As the global economy has undergone significant change during the past decade, certified public accountants (CPAs) have been forced to adapt to continuing challenges to their working knowledge and changes to the accounting standards and the auditing and reporting requirements determined by the Financial Accounting and Standards Board (FASB). The mission of the FASB is to establish and improve standards of financial accounting and reporting that foster financial reporting by nongovernmental entities that provides decision-useful information to investors and other users of financial reports. These ongoing updates set forth by the FASB along with the general evolution of the accounting profession have led the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to announce changes to the already daunting CPA Examination.
According to their website “on April 1, 2017, the AICPA will launch the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination, an assessment steeped in research and rigor that remains aligned with professional practice. The next Exam will continue to provide reasonable assurance to boards of accountancy that individuals who pass possess the minimum level of technical knowledge and skills necessary to protect the public interest.”
So what does this mean for graduates who have already been studying to sit for the CPA Exam?
“I would recommend to recent graduates, and especially to those individuals who have completed portions of the CPA Exam or those who have just not yet passed, to study rigorously and take the Exam as soon as you are prepared and able to sit for it,” said Stephanie Blanco, CPA, Senior Manager at John Kasperek Co., Inc. in Calumet City, Illinois. “The Exam is an arduous test of one’s knowledge and understanding of the principles of accountancy, but it is absolutely within reach, even for those who have previously failed, with the right balance of practice time and focus.”
The 2017 Exam will continue to be organized in four portions: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation. However, as a result of the AICPA team’s most recent study, the new version will focus less on memory and more on analysis and evaluation skills.
“My fear is that the new Exam could provide an additional roadblock for those who are this far in the process,” added Blanco. “The Exam is undoubtedly a critical hurdle for all CPAs and an important marker in assessing one’s level knowledge and skill, but I believe equally important is the development of that talent in the field. So once you achieve your CPA, it is important to be selective in your career choices to ensure you are growing a broad skill set to be agile and successful in the future.”
John Kasperek Co., Inc. was founded in 1989 to serve the financial needs of the Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana region. Led by company president John Kasperek, Jr., the firm is dedicated to providing a myriad of personalized financial guidance and auditing services to a diverse client base of individuals, businesses and corporations, not-for-profit organizations and local governments.