Four Components of CPA Certification Exam & Tips to Pass Auditing Portion

Four Components of CPA Certification Exam & Tips to Pass Auditing Portion
April 21, 2015 Howayda Alame

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) provide financial services such as consultancy and tax preparation. CPAs are open to various career opportunities only if they’re relevant with accounts and finance. Both government and private firms offer different executive designations but to get there, clearing all four components of CPA exam is a must, accruing total 14 hours. Each topic is broken down in two sections, multiple choice questions (MCQs) and case studies known as simulations that require research and dissertation.

Audit & Attestation

Auditing and attestation is an integral part of exam to evaluate your knowledge of the subject. Candidates must be aware of current auditing standards and procedures to clear this section that usually take four hours and 30 minutes. So there’s no running away from it, even the most experienced CPAs face audits every now and then.


Are you familiar with business law? Do you know about country’s tax procedures for corporations and individuals? All CPAs must realize the two facts that make regulation part of the test. It’s designed to ensure candidates have sufficient knowledge of federal taxation, legal and professional responsibilities plus ethics. It takes three hours to complete this section.

Financial Accounting & Reporting

Financial accounting and reporting plays the most important roles of CPA that takes four hours to deal with the section! You’ll deal with many different financial statements and types of transactions. Students need to review all accounting principles, their classification and application in business enterprises, non-profit organizations and government enterprises.

The Business Environment & Concepts

Like every professional person, CPA must realise why they’re needed which requires a sense of business environment and concepts. Two and a half hour part of this exam involves questions about primary business functions, concepts, transactions and their accounting implications.

How to Overcome Auditing?

Many CPAs are overwhelmed with auditing due to sophisticated calculations and rules but following the below steps will definitely be helpful.

Learn Core Concepts

Just to create a little confusion or simply to test intuition of the candidate, MCQs portion of auditing may have more than one correct option. Your move is to select the best or that holds most true under various circumstances. Carefully read each question before answering which calls for in-depth knowledge of accounting applications in business organizations. Disclosure and presentation, allocation and valuation, obligations and rights are a few portions that require clear insight.

Write Good, Be Concise

Auditing module of CPA certificate exam also contains a portion of communications that’s geared toward effective writing, not content-oriented though. Answers must be clear, complete and well assembled. Work hard towards grammar, punctuation and paragraph alignment. As auditing encompasses communication with clients and colleague to clarify general accounting concepts, student must be fluent in both written and speaking language. Take help from a senior editor, a journalist or writer who’ll help build strong basics.

Time Management

Questions that require research also teaches a candidate time management as one must complete all sets of questions in allotted time. Read the paper carefully and attempt easy questions first, keep a watch to follow minutes. Answer only that’s relevant, don’t beat about the bush!


Following the above CPA requirements would definitely help you clear CPA exam easily. Now, study hard!



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