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By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Advances in technology, data analytics, and process automation have led to changes in the skills required of newly licensed CPAs, according to research performed by the AICPA Examinations team. Comments will be collected through April 30, The timing of the practice analysis represents an acceleration in the time frame that has been used in the past to make comprehensive updates to the exam.
Traditionally, the Examinations team has undertaken Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change practice analysis every seven years. The most recent practice analysis was completed in and led to significant changes implemented in that resulted in a greater emphasis on analysis, critical - thinkingand problem - Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change skills on the exam.
The rapid pace of change in the business environment has led to a need for a quicker reconsideration of the exam. The exam has changed even since the rollout, which decreased the number of multiple - choice questions, added more task - based simulations, and raised the total exam hours from 14 to Mechanisms are in place to make changes quarterly to accommodate updates in standards, regulations, and other areas.
Sincethere has been more focus on how the exam assesses professional skepticism and judgment, and questions have already been added to test audit data analytics. But employers of newly licensed CPAs have told the Examinations team Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change a more comprehensive look needs to be taken at technology, data analytics, and automation.
To make room for the new material, the Examinations team believes that some topics are currently less important and could potentially be removed from the CPA Exam Blueprints, which describe the material that will be tested on the exam. The Examinations team is facing the same challenges that have confronted accounting educators for years, as employers want new skills to be taught.
Material needs to be removed from the new curriculum to make room for important emerging topics. But the removal of topics often leads to objections from somebody within the profession. Rich Gallagher, CPA, senior director of content for the Examinations team, said the basics of accounting and auditing will not be removed from the Blueprints to make room for the new material.
He said it's still important for CPAs to understand, for example, the flow of transactions from beginning to end: from a sales order to shipping and sales invoicing, and collection of cash, including how those transactions go through information systems You Saw My Blinker - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Homebase the cloud rather than manual systems.
Software as a service and cloud computing now add in a new layer with that. Where do the information systems fit in with the manual business process? Topics that may be under consideration for removal from the exam Blueprints include:. Other areas may be subject to debate.
Gallagher Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change he thought that few newly licensed CPAs worked on stock compensation — but one firm told him that half its business is with startups whose compensation packages include significant stock options and that newly licensed CPAs are involved in auditing those equity awards. Employee benefit plan audits may require the work of more experienced CPAs, but past quality issues may make it undesirable to remove this topic from the Blueprints.
It may be worth questioning whether the CPA Exam should be testing written communication skills, as it Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change in the Business Environment and Concepts section. Writing is a skill that's not specific to CPAs and may seem out of place on a licensing exam. But employers of newly licensed CPAs do want to know that their people possess writing skills. At any rate, as new topics receive greater emphasis on the exam, it has become clear that other topics will need to be de - emphasized or removed from the Blueprints.
Making these decisions will be an important part of the practice analysis. Subject - matter experts in each of the exam's sections will consider those rankings and ultimately make recommendations on what material should be removed from the exam. The Examinations team is following its typical rigorous process for the current practice analysis. Meetings were held with about 20 firms of varying sizes to discuss the knowledge and skills essential for newly licensed CPAs and the impact of technology on their work.
CPAs who supervise newly licensed CPAs in public accounting as well as in business and industry have been participating. They learned that:. Many of the skills newly licensed CPAs are using reflect CPAs' ability to integrate emerging technologies into the business environment and use technology for greater business insights.
But it's not an elimination of them. The students of today, if Bright Smile - Kurt Cobain - Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings more data - focused and analytically focused, the CPA would be a great profession for them.
CPAs who supervise newly licensed CPAs in public accounting as well as business and industry have been participating in focus groups with the Examinations team to help determine the most important topics to be included in the Blueprints. This exercise includes "content ranking sessions," which also help the Examinations team understand which material does not necessarily need to be tested on the exam.
The Blueprints will remain unchanged for the remainder of as this information is gathered. The Examinations team's actions following the practice analysis will depend on the results of the analysis.
The Blueprints will likely be updated toward the end of or the beginning of for matters covered in the ED, but the team may decide to conduct further research or even publish further information and request additional comments on areas where there is not clear consensus or that might require structural change to the exam.
Changes not directly related to the practice analysis, including some audit data analytics tasks that were researched over the past year, may appear in the Blueprints as early as April 1,and on the exam as early as Oct.
In general, the Examinations team is moving away from changes to the exam process that require years of Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change and complicated launches. The focus for the future is on regular updates to the exam and avoiding large - scale structural changes that might create concern among CPA candidates. That is the balance we're trying to maintain.
Comments were due Aug. More information is available at evolutionofcpa. Ken Tysiac is the JofA 's editorial director. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact him at Kenneth. Tysiac aicpa-cima. We surveyed nearly finance and accounting professionals on their month-end close and reporting processes.
See the results. RPA can complete routine, repetitive Mate Al Sherif = I Shot The Sheriff - Various - Leyendas Del Rock such as Evolution - Neso - Subject To Change entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.
Toggle search Toggle navigation. Breaking News. By Ken Tysiac. The AICPA practice analysis responding to these changes began in March and will continue with the publication in December of: An exposure draft recommending planned CPA Exam updates and content to be added, changed, or deleted; and An invitation to comment that will seek feedback on potential future changes to the CPA Exam that require more research or more extensive structure changes.
The idea of international standards adoption in the United States for SEC - registered companies has lost momentum. As a result, this may be a topic whose relevance is waning for newly licensed CPAs despite the increased globalization of business. Estates and trusts.
As a result, many newly licensed CPAs may not need to understand strategies for planning around the estate tax. Derivative financial instruments. This is a complex area that's relevant for more experienced CPAs, but not necessarily those who are newly licensed.
They learned that: Critical - thinking and problem - solving skills, which were emphasized in the exam refresh, remain extremely important. CPA candidates often need a more comprehensive understanding of business processes, information systems related to financial reporting, and how business works. Data analytics and a digital mindset is a high - demand area. Excel skills are essential. Companies and firms are relying more on System and Organization Controls SOC reports, and understanding how to use these reports is increasingly important for newly licensed CPAs.
About the author Ken Tysiac is the JofA 's editorial director. Latest News. Most Read. From The Tax Adviser. From CPA Insider.
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