The Department of Accountancy in the NIU College of Business has been designated as a certified public accountant (CPA) exam field test location by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Those invited to sit for the field test exam free of charge are senior NIU accountancy students, Master of Accountancy Science students and Master of Science in Taxation students. The Department of Accountancy plans to hold the CPA field test exam in early November.
“The CPA designation is the highest credential for anyone interested in a career in accounting. In 2017, the exam will change significantly when the AICPA launches the next version of the uniform CPA examination,” says Mark Hogan, an NIU Department of Accountancy instructor. “As a field test location, our students are provided with a tremendous opportunity to get an inside look, free of charge, at new sets of exam questions. Plus, they’ll receive instant, on-the-spot scores. As I tell my accountancy students, why wouldn’t you participate?”
The AICPA rolls out the next version of the uniform CPA examination on April 1, 2017. Instead of a 14-hour exam, the next version will grow to a 16-hour exam (four hours for each of the four sections). Additionally, the new exam will place greater emphasis on testing higher-order cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and analytical ability. By serving as a field test location, the Department of Accountancy will help the AICPA assess student performance with new question types, some of which will be included in the next version of the exam when it launches.
“While there’s no guarantee which of the field test questions the AICPA will include in the new exam, the chance for our students to participate will only serve to help prepare them even more,” Department of Accountancy Chair Rebecca Shortridge says. “I’m excited by this opportunity for our majors, and I’m grateful to Mark Hogan for his active involvement in bringing the field test to NIU.”
The new exam has been in development for more than two years. Over that length of time, the AICPA has conducted in-depth research that informed the exam’s content and design. Countless stakeholders – from public accounting, business and industry, academia, boards of accountancy, state societies, and regulators and standards setters – shared a wealth of knowledge and expertise with the objective of aiding the development of an exam that continues to preserve the strength and mission of the profession.
“Being selected by the AICPA to serve as a field test location is a high honor for NIU’s College of Business and our Department of Accountancy,” says College of Business Dean Balaji Rajagopalan. “It’s also a strong affirmation of the high regard the AICPA holds for our college, our accountancy program and our students.”