What is CPA Evolution?
If you plan to take the CPA Exam in 2024 or later, make sure you’re familiar with the CPA Evolution initiative.
It’s never been a more exciting time to pursue the CPA license. The role of today’s CPA has evolved, and newly licensed CPAs are taking on new responsibilities that were traditionally assigned to more experienced staff. Becoming a CPA means you’ll need deeper skill sets, more competencies and a greater knowledge of emerging technologies. That’s why the CPA licensure model is changing.
The CPA Evolution initiative aims to transform the CPA licensure model to recognize the rapidly changing skills and competencies the practice of accounting requires today and will require in the future. It is a joint effort of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
CPA Profile: Hear one recent graduate’s thoughts on the value of the CPA and the impact the CPA Evolution initiative will have on accounting students.
New Model for CPA Licensure; Expected to Launch in 2024
The new model is a core + disciplines licensure model. The model starts with a deep and strong core in accounting, auditing, tax and technology that all candidates would be required to complete. Then, each candidate would choose a discipline in which to demonstrate deeper skills and knowledge. Regardless of chosen discipline, this model leads to full CPA licensure, with rights and privileges consistent with any other CPA. A discipline selected for testing would not mean the CPA is limited to that practice area.
- This model:
- Will provide students with the growing skills necessary to perform high-quality work, meeting the needs of organizations, firms and the public.
- Will enhance public protection by producing candidates who have the deep knowledge necessary to perform high-quality work, meeting the needs of organizations, firms and the public.
- Is responsive to feedback, as it builds accounting, auditing, tax and technology knowledge requirements into a robust common core.
- Reflects the realities of practice, requiring deeper proven knowledge in one of three disciplines that are pillars of the profession.
- Is adaptive and flexible, helping to future-proof the CPA as the profession continues to evolve.
- Results in one CPA license.
Who will this impact?
Aspiring CPAs who are college sophomores and freshmen now will be among the first to take the overhauled version of the Uniform CPA Examination when it launches in 2024. However, if you’ve already started the CPA licensure process by then, don’t worry. Current CPA candidates will be able to sit for the current CPA Exam until the launch of the new Exam. In February 2022, NASBA announced the transition policy for candidates who have started, but not completed, the CPA Exam process by January 2024.
If you have not passed AUD, FAR or REG on the current CPA Exam, you will need to take the corresponding new core section of AUD, FAR or REG on the 2024 CPA Exam. If you have not passed BEC on the current CPA Exam, you will need to take ANY of the three discipline sections. (Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).
If, however, a candidate loses credit for AUD, FAR or REG after December 31, 2023, they then must take the corresponding new Core section of AUD, FAR or REG. A candidate who loses credit for BEC after December 31, 2023, must select one of the three Discipline sections to be tested. It is important to note that none of the sections of the current CPA Exam will be available for testing after December 31, 2023. There is a hard cutover from the current CPA Exam sections to the 2024 CPA Exam sections on the January 2024 launch.
For more information about the proposed model for CPA licensure, visit EvolutionofCPA.org.