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About the CPA Exam

An Accounting degree will help you to prepare for the CPA Exam and a career as an accountant. Boise State University’s accounting degrees are designed to meet the CPA licensing requirements for the state of Idaho. The CPA Exam has four sections. Candidates sit for each section separately.


  1. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR or Financial)
    This section covers skills and knowledge of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) for business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental entities.
  2. Regulation (REG)
    This section covers the skills and knowledge of federal taxation, ethics, professional responsibilities, legal responsibilities, and business law.
  3. Auditing and Attestation (AUD or Auditing)
    This section covers the knowledge of auditing procedures, GAAS (Generally Accepted Auditing Standards) and other standards related to attest engagements.
  4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC or Business)
    This section covers knowledge of general business environment and business concepts that candidates need to know in order to understand business transactions and the accounting implications.

For more detailed descriptions of the content of each section see the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs) made available by the AICPA. The official handbook, the Candidate Bulletin, is also available for download on the AICPA website.

Application Process

  1. Start by determining whether you have met (or will meet) the education requirements to sit for the exam. For Idaho, visit To view requirements for other states, visit and select the desired state.
  2. Apply to the Idaho State Board of Accountancy (ISBA). The application requires submitting forms, transcripts, and fees. For the Idaho State Board of Accountancy, visit
    For other state boards, visit and select the desired state.
    *Application materials differ from state to state. Read the application requirements carefully.
  3. Once ISBA approves your application you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). You should receive your NTS in 4-6 weeks from the date you submitted your application to the State Board.
  4. Once you have received a NTS, you may begin to schedule sections of the exam. A list of testing centers available in the 55 jurisdictions (United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia) and a list of CPA Exam testing center policies and procedures are available at

Review Courses

There are a variety of review courses and packages to fit your learning style. The instruction mode may be self-study or may involve online or live instruction. Review books and software vary as well.

General Information

  • The CPA Exam is only offered in a computer-based format.
  • Exam format includes multiple choice questions and simulations.
  • The CPA Exam is offered 5-6 days each week (depending on the jurisdiction) during the first two months of every quarter. That means testing is available in January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November. Testing is NOT available in March, June, September, and December. PLANNING IS IMPORTANT!!
  • For more information and answers to FAQs, visit the AICPA website.