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CPA Course Syllabus – Topics and Importance

October 3, 2016
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A CPA requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and proficiency in it. The purpose of CPA exam syllabus is to provide detailed information on the subject matter of the CPA course . So, the entire CPA exam syllabus is broken down into 4 sections, each section dealing with a body of related knowledge. Each section has different subjects to be covered.

The 4 sections of the CPA exam are as follows:

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD),
  2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  3. Regulation (REG),
  4. Business Environment Concepts (BEC)

We will now give you important insights about the above sections and will take you through the syllabus of the most stringent accounting qualification exams in the world, CPA

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

Considered as the most difficult section of the CPA exam, this section mainly focuses on the all aspects of auditing. This section tests the examinee’s ability to handle professional tasks of certified public accountant and how they would further apply in real-life scenarios.

Auditing and Attestation covers:

  • The basic principles of auditing and designing of audit plans.
  • It enables you to learn and prepare audit reports with ease.
  • It encompasses compilations and attestation engagements to maintain a professional code of conduct during audit process.
  • You will have to give a demonstration of their awareness level with regards to International Auditing and their standards.
  • It also includes understanding risk assessment.

The broad areas of CPA AUD syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Auditing and Attestation
Topic Percentage
Engagement Acceptance and Understanding the Assignment 12% - 16%
Understanding the Entity and Its Environment (including Internal Control 16% - 20%
Performing Audit Procedures and Evaluating Evidence 16% - 20%
Evaluating Audit Findings, Communications, and Reporting 16% - 20%
Accounting and Review Services Engagements 12% - 16%
Professional Responsibilities 16% - 20%

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

There is the vast volume of FAR materials, therefore, it is suggested that they opt for this section first. Taking up the FAR section first will benefit candidates in the long run, as it is considered as the most time consuming section.
Financial Accounting and Reporting covers:

  • The various aspects of the financial reporting practiced in the modern day business enterprises, or government entities.
  • The key differences between GAAP basis and IFRS basis.
  • The content which will help you to perform proper judgments in the application of principles in accounting.
  • Compilation, evaluation and analysis of financial statements, execution of calculations and identification of various financial and reporting methods.

The broad areas of CPA FAR syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Financial Accounting and Reporting
Topic Percentage
Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements 17% - 23%
Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% - 33%
Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% - 33%
Governmental Accounting and Reporting 8% - 12%
Not-for-Profit (Nongovernmental) Accounting and Reporting 8% - 12%

Business Environment and concepts (BEC)

Business Environment and concept section is treated as one of the most challenging exams because of its extensive material and it deals with business and economic concepts. The CPA BEC section will help you to move one step further in business knowledge and help them apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Business Environment and concepts covers:

  • Business environment in general, and its core concepts.
  • Foundational grounding in accounting and are exposed to underlying reasons for accounting implications
  • Financial management information technology, and business strategies in addition to accounting concepts.
  • Economic concepts, financial management, information systems and communications, strategic planning and operations management.
  • Testing to determine different business strategies with their knowledge in strategic planning and market risks.
  • Making financial decisions, forecasting trends in the market, and understanding internet’s implication in business.

The broad areas of CPA BEC syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Business Environment and concepts
Topic Percentage
Corporate Governance 16% - 20%
Economic Concepts and Analysis 16% - 20%
Financial Management 19% - 23%
Information Systems and Communications 15% - 19%
Strategic Planning 10% – 14%
Operations Management 12% - 16%

Regulation (REG)

Regulation (REG) is the combination of federal taxation and business law. This section comprises of basic understanding of business ethics. Most of the portion will seem like content straight out of business law books.

Regulation covers:

  • Tax concepts related to personal, partnership and corporate.
  • Capability to understand legal responsibilities
  • Tax implication and its various uses in business entities.
  • Various tax issues and its consequences, wherein they will have to make alternative treatment and its application in real life scenarios.

The broad areas of CPA REG syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Topic Percentage
Ethics, Professional, and Legal Responsibilities 15% -19%
Business Law 17% - 21%
Federal Tax Process, Procedures, Accounting, and Planning 11% - 15%
Federal Taxation of Property Transactions 12% - 16%
Federal Taxation 13% - 19%
Federal Taxation of Entities 18% - 24%

So, if you’re planning to become a Certified Public Accountant, there is not one but 4 exams you need to write. Candidates need to consider each of the sections as a subject for CPA, and the entire CPA exam syllabus is the cumulative of each of these sections. CPAs are in demand in every industry because of the extensive knowledge and high professional standards that a CPA has to maintain.

Well then the next step is to enroll in a good institution that provides training for CPA and you don need too far to search for it. EduPristine provides training for the CPA certification that will help you to clear the CPA exams easily.


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