Why the 2017 CPA Exam Changes are Making CPA Exam Resources in the Classroom More Important Than Ever

Ask any accounting student what their biggest fear about becoming a CPA is, and a majority of them will say the CPA Exam. This certainly is no surprise considering its reputation: a four-part grueling test that seems impossible to pass, and will forever be the monster hiding underneath the CPA Exam candidate’s bed. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case—and actually isn’t the case for many students who already have professors incorporating CPA Exam related content into their accounting curriculum.

This early exposure is important not only because it better prepares students for exam success after graduation, but also informs the success of our next generation of CPAs. The 2017 CPA Exam will be testing higher order skills in order to ensure that newly licensed CPAs are performing at more advanced levels earlier on in their careers.  This increases the challenge for students to not only master the CPA Exam content but also how it will be tested.  The need for campuses to provide earlier exposure to the CPA Exam with the in the classroom is now more important than ever.   

Colleges and universities that use CPA Exam review as a supplement to their curriculum do so because they are well aware of the benefits for their students, such as: 

  1. Exposure to real CPA Exam questions
  2. Ease fears and provide encouragement as they perform well
  3. Stronger grasp on the realities needed to succeed on the CPA Exam
  4. Better prepared for exam success immediately following graduation 

For students who are already thinking about becoming CPAs,

This early exposure is a direct correlation to higher achievement and success on the exam soon after they graduate. And for students who were originally not thinking about becoming CPAs due to intimidation by the exam, hands on interaction and early education about the exam can break down any pre or misconceptions they have, redirecting their career path back to CPA licensure. 

More importantly, by providing students with early education to the CPA Exam as well as familiarity with its content and structure…

Professors are able to bridge the gap between academic theory and CPA Exam application for subjects commonly taught in financial, tax, cost accounting, and more. This is largely advantageous for students who gain their foundational knowledge from their class curriculum, and then reinforce it with what they can expect to see about that topic on the CPA Exam and how heavily it is tested. 

But with the 2017 CPA Exam changes on the horizon, we can see that exposure to current CPA Exam content  in the classroom is now more important than ever.

Research for this next version of the exam tells us that firms and organizations are seeing a lack of preparedness in job functionality from newly licensed CPAs. As the industry adapts to technological advances and processes that are making the profession evolve, there comes with it a developing need for newly licensed CPAs to perform more advanced job roles sooner upon hire. The 2017 CPA Exam’s testing of higher order skills and new Task-Based Simulation measuring candidates’ abilities to manage electronic documents reflects the higher level critical thinking and analysis skills that newly licensed CPAs are expected to have and readily execute. 

Therefore, in addition to preparing students for earlier and better success on the exam, classroom curriculum including CPA Review resources is now going to be equally, if not more important, for preparing students for their job roles as actual CPAs.

As professors continue to give students early education and exposure to the CPA Exam, they essentially work in tandem with the 2017 CPA Exam changes’ main purpose, which is to further students’ application of their accounting knowledge to real world/life situations that prepare them for job functionality.  In order to ensure that our future generation of CPAs are well equipped to be at the forefront of financial integrity, we must realize that interacting with the CPA Exam cannot wait until after graduation but in fact must begin day one of their first Accounting Course.  

Download our free 2017 CPA Exam Changes eBook to learn more about the next version of the CPA Exam. 

–Charlotte Roberts, Vice President of eLearning at Roger CPA Review