We only have about a month left in the MAcc program, and so many of my peers are studying for the CPA Exam. Some students have even started taking sections of the exam. We get a lot of questions about the CPA Exam in our admissions inbox, so here are some Q&As that will hopefully clear up some things:
1. What’s on the CPA Exam?
The CPA Exam is a computer-based test that has four sections:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD): 4 hours (90 questions & seven task-based simulations)
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): 3 hours (72 questions and three written communication tasks)
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): 4 hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
- Regulation (REG): 3 hours (72 questions and six tasked-based simulations)
You can take the sections in any order you choose, and you must complete all four sections within 18 months.
2. Am I eligible to sit for the CPA Exam?
It depends! The requirements vary by state, so I will use Ohio as an example. Please look up the state you intend to practice in on NASBA’s website to find that state’s specific requirements. For Ohio, you must:
- be at least 18 years old
- have completed 150 semester hours of college education and meet one of four educational requirements. (For more information, click here)
After completing the MAcc program, you are eligible to sit in Ohio.
3. Does the MAcc program help prepare you for the CPA Exam?
While the MAcc program does not teach towards the CPA Exam, a lot of the topics covered in MAcc classes are on the exam.
4. How much does the CPA Exam cost?
The application fee and examination fees for all four sections total $869.08 for first-time applicants. You can apply for one or more sections at a time, and you are advised to only apply for a section if you are ready to take it within the next six months. If you need to retake any section, there are additional fees.The other cost of taking the CPA Exam is the cost of a preparatory course, but a lot employers, especially public accounting firms, will help subsidize the cost of a CPA review course. Some also cover the fees to take the four sections the first time.
5. When do most MAcc students take the CPA Exam?
With the credits that they have earned thus far, some of my peers are already eligible to take the CPA Exam. On the other hand, some students, including myself, have to wait until the end of the program before they can start taking sections of the Exam. Most of my peers who will be working for public accounting firms have start dates in the late summer or early autumn. Therefore, many intend on taking all four sections of the exam (or as many as they can) during the summer.
To learn more about the accounting profession and the CPA Exam, check out this website by the AICPA. Oh, and remember: