Most Tested Topics on CPA FAR Exam

FAR Content Specification Outline

Howdy there! Having a solid foundation on the most tested topics on CPA FAR Exam is crucial to your game day success. Specifically, understanding what is highly tested and what is not highly tested can be the difference between a passing score and a retake score. Mastering the topics with the highest frequency discussed in the AICPA’s Content Specification Outline is your key to a passing score. Below, yes right below, you can find a summarized version of the Content Specification Outline for FAR. Take your time to browse through each area and its associated weight. Try to get an idea of what you know and what you don’t know. If you are feeling nervous or if you want some additional tips, check out FAR Exam Tips. When you are done, I will be waiting for you right under the table 🙂

Content Specification Outline

Effective Date: January 1, 2016

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)



Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements 17% – 23%
Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% – 33%
Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% – 33%
Governmental Accounting and Reporting 8% – 12%
Not-for-Profit (Nongovernmental) Accounting and Reporting 8% – 12%


Most Tested Topics on CPA FAR Exam

The FAR Exam has three questions to cross the bridge 90 multiple choice questions in addition to seven task based simulations. Understanding that the areas of Financial Statement Accounts and Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures make up any where from 54% to 66% of FAR is key for your success. If you want to focus on anything, getting down these areas can make a big, big difference in your FAR score. In particular, Financial Statement Accounts tend to cover the following groups: Cash and Cash Equivalents; Receivables; Inventory; Property, Plant, and Equipment; Investments; Intangible Assets – Goodwill and Other; Payables and Accrued Liabilities; Deferred Revenue; Long-Term Debt (Financial Liabilities); Equity; Revenue Recognition; Costs and Expenses; Compensation and Benefits; and Income Taxes. Wow! That’s a lot of material.

In addition, Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures cover the following groups: Accounting Changes and Error Corrections; Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligations; Business Combinations; Consolidation (including Off-Balance Sheet Transactions, Variable-Interest Entities and Noncontrolling Interests); Contingencies, Commitments, and Guarantees (Provisions); Earnings Per Share; Exit or Disposal Activities and Discontinued Operations; Going Concern; Fair Value Measurements, Disclosures, and Reporting; Derivatives and Hedge Accounting; Foreign Currency Transactions and Translation; Impairment; Interim Financial Reporting; Leases; Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity; Nonmonetary Transactions (Barter Transactions); Related Parties and Related Party Transactions; Research and Development Costs; Risks and Uncertainties; Segment Reporting; Software Costs; Subsequent Events; and Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Derecognition.

Now, I know you may be thinking, “Jeez, that’s a ton of content!” You are a right. It is a lot of content. Keep in mind that you have seen this material in your Intermediate Financial Accounting I, Intermediate Financial Accounting II, and Advanced Financial Accounting courses. Also, be assured that you cannot possibly expect to see the same level of detail that you experienced in the aforementioned courses. There is no possible way you could be expected to perform an entire consolidation as a multiple choice problem. Instead, you should expect to see a much smaller component of a consolidation problem such as a journal entry to record in-process research and development. You got this! As always, remember to breathe.


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