What Are The 4 Cpa Exam Sections
The content you?ll need to learn to pass the CPA Exam is divided into four parts: Audit & Attestation, Business Environment & Concepts, Regulation, and Financial Accounting & Reporting.
- Each part of the CPA Exam is 4 hours long
- You can schedule and take the parts in any order.
- You do not have to take all parts on the same day . But you do need to complete them all within 18 months.
Cpa Exam Section : Bec
The BEC CPA Exam Section tests your competency in performing the following services:
- Accounting, auditing, and attestation
- Preparing tax returns
This section assesses your understanding of the general business environment and your duties and responsibilities towards it. Also, it ensures you possess effective communication skills to discharge your duty as a CPA.
This is the only section with an extra segment of written communication tasks. Please note that the BEC examBEC ExamThe BEC CPA Exam exam section evaluates your understanding of the general business environment and your duties and responsibilities as a CPA towards it. It assesses your ability to recognize and scrutinize situations related to Financial reporting, Financial statement audit and attestation and Tax preparationread more result can be delayed by a week or so beyond the target release date. This is due to the extra analysis required in evaluating WCTs.
The BEC section includes five content areas. The following table lists these areas along with the percentage of the content tested from each one of them.
The section had reported a significant growth from 56% in 2015 to 66% in 2020. The performance of this section over the years has been incredible. This section is considered to be the easiest of the lot. This reflects in its pass rates.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Cpa License After Passing Your Exams
Honestly, the answer to that question depends on a lot of factors. First, if you only have 120 hours of higher education, youll need 30 more. And that takes at least 2 semesters if you go to school full-time. Then, if you havent yet met your states work experience requirement, youll need to complete 1-2 years of verifiable qualified work. And finally, you should apply for the CPA license in your state and wait for the reply from the state board of accountancy.
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The Four Cpa Exam Sections: Format Structure And Content
posted on June 1, 2020
There are four parts of the CPA exam, for which youll fill out a CPA application, register for one of the upcoming CPA exam dates, pay the relevant CPA exam costs, and complete separately. You must get a score of 75 on each of the sections to pass so you can become a CPA.
The four parts of the CPA exam are:
Even though you take the sections separately, the study plan you follow will include all of the subjects. Youll only want to go for it after studying with review courses, the best CPA review books you can find, and other
Its best to understand in advance how youre going to approach the test so you get all of the strategy and knowledge you need to pass.
I Passed The Cpa Exam Now What
So you passed all four parts of the CPA exam. Congratulations! But now I have an important question, Whens the party? You deserve one. Its one of the most difficult professional exams in the world and you should be very, very proud.
After youre done celebrating, its time to think about becoming a licensed CPA. So when you would usually be studying, or find yourself daydreaming about what Becker instructor Peter Olinto is up to, it might be a good time to understand what you need to do complete the licensure requirements.
Most States Have Experience RequirementsOne of the first things you will want to do is find your States Board of Accountancy website and thoroughly understand the type and amount of experience required for licensure.
Most states require a CPA to work for one year under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. This experience allows you to demonstrate your ability to use accounting data to serve the public competently. For example, CPAs providing attest services would be expected to work on assignments providing attest services leading to attestation of clients financial reports. Such experience would typically lead to a form of CPA licensure that would allow you to sign attest reports for clients. Obtaining an attest license does not always require that a candidate work the entire year on attest engagements.
Additional College Education May Be Required
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Submit Your Cpa License
So, what to do after passing all 4 CPA exams, accumulating your 150 education hours, and completing your experience? Well, you can finally apply for your CPA license!
When you are ready, download the license application form from the state board. Send it in together with the initial license fee. How long does the CPA license application take? In most states, turnaround time is usually fast.
Moreover, keep in mind that some states require your forms to be notarized. So if you live in an area with few notary publics, you should plan ahead.
Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination
The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is the examination administered to people who wish to become U.S. Certified Public Accountants. The CPA Exam is used by the regulatory bodies of all fifty states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The CPA Exam is developed, maintained and scored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered at Prometric test centers in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy .
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What Are The 4 Sections Of The Cpa Exam
- Auditing and Attestation The AUD section of the CPA Exam tests CPA candidates understanding of the auditing process, which includes: auditing procedures, generally accepted auditing standards, standards related to attest engagements and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
- Business Environment and Concepts The BEC section of the CPA Exam comprises the entire business concepts and the significance of a CPAs professional duties and responsibilities within the larger context of the business environment.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting The FAR section of the CPA Exam is the longest and by far the most comprehensive section of the CPA exam. Because of its vastness, many candidates consider this section to be the most challenging. This part of the exam requires that CPA candidates have a strong knowledge of US GAAP.
- Regulation The REG section of the CPA Exam tests CPA candidates knowledge and skill level primarily on federal taxation, then on business law, business ethics and professional and legal responsibilities.
Take The Cpa Ethics Exam If Required
Depending on your states requirements, your congratulatory letter may indicate you need to take a CPA Ethics Exam as the next step. If your letter doesnt mention an ethics exam, dont worrysome states dont have this requirement.
A few states, such as California, run their own exam. Other jurisdictions ask candidates to pass the AICPAs Comprehensive Course and Exam. But either way, most candidates consider the ethics exam to be much easier to pass than the core exam. Likewise, most states allow the ethics exam to be taken as an open book test.
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Everything You Need To Know About The Cpa Exam
To become a licensed CPA, you must pass the CPA Exam, a four-section, 16-hour assessment.
CPA Exam Overview
To become a licensed Certified Public Accountant , you must meet the education, examination, and experience requirements. All candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination ® , which comprises four sections: Auditing and Attestation , Business Environment and Concepts , Financial Accounting and Reporting , and Regulation . While the CPA Exam is the same for all candidates, other requirements may differ by jurisdiction. You should check with your specific Board of Accountancy for details.
How Is The Cpa Exam Structured
The CPA Exam is designed to measure professional competence in auditing, business law, taxation, and accounting. The AICPAs goal is for every candidate who passes the exam with the minimum passing score of 75 to reflect positively on the profession.
To that end, the exam also tests related business skills, the ability to conduct oneself skillfully and with good judgment, and understanding of professional responsibilities and ethics. Passing this exam confirms you have the competence to practice in a highly specialized field. To gauge this, the CPA Exam sections test on the following major topics using specific types of questions.
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What Are The Topics Of Each Cpa Exam Section
The four sections of the CPA Exam each cover different areas of accounting. The AICPA defines these areas in its regularly updated CPA Exam Blueprints. Here are the major topics that make up the structure of each of the CPA Exam sections.
Auditing & Attestation
Ethics, Professional Responsibilities and General Principles..15-25%
Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response..20-30%
Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence..30-40%
Forming Conclusions and Reporting..15-25%
Financial Accounting & Reporting
Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting..25-35%
Select Financial Statement Accounts..30-40%
State and Local Governments..5-15%
Business Environment & Concepts
Economic Concepts and Analysis..17-27%
Ethics, Professional Responsibilities and Federal Tax Procedures..10-20%
Federal Taxation of Property Transactions..12-22%
Federal Taxation of Individuals..15-25%
Federal Taxation of Entities..28-38%
Stop Watching The Video Lectures
The biggest waste of time for me was the video lectures. It might be good for some people but I thought it was a waste of time. Most people who watch the video lectures end up watching for 5 minutes and then zone out, thinking to themselves, maybe if I stare at my computer long enough the knowledge will flow into my brain through osmosis. Lets be honest, the lectures are just paraphrasing from the book and it takes so much longer for the presenters to re-read the book to you then it would take if you actually read the book. My biggest time saving tip would be to ditch the video lectures and to actually read the books. You will actually retain more information in half the time.
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Cpa Exam Section Scoring
The AICPA scoring process for the CPA exam is weighted evenly between multiple choice questions and task based simulations. This means that 50% of your score is based on how well you answered the MCQs. This can be good if you are a wizard at multiple-choice. It can also be a bad thing if you find simulations difficult.
It also means that simulations are more important. Since most of the sections have or less simulations, each one is worth a lot of points. You need to take practicing sims seriously! Keep in mind, the BEC exam is weighted slightly differently with 35% TBS and 15% written comms.
To determine the total score for AUD, REG, and FAR, AICPA weighs the scores attained in task-based simulations and multiple-choice questions , each accounting for 50%.
|CPA Exam Section|
Here are the steps to score/grade your Audit, Financial Reporting, and Regulations exam sections:
This is not the case with the BEC section, where the total score is determined by the scores attained in MCQs , TBSs and written communication .
Here are the steps to score/grade your BEC exam section:
History Of Exam Formats
Until the mid-1990s, the Uniform CPA Exam was 19.5 hours in duration and was administered over two and one-half days. It consisted of four subject areas which were tested in five sittings: Auditing Business Law Accounting Theory and Accounting Practice . Although Accounting Practice Parts I and II were given in separate sittings, the two scores were combined for grading purposes. The exam was administered twice per year: on the first consecutive Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in May and November of each year. Test takers were allowed to use only paper and pencil .
In 1994, the exam was restructured into a four-section, two-day exam. The subject matter was reorganized, primarily between Accounting Theory and Accounting Practice . In addition, innovative machine-scorable test questions were incorporated to better assess the skills needed by CPAs to protect the public. For the first time, proprietary electronic calculators were provided to CPA candidates for the two new accounting sections. The four new sections were:
On April 1, 2018, the AICPA rolled out new CPA Exam software that offers a more intuitive functionality. CPA candidates can practice with the software in advance of their actual test by using the AICPA’s sample tests. The sample tests also include tutorial topics to guide candidates along with explanations of tools and resources.
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Structure Of All 4 Parts Of The Us Cpa Exam
It is always that one faces many conflicts at the time of preparation for a particular exam. It can also lead to stress and anxiety issues, which can disturb the practice and directly affect the results. For such problems, one should always make the best use of their available time in making hazel free approach for preparation. Courses like CPA need complete dedication and investment of time the level of faith should never disturb your routine and investment. But to provide a solution for such issues, one should have a significant commitment and desire to pursue the CPA exam.
It is possible to achieve such motivation from various corners like encouragement is an essential part of exam preparation. One can attain motivation from self-assessing and inspiration.
For those issues which can demotivate, quantifying the portions can probably help in reaching the targets. The CPA exam is designed from AICPA with four divisions that can help achieve the significant hurdle of CPA licensure. This is possible by having requirements that include relevant Education, Experience, and Examination.
As mentioned before, preparing for the CPA exam is about the heavy investment in time, money, and effort which has great paybacks in significant returns in terms of career.
The CPA exam has four parts which are commonly referred to as sections:
AUD Auditing and Attestation.
BEC- Business Environment and Concepts.
FAR- Financial Accounting and Reporting.
Cpa Exam: Which Sections Are The Most Similar
AUD and FAR may have the most subjects in common. In general, you will find some overlap in concepts on each of the four sections of the CPA exam. However, the answers you provide to various multiple choice questions and task-based simulations will be different, because they are set in the unique context of that test section.
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Business Environment & Concepts
Pass rate : 61.94%
The BEC section of the exam is like a lucky packet. It contains a mixture of information from many of your core business classes . But because BEC tests such a broad variety of information, it can be a little trickier than it seems. Candidates tend to underestimate BEC because it is less dense than other sections. Make sure youre well studied for this section so it doesnt catch you off guard.
The BEC section also has a unique weighting, since it is the only part of the exam that contains written communications tasks . The WCTs are not difficult, but it might be worthwhile brushing up on your writing skills. If youre a decent writer, you can score well in this testlet.
- BEC is a 4-hour examination
- The section consists of 50% MCQs, 35% TBSs, and 15% WCTs
- This amounts to 62 MCQs, 4 TBSs, and 3 WCTs
A more detailed look at what goes into the BEC section of the exam:
- 17-27% Corporate Governance
- 17-27% Economic Concepts and Analysis
- 11-21% Financial Management
Discovering The Cpa Exam Parts
How many parts is the CPA Exam? The Uniform CPA Exam has 4 sections, each covering many topics in accounting, business, law, audit, tax, and regulations.
- Auditing and Attestation
The testing time for each section is 4 hours, so the total number of exam hours is 16. You can take the 4 CPA Exam sections in any sequence, and you can now schedule them at any time during the year. Previously, you had to work within the AICPAs scheduling window, but that is no longer the case.
Also, you must pass all four sections within a rolling 18-month window, which starts as soon as you pass your first section. You will lose credit for the section you passed first if you dont pass the remaining three sections within 18 months.
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Submitting Your Cpa License Application
Do you have to submit an application for licensure before you take the CPA Exams or after? Generally, you should wait until after you pass the exam to submit a license application to your state.
And how soon do you have to get a license after the CPA Exam? Well, that depends on your state. In Minnesota, for example, you have three years after you pass the exam to meet all requirements and submit your license application. Other states, however, dont have this time limit. So please check the specific requirements for your state.
Additionally, keep in mind that if youre an international candidate who took the exam abroad, you must obtain the CPA license within 3 years of passing the exam. If you miss that 3-year window, youll have to re-take the exam.
For more advice about how to apply for a CPA license after passing the exam, check out CPA License Requirements: Rules, Obstacles and Remedies.