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Exam Code: CRFA Practice test 2022 by Killexams.com team
Certified Forensic Accountant (CRFA)
Financial Accountant candidate
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For many professionals, accountancy provides a challenging and fulfilling career. Accountants earn above-average salaries, see steady demand and have many opportunities to advance and specialize in their profession.

This article explains how to become an accountant. We’ll take a general look at the profession before diving into salary and job outlook data. We will then lay out the steps you can take to start an accounting career.

What Do Accountants Do?

Broadly speaking, accountants help organizations and individuals manage their financial records and make smart choices with their money.

Accountants’ duties may include preparing financial statements and reports, evaluating risk and ensuring accuracy and compliance in record-keeping. Accountants might also help develop organizational budgets and advise executives on financial decisions.

Recording and analyzing data is a big part of an accountant’s job description, and these professionals also need to communicate their findings and recommendations. Accountants may present reports to stakeholders, discuss their work with other accounting personnel or meet with clients to go over tax returns.

Accounting Specializations

Accountancy encompasses many specializations to suit professionals’ different interests and goals. For example, consider the following types of accountants.

  • Tax accountants. These professionals provide services like tax planning and tax return preparation.
  • Cost accountants. These accountants evaluate operational costs to help businesses save money and increase profit.
  • Staff accountants. As a staff accountant, you may take on a variety of accounting duties, including maintaining records, processing payroll and preparing financial statements.
  • Managerial accountants. These accounting professionals analyze and interpret a company’s financial data to help shape its financial strategy.

Accountants can also specialize in specific economic sectors like healthcare, tech or government.

Who Should Consider Becoming an Accountant?

Accountants tend to have a detail-oriented, analytical outlook, and they should enjoy working with numbers. Accountants need strong communication skills as well.

Accountants use these abilities—plus knowledge gained through college-level accounting programs—to provide financial services to businesses and individuals. Anyone with these skills and traits can succeed in accountancy.

Accounting Field Demographics

The accounting field boasts a fairly diverse workforce. According to data from Zippia, 35.4% of accountants in the United States are not white, 8% identify as LGBTQ and 61.8% are women. Notably, Black, Hispanic and Native American accountants remain underrepresented in their field. Women make up more than half of all accounting personnel but are less likely than men to hold leadership roles.

Accountant Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were almost 1.5 million accounting and auditing jobs in the U.S. as of 2021—and that’s not counting other accounting professionals like controllers, tax examiners and accounting clerks.

Demand for Accountants

This widespread demand leads to a stable job market. The BLS projects a 6% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2021 and 2031. This percentage is on pace with the average projected growth for all occupations.

Emerging technology like artificial intelligence and cloud computing will likely lead to more automation in accounting, but businesses, nonprofits and government agencies will still need skilled accountants to oversee these automated functions. As the global economy grows and tax laws and regulations become more complex, accountants should remain essential to the economy.

Earning Potential for Accountants

The BLS reports an annual median salary of $77,250 for accountants and auditors as of 2021—more than $30,000 above the median annual wage for all occupations nationwide.

Location, industry and seniority can affect how much accountants earn. For example, the BLS notes that accountants in the San Jose area—the highest-paying city for this career—earn almost $36,000 more than the national median salary for accountants. Similarly, the median income for accountants in the computer manufacturing industry exceeds that of state government accountants by over $50,000 a year.

As accountants gain experience and move into managerial roles, they may become financial controllers and run their organizations’ accounting departments. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $131,710 for financial managers like controllers, projecting that these jobs will grow by 17% from 2021 to 2031.

Becoming an Accountant: Steps to Take

Each aspiring accountant follows their own career path, but most qualify to start working in entry-level accounting roles after earning a four-year bachelor’s degree. Many accountants also complete master’s in accounting programs, adding about two years to the career path.

After gaining enough college credit and professional experience, accountants may qualify to earn Certified Public Accountant licensure and other career-boosting certifications.

Earn a Degree

The first step toward becoming an accountant is usually a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business administration bachelor’s degree. Accounting bachelor’s programs teach foundational skills and knowledge to prepare graduates for entry-level jobs or graduate study.

Most bachelor’s programs take four years to complete and entail about 120 credits. Since Certified Public Accountant (CPA) candidates need 150 credits, some schools offer five-year courses of study that meet this credit requirement and allow students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees concurrently.

A master’s in accounting can help accountants qualify for more job opportunities. This degree builds advanced accounting knowledge and allows students to delve into specialized topics. A master’s degree usually takes about two years.

Many employers prefer master’s-educated candidates for accounting positions, and CPAs typically hold a master’s degree in accounting.

Gain Experience

Working as an intern is a great way for aspiring accountants to gain industry experience. If you’re in your final undergraduate year, or you’ve just graduated from an accounting bachelor’s program, an internship can help you build professional skills and become familiar with what it’s like to work in the industry.

Internships provide hands-on practice in a real accounting environment. They can also be a valuable source of professional connections, and some students receive job offers at the companies where they intern.

Since nearly every sector needs accountants, there are many options for places to intern. Businesses, public accounting firms, nonprofits and government organizations may offer accounting internships. Accounting students can find internship opportunities through their academic departments or college career services.

Consider CPA Licensure

CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. Compared to other accountants, CPAs have more professional responsibilities and privileges. Only CPAs can represent people and companies before the IRS, act as external auditors and file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many employers prefer their accounting candidates to hold CPA licensure.

CPA requirements vary by state, but in most cases, CPAs must meet strenuous educational requirements, pass a qualifying test and demonstrate at least two years of public accounting experience. Many states require CPAs to complete continuing education to maintain their licenses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Accountants

What qualifications do you need to be an accountant?

Accounting jobs typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. For some positions—especially senior roles—many employers seek candidates with master’s degrees and CPA licensure.

How long does it take to become an accountant?

Every accountant follows a different path, but for many, the process takes about six years. This includes four years to earn a bachelor’s in accounting and another two years to complete a master’s program or gain enough work experience to qualify for an accounting certification.

Do accountants make good money?

Yes, accountants make above-average salaries. According to the BLS, accountants in the U.S. earned a median annual income of $77,250 as of 2021. Depending on an accountant’s experience level, industry and location, they may make even more.

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 20:15:00 -0600 Ilana Hamilton en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/become-an-accountant/
Killexams : How To Become A CPA: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are highly trusted in their industry, and for good reason. Becoming a CPA is a rigorous process that opens up career opportunities. As a CPA, you could work from home, building a network of clients and helping businesses prepare their taxes each spring. You could also be the CFO of a startup, helping to prepare it for acquisition or public trading.

No matter the scale of their work, CPAs are valuable because they are held to a high standard and code of ethics determined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

If you’re wondering how to become a CPA, you must first meet stringent licensing requirements set by your state. This ensures that you have the analytical and technical skills required to perform this job. Read on to learn more about this career path.

What Do CPAs Do?

All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. CPAs must meet education and experience requirements before they can take the Uniform CPA Examination®.

While accountants manage day-to-day financial tasks, CPAs are trusted with larger responsibilities. They can perform financial audits and represent their clients before the IRS. At the end of the day, they have to answer to AICPA’s standard of professional ethics.

Ultimately, CPAs help their clients reach their financial goals. They must understand complicated laws and translate those laws in a way people will understand. CPAs perform accounting tasks, such as tax preparation and financial planning. They may also assist in mergers and acquisitions or international trade.

CPAs are often responsible for audits. One aspect of this is forensic accounting—poring through financial history in search of misconduct. They may even work in environmental accounting. These CPAs perform compliance checks and develop systems to maintain that compliance.

Of course, CPAs are much busier during tax season. Many CPAs work at large public accounting firms, where the workload can double from Feb. 1 to April 15. Any accountants working with tax preparation should be prepared for that busy season.

How Much Does a CPA Make?

Accountants perform essential tasks across all industries, and their pay matches that responsibility. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places accountants and auditors in the same category. The median annual wage for this group was $77,250 in May 2021, compared to a median salary of $45,760 for all workers.

Even the lowest-paid accountants and auditors matched the national median wage. The lowest 10% of these employees earned $47,970 per year or less. On the other hand, the highest-paid 10% made more than $128,970—a significant step up.

Job Outlook for Accountants

If you’re looking for job security, accounting is a fairly safe bet. The field is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This exceeds the average projected growth rate of 5% for all occupations.

A growing economy creates a higher demand for accountants. They may be asked to handle financial documentation as companies go public or use their accounting expertise to assist with international trade and acquisitions.

Complicated tax laws also offer some job security for accountants. Whether they are helping individuals during tax season or managing complex regulations for large companies, accountants are essential to the U.S. tax system.

There is a definite need for more CPAs, especially in public accounting companies. AICPA performs a biannual survey of accounting firms of different sizes. In 2021, all firms with two or more employees listed “finding qualified talent” as one of their main concerns. If you are ready to earn certification and take on the busy season, there are firms ready to hire.

How to Become a CPA

There are three main components to becoming a CPA: education, examination and experience. The Uniform CPA Examination is consistent across all United States jurisdictions, but the education and experience requirements vary, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

CPA Education Requirements

The first step is to meet the CPA schooling requirements. These vary by state, so make sure to research the specific CPA requirements for the state in which you plan to take the exam. It’s important to note that you do not have to practice in the same state where you take the exam. Your CPA test scores can be transferred to another jurisdiction to get a license.

If you are already close to graduating, NASBA recommends looking through every state’s qualifications and picking one that matches your needs. Make sure that you meet the state residency requirements as well. NASBA also offers a research engine called the Accountancy Licensing Library, which generates a report of which states’ CPA schooling requirements best align with your education.

Is an accounting degree worth it? Though there is no specific CPA degree, it helps to get a bachelor’s degree in accounting or something business-related. California CPA requirements, for example, include a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester units of education. Those must include 24 units related to accounting and 24 units related to business.

Most bachelor’s degree programs only comprise 120 semester credits. To help you earn those extra 30 credits to meet the 150-credit requirement, many schools offer five-year bachelor’s-to-master’s programs. You could also meet those requirements through a double major or elective courses. However, candidates with master’s degrees have higher pass rates on the CPA exam, so you may benefit from the extra coursework.

Pass the CPA Exam

The next step—though not an easy one—is to pass the CPA exam. First, you must apply for the Uniform CPA Examination through NASBA’s website. Once your application is approved, you will receive a notice to schedule your exam. This notice is valid for six months.

The Uniform CPA Examination is rigorous. Pass rates for each section in 2022 ranged from around 45% to 60%, according to AICPA. Be sure to take your time studying and practicing for the exam, and review the CPA test blueprints offered by AICPA.

Each section of the test costs $238.15. Every state has its own application and registration fees on top of that, which could add up to over $200. And if you choose to enroll in a CPA test prep course, that could add another $1,000 to $3,000 to your total.

We delve into the CPA test format in a later section.

Obtain and Maintain CPA Licensure

The final component of the CPA certification is experience. Candidates need a minimum of one year of experience in accounting, auditing, taxation or attestation, AICPA says. In total, this is approximately 2,000 hours, and the experience must be Checked by a licensed CPA. Again, check the specific requirements for your state.

Some states also require an ethics exam. Once you’ve met the qualifications for your jurisdiction, you can apply for licensure through your state board of accountancy.

CPAs are required to maintain their license through continuing education courses, including ethics.

CPA test Format

There are four sections to the exam, and you have 18 months to pass all of them with a minimum score of 75. Each section takes four hours and includes multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations. The scores are weighted based on difficulty, but they are not curved.

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

The AUD section covers knowledge of auditing, attestation and accounting and review service engagements, with an emphasis on whether candidates have the analytical skills to become a CPA. The test tests for ethics, independence and professional skepticism, which is an iterative process that requires a critical eye when questioning audit evidence.

The four content areas of the AUD test are ethics, professional responsibilities and general principles; assessing risk and developing a planned response; performing further procedures and obtaining evidence; and forming conclusions and reporting.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The BEC portion is focused on business principles involving auditing, accounting, financial reporting, tax preparation and more. Unlike the others, this section includes a written communication section.

There are five subjects covered in the BEC exam: enterprise risk management, internal controls and business practices; economics; financial management; information technology; and operations management.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

In the FAR exam, candidates must demonstrate their knowledge of financial accounting and reporting frameworks. The four content areas of the test are conceptual framework, standard-setting and financial reporting; select financial statement accounts; select transactions; and state and local governments.

Regulation (REG)

The REG section assesses candidates’ understanding of federal laws and ethics principles. It includes five subjects: ethics, professional responsibilities and federal tax procedures; business law; federal taxation of property transactions; federal taxation of individuals; and federal taxation of entities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About CPAs

What is the difference between a CPA and an accountant?

CPAs are accountants who have achieved licensure through a rigorous certification process. Candidates need to meet specific CPA requirements: a bachelor’s degree with a focus in accounting and business classes, at least one year of accounting experience, a passing score on all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination and, in some states, an ethics test. In return, CPAs are allowed to perform different tasks than accountants.

What skills do CPAs need?

One of the most important skills for a CPA to have is critical thinking. They must be able to think independently and maintain their standard of ethics in all situations. They also need to have excellent math and communication skills, as well as strong attention to detail.

Is a CPA better than an MBA?

A master’s degree can be valuable while going through the CPA licensure process, but the two are not interchangeable. CPAs are legally allowed to perform different tasks than other accountants, even those who have a master’s degree in accounting. CPAs are the most trusted in their field because they are held to a higher standard of ethics and expertise.

Mon, 28 Nov 2022 02:01:00 -0600 Kayla Missman en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/become-a-cpa/
Killexams : SEC accepting Professional Accounting Fellow applications

The SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is accepting applications for Professional Accounting Fellow (PAF) positions that will begin in the summer of 2023.

OCA is seeking candidates who can draw upon their significant experience in auditing the financial statements of, consulting with, or working for public companies as further described in its announcement.

The announcement, which includes information about candidate eligibility and the application requirements for these positions, is available on OCA's homepage on the SEC's website at sec.gov.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Kevin Brewer at Kevin.Brewer@aicpa-cima.com.

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 03:27:00 -0600 text/html https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2022/nov/sec-accepting-professional-accounting-fellow-applications.html
Killexams : Evaluating the CPA Evolution Initiative

In Brief

For the past decade, declining trends in accounting enrollments and CPA candidates have pointed to the need for bold action to rebuild the pipeline to the profession. The AICPA and NASBA’s Evolution Project represents a major initiative to expand the appeal of the profession and ensures candidates are better prepared for the current environment. This article describes and analyzes the Evolution Project and seeks to answer the question of whether it will successfully reverse the accurate decline.

***

January 2024 will be here before you know it. That date signifies lights off for the current model of the Uniform CPA Examination and when the CPA test Evolution makes its formal debut. This joint initiative by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) represents a new core-plus-discipline CPA licensure model. The AICPA has stated: “We’re trying to embrace what’s changing in the profession and the business environment and the skills a newly licensed CPA will need to possess for licensure (K. Tysiac, “Content for redesigned CPA test takes shape,” Journal of Accountancy, July 7, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CkTsW2).

The CPA Evolution project is rooted in a range of goals and desired outcomes that include the following:

  • A strong core of accounting, auditing, tax, and technology
  • Deeper knowledge in three primary disciplines [Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP)]
  • Reflections of the reality of practice
  • An adaptive and flexible model to allow for more disciplines
  • One CPA license
  • One common core and one of three disciplines to pass
  • Enhanced public protection.

The Evolution Project is a bold endeavor not seen since the 150-credit requirement was put in place and when the CPA test moved from the paper-and-pencil to computer-based format. This article describes the path to Evolution and accurate developments made to the Evolution Model Curriculum (EMC), the recently released Evolution Practice Analysis, and examines the supply and demand of accounting and non-accounting degree candidates. It concludes with an urgent call to action to mitigate the declining CPA candidate pipeline in New York State.

NASBA and AICPA Initiatives

NASBA and the AICPA began their collaboration by producing updated rules and requirements for the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) in October 2020 (NASBA, “UAA Model Rule Requirements—Education,” 2020, https://bit.ly/2VerI2k). The updated act guides students, educators, and regulators on the education needed to enter the evolving CPA profession in the years ahead. The UAA established quality standards for educational institutions: Level 1 requires dual accreditation for the accounting program and business school programs; Level 2 requires accreditation only for the business school; and Level 3 requires accreditation occurs only at the institution level (i.e., neither the business school nor accounting program are accredited). In addition to accounting and business content requirements, the UAA establishes skills for newly licensed CPAs that include critical thinking, professional skepticism, research and communication, ethics, and digital acumen. The UAA includes internships and independent study, which may assist CPA candidates in selecting one of the three disciplines in the Evolution Exam.

The UAA does not address the requirements to sit for the test or to become licensed, leaving those decisions up to the licensing jurisdictions. Education requirements are however promulgated in section 5 of the January 2018 AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act Standards for Regulation, which state: “The education requirements for a certificate, which must be met before an applicant is eligible to apply for the examination prescribed in subsection (d), shall be at least 150 semester hours of college education” (NASBA, 2020).

In 2020, the AICPA and NASBA formed task forces comprising 40 volunteers to develop the EMC. The task forces planned to assist educators as they realign existing curriculum to the Evolution model and prepare students to become CPAs. In mid-June 2021, following six months of work and fifty-plus meetings, the task forces revealed the EMC. The curriculum represents only a transition guide that demonstrates how programs may integrate Evolution content; the CPA test Blueprints published by the AICPA determine the exam’s content.

Exhibit 1 compiles what the task forces envisions as the EMC coverage by test part, total estimated teaching hours, and estimated credit hours necessary to deliver the EMC content (J. Taylor and D. Dustin, “AICPA, NASBA publish revised CPA Evolution Model Curriculum,” Nov. 19, 2021, https://bit.ly/3SKrDvJ; updated for minor changes released in November 2021. See https://thiswaytocpa.com/program/modelCPAcurriculum.)

Exhibit 1

CPA Evolution Model Curriculum Coverage

 Part; Sections; Modules; Learning Objectives; Est. Teaching Hours (Low); Est. Teaching Hours (High); Est. Credit Hours (Low); Est. Credit Hours (High) Part I: CPA Evolution Core; Section 1: Accounting and Data Analytics; 9; 175; 119.5; 210; 9; 15 Section 2: Audit and Accounting Information Systems; 15; 163; 75.5; 150.5; 6; 12 Section 3: Tax; 12; 106; 35.75; 57.5; 3; 3 Part II: CPA Evolution Discipline; Section 1: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR); 10; 155; 102; 202; 6; 15 Section 2: Information Systems and Controls (ISC); 5; 60; 70; 115; 6; 9 Section 3: Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP); 14; 181; 67.5; 144.5; 6; 9 Total, Core & Disciplines; 65; 840; 470.25; 879.5; 36; 63 Total, Core only; 36; 444; 230.75; 418; 18; 30 Total, Core + BAR; 46; 599; 332.75; 620; 24; 45 Total, Core + ISC; 41; 504; 300.75; 533; 24; 39 Total, Core + TCP; 50; 625; 298.25; 562.5; 24; 39

The EMC is an ambitious program, not only for an incoming college student to pursue; an educational institution will also secure the necessary resources to deliver the suggested content. A major challenge for educational institutions is the ability to deliver the core and three disciplines’ courses all within the accountancy unit. For example, according to the EMC, educational institutions that plan to deliver the core plus all three disciplines will need to schedule approximately a minimum of 36 to a maximum of 63 credit hours. (This calculation assumes sufficient enrollment exists for one section of each three-credit course offered over four to five academic years. Total teaching hours for one three-credit course over 14 weeks comprise approximately 42 hours.) The tax discipline seems ambitious, covering 625 learning objectives with 24 (low) to 39 (high) credit hours, including the core. Equally ambitious is BAR plus core, recommending 599 learning objectives that require 24 (low) to 45 (high) credit hours. Finally, ISC plus core appears to require less, with 24 (low) to 39 (high) credit hours to cover 504 learning objectives.

Offering courses that satisfy all the learning objectives for the three disciplines while developing faculty competency is a significant task for any educational institution. The EMC implies that all accounting courses, including those beyond the core, must be offered through the accounting unit. Faculty often specialize their teaching in specific areas, which limits the ability of course offerings. For example, a faculty member who specializes in accounting information systems subjects are most likely not readily equipped to teach other specialized areas in taxation and vice versa. Although it remains to be seen which discipline candidates will pursue, it is reasonable to conclude that, given the demand for candidates experienced with audit-related technologies and its seemingly less stringent EMC test content, ISC may prevail as the discipline of choice. It is prudent for educators to acknowledge that the EMC is not the CPA test Blueprint; therefore, institutions should be mindful of utilizing significant resources aligning curriculum to the EMC. The Blueprints also could potentially influence a candidate’s choice in pursuing a specific discipline. Because it is a guide for Evolution content, the EMC should be viewed within the context and capacity in which an institution could deliver it. Lastly, not included in the EMC is the non-accounting test content, which is typically learned outside the accounting unit.

Other considerations for educational institutions include reflection on whom they serve and how they should strategize their program offerings relative to their environment. Depending upon student demand and enrollments, as well as faculty competencies, institutions might choose to only offer educational resources for one discipline. Partnerships with neighboring (and competing) institutions could mitigate some of these resource constraints. Some educational institutions may not offer courses for all three disciplines because doing so will require offering multiple specialized courses with constraints such as student enrollment and faculty experience. Creativity and strategic decisions are necessary because, unlike the current test model, Evolution candidates should enroll in different course programming when preparing for the disciplines.

Concerns about Evolution

Professional organizations and the American Accounting Association (AAA) have voiced the following concerns about the EMC as follows (“Comment Letters with Concerns about the Proposed AICPA CPA Evolution Model Curriculum,” 2021, https://aaahq.org/CPA-Evolution-Model-Curriculum):

  • EMC does not require managerial or cost accounting—“The Model Curriculum does a disservice to CPA candidates by failing to cover skills they will need both at the start of their careers as auditors and later in their careers as business advisors and finance leaders.” (IMA Briefing, June 8, 2021, https://bit.ly/3nbvVzY)
  • AAA Education Committee—“CPA EMC is skewed toward subjects and competencies that the CPA test might assess rather than the body of knowledge and competencies that those entering public accounting might need for their careers.”
  • AAA Council—“A model curriculum is not possible and is not advisable for academic institutions of accounting.”
  • AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Section—“The core knowledge plus discipline for [BAR] has an estimate (using the average of the proposed low and high hours for each topic) of 476 hours. With an estimate of 40 contact hours per semester per course, this is approximately 12 courses of [core-plus-BAR] knowledge alone (15 courses at the high end). A BAR faculty member’s dream!”
  • AAA Forensic Accounting Section— “These courses tend to be among the most popular for college-going students because ‘fraud examination and forensic accounting’—seen as ‘auditing on steroids’—have an intrinsic appeal … Career opportunities in fraud and forensics are rich and rewarding; without inclusion of these subjects in the MC, there is risk of being dropped from an academic program.”
  • AAA Government and Nonprofit Section—“GNP accounting is an important part of students’ accounting education because it motivates them to consider their roles, current and future, as a citizen and contributing member of the nonprofit community.” Citing student interest in working in public service and NFPs provides evidence in favor of retaining this content. There is concern, however, that GNP will not survive within the BAR discipline relative to ISC discipline and thus pose the following question: “Will CPAs be able to interpret governmental financial statements when being tested on the [core] knowledge?”
  • AAA International Accounting Section—“In addition, we see the document as conveying to the world the mistaken notion that the knowledge base of accountants in the U.S. is devoid of any international context … Accounting for Hedging and Derivatives was removed in the last Practice Analysis but the MC included it in BAR. Why not IFRS? Understanding differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS reporting entails critical thinking. The importance and magnitude of international trade, $7 trillion market capitalization of foreign private issuers, and 120 countries using IFRS supports test inclusion. Convergence is not complete.”
  • AAA Auditing Section—“Accordingly, we believe that students will be better prepared for their careers in accounting if they develop higher-order skills in the classroom, while acquiring incidental accounting knowledge through self-study CPA test review courses. It’s extremely challenging to cover the comprehensive content in the available time during a course or two. Generally external auditing is limited to one course.”
  • AAA Management Accounting Section—“The current efforts surrounding the CPA [EMC] suggest that an accounting education’s primary source of value lies in the passing of the CPA exam. However, tightly linking accounting education with a single certification test will likely deter the brightest students from pursuing an undergraduate degree in accounting.”

AICPA Releases the Evolution Practice Analysis

On June 27, 2022, the AICPA released the Evolution Practice Analysis (EPA), which represents the exposure draft for the Evolution CPA test Blueprints (https://bit.ly/3ycAjTS). The EPA is a proposal derived from research, the profession, and other interested stake-holders who advance knowledge expectations for newly licensed CPAs. New content is expressed in the ISC and TCP disciplines, most of which is captured in the EMC. Although nearly 50% of the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) is now included in BAR, the remaining BEC content (written communication content is excluded) is embedded in Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and ISC; Regulation (REG) and TCP are void of BEC content. Although most BEC knowledge is typically gained through the business disciplines of a curriculum, BEC content residing in certain core and disciplines may imply specific knowledge application to that test section.

New content for data technology concepts is evident throughout the EPA. Candidates will be expected to evaluate outputs for completeness, structure, usefulness, and actions; they will not be expected to create reports or demonstrate competence in use of data analytics software. Applied research skills using source materials is expected of candidates, with the goal of identifying and analyzing to further a response. The comment period for the EPA ended September 30, 2022. The Evolution Blueprints should be finalized by early 2023.

Some might consider the January 2024 launch date means that the transition time is too short. Students currently enrolled in a 150-hour licensure program may be caught in-between exams, needing to take the new Evolution test yet finding themselves unprepared for it. CPA review courses may need to be swift to fill the knowledge gaps until academia catches up.

The transition model allows credit for the current BEC part passed in the pre-evolution test as the substitute for a discipline exam. (There is an 18-month window to pass all four parts of the Evolution model; see https://nasba.org/blog/2022/02/25/transition-policy/.) That transition model might result in a rush to pass BEC, because it traditionally has higher pass rates than the other test parts (https://bit.ly/3EbNPL8). A BEC rush could be exacerbated if candidates perceive the discipline exams to be more Draft Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination – Aligning the test with the CPA Evolution Licensure Model,” https://bit.ly/3ycAjTS). The same applies to pre-Evolution candidates passing BEC before January 2024; otherwise, candidates would be required to retake the core and/or a discipline.

Re-registration of licensure programs by jurisdictions may be time consuming; candidates with pre-Evolution education may feel pressure to pass the Evolution test before their education no longer meets Evolution jurisdiction requirements. The process of reconciling programs to comply with the EMC as well as the Evolution Blueprints might not proceed as quickly within academic as candidates might hope. Attention could also be given to BEC content embedded in specific exams and its relevant mapping within the accounting and business disciplines. The patience of the academy may also be further tested while jurisdictions complete the arduous task of approving new licensure programs.

The New York CPA Pipeline

According to NASBA, as of August 2022, there are 665,612 licensed CPAs covering 54 jurisdictions (NASBA 2022). As of January 1, 2022, 65,164 are licensed CPAs in New York State (see the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/cpa/cpacounts.htm). Between 2015 and 2020, the number of NYS licenses issued declined by approximately 20%. Licenses issued in 2015 and 2020 were 3,282 and 2,626, respectively; this decline in 2020 may be partially attributed to COVID-19 as well as pipeline decline; in 2019 and 2021, 2,796 and 3,092 licenses were issued, respectively, which each represent decreases of 15% and 6% compared to 2015. The clear conclusion is that there has been a declining trend in the number of accounting degrees awarded in New York over accurate years. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), for all not-for-profit institutions in New York State, the total number of accounting degrees (both graduate and undergraduate) awarded between 2015 and 2020 decreased by approximately 7% in New York. Master’s degrees awarded in accounting, which are programs that qualify for licensure, declined by 10% over the same period. (According to the NYS Inventory of Registered Program, as of May 6, 2022, there are 204 total licensure programs, of which 183 are at the master’s level, 20 are bachelors, and 1 advanced certificate; see http://www.nysed.gov/heds/IRPSL1.html.)

Conversely, from 2015 to 2020, the total number of computer science completed degrees in New York State increased by 130%. Master’s degree in computer science master’s programs increased 76% during the same period. Although in 2020 total accounting degrees completed exceeded computer science degrees by approximately 27%, this is much less than the 216% excess in 2015. Exhibits 2 and 3 illustrate these trends over time.

Exhibit 2

All Degrees Completed, New York State

Exhibit 3

Master’s Degrees Completed, New York State

A primary reason for these divergent trends in accounting and computer science degrees may be attributed to current salary levels for accurate graduates. Computer science graduates earn approximately over $100,000, IT auditors $96,000, and public accounting graduates $66,000 (RobertHalf, “2022 Salary Guide,” 2021, https://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guide). Normally, graduates of public accounting and IT auditors typically will have 150 hours of education upon employment; an undergraduate degree in computer science is generally required for entry-level positions.

The profession has sought to mitigate the declining enrollment trends through partnered programs. Specifically, KPMG, EY, and Deloitte have established programs with academic institutions that provide funding and branding while ensuring a direct and experienced candidate pipeline to public accounting firms (KPMG, “Learn About Participating Universities: KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program,” 2020; A. Gee, “EY and Hult International Business School announce new Masters in Business Analytics, free for all EY people,” Oct. 18, 2021, https://go.ey.com/3SQSE0E; S. McCabe, “Deloitte Foundation partners with Ohio State University for diversity scholarship,” 2021, https://bit.ly/3rsnYaf). In addition, PricewaterhouseCoopers has numerous early to the profession programs to further engage new college students (e.g., see https://accessyourpotential.pwc.com/https://pwc.to/3e76Dke, and https://bit.ly/3Cazyf0).

Trends in Private versus Public Institutions

Between 2015 and 2020, the total number of accounting degrees issued in New York State fell by 461, or 7%. A deeper perspective shows that the decrease was 10% and 5% for private and public institutions, respectively. The reasons for this discrepancy could be attributed to funding the 150-credit licensing requirements with lower state/city tuition rates due to the availability of Excelsior Scholarships starting in fiscal year 2017 (https://on.ny.gov/3VagIO4). Given the very accurate declines in total accounting degrees completed in New York State (Exhibit 2), it is reasonable to conclude that private institutions may absorb most of any future declines. Exhibit 4 illustrates these trends.

Exhibit 4

Total Accounting Degrees, New York State

A primary reason for these divergent trends in accounting and computer science degrees may be attributed to current salary levels for accurate graduates.

In the aggregate, computer science degrees increased by 130% from 2015 to 2020. Significant increases were both realized by private (97%) and public (95%) institutions. The difference in computer science degrees between private and public institutions of 31% in 2015 narrowed to 12% in 2020, which suggests that both sectors are benefiting from increased enrollment in computer science majors.

Most of the accurate decline in accounting graduates is attributed to the master’s level (10%), which signals a decline in students seeking the degree for licensure. A closer analysis of master’s level degrees completed shows a decrease from 2015 to 2020 by 8% and 13% for private and public institutions, respectively. Bachelor’s level degrees completed at private institutions decreased by 11% from 2015 to 2020. Bachelor’s level degrees completed at public institutions decreased by 2% from 2015 to 2020.

That significant difference in the decline in bachelor’s degrees between private (11%) and public (2%) institutions from 2015 to 2020 suggests that the private institutions will experience fewer candidates progressing into a master’s licensure program than public institutions. This trend signals that fewer candidates will progress to the Evolution Exam, and ultimately a licensure program, unless the enrollment in undergraduate accounting programs significantly improves.

The data also suggest that students in private institutions pursue licen-sure programs significantly more often than students in public institutions do, expressed as a percentage of total degrees completed for a given year. Despite a lower number of total degrees completed, candidates from private institutions that completed master’s degrees represented 39% (1,088) of degrees in 2015 and 40% (998) of degrees in 2020. Significantly different results are found for public institutions. That group represents 24% (894) of master’s degrees completed in 2015 and 22% (779) of master’s degrees completed in 2020. This trend exists despite a significantly higher volume of undergraduate degrees completed at public institutions as compared with private institutions. The result from the public institutions signals that emphasis is placed on completing the bachelor’s degree, not the master’s. Because candidates cannot be licensed unless they pursue a licensure program, in the aggregate, the trends in accounting graduate degrees completed at New York public institutions are discouraging, especially in light of the Evolution Project’s goal to increase the number of CPAs. (See Exhibit 5 for a further breakdown of degrees completed.)

Exhibit 5

Breakdown of Accounting Degrees Completed, New York State

In a startling development, the AICPA 2021 Trends report found a 44% decline in accounting associate degrees awarded over the accurate 10 years.

Certificate Programs, the Pipeline Supply, and Employer Demand

IPEDS defines certificates as “a recognized post credentials that is conferred upon the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program.” [The AICPA 2021 Trends report uses IPEDS, which represents all institutions participating in federal student aid programs and reports by Classification by Instructional Programs (CIP) for degrees completed. This may include both non-profit and for-profit institutions; the New York data presented excludes for-profit entities for comparison purposes. (Search “Terms”, “C”, and “Certificate” at https://surveys.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/public/glossary.)] In the case of accounting education, a certificate may qualify as meeting a jurisdiction’s education requirement for CPA licensure. Certificates are attractive to candidates who possess a non-accounting degree in another field of business field degree and subsequently decide to pursue accountancy licensure education requirements. Advanced certificates may be offered at a discounted price and delivered in an accelerated time frame than the typical master’s degree [see, e.g., Santa Clara University’s Certificate in Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP), https://www.scu.edu/business/caap/admissions/]. The AICPA 2021 Trends report notes that between 2018 and 2020, certificates in accounting increased 7%; between 2002 and 2020 that increase was 39%, to an astounding total of 18,298 certificates completed in 2020. Although accounting certificates appear to be a popular path to accounting education, caution should be taken to determine that certificate programs qualify for licensure education by a jurisdiction. According to the New York State Education Department Inventory of Registered Programs, the only advanced certificate that qualifies for licensure is offered by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (see https://bit.ly/3V8M084). Although there are many other New York institutions offering accounting certificate programs that report completion data in IPEDS, only the John Jay certificate is registered as licensure qualifying. It should also be noted that IPEDS reports zero certificates completed at John Jay during the past 10 years.

The AICPA 2021 Trends reports that, from 2010 to 2020, the total employer demand for accounting graduates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels declined by approximately 17%; but the past five years alone saw a decline of approximately 20%. From 2010 to 2020, the supply of total accounting undergraduate and graduate degrees completed dropped by approximately 4%, but the past five years saw a decline of approximately 9%. Although one may surmise that declines in employer demand may be due to absent or changing and preferred skill sets, a significant reason is the decline in the accurate supply of accounting graduates. The AICPA further reports that 60% of 2020 new hires into CPA firms had accounting and tax degrees; the remaining 40% of new hires had predominately non-accounting business (23%) and computer science (6%) degrees.

In a startling development, the AICPA 2021 Trends report found a 44% decline in accounting associate degrees awarded over the accurate 10 years. These degrees serve as a pipeline of students who intend to complete the accounting major by entering senior colleges. In New York, associate degrees completed in accounting (CIP 52.030) declined 84%, from 126 in 2010 to 20 in 2020. For all other accounting services—dominated by accounting technology, technician, and bookkeeping—associate degrees completed in New York increased by 14%, from 1,001 in 2010 to 1,137 in 2020 (data compiled from IPEDS). The availability of NYS Excelsior scholarships may explain some of the accounting associate degree decline; it may reveal that and if they have the option, accounting students prefer a four-year institution for their study rather than risking a transfer policy. According to the AICPA 2021 Trends report, 90% of those surveyed expected that number of non-CPA professional staff in accounting/finance functions at CPA firms would be higher or remain the same in 2021 compared with 2020.

Based on these findings, the authors conclude that associate degree accounting and business students provide significant value to the profession. Without greater efforts at the community college level, enrollment in accounting programs will further stress efforts to Boost enrollment in senior colleges. Further declining enrollments in NYS community colleges that may result from proposed recommendations for education regulations for CPA license is expressed in a 2022 comment letter from the NYSSCPA to the New York State Board of Public Accountancy (https://bit.ly/3RB0oms).

What Can Be Done Next?

There exist significant challenges to growing accounting enrollment and attracting students to the profession. Although there is no magic trick that will reverse declining trends, collective efforts, which include early and targeted intervention to curtail further declines in the number of students choosing the accountancy discipline, are necessary from all those vested in the profession. Demographic shifts in the expected student population, especially in the Northeast, will further shrink the available pool of high school students (S. Jaschik, “Are Prospective Students About to Disappear?” Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 8, 2018, https://bit.ly/3V1Tp97). Given the licensure requirements of passing a seemingly daunting new exam, five years of education, and at least one year of experience, the benefits of an accounting career must exceed the return on education costs provided by other disciplines that require just a four-year college degree.

Existing partnerships between professional societies and academia, at both college and high school levels, require creativity and stability to yield results. Further integration and engagement between accounting firms and college and high school representatives could not only deepen professional ties, but also lead to collaborative efforts to address the Evolution curriculum and its effective delivery. Through impactful programs and early internships, prospective pre-college students would be informed of the public value that the profession provides—along with its career flexibility, diversity, and rewards. Collaborative and creative partnerships within the academy, such as strategic program initiatives with units outside of accounting (e.g., non-accounting business fields, computer science, and related fields), and through professional engagement could further promote the profession. Ongoing efforts at the K-12 level—such as STEM designation, finance academies, and college level programs in accounting—not only provides early exposure to the discipline as a science, but also attracts college level candidates to the pipeline. (For more on the efforts for STEM designation, see https://bit.ly/3RIBDF5 and https://bit.ly/3EnC9Fb.)

Further integration and engagement between accounting firms and college and high school representatives could not only deepen professional ties, but also lead to collaborative efforts to address the Evolution curriculum and its effective delivery.

The cost of education required for CPA licensure is of widespread concern. Public institutions attract many undergraduate students for whom financial aid is available for a net lower tuition cost. It seems, however, that a similar financial model does not persist at the graduate level at public institutions, particularly in New York. Private institutions attempt to compete with public institutions by tuition discounting on the undergraduate level. Private institutions may further grow their graduate pool within capacity limits by providing attractive financial support than public institutions provide to their graduate pool. Creative solutions—such as certificate programs, firm funded programs, scholarship support and other advancement efforts—are needed to defray the cost of an accounting education, and particularly to mitigate declining enrollment trends at the undergraduate level. Extraordinary efforts to promote the profession (e.g., financial, professional engagement, work-life issues, value to the public) should be considered to encourage candidates to pursue the licensure programs. The alarms that have been ringing for at least the past 10 years have become deafening and call for urgent actions, including and beyond the Evolution initiative. Only once changes have been implemented will the profession know whether the students have come back.

Nina Terranova Dorata, PhD, CPA, is a professor of accountancy at St. John’s University, Jamaica, N.Y. She is also the past chair of the NYSSCPA Committee on the Future of Accountancy Education.
Vincent J. Shea, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accountancy at St. John’s University.
Mon, 28 Nov 2022 02:48:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.cpajournal.com/2022/11/28/evaluating-the-cpa-evolution-initiative/
Killexams : CPABC: B.C. CPA candidate scores top marks in national CFE exam

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) and the CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB) congratulate the 752 B.C. Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) candidates who passed the multi-day national Common Final Examination (CFE) written in September 2022. The test was administered by CPAWSB.

Among the successful B.C. candidates, 10 also made the National Honour Roll for their outstanding results on the CFE. Helen Liu of Richmond has also been awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the highest standing on the September 2022 CFE. The remaining nine National Honour Roll students from B.C. are: Tyler Andrews, Haneef Ayub, Haley Coss, Sophia Curalli, Pamela Ho, Lauren Holley, Rose Salm, Jasmine Yeung, and Jihae Yun.

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Here is the full listing of successful B.C.-based CFE writers.

“We are very proud of the dedication and high standard of excellence demonstrated by our successful B.C. candidates,” said Sheila Nelson, CPA, CA, MBA, chair of CPABC’s board of directors. “The current labour market is in need of educated, skilled talent, and our successful CFE writers have an exciting world of opportunity ahead of them. I would also like to offer a special congratulation to the 10 B.C. students who achieved National Honour Roll status, including Governor General’s Gold Medal recipient Helen Liu. On behalf of the CPABC Board of Directors and CPABC, I applaud and welcome all our successful CFE writers into the ranks of B.C.’s CPAs.”

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In order to become designated, students must complete rigorous course work, pass the CFE, and fulfill relevant practical experience requirements. The national CFE ensures all Canadian CPAs meet the same high standards, which are recognized nationally and internationally.

“I am immensely proud of the 752 hard-working B.C. candidates who passed the 2022 September CFE by developing and demonstrating technical and professional skills they will take with them into the next stage of their careers and beyond,” said Yuen Ip, MBA, PMP, a CPA, CMA in Alberta and CEO of the CPA Western School of Business. “On behalf of everyone at the School, I wish these hard-working individuals the very best as they move forward in their careers.”

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CPAWSB delivers the nationally-developed CPA professional education program in Canada’s western region. Throughout the program, CPA candidates develop the competencies expected of professional accountants, developing technical skills and enabling competencies as they grow in professionalism and leadership.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 38,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA candidates and students. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy.

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Fri, 25 Nov 2022 04:06:00 -0600 en-CA text/html https://financialpost.com/globe-newswire/cpabc-b-c-cpa-candidate-scores-top-marks-in-national-cfe-exam
Killexams : 10 NJCPA members win help with CPA test costs

The New Jersey Society of CPAs has given 10 of its members $750 to lessen the financial burden of their CPA test fee costs. 

As students or CPA candidates, winners were selected at random out of nearly 70 entries through the CPA test Fee Lottery, which was created by the NJCPA Scholarship Fund. Since 1960, the fund has relied on members' and professional organizations' donations to award over $7 million in scholarships to 2,000 New Jersey students. The initiative also organizes the Student Loan Debt lottery, which runs from November 1-30 and awards $1,200 to 10 NJCPA members. 

Launched in 2019, the CPA test Fee Lottery is designed to partially offset the cost of preparing for and taking the CPA exam. Review courses, study guides and registration fees can average more than $2,500.

"Many students don't have a lot of money at their disposal when they graduate from college, and the CPA test Fee lottery can help them in their journey to become a CPA and achieve their goals," said Susan Dyer, NJCPA membership development director. "Being a member of the NJCPA can also help them throughout the process because they'll have access to knowledgeable staff but also all of our members who have been where they are and can answer their questions about the CPA exam, CPA license and the career opportunities available to them."

This year's lottery coincides with New Jersey's CPA Week, which runs from November 6 to 12. The event is the result of the collaboration between state professional organizations and the AICPA, which worked together to raise awareness about the profession and its opportunities. According to Dyer, the initiative was originally meant to focus on high school students, but it now offers resources to a wide range of individuals. CPA Week was enacted on Oct. 17 in New Jersey under the sponsorship of Senator Steve Oroho, the only CPA in the legislature. 

To be eligible, candidates must sign up for the first part of the CPA test between Dec. 1, 2022 and Nov. 30, 2023. Winners must have graduated within the past five years or be current college students in New Jersey, and they can't receive CPA test compensation from their employer. Anh Phan, a business studies student with a concentration in accounting, is one of the lucky candidates who benefited from the lottery. 

A first-generation college student and a Vietnamese immigrant, Phan never considered pursuing accounting as a profession until she followed the recommendation of a high school counselor. After securing an audit internship with the support of Stanton University, from which she will graduate with a bachelor's degree in December, Phan decided to get a CPA license to explore new job opportunities. 

Anh Phan

Anh Phan

"I was very hesitant about whether I should complete the 150 credits because it is a lot of financial commitment for a student like me," said Phan. "Ultimately, I decided that even though it was a lot, it seemed to be worth it and I enrolled for an MBA in business analytics in the spring to fulfill the requirement."

Phan has been involved with the NJCPA since her first year at Stanton and attended numerous conferences to expand her network. She says that the Student Loan Debt lottery helped ease her financial concerns, especially with the test costs coming up to $1,200 with the UWorld Roger study guides, books and various fees. Additionally, Phan must repay $30,000 in student loans and, while she applied for the Biden administration's federal loan debt relief program, she says additional help is always welcomed.

What's her advice to other professional organizations? "Talk to the students and CPA candidates to learn what their needs are, and create programs accordingly," said Dyer. "Start small if you are a midsized organization, with maybe one scholarship a year, and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by learning from successful collectives."

Thu, 10 Nov 2022 09:42:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/njcpas-awards-10-members-750-to-help-cover-cpa-exam-fee-costs
Killexams : Rivers PDP debunks rumoured arrest of gov candidate

The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has debunked reports that its governorship candidate for the 2023 elections, Siminalayi Fubara, has been arrested by security officers.

The social media was awash with reports on Wednesday morning that Fubara was arrested today by officers of the Department of State Services and was being flown to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission headquarters in Abuja.

Fubara, who is a former Accountant General of the state, was recently declared wanted along with two others by the EFCC over alleged N117 billion fraud.

He had also been invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau to answer questions bordering on asset declaration. He had yet to honour the invitation.

But reacting to claims of Fubara’s arrest, the Chairman, Publicity and Communications Committee of the state PDP Campaign Council, Ogbonna Nwuke, said it was an unfounded rumour.

Nwuke said the report which, according to him, was lacking in substance was the handiwork of political jobbers and spin doctors aimed at misleading the public with falsehood.

The statement partly read, “Our attention has been drawn to claims that Sir Siminalayi Fubara has been picked up by security operatives.

“It is baffling that some jobbers, spin doctors and never-do-wells are intent on misleading public opinion through the spread of bare-faced lies.

“What they have dropped on the social media are tissues of malicious lies. Note that the mass media is silent on a tale that obviously lacks facts and credibility.”

Continuing, it read, “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no truth in these worthless claims. They are lies cooked in hell and served by agents of darkness who have nothing to offer.

“It is on record that Sim has a judgment in his favour against the EFCC. That judgment has asked the anti-graft agencies to pay damages to the flagbearer of the PDP for maligning his image.

“There is no evidence that the court decision has been overturned. Besides, Sim is busy going about his normal business as a citizen and a gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Rivers State.

“No amount of falsehood will change the truth. The truth is that Sim is a free man, who is free under our laws as a noble Rivers son, a hard-nosed professional and a politician to participate in free and fair elections organised in this State.

“Rumour mongering has never won any election.

“We urge those who are behind these unfounded rumours to tell Rivers people what their preferred candidates will do instead of wasting the valuable time of Rivers people.”

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 20:54:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://punchng.com/rivers-pdp-debunks-rumoured-arrest-of-gov-candidate/
Killexams : Fixing the Crisis in Accounting

The United States is facing an acute shortage of CPAs. In fact, accountants are leaving their jobs in unprecedented numbers (AICPA, 2021 Trends Report, https://bit.ly/3RmyE4T), at both corporations and audit firms, joining the millions of American workers who are re-evaluating what they want from their careers (“This Country Has the Highest Number of People Planning to Quit their Jobs,” by Stefan Ellerbeck, World Economic Forum, Aug. 11, 2022, https://bit.ly/3USaB0O).

Compounding this high turnover, fewer accounting majors graduated in 2020, extending a years-long decline in new CPAs (AICPA, 2021). The number of college graduates earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting has dropped 4% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; the number of graduates sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination has also plummeted. Although there were almost 50,000 candidates in 2010, that number dropped to slightly more than 32,000 in 2021 (AICPA, 2021).

When you add the massive number of baby boomer CPAs retiring, the result is a perfect storm facing the accounting profession, with fewer professionals left to tackle more—and more challenging—work (“Accounting Crisis—CPA Firms Face 75% Retirements,” Controllers Council, Apr. 14, 2022, https://bit.ly/3SDVN4p). Not surprisingly, the SEC is now expressing strong concerns that the shortage of CPAs could increase the risk of serious financial reporting deficiencies across U.S. businesses, big and small (“Accountant Shortage, Resignations Fuel Financial Reporting Risks,” Amanda Iacone, Bloomberg Tax, Feb. 14, 2022, https://bit.ly/3fwaKqb).

How did the accounting profession get here? And which solutions can be implemented now to avoid a downward spiral of fewer CPAs dealing with ever more stressful work?

COVID Exacerbated Longstanding Challenges

The problems confronting the accounting profession did not arise overnight. The number of accounting graduates sitting for the CPA test year over year has been an ongoing subject of concern within the profession (“Filling the Pipeline,” Daniel Hood, Accounting Today, Oct. 24, 2016, https://bit.ly/3Rsk0ZQ). Trend reports published every two years by the AICPA indicate that total accounting degree completions peaked in 2015/16 (AICPA 2019 Trends report, https://bit.ly/3UMaxzr).

Although the pandemic may not have been the cause of these declines, it certainly accelerated them. The unique stresses workers have faced since 2020 have exacerbated conditions that were already causing young people to think twice about entering the profession: the high number of work hours, high-stress deadlines, high risks associated with the potential for reporting errors, and lower wages compared to other jobs in finance. Furthermore, these conditions are not unique to the Big Four, but have proven to be common in smaller firms and in-house corporate positions as well.

The past few years have also thrown a spotlight on the extreme lack of diversity within the accounting profession. In 2019, the AICPA trends report found that white people make up 84% of CPAs in the United States. Furthermore, women comprise only 23% of partners at CPA firms despite constituting 47% of all professional staff at those firms. Yet millennial and Gen Z professionals are avoiding companies without a diverse workforce and a commitment to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has asked new graduates to rank the importance of a diverse workforce every year since 2008 (“For Younger Job Seekers, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Aren’t a Preference. They’re a Requirement,” Jennifer Miller, Washington Posthttps://wapo.st/3Su6OoD). In 2020, more than 79% of respondents called it “very important.” Similarly, a McKinsey study found that diverse organizations are better at attracting the talent they need, especially when it comes to hiring Gen Z applicants (“Delivering Through Diversity,” Dame Vivian Hunt, Lareina Yee, Sara Prince, and Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, McKinsey & Company, https://mck.co/3E3zz7f).

Tighter SEC Scrutiny

If the pandemic stretched thin the supply side of accounting, it lit a fire under the demand side. Corporate accountants have been tasked with challenging new types of work, from reassessing the value of assets that may need to be impaired to determining how supply chain disruptions impact financial statements. Similarly, the rise of private equity has resulted in a sharp increase in complex transactions that reflect new approaches to deal making, financing, agreements, and accounting.

With the rise of remote and hybrid work, companies have had to alter their internal controls and safety checks; these also fall under the purview of CPAs. This work is especially critical at public companies that need to comply with SEC regulations, but companies of all types are scrambling to manage accounting teams that were probably understaffed to begin with and are now experiencing significant churn.

These factors taken together threaten the reliability of corporate financial reporting. And they are all colliding within an SEC and regulatory environment that has made clear its intentions to crack down on how companies report their errors (“Ernst & Young to Pay $100 Million Penalty for Employees Cheating on CPA Ethics Exams and Misleading Investigation: Largest Penalty Ever Imposed by SEC Against an Audit Firm,” SEC Release 2022-114, https://bit.ly/3UQxtxC).

Five Steps to Attracting Tomorrow’s CPAs

Can CPAs, accounting firms, and corporations meet the array of challenges that threaten the profession’s viability, and the integrity of the nation’s corporate financial systems as well? The answer is unquestionably: Yes. Here are five ways that accountants—including corporate accounting and finance teams, accounting and consulting firms, and professional organizations—can tackle this problem:

Automate.

The solution that is most easily and frequently proposed is to implement more technology. This involves automating more of the manual processes of accounting through software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based platforms and software. There are many reporting consolidation and reconciliation tools that can take over tedious work. Technology can also automate some administrative and auditing tasks.

Focus on high-risk areas.

From a risk advisory perspective, a dynamic top-down risk assessment is more effective than a scattershot approach. Companies need to identify areas of greater risk within their financial reporting and target those with more precise controls. In areas of potentially lower risk, they can implement entity-wide controls or use more automated processes and procedures. Oversight and review can then be focused on the high-risk areas that deserve manual attention.

Tap into expert support.

Many companies can function well most of the time with a small in-house accounting team. When complex challenges including acquisitions or financing transactions emerge, however, an accounting advisory firm can navigate the complicated accounting ramifications, providing well-documented, audit-ready results. Tapping into expert support can also be meaningful as companies navigate operational changes, ensuring that any newly created financial reporting risks are mitigated by the proper internal controls. Whatever the need, interactions with an advisory firm can be relatively short term and include upskilling of in-house teams, enabling the organization to move forward without sustained third-party involvement.

Respond to stakeholder expectations.

In order to stay competitive as a profession, audit and accounting advisory firms, as well as corporate organizations, must address what matters most to current and potential workers. This may relate to the work hours or the availability of hybrid and remote options. It may also center on automating lower-level tasks so that the work is more interesting. Most importantly, shareholders are asking to see real change with respect to DEI; these expectations need to be addressed. Corporations and consulting firms alike must intentionally seek out people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints in order to 1) attract and retain high-value workers with more collaborative work environments, and 2) achieve stronger business results, because studies have shown that the most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability (“Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters,” McKinsey & Company, May 19, 2020, https://mck.co/3Cl6FhB).

Focus on accountancy’s branding problem.

Individuals, companies, and professional organizations need to be more intentional in getting young people excited about joining the accounting profession. Accounting is the language of business: If you understand this language, you can work creatively across the world of finance. CPAs are now involved in strategic planning, finance, human capital and people management, and technology, and are taking leadership roles in all these areas. This broad horizon of opportunities is what needs to be emphasized in any outreach to students and to CPA test candidates.

Success in the accounting profession requires significant investments of time, dedication, and perseverance. The field is rapidly evolving, thanks to emerging global opportunities, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and complex new business models. Businesses will continue to need greater numbers of accounting professionals. We must be ready to commit to dismantling the hurdles that impede entry into the profession. Only in doing so will we be able to attract the talented, motivated CPAs needed by the businesses of today—and tomorrow.

Drew Niehaus is a managing director at Riveron, Dallas, Texas.
Fri, 25 Nov 2022 06:56:00 -0600 Drew Niehaus en-US text/html https://www.cpajournal.com/2022/11/25/fixing-the-crisis-in-accounting/
Killexams : Rivers PDP Reacts To Alleged Arrest Of Its Gubernatorial Candidate No result found, try new keyword!The Rivers State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council has dismissed reports that its governorship candidate for the forthcoming elections, Simin ... Wed, 30 Nov 2022 00:55:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/314616/rivers-pdp-reacts-to-alleged-arrest-of-its-gubernatorial-can.html
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