ChatGPT's Unexpected Failure

Analyzing Its Performance in the CPA Exam

 Analyzing Its Performance in the CPA Exam ChatGPT, a well-known AI chatbot created by OpenAI, has wowed the globe with its capacity to excel in a variety of examinations and tests. From the Wharton MBA examination to the bar exam, ChatGPT has demonstrated outstanding abilities.

A recent experiment undertaken by Accounting Today in partnership with Surgent CPA Review, however, demonstrated unexpected results. ChatGPT failed to fulfill expectations when subjected to a modeling CPA exam, raising concerns about its competency in certain areas of knowledge.

The Experiment and Results

The experiment was conducted in the Arizent headquarters in New York City's financial center, with two laptop computers running a ChatGPT 3.5 Pro account. The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) and Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) portions were handled by one laptop, while the Regulation (REG) and Auditing and Attestation (AUD) sections were handled by the other. Unfortunately, ChatGPT's performance fell short in all four areas, with the following scores: 

REG: 39%, AUD: 46%, FAR: 35%, and BEC: 48%.

Limitations of ChatGPT

While ChatGPT has demonstrated efficiency in a number of tests, including the US bar exam, its challenges in the CPA exam highlight its limits. The chatbot, in particular, need assistance with tests containing complicated concepts in mathematics. This raises questions about its potential to replace professionals in real-world circumstances.

Question Types and Performance

The sort of questions answered has a significant impact on the success of ChatGPT. The chatbot performed better with basic yes or no queries, replying properly in around 68.7% of situations. 

Multiple-choice questions gave similar findings, with a success rate of roughly 59.5%. However, when confronted with queries requiring short-form replies, ChatGPT's performance could have been improved.

The Development Stage

It's important to remember that ChatGPT is currently in its early phases of development. While it has demonstrated promise in some areas, students and professionals continue to surpass the chatbot in others. 

The existing constraints imply that ChatGPT may be ready to take on professional tasks in the near future. However, future technological breakthroughs and updates have the potential to lead ChatGPT to the next level of proficiency.

Implications for AI Technology

The recent failure of ChatGPT in the CPA examination underscores the complexities of gauging the capabilities of AI technologies. While it excelled in language analysis and some exams, it fell short in high-level math exams. 

The experiment serves as a reminder that AI technology is always changing and requires additional improvement and development to match the competence of human experts. In the context of the upcoming CPA exam changes in 2024, these insights gained from this experience will be crucial in enhancing ChatGPT's capabilities and ensuring it stays up-to-date with the evolving requirements of the exam. This continual progress paves the way for future advances in artificial intelligence, empowering aspiring CPAs to confidently rely on AI-powered tools for exam preparation and professional development.

Ethical Considerations

The initiative highlights ethical concerns about the use of artificial intelligence technologies in crucial professional fields. While artificial intelligence chatbots such as ChatGPT have the potential to expedite operations and improve human abilities, their limits must be addressed. 

In complicated areas such as accounting and finance, the accuracy and dependability of AI technology are critical, and further research and development is required to verify their applicability.

The Role of Human Professionals

ChatGPT's CPA test performance emphasizes the importance of human professionals in specific industries. 

While AI technology advances, it is critical to acknowledge the skill, experience, and judgment that human experts offer. Collaborations between AI technology and human professionals can use both of their strengths, resulting in more productive and dependable outputs.

Future Prospects

Despite its recent defeat in the CPA test, ChatGPT remains a fantastic AI chatbot with tremendous potential. The experiment emphasizes the importance of continual research and development to improve its capabilities, particularly in fields demanding mathematical abilities. 

As technology advances, it is possible that future iterations of ChatGPT and related AI chatbots will fill in the gap between human knowledge and machine intelligence, clearing the stage for intriguing possibilities in a variety of fields.

Key Findings

  1. The outcomes of the experiment also highlight the significance of comprehensive training and specialization for accounting and finance professionals, as such examinations demand an in-depth knowledge of complicated principles and rules.

  1. While ChatGPT's CPA test result was unsatisfactory, it served as a significant learning experience for developers and clients, promoting more study and progress in AI technologies.

  2. When analyzing the capabilities of AI chatbots like ChatGPT, it is critical to retain a balanced view, recognizing their potential in specific areas while also understanding the need for constant enhancement to address their limits.

  3. The failure of ChatGPT on the CPA exam highlights the need for human judgment, critical thinking, and understanding of context, all of which are difficult to recreate in AI algorithms alone.

  4. As AI technology advances, collaboration between artificial intelligence (AI) systems and human experts can result in synergistic outcomes, using both qualities to achieve greater accuracy and performance.


The surprising failure of ChatGPT in the CPA examination has spurred debate regarding the potential and limitations of AI chatbots. While it has achieved remarkable results in other tests, its difficulty with the intricate structure of the CPA exam illustrates the difficulties in reproducing human abilities.