New CPA Exam Blueprints Released

new cpa exam blueprints

The AICPA has released a new set of CPA Exam Blueprints. While the new blueprints won’t be effective until Q3 2018, there are some important changes that will become testable and will appear in Gleim review materials beginning in Q2. Keep reading to learn all about the new CPA Exam Blueprints and the influence they’ll have on your CPA Exam schedule.


Major Revisions to the New CPA Exam Blueprints?

The AICPA’s statement indicates that these revisions will be effective starting Q3 (July 1, 2018). We’ll break down what these changes are and how they affect you as a CPA candidate. These changes affect tasks that are fairly specific, so we won’t waste your time reproducing them all here. Rest assured, though; Gleim will incorporate any necessary changes into our study materials in plenty of time to make sure you’re prepared. You won’t need to worry about all of the specifics.


There was one meaningful change to the AUD CPA Exam section. The AICPA has added a new task regarding an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. The current Blueprints, effective January 1, 2018, only requires candidates to identify factors that could cast doubt on an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. In the revised Blueprints, however, the exam will incorporate the candidate’s ability to assess the evaluations done by management in regard to their entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. This enhancement is linked to SAS 132, The Auditor’s Consideration of an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern, which became testable in Q1 of this year.


The BEC CPA Exam section is where the most significant changes took place.

The AICPA has expanded the test’s focus on the COSO ERM framework and the COSO Internal Control framework. It’s replaced one task about the COSO Internal Control Framework with four new, in-depth tasks. These tasks are a deeper dive into this particular framework and how it relates to risks and controls.

BEC will no longer ask about the limitations of the COSO ERM framework, but it will dig deeper into how risk, strategy, and performance relate within it. Note that this content will actually become testable at Q2, before the blueprint is officially released on July 1. Of course Gleim CPA will provide candidates with updates in advance of the change.

The only other thing to mention about these enhancements to BEC is that several tasks were added to the Economic Concepts and Analysis area that get very specific about the economic measures you should know and how you should be able to use them. But per the AICPA, these revisions do not change the nature or scope of content testable on the exam.


The FAR CPA Exam section received two important changes.

In regards to revenue recognition, the AICPA has simplified the topic by consolidating a few tasks down to one that asks about “the amount and timing of revenue to be recognized under a contract.” Before, this concept was broken up as three different tasks that asked about revenue to be recognized under arrangements “with a single good or service,” “with multiple goods or services,” and “where delivery is continuous.”

The other change in FAR is the removal of the word “bargain” from one of the tasks. You now just have to know the appropriate accounting treatment for purchase options, not bargain purchase options.


Interestingly enough, the new tax laws are not reflected in these blueprints at all. At this time, we still cannot draw any final conclusions about whether or not they will be testable in Q3 until the AICPA specifically speaks to it in a follow-up on their previous statement that it is under review by the Board of Examiners.

Revisions to Your CPA Exam Plans

What do these revisions mean for you, no matter how major or minor they are? If you won’t be done with the CPA Exam by Q2 (beginning April 1, 2018), they mean that you need a CPA review course that constantly adjusts to the latest CPA exam news and updates so that you can have plenty of time to learn the new exam content. If your CPA review does not offer free, unlimited, no-hassle access to the most current study materials, you should seriously consider investing in a course that does. The Premium Gleim CPA Review System features our Access Until You Pass® Guarantee that will put your mind at ease. Learn more about Gleim CPA Review today.