What Is the New CPA Model Curriculum and What Does It Mean for You

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More non-accountants with a focus on technological skills are being hired by CPA companies. The CPA Exam under CPA Evolution will tend to address accounting, auditing, and tax while placing a fresh emphasis on information technology to address this. In order to do this, the AICPA and NASBA developed the CPA Evolution Model Curriculum, a tool that accounting instructors will utilize to help students be ready for the next exam change.

The accounting industry, how accountants carry out their duties, and the competencies required for success are all undergoing rapid change as a result of technology. The CPA Exam is being restructured into a new CPA core-plus licensure model as a result of these revisions by The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The project is known as CPA Evolution.

By January 2024, NASBA and the AICPA plan to revamp the CPA Exam with the new core-plus-discipline model. Students will now take the new examination beginning on January 1, 2024. All test components continue to be subject to the 18-month rule.

Why Is the Model for CPA Licensure Changing?

The CPA industry is always evolving, embracing new technology, competencies, and best practices. Most CPAs' employment needs now are very different from what they were even ten years ago. The skills and specialties on the CPA Exam must change as the profession does.

Newly certified CPAs need to adjust to these developments in order to satisfy the demands of the accounting profession. More complicated activities and contributions to more complex projects are now expected of CPAs sooner in their accounting careers.

2024 CPA Exam Evolution: Core-Plus-Discipline Model

So how does the suggested CPA Exam model appear? As part of the new CPA license model, applicants must possess expertise in accounting, auditing, and tax, which will continue to be essential requirements. There will be questions about technology in each of the three main parts.

Additionally, CPA candidates will also require a better understanding of one of the three main disciplines listed below:

  • Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR) – a subset of the Accounting core;

  • Information Systems and Controls (ISC) – a subset of the Auditing core, or;

  • Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) – a subset of the Tax core.

The three core portions and one discipline of the CPA Exam must both be passed by candidates. Candidates are not permitted to sit for more than one discipline; they must select one. It is crucial to remember that the discipline passed will not affect the kind of license issued. No matter the chosen field, the new licensure model leads to a single CPA license. 

What Impact Does The CPA Evolution Have On Accounting Education?

The majority of master's programs will train students in one of the three academic fields. Elective courses may be offered to prepare students for the discipline areas at institutions without a Master's program. The CPA Evolution committee has frequent meetings to discuss proposals for the changing accounting curriculum.

CPA Exam CORE Overview

The new CPA Exam presupposes that applicants for the CPA will take the exam after finishing a fundamental academic program with a strong business and accounting-based curriculum. Candidates will acquire the skills necessary to function in the modern corporate environment and satisfy public requirements as a result.

Technology is becoming more and more important to the accounting industry. Therefore, technology will be examined throughout all exam areas of the CPA Exam in 2024, not only as one field.

Business Analysis and Reporting

CPA Applicants should consider the BAR discipline if they are interested in assurance or consulting services, financial statement analysis, and reporting, technical accounting, and financial and operations management. The BAR discipline's curriculum covers subjects like financial risk management and financial planning strategies with a data analytics focus. BAR may also include more complex technical accounting and reporting issues, such as the evaluation of leases and revenue recognition, company mergers, derivatives, and hedge accounting, as well as the financial statements of employee benefit plans.

Information Systems and Controls

The ISC discipline focuses on corporate controls and technology. This discipline is recommended for CPA candidates who are interested in assurance or consulting services pertaining to business processes, information systems, information security and governance, and IT audits. Information system security, including network security, software access, endpoint security, internal control testing, and IT and data governance are the main topics of this discipline's content.

Tax Compliance and Planning

The TCP discipline's emphasis is on advanced individual and entity tax compliance as well as taxation-related issues. Content on gross income inclusions and exclusions, personal financial planning, entity planning, gift tax compliance, and other topics might also be included. Consolidated tax returns, tax difficulties involving many jurisdictions, and business dealings between an entity and its owners may all be covered in an advanced entity tax compliance. Entity planning could also take into account how tax laws apply to the creation and dissolution of commercial entities.

Transition Policy for 2024 Evolution

The equivalent new core part of AUD, FAR, or REG will not be required of candidates who have credit for AUD, FAR, or REG on the existing CPA examination. The three discipline portions are optional for candidates who have credit for BEC on the current CPA exam.

This approach aims to make candidates' transition from sections of the outdated test to the updated exam as simple as feasible.

2024 CPA Exam Structure Changes

The four-section, 16-hour format of the exam is anticipated to stay. To get licensure, applicants must pass all three of the basic sections as well as one of their selected discipline sections of the new 2024 CPA Exam, which will include three core sections and three discipline portions to choose from.

Conclusion

The CPA Exam will switch to a Core-Plus-Discipline Model in 2024, necessitating that candidates have a solid foundation in accounting, auditing, and tax. Additionally, candidates must pass one discipline on the CPA Exam.

Will the 2024 CPA Exam be more difficult than the present exam? There is no way to compare the difficulty of the CPA Exam to the present CPA Exam because they are two entirely distinct exams.