CPA Evolution: License to Principle, Advantages, & Accountability

CPA (Certified Public Accountant), a prestigious credential in the field of accountancy has the entire system of examination and certification process. This system acts as the basis of all CPA exam changes, including how the entire process is going to happen and what to be included in the exam, and other factors. As everything demands change with time, so does the CPA, which is why it has undergone some evolutionary changes. 
There have been several changes as per the CPA evolution in the exam structure, exam pattern, marking scheme, and much more. 
CPA or Certified Public Accountant is a highly acknowledged credential that represents that a person has expertise in the field of Accounting, Financing, Investing, etc. A CPA is a trusted accounting professional who has mastered accounting and its principles. 
In order to become a CPA, one has to know the prerequisites, all the CPA exam changes and take the CPA exam. The exam is very challenging and difficult. It tests the capabilities of the candidate on various parameters. An individual who has cleared the examination possesses a deep knowledge of accounting practices. 
CPAs can be seen throughout the business world and financial world because they work in government, non-profit organizations, accounting, business industry, etc. They are found everywhere! Every company regardless of size needs a CPA to assist them in making their business grow bigger and more successful. 
CPAs provide services to a lot of people and businesses. Let us look in brief at the responsibilities of a CPA. 
  • Oversees the Financial records 
  • Prepares Budget and Financial statements 
  • Making, Maintaining, and reviewing the budgets 
  • Ensuring that the federal, state, and local laws are followed thoroughly
  • Cash management
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic planning and Management
  • Constantly monitoring and improving the financial management system of the company 
Before moving on with the CPA evolution, lets create a simple understanding of the CPA certification course. So, here it is. If you think that a CPA and an accountant are the same, they are not! 
No doubt, both are related to accounting fields but the work that they do is entirely different. CPA is a licensed accountant, whereas an accountant is not a CPA. 

CPA Exam Pattern

CPA is an evolved area of expertise, wherein the CPAs are considered to have met all the licensing requirements including credit hours, professional education, work experience, etc. Acquiring a professional credential like CPA can open up wide opportunities for you in the financial world. CPAs are professionals who meet higher standards and have a lot of roles and responsibilities to fulfill. 
Before getting the credential, it is important to know the CPA exam changes and pass the exam. The exam tests the candidates on parameters, i.e., Accounting & Attestation, Business Environment & concepts, Financial Accounting & Reporting, and Regulation. 
These are the four papers that a candidate has to clear to gain the CPA title. To prepare for the exam, many candidates look for a certification course that will help them in preparing better. Well, as far as preparation is concerned, there is nothing better than Northstar Academy. 
NorthStar Academy provides the candidates with the best and most preferred Becker study material. The study material is exclusive and along with that the candidate also gets access to live interaction classes, pre-recorded sessions, and much more. The academy has a record of helping candidates achieve 75% in the exam, which is apt for acquiring the CPA title. Over the years, NSAs mentors like M Irfat Sir, have been helping students to achieve their dream of becoming a CPA and getting recruited by top companies at a high pay grade. 
Now, having known about the top academy that can help you prepare for the exam, let us have a look at the CPA evolution. 

What are the CPA exam changes 2022?

The CPA evolution is an initiative that aims to transform the CPA license model, thereby recognizing the changing skills and competencies in practicing accountancy. 
The CPA evolution first took place in 2014 depicted that the students can earn the CPA credential upon completing graduation.
The CPA exam changes are taking place in 2022. Each year, AICPA, the official accreditation body of CPA, makes several changes and upgrades to the CPA exam. In the year 2022, there were some integral changes made to the CPA exam. Major changes were there in the AUD (auditing) section and minor changes were made in the REG section and FAR section. 
However, the BEC section did not have any changes this year. Before preparing for the exam, it is very important to know all the CPA exam changes. Once the candidate knows all the changes, he/ she will prepare for the exam accordingly. 
The CPA exam this year will also retain the same structure, i.e., there will be four papers for four hours each. These sections will test the critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and analytical ability of the candidates. 
Here are the CPA exam changes for 2022. Have a look! 
  • The Auditor reporting section has some changes. 
  • There are some sections that have been added in auditing procedures like concern, fraud, third-party transactions, etc. 
  • The American Rescue Plan Act has also been changed. 
There were some 2021 CPA exam changes that have been retained this year. The changes were:
  • Understanding several business processes
  • Data analyzing and digital mindset 
  • The increased reliance on reports, i.e., financial reporting and internal control
This was an overview of some of the changes made to the CPA exam this year. Let us discuss the CPA evolution in detail as per the sections. 

Detailed CPA Evolution

1.Audit CPA exam changes 2022

The AUD section of the CPA exam has experienced some changes this year. The auditor reports changes include: 
  • SAS 134: Auditor reporting and Amendments sections include addressing the disclosure in the final audit of the financial statements for the financial year. 
  • SAS 135: Omnibus statement changes are made. The alignment of ASB guidance is done by amending:
  • AU-C 260 Auditor Communication charged with the Governance.
  • AUC-550 Related Parties amendment
  • AU-C 240 Considering the fraud in Financial Statement Audit 
  • SAS 136: Reporting on the financial statements for the benefits of employees subjected to ERISA :
  • Limited Scope Audits have been changed Section 103 (a) (3) (c). 
  • New engagement requirements are included in the engagement letter. 
  • As per the ERISA plan, the financial statement and the opinion section of the auditors report are presented first. This is followed by the independence of the auditors statement. 
  • Auditors should write representation regarding the responsibilities of the plan. 
  • Auditing Communication along with the management and the governance including the financial plan. 
  • SAS 137: The responsibilities of auditors and other information regarding financial and non-financial are as follows: 
  • Clarification of auditors responsibility in the annual report. 
  • The documentation is subjected to procedures.
  • Material inconsistencies must exist between the financial information and audited financial statements. 
  • SAS 138: Amendments related to the concept of materiality are as follows: 
  • Omissions are material concepts that influence the judgment made in financial statements. 
  • SAS 139: Amendments in Sections 800, 805, and 810 are made. Here they are: 
  • Documentations that are subjected to procedures.
  • Consideration of material inconsistencies between other information and audited financial information. 
  • SAS 140: Amendments are made in Sections 725, 730, 930, 935, and 940. They are: 
  • Aligning all the sections together to integrate audit and auditor reporting. 
  • Aligning sections 730 and 940 together as per auditor standards in SAS 134 and 137. 

2.BEC Changes

There is no CPA evolution in the BEC section this year. However, there are certain changes in 2021 that are prevalent. Here they are: 
  • Content Weight
  • Area-I includes enterprise risk management, internal controls, and business processes. The weight has been increased from 17% to 30%.
  • Area-II includes economics. The weight has increased from 20% to 25%. 
  • Area-III includes financial management. The weight has decreased from 21% to 20% (can be reduced to 10% as well). 
  • Other Changes 
  • Extensive revision of Area I to incorporate skill testing, analyzing, and incorporating content. 
  • Adding the financial reporting systems like tools, software, business processes, etc. 
  • Content related to data management and the relationship has been changed like extracting, loading data, governance, etc. 

3.FAR Changes

The CPA evolution has also reached the Financial Accounting and Reporting section. The section did not have large changes but minor ones. The Debt section, warrant section, Purchasing stock section, etc., included some changes. The changes are as follows: 
  • FASB ASU Debt In the Debt with conversion section, there will be no embedded conversion features. These features will not be separated from the host to convert instruments. 
  • FASB ASU earnings per share, debt modification, stock compensation, etc., had the following changes: 
  • Clarification of the requirement of accounting modification and changes of equity. 
  • GASB 91 The conduit debt obligation provides the method of reporting by issuers to remove the diversity completely in the practice. 

4.REG Changes

The regulation or REG section has also undergone a CPA evolution as per the American Rescue Plan act of 2021. The content has been updated. Here are the changes.  
  • Three rounds of stimulus checking are done. 
  • Federal unemployment benefits.  
  • Child tax credits with direct payment to taxpayers. 
  • Expanded earning income.
  • Loan debt of students from gross income. 
So, these are the CPA evolution changes that took place this year. The CPA exam changes some of its sections every year. The testing parameters and the exam structure remains the same. Only the sections are changed. 
There are some long-term changes as well that take place. So, let us have a look at them! 

Long-Term Changes

The CPA evolution includes long-term changes. In a couple of years, the licensing model of CPA will be fully updated to reflect the skills and competencies evolving. These changes are needed to make candidates successful CPAs in the future. 
With the CPA evolution, the CPA exam updates and restructures itself via the Core+ Discipline License Model. In the model, the exam is structured in a way that tests the candidates on Accounting, Taxation, Technology, etc. The candidates can choose from three disciplinary areas to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of accounting. 
The disciplines include: 
  • Planning & Tax Compliance
  • Information System & Controlling
  • Reporting and Business Analysis
The CPA exam still has those four exams of four hours each. CPA evolution has paved the way for the newly structured exam. The newly structured program will launch in 2024. 

Why does CPA Evolution take place?

The Accounting, Management, and Technology industries are constantly changing. This is the time when candidates require a lot of skills and knowledge. In order to stay updated with the rules, laws, regulations, etc., the CPA exam is changed and revised every year. These revisions can be minor or large. They can also include removing outdated topics and adding new ones, thereby improving the experience of testing.     


1.How is the CPA exam changing in 2024?

The CPA exam of 2024 will be moving to Core+ Discipline Model which will test the candidates based on evolving skills and competencies. Candidates will be required to have complete knowledge and skills of what they study.

2.How has the CPA exam changed over the years?

The CPA exam has seen changes in all four sections from the year 2014. These changes were made to test the candidates upon several parameters. The changes and updates are made every year.

3.Is CPA changing in 2021?

The CPA exam has a few changes in 2021. All four sections were updated and amendments were made.

Will the 2024 CPA exam be harder?

The CPA exam is counted as the most rigorous exam alongside CMA and CA. After all the changes, the exam will be harder and students will have to put in extra effort to clear the exam.


The CPA is quite a difficult exam. The students have to prepare as per the most recent CPA exam changes every year. There were not many changes but still, some sections were updated in all the papers, which creates a need to be attentive and make changes in your preparation wherever required. Candidates are advised to go through the updated versions of these sections and then begin to study.
Now, as far as preparation is concerned, you can apply to Northstar Academy (NSA). NSA is well aware of all the CPA evolution, including updated syllabus, and creates the exclusive CPA course based on the CPA exam changes. The live sessions and pre-recorded classes are also based on the changes made every year. So, what are you waiting for? Get hold of the exclusive study material and excel in the exam by applying to Northstar Academy!
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