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CPA Detailed Exam format And Other CPA Exam Details

CPA Detailed Exam format

CPA Detailed Exam format : All details about CPA Exam and about its syllabus. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of qualified accountants in numerous countries in the English-speaking world. In the United States, the CPA is a license to provide accounting services directly to the public. It is awarded by each of the 50 states for practice in that state. Additionally, almost every state (49 out of 50) has passed mobility laws in order to allow practice in their state by CPAs from other states. Although state licensing requirements vary, the minimum standard requirements include the passing of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, 150 semester units of college education, and one year of accounting related experience.

CPA Detailed Exam format

Continuing professional education (CPE) is also required to maintain licensure. Individuals who have been awarded the CPA but have lapsed in the fulfilment of the required CPE or have requested to be converted to inactive status are in many states permitted to use the designation “CPA Inactive” or an equivalent phrase. In most U.S. states, only CPAs are legally able to provide to the public attestation (including auditing) opinions on financial statements. Many CPAs are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and their state CPA society.

State laws vary widely regarding whether a non-CPA is even allowed to use the title accountant. To illustrate, Texas prohibits the use of the designations “accountant” and “auditor” by a person not certified as a Texas CPA, unless that person is a CPA in another state, is a non-resident of Texas, and otherwise meets the requirements for practice in Texas by out-of-state CPA firms and practitioners.



The Auditing & Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG) Exams are similarly formatted. These three exams are composed of 50% Multiple Choice Questions and 50% Task-Based Simulations. The Multiple Choice Questions are broken up into 2 individual testlets: 36 questions per testlet for AUD, 33 questions per testlet for FAR, 38 questions per testlet for REG. The MCQ portion of the exam is followed by three testlets of 2, 3, and then 3Task-Based Simulations (TBS) for AUD, FAR, and REG, for a total of 8 TBSs per exam section.

CPA Detailed Exam format: BEC EXAM FORMAT

50% of the Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) exam is comprised of Multiple Choice Questions. Just like the other 3 exams, the MCQs are broken into 2 individual testlets, with 31 questions in each. The MCQ portion of the exam is followed by two testlets of 2 Task-Based Simulations, for a total of 4 TBSs. Finally, there are 3 Written Communication questions in the final testlet- one of which is pre-tested – that require a written response in a memo format.


Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles; Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Process; Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence; Forming Conclusions and Reporting
Corporate Governance; Economic Concepts and Analysis; Financial Management; Information Technology; Operations Management
Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting, and Financial Reporting; Select Financial Statement Accounts; Select Transactions; State and Local Governments
Ethics, Professional Responsibilities and Federal Tax Procedures; Business Law; Federal Taxation of Property Transactions; Federal Taxation of Individuals; Federal Taxation of Entities

CPA Detailed Exam format: Structure


15-25% Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles

  • Nature and scope of audit engagements and various non-audit engagements
  • Ethics, independence, and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
  • Engagement documentation
  • Communication with management and those charged with governance
  • Quality Control

20-30% Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Responses

  • Planning an engagement
  • Understanding and entity and its environment
  • Understanding and entity’s internal control
  • Identifying and assessing the risk of material misstatement
  • Planning further procedures responsive to identified risks
  • Materiality
  • Planning for and using the work of others
  • Specific areas of engagement risk

30-40% Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence

  • Understanding sufficient appropriate evidence
  • Sampling techniques
  • Performing specific procedures to obtain evidence
  • Specific matters that require special consideration
  • Misstatements and internal control deficiencies
  • Written representations
  • Subsequent events and subsequently discovered facts

15-25% Forming Conclusions and Reporting

  • Reports on auditing engagements
  • Reports on attestation engagements
  • Accounting and review service engagements
  • Reporting on compliance
  • Other reporting considerations

CPA Detailed Exam format


25-35% Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting

  • Conceptual framework and standard-setting
  • General-purpose financial statements: for-profit business entities
  • General-purpose financial statements: nongovernmental, not-for-profit entities
  • Public company reporting topics
  • Financial statements of employee benefits plans
  • Special purpose frameworks

30-40% Select Financial Statement Accounts

  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Trade receivables
  • Inventory
  • Property, plant, and equipment
  • Investments
  • Intangible assets
  • Payables and accrued liabilities
  • Long-term debt
  • Equity
  • Revenue recognition
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Income taxes

20-30% Select Transactions

  • Accounting changes and error corrections
  • Business combinations
  • Contingencies and commitments
  • Derivatives and hedge accounting
  • Foreign currency transactions and translation
  • Leases
  • Nonreciprocal transfers
  • Research and development costs
  • Software costs
  • Subsequent events
  • Fair value measurements
  • Differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP

5-15% State and Local Governments

  • State and local government concepts
  • Format and content of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
  • Deriving government-wide financial statements and reconciliation requirements
  • Typical items and specific types of transactions and events in governmental entity financial statements

CPA Detailed Exam format

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