Archive for the ‘CPA Exam’ Category

Chartered Global Management Accountant credential announced

May 23rd, 2011 Comments off

The American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) announced today that its governing body has approved a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to manage a new accounting credential aimed at management accountants worldwide.  This accounting credential will be known as CGMA and stands for Chartered Global Management Accountant.  Certain members of both organizations will automatically be eligible for the new credential beginning in 2012 and there will eventually be paths to gain the credential for others as well.

“This is truly an historic moment for management accounting and the accounting profession worldwide,” AICPA Chairman Paul Stahlin said.  “Our joint venture with CIMA creates long-term strategic value for our members and literally opens up the world for U.S. CPAs in management accounting.”

CIMA President George Glass said: “We are delighted that management accountancy is to be given a strong new global impetus by this joint venture. This advances our strategic aims and will ensure management accountants, committed to strict ethical standards, will receive world-class support in a fast-globalizing world.”

CIMA is the largest professional body in the world focused exclusively on management accounting and the AICPA is the world’s largest professional accounting organization with members in a wide range of accounting and financial executive roles. Together, the new venture will cover more than 550,000 members and students worldwide.

Given that the Institute of Management Accountants in the United States already offers the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) credential, it is at least a bit interesting that CIMA chose the AICPA as their American partner.  Is the CMA credential headed for extinction? Hard to say at this point.  It may take a while for things to shake out and in the end both credentials may be held in high esteem.  Time will tell…

More information:

How the CPA Exam Is Scored

April 27th, 2011 Comments off

Those of you sitting for the CPA Exam in the near future will find it interesting to read how the CPA Exam is scored.  In this Journal of Accountancy article, you’ll learn more than you ever thought possible.  I know I did!

Read more at: How the CPA Exam Is Scored.

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More on CPA exam changes

February 8th, 2011 Comments off

The February/March issue of the MNCPA magazine, Footnote, contains a brief article about the CPA Exam changes that started in January.  We aren’t quite to the point of getting people as whipped up as when calculators were first allowed, but it sure seems like we might be heading in that direction.  The bottom line remains that this exam is very challenging (some might say grueling) but anything worth having generally is.

Read more at this link: Staff and managers: Beware of significant CPA exam changes.

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2011 CPA Exam Changes

January 28th, 2011 Comments off

If you are looking toward the future and that future includes sitting for the CPA Exam, check out the video at the link below that highlights the changes to the Exam for 2011.

Categories: CPA Exam, Journal of Accountancy Tags:

CPA Exam Passing Rates

September 23rd, 2010 Comments off

I’ve posted infrequently about the passing rates on the CPA Exam in the past but happened to stumble upon some links I wanted to share with more current information.  The passing rate on each part continues to hover around 50% as we near 2011 when the exam format and content will change.  There is some thought that scores in 2011 will be lower than they are now although I wonder if some candidates in the last half of 2010 are rushing to complete the exam when they should be studying so maybe the score dip will happen pre-2011.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  For now, though, hear are links to the most recent statistics regarding CPA Exam passing rates:




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The Path to CFO: Is the CMA Credential Just as Important as the CPA?

September 21st, 2010 Comments off
SHARP EL-2135 Twin Power Calculator - Soft Box

Photo credit: Youssef Abdelaal on flickr

The Path to CFO: Is the CMA Credential Just as Important as the CPA? « Going Concern: Accounting News for Accountants & CFOs.

There are some interesting points in the post made at the link above.  Rather than contrast the CPA and CMA credentials with the idea of promoting one or the other, there are arguments about the two credentials actually supplementing each other.

I have a feeling the IMA would be more successful if they marketed the CMA credential better, but is it in their best interest to promote the credential as an “add-on” to the CPA?  I think they would then likely alienate many of their current CMAs that only have that credential.

As a CPA who has, at times, thought about taking the CMA Exam, I just have never seen the value in earning it and I haven’t been willing to spend the money in exam fees and ongoing IMA dues to make it worth my while.

This Way To CPA : AICPA

September 14th, 2010 1 comment

The AICPA has launched a new website specifically for college students to explore the CPA credential.  If any of you are considering taking the CPA Exam, take advantage of the resources found on this site.

Welcome : This Way To CPA : AICPA.

Also, you might want to consider forming a team to compete in the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition.  Details on that are available by clicking here.

Guide to New CPA Exam Released

September 7th, 2010 1 comment

The AICPA Examinations team has released a guide to the revamped CPA Exam that will be used starting in 2011.  There are major changes coming to the Exam, so if you are a current or future candidate you should check out this resource including its many links for more information.

Link to the PDF guide:

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Lack of CPA Credential Hurts Job Seeker

August 11th, 2010 Comments off

In our entire lives, many of us have never seen times with high unemployment like we are seeing today.  The number of people unemployed or under-employed is as high as 35% according to some estimates that I’ve read.  With that kind of competition, any advantage one can find to stand out from the rest of the applicants can be huge.

The Wall Street Journal had a piece a couple days ago that looked at stories of real people that have struggled to find work after being the definition of “successful” for many years.  Paul Hansen was laid off as vice president and director of accounting after 23 years with Hensley Beverage Company.  He was making $90,000/year and probably would make an excellent employee in a similar capacity elsewhere. The problem is that many jobs aren’t even a possibility for him because he lacks a credential, such as CPA, to even get his foot in the door.

Mr. Hansen suspects his lack of a Certified Public Accountant credential hurt him with prospective employers. Promotions within Hensley, the only place he had ever worked as an adult, gave him a false sense of security that he would never need the CPA, he says.

So if you are considering at all pursuing the CMA or CPA credential, I offer you this example of where it could have helped one person in his job search.  Is it a guarantee of lifetime employment?  Of course not.  But there are certain jobs that require one of these just as a minimum qualification.  If your ultimate career-goal isn’t an accounting role, check out credentials that may be available to you in other fields…the more you do to differentiate yourself (think of y yourself as a product) from the rest of the crowd the more opportunities you will have to choose from.

Read more about Paul Hansen and several other job seekers at:

The U.S. Job Market: Faces — and Fates — of the Jobless. Anonymous. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Aug 9, 2010. pg. A.6

IFRS is Coming to the CPA Exam in 2011

May 6th, 2010 Comments off

As I previously posted, the CPA Exam is going to be changing in several ways next year but possibly the biggest item of note will be the inclusion of questions based on IFRS.  IFRS stands for International Financial Reporting Standards and has yet to be adopted in the United States though various timelines and convergence schemes have been proposed in recent year.

As a practitioner, I can tell you that very few of my colleagues have much IFRS knowledge and I suspect that the same can be said for most accounting students.  That could spell trouble for those you that will be among the first to sit for the new exam starting next year.

There is kind of a chicken/egg thing playing out where textbook publishers and schools are awaiting more clarity before adopting widespread IFRS curriculum, not to mention the fact that faculty will need to be brought up to speed on these things before they can teach it to students.

IFRS will only add to the test anxiety CPA candidates face when preparing for the exam.  It will be interesting to see how many people try to take the exam before the content changes and how the pass rates are affected once the changes go into effect.

The Journal of Accountancy prepared a 10-question self-test of some IFRS concepts and put them on their website.  See the link below and take a stab at these to see how much (or how little) you know about IFRS:

Test Your Knowledge of International Standards.