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CPA Evolution is coming — are you ready?

September 14, 2022  |  Stephanie Schmidt

CPA Evolution is coming — are you ready? For those interested in taking the CPA Exam, big changes are coming.
For the past few years, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) have worked to reimagine CPA licensure. The new CPA Exam rolls out in January 2024 and brings about some of the most significant changes to licensure in decades.
So, what does it all mean for you, and should you take the old or new version of the exam?
How you could be impacted 
If you pass and retain credit for all four sections of the CPA Exam by Dec. 31, 2023, you are not impacted by any exam changes. But, if you’re still working your way through the CPA Exam in January 2024, this affects you.
What’s changing?
The CPA Exam is changing to better reflect the evolving skills required of today’s entry-level CPAs. Basic tasks that were once relegated to new CPAs — tasks like creating schedules, setting up accounts and performing reconciliations — are now either automated, performed by paraprofessionals or outsourced.
All of this means that more is now expected of entry-level CPAs. The goal is to produce candidates who have the deep knowledge necessary to perform high-quality work. Under this, candidates complete a core composed of accounting, auditing and tax with an increased focus on technology across the board.
In addition, candidates choose one of three disciplines where they can demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge. Options include:
  • Business analysis and reporting.
  • Information systems and controls.
  • Tax compliance and planning.
One thing to note is that you are not limited to practicing in the discipline area on which you chose to test. 
What’s not changing?
Count on there still being four sections to the exam for a total of 16 hours of testing.
  • 4 hours = AUD
  • 4 hours = FAR
  • 4 hours = REG
  • 4 hours = Chosen discipline
  • = 16 hours of testing
CPA Exam transition policy
Here’s what you can expect if you plan to take part or all of the exam in 2024.
Candidates who have credit for the core exam sections — AUD, FAR or REG — on the current CPA Exam will not need to take the corresponding new core section 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.
If, however, a candidate loses credit for any of the three core sections after Dec. 31, 2023, they will have to take the corresponding new core section. A candidate who loses credit for BEC after Dec. 31, 2023, must select one of the three discipline sections to be tested. 
It is important to note that none of the sections of the current CPA Exam are available for testing after Dec. 31, 2023. There is a hard cutoff from the current CPA Exam sections to the 2024 CPA Exam sections on the January 2024 launch.
Check out this presentation to learn more about the CPA Exam and changes. Also be sure to bookmark the MNCPA CPA exam changes webpage, which will be updated throughout the next year with new information as it becomes available.

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Stephanie Schmidt

Stephanie Schmidt is the MNCPA director of membership and marketing. For more than 10 years, she has expertly managed numerous member programs and events. Her skillset comes in handy when also planning sleepovers and birthday parties for her family. Stephanie has also earned the MNCPA’s unofficial title of office fashionista. Step into her office and you’ll see her knack for fashion, design and décor. She’s also a hugger, which you’ll appreciate if you’re ever trapped in a scary escape room with her. Stephanie can be reached at 952-885-5523 or

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