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Every year the AICPA approves various changes and updates to the CPA exam. In 2022, substantial changes were made to the AUD section of the exam, minor changes were made to REG and FAR, and BEC received no material changes beyond those made in the July 2021 update. You can ensure you are prepared for the exam by taking a closer look at these 2022 and 2021 changes.
Overall, the CPA exam sections will retain the same structure and will still be tested in four 4-hour sections (for 16 hours total).
These sections will continue to assess higher-order skills such as:
Most of the 2022 updates involve:
Most of the 2021 updates involved:
The AUD section of the 2022 CPA exam has introduced sweeping changes to non-issuer auditor reports and standard setting.
Other 2021 changes made to the AUD section included:
Read our free resource to learn everything you need to know about the AUD CPA Exam.
The BEC section of the 2022 CPA exam experienced no material changes.
The BEC section of the 2021 CPA exam underwent some content weighting changes, but skill weighting remained the same.
Other changes made to the BEC section included:
Read our free resource to learn everything you need to know about the BEC CPA Exam
The FAR section of the 2022 CPA exam did not undergo large changes but did update content related to Debt with Conversion and Other Options, Warrants to Purchase Common Stock, and Conduit Debt Obligations.
Content and skill weighting remained the same for the FAR section of the 2021 CPA exam.
Notable 2021 changes to the FAR section included:
Read our free resource to learn everything you need to know about the FAR CPA Exam.
The REG section of the 2022 CPA exam updated content related to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Content and skill weighting remained the same for the REG section of the 2021 CPA exam.
Notable 2021 changes to the REG section included:
Read our free resource to learn everything you need to know about the REG CPA Exam.
In a couple of years, the CPA licensure model will be fully updated to reflect the evolving skills and competencies needed to be successful in accounting. These upcoming changes are called the CPA Evolution.
With the CPA Evolution, the CPA exam will be restructured and updated to a Core + Discipline Licensure Model. In this model, the core elements that everyone will be tested on are accounting, auditing, tax, and technology. And candidates will also get to choose one of three discipline areas to demonstrate deeper knowledge.
These discipline areas are:
The CPA exam will still have four parts, it will just be updated to include the three core parts plus one discipline-specific part. The exam will continue to be 16 examination hours total. There will be no designation of which discipline area you chose.
The newly structured CPA exam is projected to launch in January 2024, so depending on when you plan to schedule your CPA exam, the CPA Evolution may or may not affect you as it relates to the CPA exam.
Wondering how long you should study for the CPA exam? Our answer is roughly 400 hours—give or take 100 hours depending on your education, how long you’ve been out of school, work experience, etc.
The knowledge and skills needed to succeed as a newly licensed CPA (nlCPA) change over time as the industry changes and different regulations, laws, codes, etc., are updated. In order to ensure the CPA exam is preparing nlCPAs properly and testing on relevant skills and knowledge, the AICPA revises the CPA exam to ensure nlCPAs are being prepared adequately.
These revisions can be large or minor and can include anything from adding new topics to removing outdated information, to improving the testing experience.
The CPA Exam Blueprints are documents that outline the minimum knowledge and skills nlCPAs need to be proficient in their industry. These blueprints are used to update the CPA exam as they summarize the scope and content of each section that is covered in the exam.
The most recent CPA Exam Blueprints released by AICPA went into effect July 1, 2021. These changes are what dictated the 2021 CPA exam changes in AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG and new pronouncement changes are what dictated the changes to the 2022 exam.
New blueprints are released yearly or multiple times per year, but fortunately, CPA exam review prep courses like Wiley CPA keep track of these changes and account for them when developing CPA exam study material, so you have less to worry about.
As you review the changes to the 2022 CPA exam, you are probably wondering how prepared you are to sit for the exam. Well, we have good news because you can take Wiley’s Free CPA Practice Exam to see exactly where you stand. Developed in consultation with subject matter experts from Wiley CPA Exam Review, this free CPA practice exam is helpful for both individuals considering taking the CPA exam and those currently studying for the exam.