Wiley CPA Examination Review 2004, Business Environment and Concepts

Wiley CPA Examination Review 2004, Business Environment and Concepts

by Patrick R. Delaney, O. Ray Whittington

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471463412
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/26/2003
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 8.54(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

O. RAY WHITTINGTON, CPA, PhD, CMA, CIA, is the Ledger and Quill Director of the School of Accountancy at DePaul University. He is also the author of Audit Sampling: An Introduction to Statistical Sampling in Auditing, Fifth Edition, available from Wiley.

PATRICK R. DELANEY, CPA, PhD, was the Arthur Andersen LLP Alumni Professor of Accountancy at Northern Illinois University and the author of bestselling books, audios, and software in the Wiley CPA Examination Review System.

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Wiley CPA Examination Review 2004, Business Environment and Concepts


By Patrick R. Delaney O. Ray Whittington

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-46341-8


Chapter One

BEGINNING YOUR CPA REVIEW PROGRAM

General Comments on the Examination 1 Purpose of the Examination 1 Examination Content 2 Nondisclosure and Computerization of Examination 3 Types of Questions 3 State Boards of Accountancy 3 Exam Scheduling 4

Attributes of Examination Success 4 Knowledge of Material 4 Commitment to Exam Preparation 4 Solutions Approach 5 Grading Insights 6 Examination Strategy 6 Examination Confidence 6 Common Candidate Mistakes 6

Purpose and Organization of This Review Textbook 7 Other Textbooks 7 Ordering Other Textual Materials 8 Working CPA Questions 8

Self-Study Program 8 Study Facilities and Available Time 9 Self-Evaluation 9 Time Allocation 9 Using Notecards 10 Level of Proficiency Required 10 Multiple-Choice Feedback 10 Conditional Candidates 11

Planning for the Examination 11 Overall Strategy 11 Weekly Review of Preparation Program Progress 12 Time Management of Your Preparation 13

To maximize the efficiency of your review program, begin by studying (not merely reading) this chapter and the next three chapters of this volume. They have been carefully organized and written to provide you with important information to assist you in successfully completing the Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) section of the CPA exam. Beyond providing acomprehensive outline to help you organize the material tested on the BEC section, Chapter 1 will assist you in organizing a study program to prepare for the BEC exam. Self-discipline throughout your study program is essential.

GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE EXAMINATION

The Uniform CPA Examination will be delivered in a computer-based format beginning April 5, 2004. The final paper-based version of the CPA exam was given in November 2003. While there are still a lot of unknowns about the new format, there is also good news. You may take the exam one section at a time. As a result, your studies can be focused on that one section, improving your chances for success. In addition, the exam is no longer offered only twice a year. During eight months of every year, you may take the exam on your schedule, six days a week and in the morning or in the afternoon.

Successful completion of the BEC section of the CPA Examination is an attainable goal. Keep this point foremost in your mind as you study the first four chapters in this volume and develop your study plan.

Purpose of the Examination

The Uniform CPA Examination is designed to test the entry-level knowledge and skills necessary to protect the public interest. These knowledge and skills were identified through a Practice Analysis performed in 2000, which served as a basis for the development of the content specifications for the new exam. The skills identified as necessary for the protection of the public interest include

Analysis-the ability to organize, process, and interpret data to develop options for decision making.

Judgment-the ability to evaluate options for decision-making and provide an appropriate conclusion.

Communication-the ability to effectively elicit and/or express information through written or oral means.

Research-the ability to locate and extract relevant information from available resource materials.

For the BEC section the Board of Examiners has provided the following matrix to illustrate the interaction of content and skills. You should keep these skills foremost in your mind as your prepare and sit for the Uniform CPA exam.

The CPA examination is one of many screening devices to assure the competence of those licensed to perform the attest function and to render professional accounting services. Other screening devices include educational requirements, ethics examinations, and work experience.

The examination appears to test the material covered in accounting programs of the better business schools. It also appears to be based upon the body of knowledge essential for the practice of public accounting and the audit of a medium-sized client. Since the examination is primarily a textbook or academic examination, you should plan on taking it as soon as possible after completing your required accounting education.

Examination Content

The BEC section of the CPA exam is designed to test

Knowledge of the general business environment and business concepts that candidates need to know in order to understand the underlying business reasons for and accounting implications of business transactions, and

The skills to apply that knowledge in performing financial statement audit and attestation engagements and other functions normally performed by CPAs that affect the public interest.

Specific guidance concerning topical content of the new computer-based exam in BEC can be found in two documents prepared by the Board of Examiners of the AICPA: (1) Uniform CPA Examination-Examination Content Specifications, and (2) Business Environment and Concepts: Additional Detail Corresponding to Content Specifications Outline dated June 14, 2002. We have included the detailed content outline for BEC at the beginning of Chapter 5. The outline should be used as an indication of the topics' relative emphasis on the exam.

The Board's objective in preparing this detailed listing of topics tested on the exam is to help "in assuring the continuing validity and reliability of the Uniform CPA Examination." These outlines are an excellent source of guidance concerning the areas and the emphasis to be given each area on future exams. They are provided to each candidate in Information for Uniform CPA Examination Candidates along with the examination application, or may be downloaded at the AICPA's exam website, cpa-exam.org.

New accounting and auditing pronouncements, including those in the governmental and not-for-profit areas, are tested in the testing window starting six months after the pronouncement's effective date. If early application is permitted, a pronouncement is tested six months after the issuance date; candidates are responsible for the old pronouncement also until it is superseded. The exam covers the Internal Revenue Code and federal tax regulations in effect six months before the date of the exam. For the BEC section, federal laws are tested six months following their effective date and for uniform acts one year after their adoption by a simple majority of jurisdictions. If there is no federal or uniform law on a topic, the questions are intended to test knowledge of the law of the majority of jurisdictions. The AICPA posts content changes regularly on its Internet site. The address is cpa-exam.org.

Nondisclosure and Computerization of Examination

Beginning May 1996, the Uniform CPA Examination became nondisclosed. For each exam section, candidates are required to sign a Statement of Confidentiality, which states that they will not divulge the nature and content of any exam question. In April of 2004, the CPA exam becomes computer-based. After that date, candidates take the exam at Prometric sites in the 54 jurisdictions in which the CPA exam is offered. From April 5, 2004, going forward the CPA exam will be offered continually during the testing windows shown below.

Testing Window January through April through May July through August October through (Exam Available) February November

AICPA Review & Update March June September December (Exam Unavailable)

One or more exam sections may be taken during any exam window, and the sections may be taken in any desired order. However, no candidate will be allowed to sit for the same section more than once during any given testing window. In addition, a candidate must pass all four sections of the CPA exam within a "rolling" eighteen-month period, which begins on the date he or she passes a section. In other words, you must pass the other three sections of the exam within eighteen months of when you pass the first section. If you do not pass all sections within the eighteen-month period, credit for any section(s) passed outside the eighteen-month period will expire and the section(s) must be retaken.

The following table compares the sections of the prior pencil-and-paper exam with the new computer-based exam. If you have earned conditional credit on the pencil-and-paper exam, the table also shows the section of the computer-based exam for which you will be given credit.

Pencil-and-Paper Examination up to Computer-Based Examination commencing November 2003 (15.5 hours in 2 days) April 5, 2004 (14 hours over flexible period of time)

Auditing (4.5 hours) Auditing & Attestation (4.5 hours) Financial Accounting & Reporting (4.5 hours) Financial Accounting & Reporting (4 hours) Accounting & Reporting (3.5 hours) Regulation (3 hours) Business Law & Professional Responsibilities (3 hours) Business Environment & Concepts (2.5 hours)

Candidates should keep abreast of the latest developments regarding transition rules and requirements from their state boards of accountancy. We will post more detailed information as it becomes available on the CPA Examination Review Wiley website at wiley.com/cpa.

Types of Questions

The computer-based Uniform CPA Examination consists of two basic question formats.

1. Multiple-Choice-questions requiring the selection of one of four responses to a short scenario.

2. Simulations-case studies that are used to assess knowledge and skills in a context approximating that found on the job, through the use of realistic scenarios and tasks, and access to normally available and familiar resources.

The multiple-choice questions are much like the ones that have constituted a majority of the CPA examination for years. And the good news is that these types of questions constitute 100% of the BEC section. The BEC section has no simulations at this time.

State Boards of Accountancy

The right to practice public accounting as a CPA is governed by individual state statutes. While some rules regarding the practice of public accounting vary from state to state, all State Boards of Accountancy use the Uniform CPA Examination and AICPA advisory grading service as one of the requirements to practice public accounting. Every candidate should contact the applicable State Board of Accountancy to determine the requirements to sit for the exam (e.g., education, filing dates, references, and fees). For comparisons of requirements for various state boards and those policies that are uniform across jurisdictions you should refer to the website of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) at nasba.org.

A frequent problem candidates encounter is failure to apply by the deadline. Apply to sit for the examination early. Also, you should use extreme care in filling out the application and mailing required materials to your State Board of Accountancy. If possible, have a friend review your completed application before mailing with check, photo, etc. Candidates may miss a particular CPA examination window simply because of minor technical details that were overlooked (check not signed, photo not enclosed, question not answered on application, etc.). Because of the very high volume of applications received in the more populous states, the administrative staff does not have time to call or write to correct minor details and will simply reject your application. This can be extremely disappointing, particularly after spending many hours preparing to sit for a particular exam.

The various state boards, their websites, and telephone numbers are listed on the following page. Be sure to inquire of your state board for specific and current requirements.

It is possible for candidates to sit for the examination in another state as an out-of-state candidate. Candidates desiring to do so should contact the State Board of Accountancy in their home state.

Exam Scheduling

Once you have been cleared to take the exam by the applicable state board, you will receive by mail a "Notice to Schedule" and may then schedule to sit for one or more sections of the exam. A Test Center Locator and Scheduler application is available on Prometric's website at prometric.com. This tool allows candidates to quickly determine the most convenient center and reserve a seat and time at the chosen center. Scheduling may also be accomplished by telephone or in-person at a test center. To assure that you get your desired location and time period it is imperative that you schedule early. To get your first choice of dates, you are advised to schedule at least 45 days in advance. You will not be scheduled for an exam fewer than five days before testing.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Wiley CPA Examination Review 2004, Business Environment and Concepts by Patrick R. Delaney O. Ray Whittington Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. BEGINNING YOUR CPA REVIEW PROGRAM.

Chapter 2. EXAMINATION GRADING.

Chapter 3. THE SOLUTIONS APPROACH.

Chapter 4. TAKING THE EXAMINATION.

Chapter 5. BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND CONCEPTS.

Modules and Abbreviations:*

38 Business Structure.

39 Information Technology.

40 Economic Concepts.

41 Financial Management.

42 Risk Management and Capital Budgeting.

43 Performance Measures.

44 Cost Measurement.

45 Planning, Control, and Analysis.

APPENDIX A: SAMPLE EXAMINATION.

APPENDIX B: SAMPLE QUESTIONS RELEASED FROM THE AICPA.

INDEX.

*As explained in Chapter 1, this book is organized into 8 modules (manageable study units). The numbering of the modules commences with number 38 to correspond with the numbering system used in our two-volume set.

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