BEC Exam Format

Everything you need to know about the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the CPA Exam 

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BEC Section At-a-Glance

Question Content Breakdown

BEC Content Breakdown

Score Breakdown

bec scoring
4
Hours of Exam Time
(plus 15 min break)
5

Testlets
(2 MCQ/2 TBS/1 WC)

62

Multiple Choice Questions
(50 operational)

4

Task-Based Simulations
(3 operational)

3

Written Comm. Tasks
(2 operational)

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Comprehensive Guide to the BEC Section


CPA Exam BEC Section Content


The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the CPA Exam tests CPA candidates’ understanding of business concepts and the significance of a CPA’s professional duties and responsibilities within the larger context of the business environment. Areas covered on the BEC Exam are corporate governance, economic concepts and analysis, financial management, information systems and communications, strategic planning and operations management. One unique aspect of the BEC exam is that it requires the candidate to prepare and submit three Written Communication responses.

Many CPA candidates consider BEC to be the easiest section of the CPA Exam. However, BEC pass rates have historically been only slightly higher than those for other sections, and the exam still requires a serious study effort.


17-27% Corporate Governance

  • Internal control and enterprise risk management frameworks
  • Other regulatory frameworks and provisions

17-27% Economic Concepts and Analysis

  • Economic and business cycles
  • Market influences on business
  • Financial risk management

11-21% Financial Management

  • Capital structure
  • Working capital
  • Financial valuation methods and decision models

15-25% Information Technology (IT)

  • IT governance
  • Role of IT in business
  • Information security/availability
  • Processing integrity (input/processing/output controls)
  • Systems development and maintenance

15-25% Operations Management

  • Cost measurement concepts, methods and techniques
  • Variance analysis
  • Process management
  • Planning techniques

About the BEC Section Q&A

No, the Roger CPA Review BEC course assumes no prior business experience on the part of the candidate, and our pass rate speaks for itself. Roger CPA Review teaches the material from the ground up, and many of our students report finally being able to ‘get’ tricky subjects such as Cost Accounting after using our course in order to pass the exam.
We estimate approximately 51-68 hours of study are required in order to pass BEC, but each student is unique and has their own time requirements.
The order in which a candidate takes the four sections of the CPA Exam will vary depending on several individual factors, but we normally recommend taking BEC as your last Exam.