CPA Exam Blueprint Revisions



Just as the nature of the accounting industry is undergoing a massive evolution, education and preparedness are following suit. In 2019, the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) launched a research project to better understand the required skills and knowledge future generations of CPAs will need in order to thrive within the changing profession. Updating the exam to ensure that it remains current, relevant, valid and legally defensible is imperative to supporting the profession’s commitment to protecting the public interest [1].

Effective July 1, 2021, the revised CPA Exam Blueprint is the result of this massive endeavor, one which the MICPA has been watching very closely.  After countless hours of research, 46 proposed changes (35 of which were accepted) and 180 comment letters, the results are in:

“• The CPA Exam will retain its four-section structure — Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG).

• Total CPA Exam testing time will remain 16 hours — four sections of four hours each.

• The CPA Exam will continue to assess higher-order skills that include, but are not limited to, critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical ability.

• Content and skill changes for AUD:

Content weighting

  • Increase Area II (Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response) from 20%–30% to 25%–35%
  • Decrease Area IV (Forming Conclusions and Reporting) from 15%–25% to 10%–20%

Skill weighting

  • Decrease Remember & Understanding (RU) from 30%–40% to 25%–35%
  • Increase Analysis (AN) from 15%–25% to 20%–30%

• Content changes for BEC:

Content weighting

  • Increase Area I (Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Controls and Business Processes) from 17%–27% to 20%–30%
  • Decrease Area II (Economics) from 17%–27% to 15%–25%
  • Decrease Area III (Financial Management) from 11%–21% to 10%–20%

Skill weighting will remain the same

• Content weighting and skill weighting will remain the same for FAR and REG.

• There will be no changes in the number of CPA Exam questions or score weighting.”

From the accounting student perspective, using this blueprint as a study guide in conjunction with other review materials is highly recommended ahead of the coming summer. Those interested in reviewing the full revised CPA Exam Blueprint can find it here.

Source: MICPA

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