The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) released the updated Uniform CPA Examination® Blueprints, the official document of content eligible for assessment on the exam. The blueprints are based on the knowledge and skills required of a newly licensed CPA to meet the demands of firms, employers and clients.

Today’s CPAs need deeper skill sets, more competencies and greater knowledge of emerging technologies and their impact on tax, accounting and audit. To prepare CPA candidates and accounting students for this new environment, the licensure model is evolving through the AICPA and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) joint CPA Evolution initiative.

AICPA CEO of public accounting. Susan Coffey, said: “The CPA Exam has evolved to align with a digital-driven marketplace, and that means a greater emphasis on technology and analytical skills.”

Coffey further added: “Through CPA Evolution, new Exam candidates will gain the skills and competencies they need to better meet the public’s, clients’ and employers’ needs. Candidates will also have the flexibility to choose their preferred area of focus within the multitude of career paths available in the profession.”

Under the CPA Evolution licensure model, all candidates will be required to take three Core sections: Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, and Taxation and Regulation. Then, each candidate will choose a Discipline in which to demonstrate additional knowledge: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC) and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP). Regardless of a candidate’s chosen Discipline, this model leads to full CPA licensure.

In line with the importance of emerging technologies on the profession, there is an increased focus on data and technology concepts in all Core and Discipline Exam sections.

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Additional new content is primarily in the ISC and TCP Discipline Exam sections. IT infrastructure, platforms and services; security, confidentiality and privacy; and considerations for System and Organization Controls engagements are included in the ISC Discipline Exam section. Personal financial planning and tax planning are assessed in the TCP Discipline Exam section.

The blueprints are a result of the AICPA’s Practice Analysis research to align the CPA Exam to the CPA Evolution initiative and are included in its final report. The Practice Analysis collected input from a wide range of stakeholders who share an interest in preserving the strength and mission of the profession—ranging from individual CPAs to boards of accountancy, public accounting firms, individuals working in business and industry, government, and academia.

CPA executive VP and NASBA COO, Colleen Conrad, added: “The CPA Evolution-aligned Exam will ensure that candidates possess the knowledge required for the profession now and in the future.”

She further said: “For current candidates, we developed a transition policy to allow them to seamlessly continue their CPA Exam journey from where they are when we transition to the 2024 CPA Exam.”

Access to the full transition policy and related webcast recordings and FAQs are available on NASBA’s website. Candidates should note that the last day of testing for all current CPA Exam sections is anticipated to be December 15, 2023. The CPA Evolution-aligned CPA Exam will launch in January 2024.