CPA exam changes are under evaluation

AICPA Board of Examiners is supporting increased testing of higher-order skills.

After considering public comment, the AICPA Board of Examiners is reviewing plans to have the Uniform CPA Examination increase the assessment of higher-order skills.

A report on feedback from an invitation to comment on the CPA exam's future has been published on the AICPA website. The AICPA is updating the exam to ensure that it continues to reflect the skills that newly licensed CPAs need to protect the public interest. The next version of the exam is scheduled to be launched in 2017.

After receiving feedback from 310 respondents and considering data and information gathered from meetings with members of the profession, the Board of Examiners is supporting the idea of increased testing of higher-order skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical ability, and professional skepticism. With the help of key committees and the Board of Examiners, the AICPA exams staff is developing an exposure draft to be released in September that will serve as the final proposal for the next version of the CPA exam.

A majority of respondents generally supported the current structure of the exam, which is divided into four parts—Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial ­Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC).


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.