2021 CPA Exam Changes

In order to anticipate the 2021 CPA exam changes, we focus on the CPA exam updates provided by AICPA. For 2021, it looks as though AUD and BEC sections will feature the most number of changes.

Take AUD and BEC Before July 1, 2021

The AUD and BEC exams will drastically change after July 1, 2021. It is imperative that you take and pass these exams prior to that date. Normally, I would recommend a different order for taking the exam. However, in 2021, you want to hammer out BEC and AUD first.

AUD Changes 2021

  • Business processes and testing
  • Cloud computing
  • New materials and focus on data analytics.
  • Reviewing, understanding, and performing procedures on SOC1 and SOC2 reports
  • Understanding SOC1 and SOC2 reports in relation to internal controls

BEC Changes 2021

  • Business processes
  • Cloud computing
  • Data analytics: ETL (extract, transform, load)
  • Data governance, management, and data relationships
  • Reviewing and analyzing SOC1 reports

FAR Changes 2021

  • IFRS no longer tested
  • Post-retirement pension plans administered by external parties accounting no longer tested (e.g., pension expense, pension benefit obligations, etc.)
  • Derivative and hedging journal entries no longer tested

REG Changes 2021

  • Many CARES Act provisions expired on 12/31/2020 and are no longer testable
  • AMT removed
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 testable