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FAR Exam Format

Everything you need to know about the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam 

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FAR Section At-a-Glance

Question Content Breakdown

FAR Content Breakdown

Score Breakdown

tb vs mcq blue-orange
4
Hours of Exam Time
(plus 15 min break)
5
Testlets
(2 MCQ & 3 TBS)
66

Multiple Choice Questions
(54 operational)

8
Task-Based Simulations
(7 operational)
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Comprehensive Guide to the FAR Section


CPA Exam FAR Section Content


The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam is arguably the most difficult, longest and by far the most comprehensive section of the exam. As laid out in the AICPA Blueprints, FAR requires that CPA candidates have a strong knowledge of US GAAP, including concepts and standards for financial statements, typical items in financial statements, specific types of transactions and events, accounting and reporting for governmental entities, and accounting and reporting for nongovernmental and not-for-profit organizations.

25-35% Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting

  • Conceptual framework and standard-setting
  • General-purpose financial statements: for-profit business entities
  • General-purpose financial statements: nongovernmental, not-for-profit entities
  • Public company reporting topics
  • Financial statements of employee benefit plans
  • Special purpose frameworks

30-40% Select Financial Statement Accounts

  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Trade receivables
  • Inventory
  • Property, plant and equipment
  • Investments
  • Intangible assets
  • Payables and accrued liabilities
  • Long-term debt
  • Equity
  • Revenue recognition
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Income taxes

20-30% Select Transactions

  • Accounting changes and error corrections
  • Business combinations
  • Contingencies and commitments
  • Derivatives and hedge accounting
  • Foreign currency transactions and translation
  • Leases
  • Nonreciprocal transfers
  • Research and development costs
  • Software costs
  • Subsequent events
  • Fair value measurements
  • Differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP

5-15% State and Local Governments

  • State and local government concepts
  • Format and content of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
  • Deriving government-wide financial statements and reconciliation requirements
  • Typical items and specific types of transactions and events in governmental entity financial statements


About the FAR Section Q&A

No, the Roger CPA Review FAR course assumes no prior financial accounting experience on the part of the candidate, and our pass rate speaks for itself. We teach the material from the ground up, and many of our students report finally being able to ‘get’ tricky subjects such as lease accounting after using our course in order to pass the exam.

We estimate approximately 123-164 hours of study are required in order to pass FAR, 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 generally recommend taking FAR first for a few reasons:

  1. FAR requires the longest study lead time, which will not count against your 18-month window if it is your first exam
  2. FAR is the only section with material that overlaps all three other sections
  3. FAR is arguably the most difficult section, offering a great opportunity to set the tone for your studies of the other three sections