October 24, 2020

Times They Are a-Changin’, at Least for the CPA Exam

cpa exam.jpgHaving come down from a two-day smackdown of Live CPA Review classes this weekend, I’ve got CPA Review on the brain. It’s sort of like spending the weekend doing rails off toilet seats with strippers (not like I’d know) except I can’t see what sort of nutjob would wake up at 5 am for coked-out whores like I did for BEC on Saturday. Whatever, I do it for the kids.
Anyway, I thought it important to point out here that major changes to the CPA exam are coming down the pipe – so now is the time to get off your lazy ass and get this thing over with already. Seriously.
Continued, after the jump


My dear editor here at Going Concern already covered this briefly and frankly I share his concern that perhaps you kids will still be struggling with variance analysis by the time the AICPA Board of Examiners’ changes actually hit the exam.
Don’t worry, I speak AICPA BoE so let’s decode this, shall we?
First of all, the adoption of IFRS in the United States is still up in the air. The AICPA BoE wants you to know that they aren’t playing around when it comes to International Financial Reporting Standards.
They are already pre-testing IFRS questions on the exam (allegedly, or so my gut says) so don’t get shocked if you get an XBRL question in BEC. Unless you didn’t study, you already know 15% of CPA exam questions are pre-tested. This shows the AICPA isn’t shooting rubber bullets, they’re serious about this IFRS stuff.
While IFRS will eventually revolutionize the FAR exam, for the first few testing windows it isn’t likely that you’ll see much more than comparison questions (e.g.: “under GAAP, an asset is recognized thusly… in IFRS, it is recognized…”).
So it isn’t like you’re going to take FAR in the last testing window of 2009, fail, and then suddenly have to be an IFRS expert come the January window. In fact, the AICPA BoE has a pretty sad track record as far as these things go (if they weren’t painfully predictable, I might be out of a job) so don’t feel let down if you end up taking FAR in the last window of 2010 and only get a handful of tame IFRS MCQ.
As for this whole business about communications in BEC? Be grateful. This will likely cut a half hour off of Audit (as of now the longest exam) and tack it on to BEC. As always, communications are the easiest component of the exam since you don’t actually have to know what the hell you’re talking about, you just have to stay on topic and write correctly.
CBT-e means communications will disappear from AUD, REG, and FAR because apparently writing skills aren’t important to a CPA and 2 of the 3 writing portions will count towards your BEC score.
So stop panicking but take this as a huge hint that you should hurry up and knock this thing out once and for all. The computerized CPA exam is still relatively new and the AICPA is still working out the kinks. This may be the largest change to date but it’s certainly not the last.

cpa exam.jpgHaving come down from a two-day smackdown of Live CPA Review classes this weekend, I’ve got CPA Review on the brain. It’s sort of like spending the weekend doing rails off toilet seats with strippers (not like I’d know) except I can’t see what sort of nutjob would wake up at 5 am for coked-out whores like I did for BEC on Saturday. Whatever, I do it for the kids.
Anyway, I thought it important to point out here that major changes to the CPA exam are coming down the pipe – so now is the time to get off your lazy ass and get this thing over with already. Seriously.
Continued, after the jump


My dear editor here at Going Concern already covered this briefly and frankly I share his concern that perhaps you kids will still be struggling with variance analysis by the time the AICPA Board of Examiners’ changes actually hit the exam.
Don’t worry, I speak AICPA BoE so let’s decode this, shall we?
First of all, the adoption of IFRS in the United States is still up in the air. The AICPA BoE wants you to know that they aren’t playing around when it comes to International Financial Reporting Standards.
They are already pre-testing IFRS questions on the exam (allegedly, or so my gut says) so don’t get shocked if you get an XBRL question in BEC. Unless you didn’t study, you already know 15% of CPA exam questions are pre-tested. This shows the AICPA isn’t shooting rubber bullets, they’re serious about this IFRS stuff.
While IFRS will eventually revolutionize the FAR exam, for the first few testing windows it isn’t likely that you’ll see much more than comparison questions (e.g.: “under GAAP, an asset is recognized thusly… in IFRS, it is recognized…”).
So it isn’t like you’re going to take FAR in the last testing window of 2009, fail, and then suddenly have to be an IFRS expert come the January window. In fact, the AICPA BoE has a pretty sad track record as far as these things go (if they weren’t painfully predictable, I might be out of a job) so don’t feel let down if you end up taking FAR in the last window of 2010 and only get a handful of tame IFRS MCQ.
As for this whole business about communications in BEC? Be grateful. This will likely cut a half hour off of Audit (as of now the longest exam) and tack it on to BEC. As always, communications are the easiest component of the exam since you don’t actually have to know what the hell you’re talking about, you just have to stay on topic and write correctly.
CBT-e means communications will disappear from AUD, REG, and FAR because apparently writing skills aren’t important to a CPA and 2 of the 3 writing portions will count towards your BEC score.
So stop panicking but take this as a huge hint that you should hurry up and knock this thing out once and for all. The computerized CPA exam is still relatively new and the AICPA is still working out the kinks. This may be the largest change to date but it’s certainly not the last.

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Are Today’s Accountants Already Occupying Wall Street?

Caleb and I had a talk last night and it made me think about this whole Occupy Wall Street thing. More importantly, it made me think about what I am and am not doing to support it. I haven’t been to a rally, even to take pictures (last time I tried to do that, I was the only one out in front of the Federal Reserve Board at 6 in the morning except for the lone Fed cop patrolling the perimeter).

I get that people are pissed off. I’m pissed off too. I’ve been pissed off, don’t tell me about being pissed off. I was lugging around aFed sign made on top of “Ron Paul ’08” acrylic three years ago, you don’t have to tell me about being pissed off. (Here I am in 2009 on SF Citizen in a “Bernanke 00%” t-shirt at an anti-Iraq war rally)

And I get that for some people, all there is to do is go downtown with a drum and some poorly-written signs on cardboard ripped from your mom’s Costco packages in the recycle bin. That’s totally fine, everyone has their own way of sticking it to the man.

For a lot of Going Concern readers, sticking it to the man means showing up every day in business casual pretending to give a fuck about COSO but actually knowing that it’s all a lie. They work you to the bone until you leave or submit and get promoted to manager. Partner if you’re lucky. Run on that hamster wheel, here have this bonus, keep going and one day you can beat your own subordinates into submission. Go, go, go… Many of you get that this is bullshit but keep showing up every day anyway, and to me, you are your own special kind of protester. Same as last year, motherfucker, it’s the ultimate form of rebellion.

Too much?


Point being, everyone has their own way of screwing the establishment. Francine does it railing against the Big 4. Bill Sheridan and Tom Hood do it at the MACPA with professionalism. Tom Selling does it by riling up fellow academics. Professor Dave Albrecht does it by being seen in public canoodling with known incendiaries like yours truly.

I do it by ripping on the IASB as often as I am allowed to, infiltrating the Hill to sniff out what’s the latest in CPA lobbying efforts and getting in as many F bombs as I can on the dry subject of accounting. That’s all I can do. I can’t abandon my day job to hang out in Manhattan eating vegan paninis. I can make and distribute offensive Bernanke fridge magnets.

I completely understand why people are attracted to Occupy Wall Street; the part I’m struggling with is why so many of the 99 Percenters seem obsessed with this thing called “fairness” that does not, in fact, exist. Is it fair that any of us have to drag our asses to work every day and do what we do? Is it fair that Becker costs $3,000 and doesn’t pass the CPA exam for you? Is it fair that many of you are drowning in student loan debt and seemingly forced to get Master’s degrees just to work in your field? Is it fair that Caleb gets listed in all the accounting publications and I’m stuck as the sidekick hack who always manages to piss people off? This world is unfair, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I have to write about accounting every day of my life, it’s un-fucking-fair, we get it.

In my view (for whatever that is worth, which is probably not more than our company pays me to write this post), the ultimate rebellion is assimilating and infiltrating the establishment to enact real change from the inside. Are partners scared as shit of this website? Yes. If they’re threatening you with termination if you even dare to write us for advice, we’re doing something right. And I didn’t even have to not shave my armpits to accomplish that (but Caleb probably shaved his).

Are any of you going to independently revolutionize the accounting industry? Probably not. But collectively, you have scared the pants off of lazy ass recruiters and partners across this country who thought you didn’t have it in you. They read us because they feel like they have to or else they’ll lose touch with what you guys are thinking, and it scares the living shit out of them. In my mind, that’s a far more effective message to send the The Establishment, whoever the hell they are.

I fully support the fundamental sentiment of Occupy Wall Street but much prefer fulfilling my incendiary duties here trying to get accounting kids riled up and questioning why they put up with the shit they do. Working mothers in public accounting should be allowed to have children. Interns should be allowed to ask questions (even dumb ones). Auditors should be expected to question last year’s logic. It’s not complicated but it’s important work that a lot of you do, and I hope that you get that.

It is not your fault that we’re here. Many of you just followed the rules.

Thanks for letting me be a part of that. Beats standing around with a fucking sign, that’s for sure.

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