Examination Content Specifications
Effective Upon the Launch of the
Computer-based Uniform CPA Examination
Prepared by the Board of Examiners of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Questions pertaining to this decision paper should be directed to Gregory Johnson, Director, CPA Examination, at (201) 938-3376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 14, 2002
Uniform CPA Examination
Examination Content Specifications
The content of the Uniform CPA Examination is based primarily on the results of periodic studies of public accounting practice and the evaluations of CPA practitioners and educators. The content of each examination section is described in a combination of narrative and outline forms known as “content specifications”. The content specifications provide the framework or “blueprint” for testing knowledge and skills on the Uniform CPA Examination. The AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) has approved and adopted the following content specification outlines (CSOs) for the four sections of the computer-based Uniform CPA Examination: Auditing & Attestation, Financial Accounting & Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment & Concepts.
These revised CSOs become effective upon the launch of the computer-based Uniform CPA Examination (targeted for early 2004), and directly relate to the entry-level knowledge and skills necessary to protect the public interest as identified in the 2000 Practice Analysis of Certified Public Accountants. They also incorporate comments in response to the Exposure Draft Proposed Structure and Content Specifications for the Uniform CPA Examination. The outline portions of the content specifications contained on the following pages identify the technical content to be tested on each of the four sections of the revised Uniform CPA Examination. Each major content area in the outline is preceded by a Roman numeral and is followed by percentages that represent the range of total test points associated with that content area. Examination items will be selected from the content represented by the capital letters and Arabic numerals listed under each Roman numeral. The presence of several groups within an area or several topics within a group does not imply equal importance or weight will be given to these groups or topics on an examination. The outlines list the areas, groups, and topics to be tested:
I. (Roman Numeral) Area
A. (Capital letter) Group
1. (Arabic numeral) Topic
Each outline is followed by information about selected publications that candidates may study to prepare for the Uniform CPA Examination.
Identification of the skills needed by entry-level CPAs was an integral component of the 2000 Practice Analysis. The skills identified as necessary for protection of the public interest include the abilities to communicate, perform research and analyze information, as well as other higherorder skills such as judgment and understanding. Definitions:
Communication is the ability to effectively elicit and/or express information through written or oral means.
Research is the ability to locate and extract relevant information from available resource material.
Analysis is the ability to organize, process, and interpret data to provide options for decisionmaking. Judgment is the ability to evaluate options for decision-making and provide an appropriate conclusion.
Understanding is the ability to recognize and comprehend the meaning and application of a particular matter.
Candidates will be required to demonstrate their ability to apply these skills in each section of the Uniform CPA Examination in the context of the content knowledge. Skills assessments for the revised examination are in the process of being finalized. They will, however, be made using a variety of methods, such as simulations, or relational case studies, which will test candidates’ knowledge and skills using work-related situations....