CPA Examination : The Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination is developed by the AICPA with significant input and assistance by NASBA and state boards of accountancy. It is designed to assess the knowledge and skills entry-level CPAs need to practice public accountancy.
CPA Examination : The CPA Exam is one of the “Three Es” (Education, Examination and Experience), that is required for licensure as a CPA in the U.S. The successful completion of the Uniform CPA Exam is a requirement in all 55 jurisdictions; where Education and Experience requirements may vary for each state or jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions also require an additional exam in ethics in order to obtain a license (sometimes referred to as the fourth “E”).
CPA Examination : A Little brief about CPA Before going into scoring– 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.
Continuing professional education (CPE) is also required to maintain licensure. Individuals who have been awarded the CPA but have lapsed in the fulfillment 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.
CPA Examination : Services provided
The primary functions performed by CPAs relate to assurance services. In assurance services, also known as financial audit services, CPAs attest to the reasonableness of disclosures, the freedom from material misstatement, and the adherence to the applicable generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in financial statements. CPAs can also be employed by corporations—termed “the private sector”—in finance functions such as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or finance manager, or as CEOs subject to their full business knowledge and practice. These CPAs do not provide services directly to the public.
Although some CPA firms serve as business consultants, the consulting role has been under scrutiny following the Enron scandal where Arthur Andersen simultaneously provided audit and consulting services which affected their ability to maintain independence in their audit duties. This incident resulted in many accounting firms divesting in their consulting divisions, but this trend has since reversed. In audit engagements, CPAs are (and have always been) required by professional standards and Federal and State laws to maintain independence (both in fact and in appearance) from the entity for which they are conducting an attestation (audit and review) engagement. However, most individual CPAs who work as consultants do not also work as auditors.
CPAs also have a niche within the income tax return preparation industry. Many small to mid-sized firms have both a tax and an auditing department. Along with attorneys and enrolled agents, CPAs may represent taxpayers in matters before the Internal Revenue Service.
CPA Examination : The scoring information on this page is intended primarily for CPA Examination candidates. It includes a non-technical explanation of the scoring process, candidate performance report information, and scoring FAQs. Psychometrics is the discipline that provides the technical basis for many licensure and certification examinations, including the CPA Examination. The AICPA Technical Reports reflect recent CPA Examination psychometric research.
A non-technical overview of scoring. It is a jargon-free explanation of the scoring process, providing insight into how MST (Multi-Stage Testing) works and including some basic facts about IRT (Item Response Theory).
Important questions about scoring are answered in this set of FAQs, including the fact that the CPA Examination is NOT scored on a curve. The FAQs also provide an explanation of how IRT scoring makes it possible to provide comparable scores for candidates who answered questions of greater or lesser difficulty.
Passing Rates are provided by quarter (testing window) and cumulative passing rates by year for every CPA Examination section. Before reviewing passing rates, it is important to read the information provided in the introductory text.
Score Review and Appeals
Score Release Timeline
View the score release dates for the remainder of 2017. Read the CPA Examination Score Release Timeline FAQ, which are updated quarterly.
Please note: There will be score holds in the Q2, Q3 and Q4 2017 testing windows to allow for a standard setting process associated with the launch of the recently updated Examination in Q2.
The AICPA, NASBA and state boards are aware some candidates testing in the Q2 2017 launch window will be impacted by the 10‐week score reporting hold. With Q2 2017 scores scheduled for release by August 18, 2017, candidates may be unable to retake a failed section in Q3 2017.
NASBA’s National Candidate Database is designed to prohibit expiration of conditional credits until advisory scores are received if candidates take the Examination prior to the date of their score expiration. In June and July, NASBA will notify state boards of all candidates testing in Q2 2017 with existing conditional credit who will be impacted by the score hold. The state boards will consider extending a candidate’s conditional credit. A state board is the only entity with the authority to grant extensions for expiring conditional credit. Extensions of credit are handled on an individual case by case basis.
There is no need to contact your state board of accountancy. State boards of accountancy will notify candidates if an extension is granted.
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