AICPA proposes to add IFRS testing to US CPA exam

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09 May 2008

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has invited comment on a proposed update of the content of the CPA examination used throughout the United States.

Among other things, the AICPA is proposing to include IFRSs on the exam for the first time. Initially, the IFRS conceptual framework would be tested. IFRS testing would expand if IFRSs become generally accepted in the US. "The CPA Examination tests the knowledge and skills that are relevant for entry-level CPAs. In doing so, the public is protected," said Craig Mills, executive director of examinations for the AICPA. "That's why the AICPA Board of Examiners, which oversees the exam, is already assessing strategies to incorporate IFRSs into the exam." Comments on the proposal are due by 31 July 2008. Click for: An excerpt from the proposal:

Currently the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section tests knowledge and understanding of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (US GAAP) for business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental entities. Growing acceptance of IFRS in the financial reporting community, as well as recent actions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are indicators that IFRS could become a body of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The proposed Content Specification Outlines for FAR include within Area I topics related to the conceptual framework, standard-setting processes and regulatory filing requirements for financial statements. Included within these topics will be questions related to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). If IFRS becomes generally accepted in the United States of America, it would become eligible for expanded testing within Area I of the FAR section, as well as testing in Area II (Financial Statement Accounts) and Area III (Unique Transactions, Events & Disclosures) within the FAR section.


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