Who Actually Writes the CPA Exam? Seriously, Who?

Have you been studying for the grueling CPA Exam, pouring through the exciting topics of amortization of bonds and tax credits while burning the midnight oil? Has studying for this exam become your sole purpose for breathing lately? Or are you finishing up college, considering a career as a Certified Public Accountant and heard all the scary boogeyman stories about the CPA Exam? Have you wondered just who is behind this crazy test? Who was it that put the fear right into your bloodstream when you think of this test? Who’s behind the curtain??

Here’s the answer: The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Who is the AICPA?

And now that we’ve opened Pandora’s Box…who is/are The American Institute of CPAs? Well, let’s get to them in a second. Let’s first make sure we all have a grasp on the CPA Exam and what it’s for.

In full, the exam is called The Uniform CPA Examination and it protects the public interest by helping to ensure that only qualified individuals become licensed as U.S. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). It is the only licensed qualification in the world of accounting and any who seek to become a CPA must take the exam.

Alright, so it’s here to protect everyone and ensure everyone who becomes a CPA is legit and trustworthy in the capacity of a public accountant. Nobody’s getting ripped off by a CPA.

Now on to the organization that writes this extremely hard yet very important and beneficial to the public exam, the AICPA.

Again, Who is the AICPA?

The AICPA was founded in 1887. So they’ve got some pretty decent street cred. According to them, they’re here to represent both the CPA profession and the public interest. They advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups, and other professional organizations; they develop the standards for audits of private companies; they help guide their members towards accomplishing their educational goals; they police the profession’s technical and ethical standards; and they develop, write, and grade the Uniform CPA Examination.

Since the AICPA represents the public interest, they make it really hard to gain entrance to the kingdom Click To Tweet

The AICPA is basically the grand champion of all CPAs and their leader. They hold the keys to the kingdom and make sure that everyone plays nice while in the kingdom. Since they also represent the public interest, they make it really hard to gain entrance to the kingdom. But not in a manner that is unfair. The test is not designed to trick you by any means, it’s just to ensure that your dedication and resolve are absolute. This is how they maintain their authority in the sphere in the public’s eye. It’s how they make sure the public trust CPAs.

I Heard the Test is Changed…

So the test is structured in a way that will test not only your knowledge, but also your ability to evaluate and apply that knowledge in a scrupulously ethical, professional, and expert manner. And as of 2017, the changes in the CPA Exam have shifted even more towards higher level thinking instead of memorization of facts and processes.

They’ve altered the test to keep up with the ever-changing times. As the world becomes more and more automated, CPAs won’t be bogged down by the more menial and mundane tasks of their forebearers. Robots will do all the heavy lifting, and while we all try to avoid a Skynet scenario, we’ll be responsible more for managing, evaluating, and guiding our robotic servants and less needed for crunching numbers and knowing detailed specifics on tax law. The future is here and it’s going to be great! Hopefully…

So the test went through a major overhaul through the loving hands of the many CPAs of the AICPA. They updated the format, increased the length of time for two of the sections, added elements to one that’s been long missing, and placed more importance on those higher order skills. And they’ve made the test more nimble and able to evolve faster than ever before. Instead of sweeping changes made with many years in between, the exam will incrementally change every year to allow for a more fluid evolution that won’t be so jarring for those of you who have to adapt and change to the demands of the overlords. It’s a good thing, we swear.

Let Me In!

And when you finally pass the CPA Exam, you’ll be admitted into this kingdom of shining knights of the world of accounting. Well, after you receive your license that is, because you’ll need to that after you pass the exam. But let’s go over that in another post. No need to fret about that now. You’ll be glad to know that it’s not nearly the task as is signing up for, taking, and passing the exam.

After you pass the CPA, you’ll be admitted into the AICPA, a kingdom of shining knights of the world of accounting Click To Tweet
Duke

Duke

Lead Content Writer

Duke is a professional writer with a penchant for the world of finance and accounting. He enjoys rock climbing, free diving, and cooking.

Favorite Quote: "You can never have too many knives."

2 Comments

  1. Bablofil

    Thanks, great article.

    Reply
  2. Tiffany Moore

    Great article! Very helpful.

    Reply

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