AICPA, NASBA and Thomson Prometric Launch Computer-Based CPA Exam

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National State Boards of Accountancy, and Thomson Prometric officially launched the computer-based Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination.

The CPA exam, which has a long history in the licensing of CPAs, will now be delivered on behalf of boards of accountancy through 300 Thomson Prometric testing labs in the United States, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The computer-based CPA exam is more closely aligned with the real-world requirements of entry-level CPAs,” said Arleen Thomas, AICPA Vice President of Professional Standards and Services. “Moreover, the exam now enables us to evaluate a candidate's research, analytical, judgment and communications skills, which are essential in a CPA's daily work.”

More than 55,000 people took the paper-and-pencil-based exam twice a year, in May and November, prior to the new computerized exam which is available almost year-round, and enables candidates in most states to choose to take exam sections separately or at different times. In exchange for this new flexibility, candidates are now required to pass all four exam sections within 18 months in most jurisdictions to retain credit.

Since 1917, the AICPA has been developing the CPA exam for boards of accountancy. The AICPA, NASBA and Thomson Prometric have collaborated since 2000 to develop the exam's technical requirements, operational procedures and policies to guarantee the effective transition from paper-and-pencil to the computer-based format. This transition includes improved security, such as video monitoring and digital photo capture of exam candidates to verify test-taker identity and prevent cheating.

For details on scheduling the CPA exam or for more information, visit

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