Data Analytics will be added to CPA Exam in 2019.

AICPA will add Data Analytics to CPA Exam, starting mid 2019, and candidates who’ve come across this new development are considerably tense about it.

Okay, the title of this post is intentionally misleading, even without me fanning the flames of this misunderstanding.   

The AICPA simply added the term “Data Analytics” to their Blueprint, but the concepts are already being tested. The “mid 2019” part is simply because the new Blueprint comes into effect in July of 2019. So this is all technical jargon. 

Nothing is changing!

According to the Blueprint… 

The revisions expand upon or add more detail to the AUD Blueprint on audit data analytics. The revisions do not change the nature or scope of content eligible for testing in the AUD section. The audit data analytics concepts addressed in the revisions are covered by the existing AUD Blueprint and are currently eligible for testing.

“Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – The revisions are not intended to significantly change the content eligible for testing in the BEC section. The revisions:
a. Clarify the Section introduction.
b. Reorganize Area IV, Information Technology, to clarify the nature and scope of the Area with respect to newly licensed practice…”

Therefore, nothing has changed and this really isn’t news.  

In addition to the false alarm surrounding Data Analytics, here are some key things to keep in mind:

No score holds in 2019. 

The most frustrating part of the exam for most people won’t apply this year. So, study, sit for the exam, and wait just two weeks for your score, as opposed to two months. 

The exam is better in 2019.

In 2017 when I took my last section, the exam interface looked old, the monitors at the testing center where smaller, no Excel function etc.

They’ve made strides towards improving the overall exam experience for candidates. 

You can still fail if you don’t prepare properly. 

This part goes without saying. 

CPA Exam Blueprint.

If you’re years or months away from sitting for the exam, it’ll behoove you to read the Blueprint. I found it helpful during my time, and got very acquainted with the exam, years before I sat for my first section. 

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