There has been a lot of anticipation of the changes that will be coming to the CPA Exam due to the CPA Evolution. This initiative is transforming the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure model to recognize the evolving skills and competencies required of accountants today and in the future. It is a joint effort of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The most recent update is an exposure draft that presents the findings of an analysis conducted by the AICPA focused on aligning the CPA Exam to the CPA Evolution licensure model.
NASBA and the AICPA are implementing a new core and discipline CPA licensure model, and plan to launch the new CPA Exam 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 2024 CPA Exam.
New rules, concepts and standards – along with changes in the roles and responsibilities of newly licensed CPAs – have caused the knowledge required of newly licensed CPAs to grow. The CPA Evolution model establishes a foundation for the most relevant topics that all newly licensed CPAs need to know to protect the public interest while providing an opportunity for candidates to choose one of three disciplines.
Under the CPA Evolution licensure model, all candidates will be required to pass three core exam sections covering: Auditing and Attestation (AUD); Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR); and Taxation and Regulation (REG).
Each candidate will also choose one discipline – Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC) or Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) – to demonstrate knowledge and skills in that particular area.
The disciplines will focus on topics that apply to newly licensed CPAs engaged in those areas of practice and are less likely to be encountered by newly licensed CPAs who are not focused in those areas of practice.
The exposure draft that was conducted by the AICPA presents a proposal for the 2024 CPA Exam based on research and input from the profession and other interested stakeholders. The final CPA Exam Blueprints should be approved in December 2022 and published in January 2023. A planned launch of the new CPA Exam is scheduled for January 2024.