CPA Exam to Undergo Transformation

The Uniform CPA Examination will be transformed beginning in 2011, with a new structure, format and content and supported by enhanced technology, the AICPA said in a letter Friday to state boards of accountancy.


The improvements, designated CBT-e for Computer-Based Testing evolution, will be launched Jan. 1, 2011, simultaneously with exam content updates that include, for the first time, testing on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS material is part of the new Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSOs) for the CPA Examination. Also to be introduced on the examination Jan. 1, 2011, is a new research task format and a new release of authoritative literature—the FASB Accounting Standards Codification. Examination candidates will begin seeing preparation materials reflecting the new authoritative literature release and research task format when sample tests and a new tutorial are released in the fall of 2010.


The AICPA Board of Examiners, after consulting with state accountancy boards and others, determined that exam candidates would be better served if the changes were made all at once rather than over time as originally envisioned, said the letter, signed by Colleen K. Conrad, chair of the Board of Examiners, and Craig N. Mills, vice president–examinations.


The AICPA collaborates with NASBA and testing and assessment services company Prometric to assist state boards in their use of the CPA examination in the CPA licensure process.


The new CSOs/SSOs are now available in final form on the CPA Examination Web site ( More information about the impending changes will be made available over the next several months there and in The Uniform CPA Examination Alert.


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