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What is the CPA Exam?

By March 10, 2022March 13th, 2022CPA Exam News

What is the CPA Exam? Accounting professionals around the world recognize the US-based Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation as the gold standard of competence in this Profession.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is in charge of administering the CPA exam and is the largest accounting body in the world.

The Yaeger CPA Review course is the perfect option for you if you have ever thought about entering the accounting field and want to have an outstanding career.

CPAs are often regarded as the world’s best accountants, and they are sought after by companies in a wide range of industries around the world.

Brief History of CPA Designation

In 1887, 31 accountants came together to establish the ‘American Association of Public Accountants’ (AAPA) to determine the standards for the accounting industry.

This organization, which was renamed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in 1957, is responsible for administering the CPA exam.

In 2001, the accounting profession was rocked by a huge controversy known as the ‘Enron Corporation scandal.’ As reported, the company’s officials deceived regulators by displaying fictitious holdings, and engaging in unethical accounting practices and procedures.

Because of this, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002. As a result of this act, accountants are now required to adhere to strict regulations while performing audits of publicly-listed companies.

Following this, the accounting sector experienced a significant shift in its general procedures, thereby increasing the demand for certified accounting professional positions. Both in industry and also in the major CPA firms around the nation.

What is the CPA Exam?

The Uniform CPA Examination, commonly known as the CPA Exam, is the credentialing exam for professionals who wish to pursue certification and licensing as Certified Public Accountants.

The CPA Exam is graded by the AICPA, and it is administered in collaboration with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) or by the individual state Boards of Accountancy.

In total, there are four parts to the CPA Exam, each of which examines a different skill that entry-level accountants require in order to practice public accounting. Each test spans four hours, and testing takes place at a Prometric Testing Center.

CPA Exam Syllabus

The CPA exam is divided into four sections, which are as follows:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)
  • Business Environment Concepts (BEC)

The CPA test has a variety of question formats. Traditional multiple-choice questions and essays appear alongside very creative simulations — questions that simulate professional circumstances and necessitate using knowledge and critical thinking skills to come up with viable solutions.

When Is The CPA Examination Offered?

Originally the exam was given nationwide just twice a year, the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in May and November. Then the exam times were changed to allow candidates to test any day throughout a two-month period. This worked out to four times a year. Now, with continuous testing, candidates can take the exam at any time and repeat any part as soon as their results are available.

Keep in mind that once you have submitted your application for the exam, you will receive a Notice to Schedule, which will allow you to officially schedule your exam. But, in most states, the Notice to Schedule expires after six months, so don’t wait too long to schedule your exam date.

Taking the CPA Exam

A score of 75 on each of the 4 CPA Exam components must be achieved in the allotted time period of 18 months. You have the opportunity to take the CPA Exam whenever it is most convenient for you because it is offered continuously throughout the year.

Once you’ve passed all four sections, check with your licensing authority to see if you’ll need to take an additional Ethics examination before you can submit your application.

Applying For The License

When applying for your license, make sure that you have the necessary number of college credit hours on your record. Accounting majors often need a minimum of 150 hours. Accounting subjects will account for 30 hours, while business administration disciplines will account for 24 hours. Upper-division or graduate-level coursework must account for a minimum of 15 hours.

To be eligible for licensing, a candidate must have completed 2,000 hours of experience, as certified by a registered CPA. Work in accounting, attestation, auditing, or taxation should be included in your previous experience. It is important to check with your jurisdiction regarding the specific experience requirements.

How To Register For The CPA Exam?

First of all, decide the jurisdiction you will be taking the exam in. Depending on your residency and future plans, this may or may not be a difficult decision for many professionals.

Some states may be more enticing than others based on residency, citizenship, and educational credentials. Remember to take into consideration the rules of each state’s accountancy board when deciding where to sit for the exam.

Before registering, double-check that all educational requirements have been satisfied before submitting your application. Obtain authentic transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate classes for evaluation.

When it comes to processing a registration, the length of time varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; many jurisdictions recommend planning on a one to two-month wait.

By registering, you confirm your intention to take part in the four-part CPA exam. You have the option to enroll and pay for all four sections at once or for each section individually. A Notice to Schedule will be sent to you after your registration is approved.

These credentials allow you to schedule tests with Prometric, the CPA’s official proctoring service. With your NTS, you can register online for whatever part you want, whenever you want. It is a continuous exam. There is no set sequence you have to take the exam in. You pick any section you want.

At Yaeger CPA Review we encourage our students to contact us directly to discuss which part would be best for them to start with and what order to follow.

The Bottom Line

CPA test-takers will have a difficult time passing the exam even if they have the necessary education and professional experience. However, the prize is a well-respected professional title that, in most cases, is accompanied by a much higher rate of compensation.

This is where CPA review courses come into play. We can’t stress enough the importance of taking a review course. College courses give you your Accounting foundation, but a CPA review course concentrates on preparing you for the CPA Exam specifically.

CPA Review courses have a wide range of prices. Remember, the most expensive does not equate to being the best. (It is just the most expensive!) Look carefully, make sure to watch demos of the course and certainly take advantage of any FREE trials they may offer.

Choosing the right CPA review for you will be worth every penny if it gets you through the exam as quickly as possible.