Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772
Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772

Who’s Who? CPA Exam Stakeholders

Who's Who? CPA Exam Stakeholders

The CPA Exam is a challenging test that is taken by accountants all over the country. In order to become a CPA, you will need to pass this exam. There are many different stakeholders involved in the process of taking and passing the CPA Exam, and it can be confusing to know who to contact and what each organization does.

In this post, we’ll outline all of the different organizations involved in the CPA Exam process and explain their unique roles. This way, you’ll know exactly who to contact and what to expect throughout the process.

What is the AICPA?

The first organization to know is the AICPA, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The AICPA creates the CPA Exam and updates the exam content as needed. They are responsible for maintaining the relevance of the CPA Exam.

The AICPA’s Examinations team answers to the Board of Examiners (BOE), a senior, volunteer committee comprising accounting and testing professionals. The BOE ensures that candidates who pass their exams have the knowledge and skills required to be licensed as CPAs and serve the public. 

State jurisdictions

The CPA Exam is not administered by the AICPA, but by state jurisdictions. Each state has its own board of accountancy that regulates the accounting profession within that state. In order to become licensed as a CPA, you must apply to and be approved by your state’s board of accountancy.

What is NASBA?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is an organization that assists the individual state boards in carrying out their duties, including administering the CPA Exam. NASBA provides services to all 55 U.S. jurisdictions and territories, as well as over 50 international regulatory authorities.

One of the services NASBA provides is issuing your Notice to Schedule (NTS). The NTS is what allows you to schedule your exam with Prometric, the CPA Exam testing center. You will receive your NTS after your state board of accountancy has approved your application and you have met all of the requirements to sit for the exam.

What is Prometric?

Prometric is a testing company that provides assessment services to organizations around the world. They are responsible for administering the CPA Exam at hundreds of test centers in more than 160 countries. Prometric offers a variety of services to help candidates prepare for their exams, including practice tests and study aids.

When you are ready to take your exam, you will schedule an appointment with Prometric and pay the necessary fee. You will need to bring your NTS with you when you go to take your exam.

Now that you know more about the different stakeholders involved in the CPA Exam process, you can feel confident in knowing who to contact and what to expect throughout the process. These organizations exist to help candidates succeed in becoming a CPA, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any questions or concerns you may have.

CPA Exam application process

Before you can apply for the exam, make sure you’re aware of the eligibility requirements you’ll have to meet. These requirements vary by state, but generally, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a certain number of accounting and business-related courses, and have spent a certain amount of time working in an accounting role.

Once you understand your state’s requirements for taking the exam, it’s time to start thinking about how to apply. The first step of the CPA Exam process is to create an account on the AICPA’s CPA website.

Once you have created an account, you will be able to access the online application. The application will ask you for personal information, as well as information about your education and work experience. You will also need to provide transcripts from your undergraduate and graduate programs.

After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by your state board of accountancy. If you are approved to take the exam, you will receive an NTS from NASBA. Once you have received your NTS, you can schedule an appointment with Prometric to take your exam.

You must pay a fee to apply for the CPA Exam, as well as a fee for each section of the exam that you take. These fees vary by state. You can find out more about the application fees on the AICPA’s CPA Exam website.

CPA Exam structure

Even though some of the eligibilty requirements vary depending on your state board, you’ll be taking the same CPA Exam regardless of your state. That doesn’t mean every candidate sits for the exact same exam. Your exam version may still vary, but the CPA Exam is uniform and is accepted by all state boards.

The AICPA has set up four sections for the CPA Exam:

Candidates must pass all four sections within an 18-month window in order to become licensed as a CPA.

Each section is scored on a scale of 0–99, with 75 being the passing score. Scores are released about two weeks after each testing window closes. Candidates who do not pass a section will need to retake that section before they can become licensed as a CPA.

The CPA Exam is a computer-based test, which means it is taken on a computer at a Prometric testing center. The exam is not offered online. Each section of the exam is four hours long, for a total testing time of 16 hours.

There are three types of questions on the CPA Exam:

The task-based simulations are designed to assess candidates’ ability to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. The multiple-choice questions test candidates’ knowledge of accounting concepts and standards. Written communications tasks measure candidates’ ability to communicate in writing about business environments and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, or regulation.

The AICPA provides an online Candidate Bulletin that contains information about the requirements for taking the CPA Exam, as well as details about the application process, scheduling, testing centers and more. Candidates are encouraged to review the Candidate Bulletin before beginning the application process. Learn more about CPA Exam prep.