May 19, 2011 - Today's Topics:
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The AICPA released the CPA Exam pass rates for first quarter 2011, and they range from a high of 43.88% (AUD) to a low of 41.28% (REG). As expected, the pass rates are lower than in previous years, reflecting the impact of significant changes made to the 2011 Exam.
As of May 1, registration is officially open for the CPA Exam's new international testing locations in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. The exam will be administered in English in all countries, with the same computerized format as in the U.S. jurisdictions.
Info about the jurisdictions that will accept applications from candidates wishing to test in one of the international locations is now available on NASBA.org.
The good news is that 38 U.S. jurisdictions will accept applications for international testing. The exceptions, which will not accept international applications at this time, are the following 17 jurisdictions: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Common Wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Please let your international CPA candidates know about this new testing option if applicable to them. The details below will be helpful to them.
- Visit the NASBA site's map of jurisdictions at: http://j.mp/gVXsnW
- Click a specific jurisdiction on the map
- Look for the Test Internationally button. When you click that button, NASBA will display info on international applications for the jurisdiction you've chosen. (If there is no Test Internationally button, that means the jurisdiction you clicked isn't accepting international applications.)
Candidates are reminded that certain jurisdictions have specific rules and requirements to sit for the CPA Examination, as well as qualifying for CPA licensure after passing the exam. Before applying in any jurisdiction to take the CPA Exam in an international location, be sure to read the jurisdiction's Information for Applicants on the website. Regardless of which jurisdiction has declared you eligible for the exam, in addition to paying any domestic testing fees, you must pay additional fees for each exam section you plan to take internationally.
A recent article in Fortune Magazine focuses on the hiring outlook for accountants in 2011. According to the article, Big 4 hiring is anticipated to ramp-up considerably, providing a much needed bright spot in an otherwise stagnate labor market. Key highlights include:
- Deloitte plans to hire 17,000 professionals in the U.S. and India in 2011.
- E&Y is looking to hire 7,000 employees from college campuses and another 6,000 experienced staff.
- Reasons for the increase include overall growth in the economy, growth in the financial services and health care sectors, and increase of mergers and restructuring, and turnover stemming from experienced staff leaving for new job opportunities.
Recently the Journal of Accountancy issued the results of their biennial national CPA firm survey. A few interesting insights:
- Firms are cautiously optimistic about the future; approximately 57% anticipate near-term growth in revenues (13% expect growth greater than 10%)
- Larger firms (>$10M in revenue) are recovering more quickly than smaller firms; over 60% of the largest firms are seeing signs of recovery compared to only 30% of the smallest firms (<$750K).
- CPE is one of the most common benefits offered by firms. Although the average CPE spend is approximately 1% of revenues, the more progressive firms invest far more in their human capital.
CPE programs from Becker Professional Education can give your employees – and your firm – the edge needed to stay competitive and compliant. We have recently introduced a new Independence course specifically developed to address PCOAB and AICPA Independence requirements. Also, for firms with a governmental or not-for-profit focus, we have added new government CPE courses.
New Independence Course to Support Your Audit /Assurance Practice
Becker Professional Education makes it easy to keep your staff up-to-date on Independence requirements and acclimate new hires. Our new 4-hour Independence CPE course will review the AICPA Code of Conduct rules and related interpretations, and provide an overview of Independence rules by PCOAB, SEC, AICPA, GAO, and ERISA.
New Courses For Governmental/Not-For-Profit Areas
Throughout 2011 we are also introducing key government topics to our CPE catalog including: auditing practices and procedures, accounting practices, financial management, SOX for government, ethics & independence, enterprise risk management, and fraud, waste and abuse. These courses may also count towards your Yellow Book CPE requirements.
For more information on our new Independence and Government courses, please contact your local Becker representative or Rich Slusz at (877) 232-0333.