam is conducted.
- Between December 16, 2023, and January 9, 2024, the CPA Exam won’t be available. This is to allow testing centers to prepare for the new 2024 CPA Exam.
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US CPA 2024 Transition Policy
Starting from January 2024, the current CPA Exam sections won’t be available for testing anymore. However, in the form of Transition Policy, there’s a plan in place for candidates who have already started but haven’t finished the current exam by December 2023.
If a candidate has passed AUD, FAR, or REG on the current Exam, they won’t need to retake the corresponding new Core section of AUD, FAR, or REG. They’ll keep the credit for these core sections for the remaining 18 months from when they passed each part.
For those who pass BEC before January 2024, they won’t need to take any of the new Discipline sections. However, those who haven’t passed BEC by January 2024 will have to choose one of the three discipline sections. If a candidate loses credit for any of these sections, they’ll have to take the corresponding Core section or one of the three Discipline sections in the new exam.
How Will IMS Proschool Help Me With the Transition?
At Proschool, we have already started rolling out the updated CPA course. Your study material will change based on the date of your attempt. We will provide mock tests that replicate the difficulty level of the actual CPA exam. We also help you with one-on-one assistance on the eligibility and application processes.