Comments on Future CPA Exam

I read with interest "Letter from the AICPA President" (JofA, Jan.99, page 4) regarding the changing face of the Uniform CPA Examination.

The letter states that the makeup of the exam must change to fulfill "our obligation as a profession" to start incoming professionals out "with the right tools."

I remember a poll that took place a few years ago at a Council meeting, the results of which indicated that the profession in the future would be looking for more well-rounded professionals with greater communication skills. Now along comes the new CPA exam, to be administered on a computer, potentially with pass/fail results and no ability to gauge the communication skills of the people taking the exam. This seems to be a contradiction in philosophy.

It was also interesting to note in that same issue of the Journal, the May 1998 exam award winners were announced. Obviously, when the new CPA exam comes to fruition, that type of publicity will be a thing of the past.

I heard at one of our state board meetings that the anticipated cost of the computerized exam will be significantly higher than that of the paper exam currently in use.

I guess my question would be—in light of the changes that appear to be coming down the road—are they really for the better?

John A. Lichty, CPA
Casper, Wyoming


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