CPA Hot Topics – September 2014

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.

It’s hard to believe it, but the summer has ended. Just about everyone is back in school, Labor Day weekend has passed, and it may even be getting cooler in some places (though not in Gainesville yet, of course). As you settle into a new routine, take a look at this wrap-up of news from late summer meetings and recent bulletins.

Gleim met with the AICPA at the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting for exam news. Their biggest announcement was the confirmation that over the next few years, the AICPA will continue working toward the release of the next version of the exam, to be launched in 2017.

The AICPA had already begun the process of revising the exam in 2013 when it set its strategic direction and conducted a Practice Analysis of the required knowledge and skills of newly licensed CPAs. The findings may result in changes to both the content and form of the exam. For example, this research will provide an estimate of the content topics and skill levels that should be tested. In the coming months, there will also be an Invitation to Comment and a large-scale survey of CPAs, leading to a revised blueprint of the exam. About a year from now, these steps will culminate in a detailed draft explaining the design, formatting, and content changes to be made to the exam.

Based on the AICPA’s findings to date, possible new features in the exam include an Integrative section (which would present tasks drawing on content in AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG), as well as a Capstone section (which would require passing prerequisite sections).

In addition to information regarding the next version of the CPA Exam, the AICPA provided a current Content Update. There are minor changes to AUD now and planned throughout 2015, but Gleim materials will be updated to ensure the appropriate material is covered and you are always prepared. Minor changes to FAR and REG rules are also on the way, and Gleim will release updates or will incorporate these changes into the 2015 materials as needed. Gleim will also update BEC as changes arise.

The most important current exam content update to be aware of is the converged new revenue recognition standard in the FAR section. Final standards “FASB ASU 2014-09 (Topic 606) and IASB IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers” were issued May 28th, 2014. Early application is prohibited by the FASB, and the FASB standard is not eligible for testing until the third quarter of 2017. The IASB is allowing early application, and usual CPA exam policy allows for testing in the first quarter of 2015. However, regarding this particular case, the AICPA has departed from that policy; they recently announced that IFRS 15 would not be testable on the CPA exam before January 1, 2016. Even later deferral is possible, but the Board of Examiners will not make that decision until the second quarter of 2015.

Don’t let the deferral of the revenue recognition testing alter your plans to take the exam as soon as possible. Remember that the Gleim CPA Review System is always up-to-date, and the Gleim Study Planner will help you with studying schedules, so there’s no need to delay and cause yourself unnecessary stress.

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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