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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.

Categories: CPA Exam, MNCPA Tags:

My Review of Pricing Books

December 22nd, 2010 Comments off

The concept of pricing and using it strategically has caught my fancy of late.  Enough that I read four books on the subject while on vacation in August and wrote up my analysis for the current issue of the MNCPA Footnote.  See my thoughts online at this link: A CPAs review of pricing books.

Categories: Blocher Ch 13, MNCPA Tags: ,

2010 Management & Business Advisers Conference

April 26th, 2010 Comments off

I realize that the very nature of this blog is that its primary audience is the students I have during the current semester.  So at the risk of repeating myself to the few of you that have stuck around from a year ago, I am once again posting about the MNCPA Management & Business Advisers Conference.

My post from last year still sums up the benefits of this great forum quite nicely, but this year I’m on the conference task force so I’m even more motivated to convince you to attend!  Thankfully, the schedule of sessions and speakers this year is probably the strongest it has ever been so my job is easy.

The MBAC kicks off this year with Harry Markopolos, the Bernie Madoff whistleblower, in a session that is sure to be remembered for some time. Markopolos will be signing copies of his book, No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller, after his session.

Former Medtronic CEO, Bill George, discusses his new book 7 lessons for Leading in Crisis to begin the 2nd day.  And reminiscent of Frank Abagnale (of Catch Me If You Can fame) from a few years ago, Mark Whitacre discusses ethics as framed by his conviction of fraud while blowing the whistle on price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland Company to end the conference.

Sprinkled between this giant bookends of nationally known figures is quality management and financial CPE that is hard to find elsewhere.  Conference favorite Tommy Maddox will be presenting several technology sessions, Toby Madden of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will be back this year to discuss the current state of the economy, and many other fine speakers will speak on other great topics from cash flows to human resources to personal development.

Plus, if you are interested an accounting career you will rarely find a more diverse and connected group of CPAs in industry as you will find at this gathering.  I’ve seen people set up job interviews during lunch with people they have just met at their table and I’ve made and renewed connections with people in many industries while attending MBAC in years past.

So what does all this cost?  Hundreds of dollars?  Yes, it is $400-$500 for “regular” attendees. But student members of the MNCPA get to attend this great conference for FREE!  Yes, really!  And student membership still costs only $26/year and comes with many other benefits that just as great.  So if you are on the path to become a CPA you owe it to yourself to take advantage of this great opportunity to attend this great conference for next to nothing.

Did I mention lunch is included both days?!

The Route to Passing the Exam

February 24th, 2010 Comments off

Footnote article: The Route to Passing the Exam.

If the CPA Exam is in your future, the MNCPA has published a great article (link above) in this month’s Footnote that you will want to check out.  You should be especially aware that the exam is undergoing major changes in terms of content and delivery in January 2011.

Starting Jan. 1, 2011, the CPA Exam will undergo significant changes. The current CPA exam integrates global business concepts in all four sections. After Jan. 1, 2011, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will be tested on the exam, primarily in the FAR section. International auditing standards (IAS) will be tested primarily in the AUD section. Global business concepts will continue to be tested in all four sections. Many of your staffaccountants will be facing CPA exam questions on this content without ever completing formal study of IFRS or IAS. Most colleges are just now offering a stand-alone IFRS course or are integrating IFRS with their existing classes to some extent. CPA review providers will be especially useful in providing exam candidates with appropriate study materials that will ensure that they are prepared with the right knowledge on exam day.

In addition, the new CPA Exam will test operations management in the BEC section of the exam. Candidates will need to have an entry-level knowledge of performance management, cost measurement methods and techniques, process management, and project management. As with IFRS, many candidates will not have formally studied operations management.

At the end of the article the MNCPA offers other links about the exam including significant review course discounts to members (consider an inexpensive Student Membership to take advantage of these).

The New CPA Examination

December 20th, 2009 Comments off

logo_big_litWe are only a year away from significant changes to the CPA Exam.  There may be, therefore, an increased urgency to complete remaining examination components prior to the switch at the beginning of 2011 by those educated under the “old” guidelines.  At the very least, you should be aware of the changes so that if any portion of your CPA Exam experience overlaps with the new format you will be prepared.

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants has done a nice job summarizing the changes.  In short, the major changes include:

  • Inclusion of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in exam content.
  • FASB codification references will be used in place of traditional authoritative references.
  • Enhanced technology will be used as the computerized exam continues to evolve.

Get more information at the MNCPA website:

Categories: CPA Exam, MNCPA Tags: , ,