Potential FAR Simulation Topics Straight from the AICPA

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  • #1650700
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    During one of the most recent AICPA/NASBA webinars, the AICPA presenter bought up the CPA exam blueprints available on the AICPA website. He said that we should reference these blueprints in preparing for the exams and then there should be no surprises. He also said that any content group/topic that is tested at the analysis level is fair game for a simulation. I have created a short summary below. While the language in the blueprints can be somewhat vague, I think if you at least have a mastery of the topics below, simulations shouldn't scare you.

    Balance sheet/statement of financial position
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the balance sheet amounts to supporting documentation
    B) calculate fluctuations and ratios and interpret the results while reviewing comparative balance sheets

    Income statement/statement of profit or loss
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the income statement amounts to supporting documentation
    B) calculate fluctuations and ratios and interpret the results while reviewing comparative income statements

    Statement of comprehensive income
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of comprehensive amounts to supporting documentation

    Statement of changes in equity
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of changes in equity to supporting documentation

    Statement of cash flows
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of cash flows to supporting documentation
    B) derive the impact of transactions on the statement of cash flows

    Notes to the financial statements
    A) compare the notes to the financial statements to the financial statements and supporting documentation to identify inconsistencies and investigate those inconsistencies

    Consolidated financial statements (including wholly owned subsidiaries and noncontrolling interests)
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the consolidated financial statement amounts to supporting documentation

    Cash and cash equivalents
    A) reconcile the cash balance per the bank statement to the general ledger
    B) investigate unreconciled cash balances to determine whether an adjustment to the general ledger is necessary

    Trade receivables
    A) prepare a rollforward of the trade receives account balance using various sources of information
    B) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for trade receives to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Inventory
    A) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for inventory to determine whether an adjustment is necessary
    B) prepare a rollforward of the inventory account balance using various sources of information

    Property, Plant, and Equipment
    A) prepare a rollforward of the property, plan, and equipment account balance using various sources of information
    B) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for property, plant, and equipment to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Payables and accrued liabilities
    A) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for accounts payable and accrued liabilities to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Revenue Recognition
    A) interpret agreements, contracts and/or other supporting documentation to determine the amount and timing of revenue to be recognized in the financial statements
    B) reconcile and investigate the differences between the sales subledger and the general subledger to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Account changes and error corrections
    A) derive the impact to the financial statements and related note disclosure of an accounting change or an error correction

    Contingencies and commitments
    A) review supporting documentation to determine whether a commitment or contingency requires recognition or disclosure in the financial statements

    Leases
    A) interpret agreements, contracts and/or other supporting documentation to determine the appropriate accounting treatment of a leasing arrangement and prepare the journal entries that a lessee should record.

    Subsequent events
    A) derive the impact to the financial statements and required note disclosues due to identified subsequent events

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650706
    Ana
    Participant

    WOW, thank you for posting this. Seriously I'm so thankful.

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650710
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    @Ana np. The key now is to find simulations in whatever prep software you are using that touch on these topics and points.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650712
    Ana
    Participant

    I haven't seen this detail of SIMS content. Wondering if they feel bad for us and are kicking us a bone. Hard to believe though.
    You have Becker and Ninja? We could come up with which match up and concentrate on those SIMS. We gotta pass this time Lentil!!!

    I think every one that say, “detect, investigate, and correct” relates to a DRS

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650718
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    Yup. I have Becker, Ninja, and Wiley. I'm going through the Ninja sim topic list which is available on another thread.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650724
    MrsEarlaRiopelMrsEarlaRiopel
    Participant

    It seems like, AICPA wants us to pay attention on whatever included on its CPA Exam Blueprint: https://www.aicpa.org/BecomeACPA/CPAExam/ExaminationContent/DownloadableDocuments/cpa-exam-blueprints-effective-20170401.pdf

    I sat for all 4 sections in 2017 Q3, and this is what my opinion on actual SIMs:

    For AUD,
    AICPA wants candidates to act like auditors in real world.
    What is an audit?
    An audit is a systematic and independent examination of books, accounts, statutory records, documents and vouchers of an organization to ascertain how far the financial statements as well as non-financial disclosures present a true and fair view of the concern. It also attempts to ensure that the books of accounts are properly maintained by the concern as required by law. ~ Wikipedia

    For FAR,
    They want candidates to be bookkeepers/accountants, who know how to prepare financial statements, and even troubleshoot in times.
    What is Accounting?
    Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses (i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporations), government & NPOs.

    For REG,
    They want candidates to be tax experts and business law geniuses (acting like lawyers – specialized in Business Law).
    What is a Tax preparer?
    A tax preparer is a professional that is qualified to calculate, file and sign income tax returns on behalf of individuals and businesses. They can also represent the taxpayer during IRS examinations of tax returns. ~ Sokanu

    For BEC + REG (Business Law)
    They want candidates to be management/cost accountants, business managers, business owners, investment investors/advisors, computer techies and business law experts (acting like business law – lawyers) and know the following areas:

    Management accounting is a profession that involves partnering in management decision making, devising planning and performance management systems, and providing expertise in financial reporting and control to assist management in the formulation and implementation of an organization's strategy ~ IMA

    Management information system (MIS) refers to the processing of information through computers and other intelligent devices to manage and support managerial decisions within an organization. ~ Wikipedia

    Business Law consists of many different areas taught in law school and business school curricula, including: Contracts, the law of Corporations and other Business Organizations, Securities Law, Intellectual Property, Antitrust, Secured Transactions, Commercial Paper, Income Tax, Pensions & Benefits, Trusts & Estates, Immigration Law, Labor Law, Employment Law and Bankruptcy. It is a branch of law that examines topics that impact the operation of a business. ~ Wikipedia

    So basically, the SIMs part of the exam is a test for candidates, and by passing all 4 sections, the new CPAs are ready for the real world.

    Passed: AUD (75%-'08/77%-'17); REG (76%-'09); BLaw(77%-'99);

    Highest: FAR (63% - '11/'15); BEC (63% - '11)

    Education: USAgustin-BSCom'85; UBC-DAP'02; DouglasCollege-BBA-Accounting'21

    #1650728
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    The AICPA presenter heavily emphasized these CPA exam blueprints and how a CPA candidate should look at them during their study process. A poll was taken of everyone listening in and very few people had heard of these blueprints. He seemed very disappointed.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650731
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    Here is the list of Ninja FAR sims. I have gone through and annotated the topics with a little more detail.

    2017 NINJA MCQ FAR SIMS

    FAR Simulation 1: Cash Flow
    FAR Simulation 2: Capital Accounts
    FAR Simulation 3: Research
    FAR Simulation 4: Long-Term Receivables
    FAR Simulation 5: Current portion of long-term receivables
    FAR Simulation 6: Income Statement – interest revenue + gains recognized on the sale of assets
    FAR Simulation 7: Research
    FAR Simulation 8: Journal Entries – Leases
    FAR Simulation 9: Balance Sheet – Intangibles
    FAR Simulation 10: Income Statement – Expenses from intangible transactions

    FAR Simulation 11: Research
    FAR Simulation 12: Units of Production – depreciation
    FAR Simulation 13: Sum-of-the-Years'-Digits – depreciation
    FAR Simulation 14: Classification of securities
    FAR Simulation 15: Research
    FAR Simulation 16: Price – bonds
    FAR Simulation 17: Journal Entries – bonds
    FAR Simulation 18: Schedule – cost recovery method
    FAR Simulation 19: Journal Entry (1) – nonmonetary transactions
    FAR Simulation 20: Journal Entry (2) – nonmonetary transactions

    FAR Simulation 21: Research
    FAR Simulation 22: Gains and Losses – income statement classification
    FAR Simulation 23: Treasury Stock – cost method
    FAR Simulation 24: Dividend – transaction journal entries
    FAR Simulation 25: Par Value Method – treasury stock
    FAR Simulation 26: EPS – earnings per share
    FAR Simulation 27: Classification – accounting changes and error corrections
    FAR Simulation 28: Accounting Treatment – retrospective, restatement, prospective approach classification
    FAR Simulation 29: Chart – accounting changes and error corrections
    FAR Simulation 30: Liquidity and Efficiency – balance sheet and income statement ratios

    FAR Simulation 31: Leverage and Profitability – balance sheet and income statement ratios
    FAR Simulation 32: Depreciation Exp. – depreciation
    FAR Simulation 33: Accumulated Depreciation – depreciation
    FAR Simulation 34: Gain/Loss – disposal of assets
    FAR Simulation 35: Amortization – of intangibles
    FAR Simulation 36: Adjustments – accruing for events
    FAR Simulation 37: Research
    FAR Simulation 38: Average Cost – inventory valuation
    FAR Simulation 39: LIFO – inventory valuation
    FAR Simulation 40: FIFO – inventory valuation

    FAR Simulation 41: Theory – financial statement disclosure/adjustments
    FAR Simulation 42: Accounting Treatment – stockholder's equity
    FAR Simulation 43: Research
    FAR Simulation 44: Funds – governmental accounting
    FAR Simulation 45: Basis – governmental accounting
    FAR Simulation 46: Major Funds – governmental accounting
    FAR Simulation 47: CAFR – governmental accounting
    FAR Simulation 48: Bond Issue Price – bonds
    FAR Simulation 49: Interest Expense – bonds
    FAR Simulation 50: Bonds and the balance sheet

    FAR Simulation 51: Allowance Calculation – AR aging schedule
    FAR Simulation 52: Journal Entry – AR aging
    FAR Simulation 53: Research
    FAR Simulation 54: Constr. Interest Capitalization – Construction interest capitalization
    FAR Simulation 55: Research
    FAR Simulation 56: Adjusted Trial Balance – adjusting a trial balance
    FAR Simulation 57: Intangible Asset Entries
    FAR Simulation 58: Research
    FAR Simulation 59: Contingent Liabilities – accrual or disclosure?
    FAR Simulation 60: Bonds – journal entries

    FAR Simulation 61: Research
    FAR Simulation 62: Research
    FAR Simulation 63: R&D Activities – capitalize, amortize, expense, etc. (a type of DRS)
    FAR Simulation 64: Cash Reconciliation – bank rec
    FAR Simulation 65: Research
    FAR Simulation 66: Interest Expense – loan journal entries
    FAR Simulation 67: IFRS Business Acquisition
    FAR Simulation 68: Research

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650839
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I have tried reading these blueprints but I find them overwhelming. I figure that the review courses have read the blueprints and know how and what we need to know. If I know what I am doing in my MCQ and have at least done each SIM once, I will be well prepared….

    #1650878
    Juice23Juice23
    Participant

    I think it's safe to say that the major exam prep companies build their material around the blueprints. Sure, I imagine knowing what the blueprints say might help conceptually, but I don't know if its necessary to learn them if diligently using reputable prep material already.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 78
    REG - NINJA in Training
    BBA, MA, MA.

    "Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." - Wittgenstein

    #1650881
    jeff
    Keymaster

    NINJA MCQ is not built around the blueprints … Q2/Q3 pass rates from those reporting scores is in the 90s.

    #1650887
    Juice23Juice23
    Participant

    Interesting – thanks for the correction.

    I guess then I would adjust my statement – based on reading the blueprints, I doubt there is anything there that you won't find already included in reputable exam prep material.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 78
    REG - NINJA in Training
    BBA, MA, MA.

    "Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." - Wittgenstein

    #1650892
    Ana
    Participant

    I'm working on adding the Becker Sims that line up with these blueprints. Hope to have it up here today. Thanks for all your work Lentil.

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650910
    Ana
    Participant

    Just realized the blueprint doesn't refer to govt or nap. Safe to assume there won't be a SIM on it?

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650923
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    @Ana Thanks.

    @Jeff

    With regards to your comment, “NINJA MCQ is not built around the blueprints … Q2/Q3 pass rates from those reporting scores is in the 90s.”

    Did these people use Ninja products exclusively? Ninja MCQ, Ninja notes, etc.? A lot of people on this site seem to supplement Ninja MCQ with other study systems such as Becker, Wiley, Gleim, and Roger. I understand that the Ninja business model has changed and you can no longer buy standalone MCQ to get additional practice.

    If those reported scores are based on people who used other study systems in conjunction with Ninja, can you really say that there is a pass rate in the 90s for people who use Ninja?

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650928
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    My goal in posting this thread and referencing the blueprints was to say that the AICPA wants us to look at these. They made it a point in the last webinar series and spoke about it for several minutes. I love knowing exactly what I am being graded on because it makes preparation easier. I'm not saying that you should study and memorize these blueprints. Just make sure that after studying, you can do all the things it says you should be able to do.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650929
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Having actually read your original post, this list is super helpful! I would also say that doing a sample AICPA FAR exam is helpful in seeing different types of SIMS that might come up.

    #1650931
    Ana
    Participant

    lentil your comment got deleted?

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650934
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    Reposting this comment again because it doesn't seem to have gone through.

    NINJA MCQ is not built around the blueprints … Q2/Q3 pass rates from those reporting scores is in the 90s.”

    Ninja MCQ has helped me to pass exams. It has been a great tool in addition to other study systems that I have purchased. My point is that many people who have used Ninja MCQ use it in conjunction with Becker, Wiley, Gleim, or Roger. Until recently, you could buy Ninja MCQ by itself. Therefore, can you really say that Q2/Q3 pass rates from reported scores are in the 90s?

    What is the pass rate for people who used Ninja exclusively? Just MCQ, notes, audio, etc.?

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650943
    Ana
    Participant

    Here's the first set of 5 with associated Becker sims:

    Balance sheet/statement of financial position
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the balance sheet amounts to supporting documentation
    F1.7
    B) calculate fluctuations and ratios and interpret the results while reviewing comparative balance sheets
    F2.3

    Income statement/statement of profit or loss
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the income statement amounts to supporting documentation
    F1.1, F1_SIM 2_6
    B) calculate fluctuations and ratios and interpret the results while reviewing comparative income statements
    F2.3

    Statement of comprehensive income
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of comprehensive amounts to supporting documentation
    F1.5

    Statement of changes in equity
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of changes in equity to supporting documentation
    ALL OF F7_SIM2

    Statement of cash flows
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the statement of cash flows to supporting documentation
    B) derive the impact of transactions on the statement of cash flows
    F8.1-4 & F8.7
    F8_SIM2_1 & 6

    Let me know if this is helpful to anyone.

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1650949
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    Thanks Ana. I am going to look at these later today.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1650970
    Wannafree
    Participant

    @Lentilcounter , you are simple awesome.Your post given me good direction for SIMs. Most of the people felt the webinar was useless but you brought fresh pearl from ocean.Can't thank u enough.
    @Ana you are great .You both are really helping the peers to pass this beast FAR.
    I am surprised to see Ninja SIM list and annotation.

    WannaB
    #1650973
    Wannafree
    Participant

    @Lentilcounter , I feel the scores in 90s are good indicator that Ninja test are close to exam.You are contributing really good and please keep it up.

    WannaB
    #1650974
    kdcpa
    Participant

    @Lentilcounter can you please share such information for Audit as well? It will help so much.

    Can Pass Attitude
    #1650980
    jeff
    Keymaster

    I am not sure what the pass rate is for people who use NINJA only … people don't usually post that info in the Trending vs Actual thread.

    I just track the data that people voluntarily give.

    Also, my presumption is that the majority use NINJA as a supplement – although plenty have used it as their main review course and passed.

    Even the people on this forum who use one course “exclusively”, get help/advise from people on here, so I'm not sure how many people in this day and age use one material “exclusively”.

    The point in my 90s comment is that it's not as if people starting bombing the exam once the blueprints were introduced and people were using materials build on the CSO.

    The blueprints are simply a way of organizing the information tested … the concepts on the exam are still the same.

    Bonds are bonds … Corporate Tax is Corporate Tax.

    It may be under Section II-B under the old CSO and now under Section III-D on the Blueprint, but it's still the same information, aside from what they removed from the exam.

    #1650983
    Wannafree
    Participant

    fully agree with you Jeff but I am surprised that you are claiming it was not based on blueprint but still so close to blue print as OP has put annotation next to NINJA SIMs.

    WannaB
    #1650986
    jeff
    Keymaster

    Well, content-wise it IS updated … I suppose it depends on what someone means by blueprint … structurally (the topic menu) or content … it's the content that matters.

    #1650992
    Ana
    Participant

    Next 6 tied to Becker Sims and Skills Practice (SP):

    Notes to the financial statements
    A) compare the notes to the financial statements to the financial statements and supporting documentation to identify inconsistencies and investigate those inconsistencies
    F2.7, SP F2.M1

    Consolidated financial statements (including wholly owned subsidiaries and noncontrolling interests)****VERY IMPORTANT****
    A) detect, investigate and correct discrepancies while agreeing the consolidated financial statement amounts to supporting documentation
    F4.5, ALL OF F4_SIM 2

    Cash and cash equivalents
    A) reconcile the cash balance per the bank statement to the general ledger
    F3.7
    B) investigate unreconciled cash balances to determine whether an adjustment to the general ledger is necessary
    SP F3.M1

    Trade receivables
    F3.4, F3_SIM 3_1&2
    A) prepare a rollforward of the trade receives account balance using various sources of information
    B) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for trade receives to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Inventory
    F3_SIM2_ 1 – 3, F3_SIM 3_7
    A) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for inventory to determine whether an adjustment is necessary
    B) prepare a rollforward of the inventory account balance using various sources of information

    Property, Plant, and Equipment
    F3_SIM 2_ 5 & 6, F3_SIM3_ 3-6
    A) prepare a rollforward of the property, plan, and equipment account balance using various sources of information
    B) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for property, plant, and equipment to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
    #1651018
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    Thanks Ana. Awesome work.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1651102
    Ana
    Participant

    Last set tied to Becker SIMS and SP, please feel free to add if I missed anything.
    SP = Skills Practice

    Payables and accrued liabilities
    SP F5.m1
    A) reconcile and investigate differences between the subledger and general ledger for accounts payable and accrued liabilities to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Revenue Recognition
    SP FI.M3 + M4, F1_SIM2_ 2-5
    A) interpret agreements, contracts and/or other supporting documentation to determine the amount and timing of revenue to be recognized in the financial statements
    B) reconcile and investigate the differences between the sales subledger and the general subledger to determine whether an adjustment is necessary

    Account changes and error corrections
    SP F1.M6, F1.3, 4, 6, AND F1_SIM 2_ 1 & 5
    A) derive the impact to the financial statements and related note disclosure of an accounting change or an error correction

    Contingencies and commitments
    SP F5.M2
    A) review supporting documentation to determine whether a commitment or contingency requires recognition or disclosure in the financial statements

    Leases
    F6.1-3, SP M1 – M3
    A) interpret agreements, contracts and/or other supporting documentation to determine the appropriate accounting treatment of a leasing arrangement and prepare the journal entries that a lessee should record.

    Subsequent events
    F2.4, SP F2.M3
    A) derive the impact to the financial statements and required note disclosues due to identified subsequent events

    BEC - 78
    AUD - 75
    REG - 64, 77
    FAR - 73, 73, 73, 82
    Ethics: 74, 84, 98
    Finally done after 23 months.
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