Between the AICPA, NASBA, and your State Board of Accountancy, it can be hard to determine who is torturing you with the CPA exam. We’ll clear that up by talking about who makes the CPA exam, and who just helps you along the way.
The AICPA Makes The CPA Exam
The AICPA predates all of us; it started as the American Association of Public Accountants in 1887 became the Institute of Public Accountants in 1916, changed to the American Institute of Accountants in 1917, and then, in 1957, became the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that we know today.
The American Institute of Accountants first started administering the exam in 1917. In 1924, the exam became even more important as Certified Public Accountants became recognized as a class of business professionals. Today, the exam consists of four parts that can be taken over a four-month period.
Although the exam has changed over the almost 100 year period, the AICPA continues to create and administer the CPA exam. According to the AICPA’s website, the AICPA Board of Examiners “(1) oversees the development and scoring of the CPA Examination; (2) ensures that the CPA Examination is consonant with the entry-level knowledge and skills requirements of CPAs; and (3) represents the CPA Examination to state boards of accountancy and the profession”.
So, essentially, the AICPA makes the CPA exam.
NASBA Does Your NTS And Releases Scores
We’ve all been there. If you haven’t, you’ll be there at some point during your examination process. NASBA is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and is known mostly for releasing scores (or, to some of us, delaying score releases). The also distribute Notice to Schedule’s once you have applied and been approved to take the CPA exam. Contrary to what people think, NASBA does not create content for the exam and is not responsible for grading the exam.
Applicant Examination Process
If you’re ready to apply to take your CPA exam, follow our exam application process below. Note that you should apply to take an exam at least two months before your scheduled exam date, as the process can take several weeks.
1. Apply to your state board of accountancy to determine your eligibility.
2. If you are eligible, the state board will notify NASBA.
3. NASBA will then place you in the National Candidate Database and send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS).
4. Go to Prometric’s website and set up the time and date of your exam.
After that, just study like crazy until your exam date. Good luck my CPA friends!