Make sure to Pass BEC this year and the 2024 changes will all be in your favor
Candidates should try to pass BEC in 2023 and then all the 2024 CPA Exam changes will
start to work in your favor.
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam is a rigorous test that accountants must pass to
become licensed to practice in the United States. The exam has long been considered one of
the most challenging professional licensing exams, requiring hundreds of hours of studying and
preparation. Now, in 2024, the CPA Exam is undergoing its biggest change in 20 years, with the
elimination of BEC and the introduction of three new testing options for candidates. In this blog
post, we will explore these changes and how candidates can prepare for them.
First, let’s take a closer look at the new testing options. If you don’t pass BEC by 12/31/2023,
the three new options are BAR, TCP, and ISC. The Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR)
option will cover topics such as Advanced Financial and Government Accounting Topics, Cost
and Managerial Accounting, Variance Analysis and Ratios. The Tax Compliance and Planning
(TCP) option will test candidates on advanced tax-related topics, including Qualified Business
Income (QBI), Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), multi-jurisdictional tax, C Corps, S Corp, and
Partnerships. The Information Systems and Controls (ISC) option will introduce new topics not
previously tested on the CPA Exam, with a focus on data analytics and emerging technologies.
Important to note that although BEC is being removed, FAR, Audit and REG will still remain.
FAR and REG will get easier because the tougher REG topics will move to TCP and the tougher
FAR topics will move to BAR.
Now, let’s examine each option in more detail. The BAR option will likely be most relevant to
candidates who plan to work in areas such as Financial accounting, Business Combinations,
managerial accounting, or forensic accounting. This option will require candidates to have a
deep understanding of business valuation, Risk Management and related financial analysis
techniques. Most of these topics have already been tested on the CPA FAR and BEC Exams
but now they will only be tested in the new BAR exam. Candidates who choose this option
should expect to study a variety of financial analysis methods, such as discounted cash flow
analysis, comparable company analysis, decision models and ratio analysis.
The TCP option, on the other hand, will test candidates on tax-related topics. While some of the
topics tested in this section have been tested before, they will be tested at a more advanced
level than before. This means that candidates should be prepared to go beyond just a basic
understanding of these topics. For example, the QBI topic will be tested with more complexity
and rigor, requiring candidates to have a deeper understanding of the tax code and its
implications for small businesses.
The ISC option will introduce new topics to the CPA Exam that have never been tested before.
While this may seem daunting for candidates, the exam blueprint suggests that most of these
topics will be tested at the “remembering and understanding” level, the lowest level of cognitive
learning. This means that candidates should focus on developing a basic understanding of
knowledge in these topics. The topics that will be covered in this section include data analytics,
networks, emerging technologies, cybersecurity threats, mitigation, SOC reports, and areas of
innovation that are becoming increasingly important in the accounting profession.
In putting together the content for i-75 CPA Review, its seems as though ISC will be easiest for
i-75ers to pass, followed by BAR and the toughest of all seems to be TCP. My advice is this, if
your primary goal is to pass the CPA Exam, take ISC or BAR. Only if you are already a tax
planner should you opt for TCP. Even if you have a strong interest in tax-related topics, TCP will
still be the most challenging of the three new exams because it features the most topics to be
tested at the more advanced level. Alternatively, the ISC exam will features the most topics to
be tested at a basic level, the right teacher makes all the difference.
Regardless of which option a candidate chooses, it is crucial to understand the changes being
implemented and how they will impact the exam.
To prepare for the new CPA Exam format, candidates must be diligent and focused in their
studying efforts. First and foremost, they must become familiar with the exam blueprint, which
outlines the content areas and topics that will be tested. Additionally, they should take
advantage of study materials, such as review courses, practice exams, and flashcards, to
reinforce their knowledge and identify areas of weakness.
Moreover, candidates should create a study schedule that allows for consistent and regular
study sessions. This schedule should include breaks and downtime to prevent burnout and
maintain a healthy work-life balance. They should also seek support from family, friends, or a
study group to stay motivated and accountable.
In conclusion, the CPA Exam is undergoing significant changes in 2024, with the elimination of
BEC and the introduction of three new testing options. Candidates should try to pass BEC in
2023 so then all the CPA Exam changes will start to work in your favor. The 2024 changes
to the CPA Exam are significant and will require candidates to adapt and prepare accordingly.
Whether a candidate chooses the BAR, TCP, or ISC option, they must develop a solid
understanding of the exam blueprint, focus on their areas of weakness, and create a study
schedule that works for them. While these changes may seem daunting, with i-75, and the right
mindset, candidates can pass the exam and move forward.