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State Board Report

October 2014

To prepare for the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination to be launched in 2017, the AICPA Board of Examiners has kicked off its practice analysis to ensure the examination remains relevant to the profession. On September 2 the BOE released its “Invitation to Comment: Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination,” with a response period ending on December 2, 2014. The paper covers the preliminary findings of the BOE’s initial research and asks for comments that will influence the design of the Examination. Possible changes to the Uniform CPA Examination include examination length, types of questions, number and structure of test sections, testing fees and score reporting timelines.

In November 2014 the BOE will be sending out a survey to thousands of randomly selected newly licensed CPAs and direct supervisors of newly licensed CPAs to further develop the test blueprint. A final proposal for the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination is expected to be released for comment in August 2015, with the response period continuing until October 2015.

Based on input from 17 focus groups, the BOE has concluded that “increased testing of higher-order skills – through tasks such as writing, research, and calculations – is needed to continue protecting the public interest.”

Respondents to the Invitation are being asked if this may call for testing higher-level skills through simulations. They are also being asked if there should be an integrative section of the Examination that would include questions blending elements of taxation, auditing and financial accounting and reporting. Should these changes be made if they increase the cost of the Examination or if they require increased time to report scores?

NASBA’s CBT Administration Committee is developing a response in consultation with the Executive Directors Committee and Education Committee. All Boards are asked to study the invitation and then to either send their comments to NASBA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Colleen Conrad, who is coordinating the NASBA response, or to submit a copy of their electronic responses to the paper to Ms. Conrad. The paper can be found on the AICPA website.

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