CPA exam set to change in 2024
The clock is ticking
| February/March 2023 Footnote
Editor's note: Updated January 31, 2023
No two years in the accounting world are the same anymore.
As the tools, technologies, skills and best practices evolve for the CPA profession, so, too, do the CPAs. It’s with that in mind that the AICPA and NASBA are adapting the CPA licensure model to recognize the evolving skills and competencies required of CPAs today and in the future.
Starting in January 2024, the CPA exam changes to better reflect the needs of the profession moving forward. Don’t fret, though. If you or any of your staff are currently sitting for the exam, there’s still time to complete it before the changes take effect.
What is changing?
The new CPA licensure model requires CPA candidates to be skilled in accounting, auditing and tax. These sections will remain as core, required subjects. Technology questions will be spread throughout these sections.
In addition to the core exam sections (accounting, auditing and tax), CPA candidates will need to select and pass one of the following three discipline sections:
- Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR) — Assurance or advisory services, financial statement analysis and reporting, technical accounting, and financial and operations management
- Information Systems and Controls (ISC) — Assurance or advisory services related to business processes, information systems, information security and governance, and IT audits
- Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) — Advanced individual and entity tax compliance
Candidates who have credit for AUD, FAR or REG on the current CPA exam will not need
to take the corresponding new core section of AUD, FAR or REG on the 2024 CPA exam. Candidates who have credit for BEC on the current CPA exam will not need to take any of the three discipline sections.
The exam transition strategy strives to make it easy for candidates to migrate from portions of the old exam to the evolved exam. The CPA license issued will be the same regardless of the discipline the candidate passes.
When is it changing?
Like many changes, it’s a process. The following are key dates to keep in mind in the coming year. Remember: New and sitting candidates can still complete the current iteration of the test.
Nov. 15, 2023: Final date to register for BEC
NASBA to cease processing Authorizations to Test and Notices to Schedule for BEC.
Nov. 22, 2023: Candidates can apply to sit for new exam sections
NASBA to begin processing Authorizations to Test and Notices to Schedule for BAR, ISC and TCP. Codes for AUD, FAR and REG will not change in 2024. Therefore, candidates can continue to apply for these sections and have their applications processed and approved. Testing blackout dates do apply, however.
Dec. 15, 2023: Final day of testing for all CPA exam sections
Candidates are not allowed to sit for the current CPA exam past this date.
Dec. 16, 2023–Jan. 9, 2024: CPA exam blackout dates; no testing allowed
This testing closure allows for IT systems to convert to new CPA exam sections.
How do you support staff and colleague?
Spread the word! For those who have already taken one or multiple parts of the exam, encourage them to complete (and pass) all four sections of the current exam to get ahead of the change. At the very least, make colleagues aware of the impending changes and how it may impact your firm or company and your potential CPA candidates in the future.
Contact the MNCPA membership team at 952-831-2707 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the CPA exam.
Stay in the loop about exam changes
Visit www.mncpa.org/CPAExam to follow all the changes in the coming year and to find resources for taking the exam.