Tomorrow was due to be the glorious day Prometric centers across the United States threw open their doors, sprayed off their keyboards, and welcomed eager future licensees back into their loving embrace (figuratively, of course) after COVID-19 forced them closed back in March. As pretty much everyone knew would happen, that date has been extended.
On Friday, Prometric announced it would remain closed until May 1. NASBA has already extended the delayed second quarter, which was due to begin April 1, from June 10 to June 30. There’s no doubt the impact coronavirus has had on CPA exam testing is significant.
Early after the situation was officially characterized as a pandemic, we made the difficult but necessary decision to close all Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada until April 16th. Based on updated information and after careful consideration, we have decided to extend the closure of test centers in the U.S. and Canada through April 30th, with planned resumption of testing on May 1st.
This should surprise no one. In fact, we were hearing of post-April 16 test dates being canceled by Prometric as early as two weeks ago. We would have passed this information along but didn’t want to worry anyone just in case those were simply isolated incidents.
What remains unclear is how Prometric will proceed in states such as my own. Virginia is under statewide lockdown until June 10, one of the furthest-out dates of any stay-at-home state I’m aware of. One then has to wonder if Prometric would even be allowed to open its doors in a state like mine should things go according to plan and the grand re-opening happens on May 1. I contacted the Virginia Society of CPAs to see if they knew anything we don’t and was informed that it appears as though our board of accountancy is monitoring the situation, but we have no further information beyond that. So it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
For now, all anyone can do is wait and see. This is obviously an unprecedented situation and surely they’re acting with the best information they have, information that changes rapidly from day to day. I wouldn’t be surprised if Prometric delays re-opening further closer to May 1, but for now that’s what they’re going with. Friendly reminder for the time-challenged such as myself, that’s just two weeks away. Try to be patient and let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing the best they can given the circumstances.
Look on the bright side, at least CPA exam candidates will have an awesome story to tell when all this is over and the old-timers are complaining about how easy kids have it these days. “Back in my day you had to take all four parts at once in a darkened room by only candlelight.” “Yeah, well, in my day, my exam was pushed off by four months because of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC that crippled the entire world economy and sitting for the exam could literally kill me. Take a seat, Steve.”