Leanne writes in, “What order do you recommend taking the CPA Exams with all the new 2017 changes coming?” Okay. So I did some research and my recommendation has always been FAR, FAR auditing, regulation and BEC. That is the order that you should take the exams. FAR, auditing, regulation and BEC.
However, in light of the 2017 CPA exam changes. If you are still going to be taking exams or you expect to reasonably be taking the exams as of April 2017 then you do it in this order.
BEC, regulation, auditing and FAR.
Here's why. BEC is dropping from 72 questions to 62 questions.
That's a good thing. They still have three written communication questions. Just like now. However, BEC is getting four to five simulations, which will account for 35% of your grade. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but that's a bad thing.
You might as well get BEC out of the way so that you don't have to deal with those simulations, because if I were the ACPA I would throw some cost accounting simulation in there and make them pre test of course. Who wants to do a cost accounting simulation?
Knock BEC out first. Then regulation. The reason for that is, regulation is getting a few more questions but they're going for seven sims to eight or nine sims.
Not as big of change. Auditing is getting less questions.
Like 18 fewer questions. But FAR is getting 24 fewer questions and going from seven sims to eight or nine sims.
Normally I advocate putting FAR off or taking FAR first so that you knock the beast out of the way for your 18-month clock. In light of 2017 CPA Exam changes, take FAR last.
If you're starting fresh in 2017 or as of April 2017, then it goes back to FAR, auditing and regulation, BEC because it doesn't matter. To recap, take BEC first, take FAR last. If you're starting now and still have FAR to take.