In the United States, every single Certified Public Accountant is required to pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The lengthy and strenuous test seeks to insure that only qualified and knowledgeable individuals are chosen to receive their certification and go out into the public space and serve real customers. The test has been administered for over twenty years but even nowadays, it remains up to date and makes sure to remain both a hurdle and a goal for those aspiring to become CPA’s.
Not only is the test itself difficult but the road leading to it shouldn’t be taken lightly either. In order for an applicant to even qualify to sit for the exam itself, he/she must be deemed eligible by their state’s board of accountancy, of which there are 55 in the country. Even though each state has their own requirements, the general baseline across the nation requires a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting and an additional year of study. After a candidate receives eligibility, they must pay between $550 and $850 in fees (varying by state) and apply for a time to begin their exam.
After much restructuring and utilizing today’s computer technology, the exam itself has been cut down to only 14 hours, shortened considerably from the previous length of 19.5. Within the 14 hours, the candidate is tested on four general areas of accounting knowledge, along with more basic things like ability to use word processors and spreadsheets. In general terms though, the four categories are as follows: Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environments and Concepts. In order to pass each of the four parts a high quality review like Roger CPA, CPA Excel or Fast Forward Academy is essential. (You can get a great deal on the courses here, Roger CPA discount and Fast Forward Academy discount code) These four categories aim to cover every single aspect a candidate may face on the job and makes sure they have the skills necessary to handle it appropriately, not to mention legally.
According to the AICPA’s own data, only ~50% of applicants pass their test and go on to be CPA’s. The exam puts every applicant through there paces and makes sure they’re the right ones to have their CPA license and the right ones to be out on the job.