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Cengage Learning Inc.

02/13/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2018 11:55

A Proposal for Building Critical Thinking Skills for the New CPA Exam

Author:

Michael S. Wilson, PhD, CPA, CGMA, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) launched a new version of the Uniform CPA Exam on April 1, 2017. Professional content knowledge will remain fundamental to protecting the public interest, but newly licensed CPA's must also possess higher order cognitive skills (critical thinking, problem solving and analytical ability), professional skepticism, an understanding of ethical responsibilities, an understanding of the business environment, and effective communication skills, according to Tysiac 2016.

Tysiac 2016, provides an example of changes to the exam by describing a document review simulation. A document review simulation requires the ability to analyze and interpret documents such as reports, memos and emails since this is a critical part of a CPA's job. The candidate must determine what information from ledgers, invoices, emails and contracts is or is not relevant and make edits or changes as appropriate. Multiple-choice questions will decrease from roughly 60% to 50% of the overall exam as task based simulations testing higher-order skills will increase (Tysiac, 2016).