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Message from the Chair: New Year, New Changes to the Profession

January 01, 2024

Thank you to the ASCPA for serving as a member-first organization. It’s an honor to write our first issue of 2024. In the spirit of the new year and new beginnings, what keeps you motivated?

A recent article published by Nick Wignall provides tactical ideas on how to increase motivation: “Taking action is something we have direct control over; feeling motivated is not.” Let go of the belief that you are more likely to do an action if you have the feeling of motivation. Spending extra time thinking about feeling motivated may be unhelpful. He recommends that you “sharpen your why.” When you consider your reason for wanting to feel motivated, you have an increased ability to perform. Or, you could create a PSP (painfully specific plan) to increase the odds for action and achieving a goal. As a new year’s resolution, I plan on moving forward in this direction and look forward to sharing my results with this community.  

In October, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Fall AICPA conference. Speakers came from around the globe to share their views about our profession. One notable trend is that we are experiencing “the great join” between finance and accounting and shifting from the rear-view window to the windshield view. 

Our professional staff needs to be ready for a range of scenarios. We are required to be more effective and bigger thinkers than we have ever been before.

Our profession is being reshaped by key drivers including technology strategy, embracing services such as AI, value creation in the role of business, and higher and broader expectations of assurance. There is an expectation and obligation for CPAs to increase our role as trusted advisor while embracing a digital mindset. These comments align well with the timing of the new CPA Evolution-aligned exam.

Effective January 1, 2024, a new CPA Evolution-aligned exam with three Core sections and three Discipline has been implemented. Both the AICPA and NASBA voted to advance the CPA Evolution initiative and have worked collaboratively for years.

 According to a recent NASBA press release, “the CPA Evolution initiative is transforming the CPA licensure model to recognize the rapidly changing skills and competencies the practice of accounting requires today and will require in the future. Let’s explore the different parts of the new CPA exam.

The Core sections will focus on 

  • accounting
  • auditing
  • attestation
  • and taxation 

with a recognition of the impact technology has on each area. The Core sections include content which newly licensed CPAs may be exposed to in the field, and then it assesses the knowledge and skills critical to protecting the public interest. CPA candidates are required to pass the three Core sections.

Candidates will then select one of three Discipline sections. The proposed Discipline sections are

  •  business accounting and reporting, 
  • information systems and controls, 
  • and tax compliance and planning.

CPA exam scores are released on a rolling basis throughout the year. CPA exam scoring is treated with a high level of importance, due diligence, and attention to accuracy.  By implementing the CPA Evolution-aligned exam, our profession can position itself as trusted advisors, enabling profitable growth and keeping pace with the rapid developments in technology.