Data Analytics has become a hot topic in recent years. And rightfully so as the use of big data extends its reach beyond the field of Information Technology. However, what is data analytics and why is it making an appearance on the CPA Exam?
In general, data analytics is defined as the process of examining data sets in order to draw conclusions about the information they contain. Accountants can use data analytics to more efficiently assess business performance, provide process improvement recommendations, evaluate behavioral patterns in consumers and the market, and analyze complex tax scenarios -- all while reducing the margin of human error.
The AICPA announced with the release of the July 1, 2019 BEC Blueprint changes that CPA candidates will be expected to:
In addition, BEC isn’t the only part affected by the introduction of data analytics. The AUD Blueprint changes will also require CPA candidates to demonstrate their ability to use data analytics when “identifying and assessing risks of misstatement due to error or fraud and developing appropriate engagement procedures” as well as when “performing engagement procedures and concluding on the sufficiency and appropriateness of evidence obtained”. This is basically throughout the entire audit!
The AUD section of the Exam will see the following objectives in testing related to data analytics:
For candidates, the application of data analytics doesn’t just stop at the CPA Exam; it also affects the recruitment process. Here are some of the top skills recruiters are interested in:
Adds a new AR-C section entitled Special Considerations—International Reporting Issues. This section provides requirements and guidance for:
(1) when financial statements have been prepared in a framework generally accepted in another country (not GAAP)
(2) when a review or compilation is to be performed using Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) in conjunction with another set of review or compilation standards
Adds a definition in AR-C Section 60 for the term fair presentation framework and amends the definition of financial reporting framework. The amendments acknowledge that in order to achieve fair presentation of the financial statements that management may need to:
This is just a bit of insight on what the 2019 CPA Exam changes will entail. At Simandhar CPA Review, we will of course ensure all our students are fully prepared for the new 2019 CPA Exam revisions, as well as any other standard updates that occur.
It’s important to remember that the CPA Exam’s job is to reflect the expectations of a newly licensed CPA, which is influenced by continuously evolving technology that affects the accounting profession. In other words, candidates should expect the CPA Exam to always be evolving to meet industry expectations.