Here are the 2018 CPA Exam Changes & Updates

The 2018 CPA Exam will feature a number of content updates eligible for testing on January 2, 2018 and a new and improved user interface effective April 1, 2018. Here’s a quick rundown of the upcoming CPA Exam content-related changes and when they will be eligible for testing.

This PDF document from the AICPA details all of the blueprint outlined mentioned below.

Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)

The FAR section of the CPA Exam will see the greatest number of content changes on January 2, 2018. Among the most notable updates are revisions to the Revenue Recognition standards. This is in response to changing FASB guidelines that came about due to the foundation of the U.S. economy shifting from primarily goods to more services. It also brings US GAAP into closer alignment with international accounting standards.

Updated Content:


  • Revenue Recognition (ASU 2014-09, 2015-14, 2016-08, 2016-10, 2016-12, 2017-05, 2017-10)
  • Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities (ASU 2016-01)
  • Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (ASU 2016-14)
  • Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments (ASU 2016-15)
  • Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business (ASU 2017-01)
  • Income Taxes (Topic 740): Intra-Entity Transfer of Assets Other Than Inventory (ASU 2016-16)
  • Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash (ASU 2016-18)
  • Compensation—Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost (ASU 2017-07)
  • Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting (ASU 2017-09)

All of the above is eligible for testing starting January 2, 2018.

Auditing & Attestation (AUD)

CPA-2018ExamChanges-Option1The AICPA did not add or delete content from the AUD section’s blueprint but it did update 12 task statements accordance with SAS 130, An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting that is Integrated with an Audit of Financial Statements.

Updated Content:

  • SAS 132, The Auditor’s Consideration of an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern; eligible for testing beginning January 2, 2018.
  • SAS 133, Auditor Involvement With Exempt Offering Documents; eligible for testing beginning July 1, 2018.
  • PCAOB AS 3101, The Auditor’s Report on an Audit of Financial Statements When the Auditor Expresses an Unqualified Opinion (PCAOB Release 2017-01); eligible for testing beginning July 1, 2018.

Regulation (REG)

The blueprint for the REG section saw only a minor changes with “Treasury Regulations” replacing “Regulations” in the list of references.  

Updated Content:

The upcoming content changes will be dependent on the legislature, in particular, health care or tax reform, likely eligible for testing in the second half of 2018.

Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)


There were no changes to the BEC section’s blueprint for 2018.

Updated Content:

The COSO Enterprise Risk Management Framework–Integrating with Strategy and Performance; eligible April 1, 2018.

Also, given the constant state of change for technology, the examiners are continuing to expand coverage, including:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Automation
  • Big data, data analytics, and data visualizations
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrencies (example: Bitcoin)
  • Cloud operations and data storage
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital business models

Many of the above IT topics are already covered in your Wiley CPAexcel materials but we are continuing to expand coverage in alignment with the exam eligible content.

Free Webinar on 2018 CPA Exam Changes

Want to know what the new 2018 CPA Exam format and content changes mean for you and your studies?

Join Denise Probert, Wiley’s Director of Learning and Curriculum Strategy, for a free hour-long webinar, 2018 CPA Exam Changes: Need to Know, now available on demand. Denise breaks down exactly what the big changes to FAR and AUD are, what they mean, and how you can best prepare for the 2018 CPA Exam. There is also plenty of time devoted to questions and answers from the audience.

Register to view the webinar on-demand.

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