CPA Evolution Overview

The CPA exam format is changing and you should take note if you are:

  • an accounting major set to graduate in May 2023
  • a recent accounting graduate who has yet to pass the CPA exam

I created a video to summarize the changes for (a) my students in the Spring 2023 “AC-495 Pathway to CPA” course at Saint Peter’s University and (b) recent graduates who may still be in the midst of CPA prep. I have a care and concern for all of my students, past and present (which is why I’ll reiterate: if you’re my former student, you should always consider me a resource).

As with all CPA prep, I highly recommend a CPA test prep company. I have no personal incentive to promote any of these companies so will share a few you can check out: Becker, Gleim, Roger, Surgent, and more. You should do your research on a prep company and one thing they should be helping with is demystifying CPA Evolution. Also check to see if your current firm (if you are employed by one) offers any of these test prep packages as part of your compensation (some of these packages can cost in the thousands of dollars).

I did my own research and put together a video to help explain CPA evolution; this was an attempt to distill the information down. Where applicable I’ve given credit to helpful resources, of which there are many.

A final note, which may make more sense after you watch the video: at SPU we currently use Becker as the backbone for our Pathway to CPA course and our campus rep, Jackie Oblinger, made an excellent insight during a class visit this spring. She shared some nuance around the transition rules, and how it may impact a candidate’s choices around which exam part to take first. As I cover in the video, BEC will transition to be a more in-depth “discipline” exam part. And while many candidates typically take FAR first (given the volume and quantitative depth of FAR), BEC may be worth prioritizing as the first part you take – if have to time to take one part prior to January 2024 – because it will then transition as credit for the new “discipline” exam part post-January 2024. The discipline is where some of the newer, more in-depth exam content will be in the new paradigm.

Nuance abounds with all of this, so do your research and weigh your options.

The video is below. As always, keep in touch with questions.

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