CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 23, 2002
UI accounting students pre-test new computer-based CPA exam
Twenty-five accounting students in the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie
College of Business pre-tested a new computer-based version of the Uniform
CPA Examination April 19 and 20, giving them a valuable learning experience
in preparing for their future profession.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is revising
the exam from paper-and-pencil test to a computer-based test, and the UI was
chosen as one of a handful of university sites to pre-test the exam. Beginning
in November 2003, students will be confronted with this new computerized exam
when they sit for the CPA exam, said Lynn Pringle, clinical assistant professor
of accounting and director of the master of accountancy program at the Tippie
The Uniform CPA Examination is seen by accountants and regulators as a useful
tool in protecting the public, as the exam assesses candidates' entry-level
knowledge and skills. Pringle explained that the AICPA is revising the exam
to ensure that it continues to meet its public protection mandate by reflecting
the changes in work performed by entry-level CPAs, by acknowledging the need
for higher-order skills, and by recognizing the increasingly integral role
of technology in the work of entry-level CPAs.
"This is a unique opportunity for students to experience first-hand
what the new exam will be like, and at the same time students can assist the
AICPA in developing the computerized exam format, he said. "It
will also help the accounting faculty determine how well our current curriculum
prepares students for the new exam format and feedback from students who participate
in the pre-test will also help us better advise students in preparing for
the CPA exam."
The new exam will have four parts -- auditing and attestation; financial
accounting and reporting; regulation; and business environment and concepts.
About 40 percent of the content in the business environment and concepts section
was not previously tested on the CPA exam. This new section will test concepts
underlying business reasons for and accounting implications of business transactions,
Students will receive their scores from the pre-test, giving them important
feedback to help them prepare for the actual exam, which beginning in November
2003 can be taken four times a year. In addition, students will have up to
200 different days on which to take the exam. Presently, the exam is only
offered over a two-day period in May and in November of each year. The AICPA's
goal is to offer the exam on a continuous basis.