The CPA Exam is constantly evolving to reflect industry demands, new laws, and business practices. Here are the most common FAQs we received about the 2019 CPA Exam.
1. What changed on the 2019 CPA Exam?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has been implemented in the Regulation (REG) section of the CPA Exam. Due to the broad revamp of tax rules, it has affected all tax sections and can account for as much as 80% of the REG Exam.
The most affected REG areas are:
• Individual Taxation
• Entity Taxation
• Taxation of Property Transactions
The second biggest change on the 2019 CPA Exam is the highly tested topic, Leases (ASU 2016-02, 2018-01, 2018-10, 2018-11, and IFRS 16). This has influenced the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam.
Some of the major changes include:
• Elimination of “off-balance sheet financing” — Operating leases must now be recognized by the lessee on the balance sheet (except for short-term leases of 12 months or less).
• Capital leases are now called “finance leases.”
• IFRS 16 considers all leases to be finance leases that must be recognized on the balance sheet unless they are either short-term or worth $5,000 or less. In addition, several bright-line tests have been removed, requiring candidates to use more judgment and making the standard slightly more difficult to apply.
• Without changing the scope of the exam, the AICPA is giving more attention to data analytics in the CPA exam by adding it to existing frameworks in AUD and BEC. CPA Candidates will be presented with data analytic outputs and will be asked to examine the data to determine their own conclusions based on that data. In AUD, this use of data analytics will be from the auditor’s point of view and in BEC it will be from management’s point of view.
The 2019 Auditing and Attestation (AUD) Blueprints have added more detail on professional skepticism. Examples of representative tasks related to these revisions are:
• Understanding the concepts of professional skepticism & professional judgment.
• Investigating evidence that contradicts or corroborates management explanations, expectations, and other hypotheses throughout an audit or non-audit engagement.
• Analyzing responses obtained during formal interviews with management and others to ask relevant, effective follow-up questions to understand their perspectives/motivations in an audit or non-audit engagement.
2. When did the 2019 CPA Exam changes go into effect?
Most of the 2019 CPA Exam content updates listed above went into effect on January 1, 2019. Testing on data analytic outputs within existing frameworks (without changing the scope of the exam) will begin July 1, 2019 for AUD and BEC.
3. How is Roger CPA Review addressing the new tax bill congress just passed?
Roger CPA Review has ensured that all REG course materials are aligned with the new tax bill.
4. Is the 2019 version of REG “harder” with the new tax laws? I’m worried about sitting for the CPA Exam in 2019 because of all the REG changes. Are you hearing anything from current students about their experience with the new Exam?
We have received feedback from many of our students that they felt prepared sitting for the REG Exam and that the Exam wasn’t as hard as they expected. We are continually surveying our students to get their feedback about the REG Exam and will share those results with you in an upcoming article. REG’s content updates incorporate the TCJA’s tax law changes and the AICPA Blueprints indicate that more than 60% of the REG Exam focuses on federal taxation, so naturally much of the REG content on the CPA Exam is affected. We’ll know how the changes affected the CPA Exam once we receive the Q1 2019 CPA Exam pass rates. However, we’ve heard from many of our own students that the 2019 CPA Exam is not any harder than in previous years. Just remember that Individual taxation is the hardest hit topic above all else.
5. What order should I take the 2019 CPA Exam?
The order to take the CPA Exam really comes down to personal preference. For example, if you are fresh out of college and had an amazing Audit professor, perhaps you want to start with the AUD Exam to give you a healthy boost of confidence. On the other hand, you may want to start with the most difficult and time-consuming Exam parts so that you can get them out of the way early in the process. But if you’re unsure and looking for guidance, here is Roger CPA Review’s general recommended sequence: FAR, REG or AUD, AUD or REG, BEC.
6. How is Roger CPA Review helping students prepare for the Exam in 2019?
We’re always dedicated to ensuring our students have access to fresh, relevant materials no matter when they plan to sit for the CPA Exam. Our team has worked rigorously to ensure all 2019 course materials are thoroughly updated with all 2019 CPA Exam changes. Plus, with our new SmartPath Predictive Technology™, you’ll be fully prepared for the 2019 CPA Exam through a more focused study experience. See how SmartPath works by taking a Free Trial today!