The AICPA recently announced 2018 CPA Exam changes. Here’s what you need to know:


Each exam section’s blueprint link the knowledge and skills to be tested on the exam to tasks that are representative of the work of a newly liscenced CPA. The blueprints are updated perioidcally to include new content that becomes testable on the CPA Exam. They can be found here.


Changes effecting FAR (Financial Accounting & Reporting)

FASB ASUs eligible for testing in Q1 of 2018

  1. Revenue Recognition (ASU 2014-09, 2015-14, 2016-08, 2016-10, 2016-12, 2017-05, 2017-10)
  2. Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities (ASU 2016-01)
  3. Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (ASU 2016-14)
  4. Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments (ASU 2016-15)
  5. Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business (ASU 2017-01)
  6. Income Taxes (Topic 740): Intra-Entity Transfer of Assets Other Than Inventory (ASU 2016-16)
  7. Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash (ASU 2016-18)
  8. Compensation—Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost (ASU 2017-07)
  9. Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting (ASU 2017-09)

GASB standards eligible for testing in 2018

  1. Certain Asset Retirement (Statement No. 83) – Eligible for testing in Q3
  2. Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues (Statement No. 86) – Eligible for testing in Q1

SAS’s eligible for testing in 2018

  1. AUD Update SAS 132, The Auditor’s Consideration of an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern (AU-C 570) – Supersedes SAS 126
  2. Addresses the auditor’s responsibilities in the audit of financial statements relating to the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern and the implications for the auditor’s report
  3. Eligible for testing 18Q1


Changes effecting REG (Regulation)

  1. Regulation D, Rules 504 and 505
  2. Rule 504 amended to increase aggregate amount of securities offered and sold in any twelve-month period from $1 million to $5 million
  3. Rule 505 removed as of May 22, 2017
  4. REG D – Eligible for testing 17Q3 On May 4, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order promoting free speech and religious liberty
  5. Directs the IRS not to enforce a provision in IRC sec. 501(c)(3) that bars tax-exempt organizations from engaging in certain types of political activity
  6. Executive Order – Eligible for testing 17Q4


Changes effecting the user experience

Effective with the Q218 testing window (April/May 2018), the CPA Exam will be undergoing an update to the user experience for exam takers.  Users will be able to take advantage of Excel within the exam; no longer will it be an excel-like spreadsheet.  Users will not be tested on their excel abilities; rather they will have access to many of the features that Excel provides in helping them solve MCQs and Task-based simulations.  Additionally, the exam itself will be a more windows-based software experience; exhibits will be able to be opened and tiled so users can review all exhibits more easily.  The Prometric testing centers recently installed 23” HD monitors and the exam is being optimized to better display on these monitors.  Testing centers will also have enhanced ADA support.