Everyone who has taken the exam or is yet to appear for the exam would agree that the four different sections of the US CPA test a candidate’s in-depth knowledge of the various industry-relevant aspects of accounting. You may find some sections on the exam more challenging than others, depending on your interests, areas of expertise, or career plan, regardless of which you must score a minimum of 75 on every section.
Passing the exam means you have been exposed to a broad range of accounting topics and that you have reached a reasonable level of proficiency with the same. Accountants tend to focus on/specialize in certain areas as their career matures. It seems the goal of the exam is to prove one’s competency within the four most common areas of work an accountant could find himself in. The breadth of the syllabus on the CPA exam makes it necessary to break it up into manageable parts. The Uniform CPA exam consists of 4 separate sections that a candidate can take in an eighteen-month window. Essentially, each section of the Uniform CPA examination is a 4-hour test covering a different subset of topics and concepts. While specific test questions may change, the exam is always divided into the same four sections of accounting knowledge:
Auditing & Attestation :
This section mainly focuses on all aspects of auditing. This section tests the examinee’s ability to handle the professional tasks of a CPA and how they would further apply in real-life scenarios. It comprises compilations and attestation engagements to maintain a professional code of conduct during the audit process. You will have to give a demonstration of their awareness level with regards to International Auditing and their standards.
It tests your knowledge of the audit process, AICPA professional code of conduct, compilations, reviews, and attest engagements.
Financial Accounting & Reporting :
FAR covers the most information of all the exam sections. It tackles all the topics of financial accounting and reporting. The topics include the FASB framework, financial statement preparation, US GAAP rules, and IFRS rules and compilation, evaluation, and analysis of financial statements, execution of calculations, and identification of various financial and reporting methods.
Business Environment & Concepts:
It is considered as one of the most challenging exams because of its extensive material and the fact that it deals with business and economic concepts like macro and microeconomics, cost accounting, management, and information systems and making financial decisions, forecasting trends in the market, and understanding the internet's implication in business.
REG is the only exam that doesn’t cover accounting topics explicitly. This section focuses on business and individual taxation, business law, and ethics. The section comprises a combination of federal taxation and business law. It tests your tax concepts related to personal, partnership, and corporate, your capability to understand legal responsibilities and tax implication, and its various uses in business entities.
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