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Computerized CPA exam to be launched in April 2004

Arriving on schedule, the Uniform CPA Examination will be delivered in a computer-based format beginning April 5, 2004, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced Wednesday. The final paper-based version of the CPA examination will be given on November 5 and 6, 2003.

As of April 5, 2004, the computer-based CPA Examination will be offered up to six days a week, during two out of every three months throughout the year, affording CPA examination candidates more flexibility. Currently, the Uniform CPA Examination is offered only twice a year, in May and November, by the 54 U.S. boards of accountancy in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The computer-based test will broaden the scope of the audit and attest areas and incorporate the assessment of critical skills, such as research and communication. The CPA examination will also increase emphasis on general business knowledge and information technology.

The AICPA will continue to create and grade the computerized CPA Examination, and NASBA and the state boards of accountancy will remain responsible for the overall administration of the exam to the more than 100,000 candidates each year. Prometric, a technology-based testing company, will deliver the examination to candidates through more than 300 testing centers in the United States and U.S. territories.

“The computerized CPA exam will better assess the skills that new CPAs must possess in order to carry out their essential charge: protection of the public interest,” said Barry C. Melancon, AICPA President and CEO.

“At the request of the state boards, a computer-based Uniform CPA Examination is being developed that will provide the states with a tool to ensure that new licensees possess the abilities our economy demands,” added David Costello, President and CEO of NASBA.

The state boards of accountancy are the only regulatory entities that can issue a license to practice public accounting in the United States.

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