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October 1, 2023

Benevolent Overlords of the CPA Exam Seeking Comment on Proposed 2024 CPA Exam Blueprints

The CPA Evolution project continues to chug along as we inch closer and closer to 2024 and now NASBA and the AICPA are asking informed parties to comment on proposed Blueprints. Finalizing these Blueprints is one of the last steps in the process to launch a redesigned CPA exam that started back in 2020. Comments should answer the following questions:

  • Do the Core Exam Blueprints include the knowledge and skills required of all newly licensed CPAs to protect the public interest?
  • Do each of the Discipline Exam Blueprints include the knowledge and skills required of a newly licensed CPA to protect the public interest?

Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination® – Aligning the Exam with the CPA Evolution Licensure Model, presents an informed and thoughtful proposal for the 2024 CPA Exam. Interested parties may comment on the ED by sending responses to [email protected] no later than September 30, 2022. You can find the Exposure Draft here.

After considering all comments, the final CPA Exam Blueprints should be approved in December 2022 and published in January 2023, with a planned Exam launch in January 2024. This will provide CPA exam candidates, colleges and universities, firms, review course providers, and other stakeholders about a year to plan for the launch of the new exam.

Exponential growth in new rules, concepts, and standards, along with changes in the roles and responsibilities of newly licensed CPAs (nlCPAs), have caused the body of knowledge required of nlCPAs to grow, reads the Exposure Draft. The CPA Evolution model establishes a foundation for the most important and relevant topics that all nlCPAs need to know to protect the public interest while providing an opportunity for candidates to choose one of three Disciplines to demonstrate knowledge and skills in that particular domain: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), or Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP). The Disciplines will focus on topics that apply to nlCPAs engaged in those areas of practice and are less likely to be encountered by nlCPAs who are not focused in those areas of practice.

The CPA exam provides reasonable assurance to Boards of Accountancy that individuals who pass the CPA exam possess the minimum level of knowledge and skills necessary for initial licensure as a CPA. To remain relevant to a dynamic profession and current with the real-world demands on nlCPAs, the CPA Exam must continually evolve. (“Dynamic” is their word, not ours)

The periodic execution of a Practice Analysis (PA) is necessary to ensure that the CPA Exam:

  • Supports the profession’s commitment to protecting the public interest;
  • Remains current, relevant, reliable, psychometrically valid, and legally defensible; and
  • Fulfills the needs of the Boards of Accountancy in carrying out their licensing responsibilities.

In fewer words, the goal of CPA Evolution “is protection of the public interest, or more specifically, providing the public with assurance that those individuals who are licensed possess a minimum level of knowledge and skills necessary for safe and effective practice.” [JofA]

We’ll be doing a deep dive of these proposed Blueprints in a later article as they thoroughly outline proposed content and examination areas that CPA exam candidates will likely encounter in the new exam. Anyone who has comments about the new exam that are not useful to the AICPA such as “this is stupid” or “wtf is this back in my day we had to walk uphill both ways to Prometric and write essays in FAR these kids have it too easy now” are welcome to use our comment section below to sound off.

Exposure Draft: Proposed 2024 CPA Exam changes [AICPA]

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