2024 CPA Exam Blueprints4/19/2023
New to the Blueprints and the Exam is the introduction of a Discipline section. Instead of everyone testing under the same four Exam sections, there are three Core sections, and candidates must then choose one of three Disciplines.
Changes to the Blueprints and the Exam "really focus on additional technology concepts, including System and Organization Controls (SOC) engagements, data, technology, and a new element in the Exam, personal financial planning," said Joe Maslott, CPA, associate director–Content Management at AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. "The Blueprint structure has not changed, but the underlying content in each Core and Discipline Exam section is different, which is why being familiar with each section Blueprint is imperative."
The Blueprints, with over 100 pages, are a go-to guide for the CPA Exam for students, academics and faculty members, testing officials, Exam writers, and others.
"The Blueprints are the official document that define the content that is eligible for assessment on the Exam," said Richard Gallagher, CPA, senior director–Examination Content at AICPA & CIMA. "Subject matter that is eligible for testing is described in each of the Blueprint sections. The Blueprints are a critical document."
Updates reflect changes in the profession
Introduction of the Core and Discipline model provides both flexibility for candidates and increased assessment real estate. Content assessed in the Core sections reflects knowledge and skills that all newly licensed CPAs must know.
"The breadth of knowledge required of CPAs has increased over the years," Gallagher said. "The CPA Exam is the gateway to licensure in the profession."
The three sections that comprise the Core of the Exam — Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Taxation and Regulation (REG) — will be similar to the current version of the Exam, although some content has moved from FAR and REG to their related Discipline sections.
Each candidate must also pass a Discipline section for licensure. Candidates can choose from three options: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), or Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP). The Discipline sections enable candidates to "demonstrate knowledge and skills in an area that aligns with their current interests," Maslott said.
The CPA Exam Blueprints will be available for review starting in January 2023. Testing under the updated curriculum begins in 2024, so everyone has a year to acclimate and prepare.