CPA Hot Topics – AICPA Announces Changes

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates informative emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

Greetings! On March 6th and 7th, Dr. Gleim and I attended the annual AICPA Review Course Providers meeting in New York. This year some very big future changes were announced, but don’t panic: the AICPA’s goal is to launch the new exam in 2016 at the earliest (but they clarified that it could be as late as 2019). I encourage you to sit for each section before the exam changes to minimize hassle and stress, but whatever your plans are for the exam, rest assured Gleim CPA Review will always be up to date with the best study tips and methods.

The AICPA also announced some more immediate changes to FAR and REG that will be eligible for testing in 2014. In FAR, according to FASB projections, reporting discontinued operations and an overview of the PCC (Private Company Council) may be eligible for testing in the 4th quarter window (October/November) because early application is permitted. Candidates need not worry about these changes, as Gleim will promptly release easily accessible updates later this year, automatically for online components and in PDF form for books.

For REG, the Repair Regulations and the Meals and Entertainment Deduction Limit sections are eligible for testing in the upcoming testing window (April 1, 2014). As usual, Gleim review materials will have you prepared for these as well. Finally, there were changes announced for the 2015 and 2016 CSOs, which will be reflected in our new editions as appropriate.

As far as the big future changes go, everything is open for possible consideration by the AICPA. For example, the new exam, which the AICPA is currently referring to as CBT-3, could be as much as 80% Simulations. The goal is to ensure that candidates understand how to apply accounting principles, rather than simply memorize terms and formulas. Thus, it will be more of a skills based test than a knowledge based test. Since this is a change that won’t be effective until at least 2016, you should continue to focus on multiple-choice answering techniques and sit for your exams before this revision. Remember that even with multiple choice, mere memorization is not the goal, and you will answer more questions correctly by understanding the material in your review and how to apply it.

Another big change under consideration is in the number of sections. In the future, there could be as few as three or as many as six or seven exam sections, as well as a capstone section. In light of such a substantial modification, you should strive to schedule and pass each of the current four sections as soon as possible. If you have any friends or colleagues who are procrastinating, please push them to become CPAs sooner rather than later so they can avoid dealing with these changes.

You still have over a week of study time before the next testing window begins in April, so contact your Personal Counselor and ensure you stay on track with the Gleim Study Planner.

Do you have any questions or comments about this week’s Hot Topics article or the CPA Exam? Email me at hottopics@gleim.com. Gleim Personal Counselors are available to help you develop a manageable study schedule and help you pass the CPA exam. Contact them at 800.874.5346, ext 498 or personalcounselor@gleim.com. Take advantage of the opportunity to get help from our extraordinary team!

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