Foundational Competencies For Aspiring CPAs

AICPA Foundational Competencies Framework for Aspiring CPAs

The AICPA Foundational Competencies Framework for Aspiring CPAs [“Framework”] is a resource that educators can utilize to develop or revise curricula to support the development of a set of competencies aimed at helping students acquire the knowledge and develop the talents that will lead them to personal success in the accounting profession.


The Framework focuses on competencies and is not structured around traditional subject or content areas or accounting services. A competencies-based curriculum versus a knowledge-based curriculum is advocated because the body of knowledge and the accounting profession change so rapidly. Although knowledge requirements will change with time, the foundational set of competencies identified by the Framework will have long-term value and will support a variety of career opportunities for the future CPA.


This Framework, when used in conjunction with the AICPA CPA Exam Blueprint (see 2021 and proposed 2024), should provide accounting educators supporting students on the CPA pathway essential tools to assist in choosing the curricula used in their classrooms. The Framework can also assist accounting programs in their Assurance of Learning assessments for accreditation purposes.


Your feedback and your questions are welcomed! Please send any comments or questions to academics@aicpa.org.

Volunteer Opportunities

This Framework will be updated to link to resources in the Academic Resource Database (ARD). Further, additional resources will be curated and developed and will be posted to the ARD and linked to from the competencies. It is our belief that these resources will assist you in incorporating the competencies into your course and will help your students graduate with the needed competencies for an aspiring CPA.


If you are interested in expanding on the resources presented on this page, a working group is being formed in January 2023 to help with tagging of existing resources; developing resources; curating resources from other providers; etc. Please submit a response to the Resource Provider and Reviewer Survey and email our Academic in Residence, Jan Taylor, at jan.taylor-morris@aicpa-cima.com to volunteer!